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Shh, Silence is golden, and speech is silver

In a world of constant activity with a steady onslaught of attention-grabbing distractions, the idea of a silent mind can seem like a distant and unlikely possibility. However, the need for silence is profound and can be crucial across life circumstances. 

 

As children we were often told by my mum ‘Shh, silence is golden”, I’d never heard the second part until today. Growing up I never quiet understood the phrase “silence is golden” until I had my own children. While they weren't particularly noisy per se, it felt very noisy to me. And how I would yearn for silence when they were young. And now as an adult juggling multiple projects at work and at home, I have found myself regularly seeking out silence in the form of a 10-day silent retreat to help me rejuvenate and get back to myself. It quickly became one of my annual self-care activities. 

 

I attended my first retreat in 2015. This was not by choice, rather it was a...

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Taming your inner critic while languishing

We all have our own set of values that guide our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Often, we don’t acknowledge them until someone has crossed that invisible line. Having an awareness of your values can be positive as they’re incredibly helpful to make good choices. However, there’s also a risk of getting over-enthusiastic and expecting yourself to always align with those values and always behave a certain way. It’s important to realize that there’s no single best set of values to live life or view the world by. Values are not fixed, they change over time so you are limiting your own personal growth and enjoyment when you expect yourself to live according to a fixed set of rules that perhaps no longer apply.

 

During the pandemic we have seen a rise in what has become known as languishing, described by organizational psychologist Adam Grant, PhD, as "a sense of stagnation and emptiness." This could be an indication that in order to thrive,...

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5 Ways to deal with inner conflict

Is inner conflict holding you hostage? Often when we are in conflict it’s hard to make a decision without feeling you are settling in some way. Inner conflict often makes us doubt ourselves and makes us feel sluggish. It occurs when our emotions, thoughts and personal values are out of alignment. Or, looking at it another way, when our head, heart and spirituality are misaligned.

 

Sometimes we choose to behave in a different way to our natural ability in order to succeed and over time we become misaligned. A client recently remarked how he thought he had learned to become an introvert because of his career. However, as he was maturing, he felt he identified more with being extrovert. Needless to say this awareness led colleagues to become concerned about his welfare as he had started to demonstrate more extroverted behaviours in the office. To them he was ‘acting out of character’. Interesting choice of words!

 

There are many different types of inner...

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What I've learned about indifference

After many hours of sitting in my chair, listening to clients report how they feel, I have realized how indifference is a sneaky companion to depression.

 

As part of my offering, I work with EAP clients many of whom work in well-known organisations. You probably even use their services. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a sensitive young man who had been sent by his manager. His manager had noticed a change in his behaviour and had suggested that a few sessions through EAP may help him, and so here he was.

 

I am so glad his manager suggested it for him. While the client hasn’t yet recognized it, the way he is feeling is a strong indicator that if left alone it could develop into depression. He is a strong performer, technical specialist and works largely alone. He is well regarded at work and his introversion hasn’t been an obstacle to him building enviable career in his field. However, he has few relationships outside of work and his support network is...

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Saying 'sorry' doesn't have to be hard

A sincere apology does a world of good for both the giver and the receiver. It shows you regret the hurt or pain you caused, whether that’s inadvertently or on purpose, and it signals your desire to restore the relationship to a healthy balance.

Without apologizing, authenticity cannot be achieved because authenticity requires you to appropriately express your feelings and needs.  

Why apologizing is good for you and others

1. Provides a constructive outlet for remorse. Extending an apology helps you take responsibility for your actions and hold yourself accountable for them. This is especially true if you back up your words with positive actions to prevent it happening again. Holding on to remorse can lead to internalized anger which over time can impact your sense of self-worth.  

 

2. Improves your future conduct. By reflecting on your actions and sharing your experience with another person, you create an experience which encompasses your...

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10 Savvy ways to develop self-awareness

“Self-knowledge is the first step to maturity” Jane Austen.

 

You come into the world alone and you spend every minute with yourself until you depart the world, yet you may not know yourself as well as you think you do.

 

Unfortunately, if you don’t know yourself, it’s hard to make progress. It’s like driving a car that doesn’t run well, but you refuse to look under the hood to optimize the engine. Unfortunately, those issues won’t repair themselves. They may well get worse and stop your car from running.

When I think of self-awareness I’m always reminded of the Johari Window developed by  psychologists Joseph Luft (1916-2014) and Harrington Ingham (1916-1995), which is a tool used to demonstrate four levels of self-awareness:

 

  1. I know what I know about myself and you know it too (Known)
  2. I don’t know that about me but you know it about me (Blind Spot)
  3. We don’t know what we don’t know about me...
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Traits of resilient people

resilience self-awareness Mar 21, 2021

Resilience is often talked about as the solution to many psychological conditions, and it may surprise you to learn that anyone can develop resilience. It develops as a result of an attitude or mindset which we can all cultivate. 

 

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks. It is developing the strength to get back up after life events have leveled you to the ground. It is the reservoir you draw from in times of need that helps carry you through while keeping you from falling apart. It does not mean you develop a blind eye to existing challenges. Instead, it means you develop the strength to deal with the upcoming difficulties to the best of your abilities - often emerging stronger than before. While it seems easy in theory, in practice it takes a lot of hard work to build resilience. It is not something you become overnight, but something that you craft over a series of let downs.

 

This week marks a year since Australia closed its international...

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Never worry about anger again!

In one of the processes I take my clients through to uncover hidden values, I ask them about the last three times they got angry. Some clients can quickly identify those occasions, and some cannot. For those who can’t they share that they are rarely angry. They go on to disclose that they rarely yell, scream, hit or exhibit hostile behaviours towards others. Those are examples of aggression, not anger.

 

Anger is a normal human emotion that we all experience from time to time. And like other emotions it has a purpose, and as a result we can express it in a variety of different ways. Anger is an intense feeling of displeasure. It ranges from feeling annoyed about not being able to find your car keys when you are running late to feeling betrayed by someone you trusted. It is also an emotion you can feel when you observe an injustice or identify someone you love is being treated unfairly.

 

Like all emotions it is characterized by a suite of behaviours, somatic...

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10 Savvy ways to develop self-awareness

 “Self-knowledge is the first step to maturity” Jane Austen.

 

You come into the world alone and you spend every minute with yourself until you depart the world, yet you may not know yourself as well as you think you do.

 

Unfortunately, if you don’t know yourself, it’s hard to make progress. It’s like driving a car that doesn’t run well, but you refuse to look under the hood to optimize the engine. Unfortunately, those issues won’t repair themselves. They may well get worse and stop your car from running.

 

Adapted Image by Flixabout.com

 

When I think of self-awareness I’m always reminded of the Johari Window developed by psychologists Joseph Luft (1916-2014) and Harrington Ingham (1916-1995), which is a tool used to demonstrate four levels of self-awareness:

 

  1. I know what I know about myself and you know it too (Open )
  2. I don’t know that about me but you know it about me (Blind)
  3. We don’t...
Continue Reading...
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