How to Worry Less

Before I left work last Friday I made a mistake at work. It was literally five minutes before I was meant to leave for the afternoon. Quite a few people had already left the office so there was no one to help me fix the problem.

For one brief moment there was a flash of panic.

The mistake was on a project that had already caused a lot of grief and I had just made an error entering information.

After calming down and thinking logically I shut down my computer and decided to take a fresh look at it on Monday.

Over the weekend the weirdest thing happened. I forgot all about the problem.

That might not seem significant but only years earlier I would have stressed and worried about that all weekend.

I can be prone to worrying too much. It has taken a lot of effort over the years to worry less.

When I sat down for breakfast Monday morning, I remembered my Friday afternoon problem. Realizing I hadn’t worried all weekend bought a smile to my face.

It was a big reminder that in our busy lives we need to stop and openly acknowledge our wins (even the small ones) and give ourselves a pat on the back for how much we have grown.

While I am on the topic of worrying, I should be honest and admit that I do still worry a lot about certain things. Take my cat for example. If he is unwell I worry. He is a cherished part of my life and worth worrying about. I worry about my Mum a lot more since the passing of my Step-Dad.

What I don’t do is worry about all the crappy stuff that doesn’t matter.

A major sign of growth is when you no longer worry about all the stuff that not that long ago seemed a big deal.

Some of the things I used to worry about years ago don’t even hit my radar now. Some are not even things I think about, let alone worry about.

Whilst I do have some work to do on worrying less, it’s a comfort to know at least now I am worrying about the stuff that matters the most to me.

Do you worry too much about things that don’t truly matter?

What techniques do you use to worry less?

I look forward to your feedback in the comments section below.

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The Purpose and Joy of Work

Ask yourself this question – Why do you work?

Do you work just for the money or do you fully appreciate the purpose and joy that work can bring?

My young nephew recently started his first full time job which got me thinking about what work means and what it can provide in our lives.

Here are my thoughts on the purpose of work. How many do you agree with?

A feeling of pride and self-satisfaction

Doing your job well gives you a feeling of self-satisfaction and pride.

I don’t care what your job is either. Regardless of whether you are the office cleaner or the company CEO, you should still take pride in your work.

You should always take pride in a job well done.

Friendship

Some of my best friendships have been formed at work. The people who I have made friends with at work have had a profound impact on my life.

Working together can accelerate the bonding process and help you to get to know each other.

Granted there are people who aren’t interested in this aspect of work life but if do choose to make friends at work you will find it incredibly fulfilling (not to mention lots of fun).

A sense of belonging

We might whine about our companies occasionally but they can also give us a strong sense of belonging and unity.

Hopefully you can say you are proud to work where you do.

Often you can put people together that have very little in common in their personal lives but they will connect over belonging to an organisation, team or work group.

A sense of contribution

I think one of the things people struggle with when they retire is that they feel they are no longer contributing and participating in society as much as they were when they were working.

Work gives you a sense of contribution. Our ability to add value and make a difference should never be underestimated.

An opportunity to help others

Many jobs involve helping others whether they be people, animals or the environment. Many involve saying lives. When you think about it, that’s pretty incredible!

Of course, you don’t have to save lives to help people. There are so many ways the responsibilities of your job can help someone else.

Growth and learning

Work allows us to learn and grow. Whether its learning new processes, systems, skills or learning how to deal with different types of personalities.

The best jobs are the ones that help us grow as a person and as a professional and allow us to continue learning on a regular basis.

Mentoring is an important part of this process. Learning from people who excel in their respective fields can fast track your career along with forming lasting professional relationships.

The opportunity to be creative

Creativity is at the core of many professions. It gives people a chance to express themselves through words, music, movement (just to name a few). It opens up a world of possibility, wonder and innovation.

Creativity isn’t just for writers or actors. Many conventional professions allow for elements of creativity in their everyday execution.

Travel and adventure

Some people get to travel the world and take grand adventures as part of their work.

I was originally going to write ‘some lucky people’ but then I realized two things. One not everyone views traveling the world as something they would want to do for a living and two luck probably has nothing to do with it!

Often people who travel extensively for work make many sacrifices to do so.

Happiness and pure joy

Yes folks work can make us happy. I know we don’t always feel that way early on a Monday morning but nevertheless it’s true.

Whether you are building your own business or working for someone else work can bring great happiness and joy.

Prestige and power

Some roles come with great prestige and power.

Getting to that level can take hard work, sacrifice and perseverance and hopefully excellent leadership skills if you are managing other people.

Money

Granted for many people, money may be further up the list.

We need money to provide for our basic needs.  How much money we need is down to each individual and their lifestyle choices.

Yet for many people, money is not the be all and end all.  Many people choose lower earning professions because they simply love the work they are doing.

The next time you are having a bad work day (and let’s face it we all have those) remind yourself of the purpose and joys of work.

What do you think the most important aspect of work is? Have I missed any benefits?

I would love to hear your feedback below in the comments.

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Notice attending endless meetings is NOT on this list.  Many companies have far too many meetings. If you have come up with a better approach, I would love to hear about it!

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My New York Life

Last week I teased you with my announcement of exciting news.

Well here it is.

I am heading off for two weeks holiday to New York in September.

Yes I’m heading back to New York, one of my favorite cities in the world. As a lover of big cities, they don’t get more hectic, ballsy and thrilling than New York.

On top of that, I have signed up for a two-day blogging course with The Blogcademy. I can’t wait to meet my three awesome teachers Gala Darling, Shauna Haider from Nubby Twiglet and Kat Williams from Rock and Roll Bride.

It’s going to be a blast!

Most importantly it’s going to reignite my passion for all things blogging. I am super excited about The Blogcademy. I can’t wait to be surrounded by creative, motivated and inspiring people.

I know this trip and The Blogcademy is just what I need in my life right now.

And hey I will be in New York, what’s not to love!

This will be my 5th visit to New York. What can I say it was love at first sight!  Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing experiences from each of my New York adventures to get us all in a New York state of mind.

So join me on my adventure in the Big Apple and let’s share the fun.

New York here I come!

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iStock_How to Deal with the End of a Friendship - Part 2

In early July I wrote about dealing with the end of a substantial friendship in my life.

In a nutshell one of my best friends decided not to be my best friend anymore. If you didn’t catch this earlier post, you can read it here.

Getting over a break up is never easy, regardless of whether you were best friends or lovers in an intimate relationship.

So how am I doing now? I am doing pretty damn well. If you are going through a similar situation here are my thoughts.

Let go of the anger

The anger has subsided. This experience had made me realize that sometimes people stay angry as a coping mechanism. On some level anger seems easier to cope with than sadness and loss. Holding onto anger  is never a good option.

I saw first hand what it did to my Dad after my Mum left him and I personally would not recommend it.

It’s horrible. It eats away at a person from the inside out, leaving them an empty shell. Anger takes over and makes you bitter and twisted (or twitter and bisted as I once told a friend after a few too many wines). All jokes aside, anger is not pretty. Don’t let it take over your life.

Understand that staying angry is a choice. You can choose to let the anger go.

Let the blame go

The other thing to let go of is blame. I think this is another reason why people choose to stay angry.

When you’re angry with someone it’s easier to blame them for everything that went wrong (without having to think about the role you played in things falling apart).

Don’t overanalyze everything to death

In past relationships I was all about the overanalyzing. To be quite frank – I’m over it. As I mentioned in my first post, I’m sick of crying over people who aren’t crying over me.

While I appreciate that taking time out to reflect on your relationship is healthy there is also a point where you can overanalyze.

No contact

The key thing (and I can’t stress this enough) is NO CONTACT.

This means no seeing them, no texting, no Facebook, definitely no Facebook stalking (even the nice kind), no driving by their house and no late night phone calls. No telling them you miss them. Period.

The reason I am so adamant about the no contact rule is that I have broken it in the past. I have sent the lonely ‘I miss you’ text only to feel even more miserable after sending it. Even if they do respond, you generally feel terrible.

You might even get to see them again, get to hang out – then the same problems that broke the relationship in the first place reappear (and they will), you part ways again and you feel even worse than when you started (which you didn’t think was possible).

NO CONTACT.

Focus on you

If you have broken up with someone lately (or they broke up with you) right now is the time to focus on other aspects of your life – whether it’s family, career, friends. Focus on what is important to you.

Now is the time to focus on YOU.

Moving on

Now I am all about moving on. For me it’s about having fun and enjoying life.

On that note, I have some exciting news coming up, so stay tuned!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

Are you going through a breakup? Where are you currently at with your healing process?

I look forward to your feedback in the comments section below.

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Is Everyone Moving Forward Except You

I wrote the post Does it Feel like Everyone is Moving Forward – Except You? post back in May 2011.

With well over 8000 shares it definitely resonated with people. If you missed it you can read it here.

I think at some stage we all feel that we are standing still and other people are rushing past us. Having those feelings occasionally is fine but the key is not to dwell on them.

While I touched on several points in the first post, here are some other thoughts to consider.

Understand you are moving forward

Sometimes we think we aren’t moving forward when we actually are. Often it may simply be at a slower pace than we would like. Granted that can be frustrating but at least we are heading in the right direction!

This is where we need to acknowledge our successes, even the small ones. This is where we need to pat ourselves on the back more often for a job well done.

When you are reading LinkedIn and admiring someone else’s career progression and starting to get that sinking ‘why have I not done as well feeling’ take a moment to remember what you have achieved in your career.

Think about your recent successes and achievements. Bring the focus back onto yourself and be proud of what you have achieved instead of coveting what you think someone else has.

As far as careers go, sometimes we chose to take what appears to others as a backward step (we take a job we love at a lower pay rate for example) yet in reality it’s a huge step in the right direction.

Try not to get obsessed with how things appear on social media. Social media can be deceptive. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan but let’s face it people want to look good in that space.

With certain sites (Instagram springs to mind) it’s all shiny happy successful people. All the time. Enjoy the amazing photographs but understand down deep that no one’s life looks like that all of the time.

Stop repeating old mistakes

We all make mistakes. No huge revelation there. Yet the problem is that many of us keep repeating the same ones.

Moving forward means that we are constantly learning. Sounds great right?

Unfortunately repeating old mistakes means that we are not learning what we need to and often end up experiencing the same situation over and over again before we get the message.

Repeating old mistakes will make you feel like you are not moving forward.

If you feel like your life is going backwards or even stuck in a ‘Groundhog Day’ situation take a deeper look at your mistakes and more to the point the ones you keep repeating.

Take consistent action

Sometimes the only difference between the people who are moving forward and the people who don’t seem to be is that one group takes action more than the other. More to the point they take consistent action. Consistent being the big kick-ass word.

I will use myself as an example. I fully admit I have been all over the place with my blogging consistency, it’s been an important component of my blog that I haven’t been able to get right. When I look at successful bloggers who have been blogging a lot less time than I have who have the same quality content, I understand my main obstacle is my lack of consistency.

Often it can be one thing that holds you back. You need to work out what your main roadblock is and work like hell on it.

Make yourself happy first

Nothing is going to make you feel like you are not moving forward like living your life on someone else’s terms. By that I mean living a life someone else wants for you instead of the one you want for yourself.

Choosing a career that your parents want or marrying a partner that everyone else feels is right for you despite your own misgivings is going to make you feel like your life is not moving forward. Not to mention make you incredibly miserable.

Do something bold

Sometimes you just have to go big!

If you have dreamed of taking a trip overseas or going on a big adventure exploring your own country, then stop watching people’s Instagram and Facebook feeds and secretly wishing that was you and do something about it.

Plan that big trip. Be daring. Take the leap instead of living vicariously through other people.

Be bold!

Relax and have fun

Yes I know that sounds easier said than done but dammit sometimes you just have to stop stressing about where you are in life as opposed to where you want to be and be in the moment.

Life isn’t meant to be one big stressful to do list.  It’s meant to be fun!

If you are exhausting yourself with thoughts of why aren’t I ‘blank’? (insert your own word here) now is the time to relax, have a good laugh, have some fun and enjoy yourself!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends. I would love to hear your feedback in the comments section below.

Do you ever feel everyone is moving forward except you?

More importantly let me know what you do to kick those negative thoughts to the curb?

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What Love Do You Deserve?

I’m a huge fan of the Gala Darling July Instagram series. Come to think of it, I am a massive fan of Gala Darling in general but more on that in another post.

While I was browsing through the feed the other day, one quote stood out for me.

More to the point, I felt the words jump off the page and slap me across the face.

Take a deep breath, here we go.

 We accept the love we think we deserve

 

I wish I had known this truth years ago. Instead I learnt my lessons on love the hard way.

In the past I accepted a lot less love than I deserved. Low self-esteem resulted in relationships with inappropriate men and accepting their crappy behavior. On top of that, even after I experienced their bad behavior I stayed with them.

Why did I put up with unacceptable behavior?

Because I didn’t love or value myself enough, I accepted what I felt I deserved.

By feeling unlovable I thought that if I could get some bad boy (and yes I picked a few of those along the way) to adore me than surely that was proof that I was lovable.

Talk about looking for love in all the wrong places! I was constantly seeking love and approval from someone outside of myself.

It’s not like you think to yourself – I’m worthless, I’ll find a man who will cheat on me. It is so much more subtle than that.

I didn’t know myself and I certainly didn’t love or respect myself.

Often the problem was I made it all about ‘them’ and not about ‘me’. It’s a bit like when you go for a job interview and all you can think about is will they hire me? Will they think I’m good enough? Will they like me?

Just like job interviews, relationships are a two-way street. It’s not all about what they want.

Now I know the truth.

Now I truly understand I deserve to be loved.

I might not have a man in my life at the moment but that doesn’t change what I know.  I don’t need a partner for validation.

Look inside yourself for validation, love and acceptance.

I deserve to be loved and respected and so do you.

Believe in yourself, cherish yourself and accept the precious, beautiful love you know you deserve.

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You Have Choices

Ahhhh choices we make so many of them every day.

Some are easy, some hard, some we barely even think about they are so habitual.

Choices can be heartbreaking, exciting, challenging and life-changing.

Sometimes those big life-changing choices mean we have to cope with some short-term pain before we get to the good stuff.

The thing to remember (especially when life gets tough) is that we ALWAYS have choices. No matter how trapped or scared we feel there are options.

We choice who we spend our time with, where and who we live with, our careers, our partners, our adventures, our joys and passions.

Are our choices always easy? Hell NO!

Do we over-complicate some of our choices and make them harder than they really need to be. Hell YES!

On the surface the message of this post might seem a no-brainer but sometimes it’s important to remind ourselves we have choices.

We can pick another path. We can do something different. We can change direction or try again.

Make sure your choices are your own and not someone else’s.

Never forget you have choices.  You just have to be courageous enough to make them.

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iStock_How to Deal with the End of a Relationship
I had my heart broken recently.

I received an email from my best friend telling me that after more than ten years of friendship they never wanted to see me again.

They weren’t nice about it either. It was a nasty email full of blame and name calling. To add insult to injury it was sent to my work email, knowing full well that it would shatter my concentration at work (on one of the most stressful weeks of the year).

I was gutted.

Regardless of whether you are friends or lovers the end of a relationship is hard. Being dumped sucks and it hurts like hell.

So how do we deal with such a painful upheaval? How do we deal with the end of a friendship?

Here are my thoughts and feelings (and I apologize in advance that they still are a little raw). [click to continue…]

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How to Have a Two Way Conversation

We all know how to have a conversation.

But what about those conversations where the other person seems to be doing all the talking, most of the time?  What do you do when you can’t seem to get a word in?

Sometimes conversations with family and friends can be one-sided. Sometimes two-way conversation needs a little finessing.

Here are my equal opportunity talking tips.

Step up

If someone is talking about their life all of the time sometimes you just need to jump in and talk about yours.

You need to step up. Don’t sit back and think the conversation will naturally turn to you. It might not. You have to take the initiative and speak up.

I’m not suggesting interrupting someone mid sentence – though I confess I have done this in the past out of pure desperation to get a word in.

Don’t interrupt, instead let them finish what they are saying and then jump right in. [click to continue…]

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Are you taking on other people's problems
Back when I was working in Sydney, I had a work colleague point out something interesting to me.

At the time my best friend worked in the same company. My co-worker commented that when my best friend walked in the front door she always knew how I would feel when she walked out.

If my girlfriend walked in happy, I would be happy. If she walked in miserable, I would be miserable as well, despite how happy I may have been with my own life only minutes before.

Without realizing I was taking on my best friends moods and emotions. [click to continue…]

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