It can be challenging to keep ourselves motivated and to remain focused. I struggle with that all the time.
I always have good intentions, but it is easy for me to wander away from following through. I am retired, so I do not answer to any one else. If the sun is shining, like it has been the last two days, I would much rather be outside. These were probably the last two days of spectactular fall weather this year so, yes, I did spend my time outside.
Consequently, I did not write anything. What to do? Get down to it and get it done. There is no opportunity left from the last two days, so I have to create the time and work fast.
So how can you create opportunities?
I already did the first one…I made the decision to go ahead and write the blog now, even though I am very limited on time. Sometimes when we are busy, like I was today, we pass over an opportunity. In my case today, I could have changed my morning schedule around and put off something else until later. If I had done that, I would not be worrying about it now.
Imagine opportunities everywhere you look. As you go about your normal activities always be looking for ideas. Watch other people, listen to conversations, and maybe you will find an idea. In my case, it would be something to write about. Someone else may find an idea on how to improve on an existing product or service.
Don’t sell yourself short. You have more potential, and therefore, more opportunities than you may think. Most of us discount our talents; it’s human nature I guess. Whenever we interact with someone there may be an opportunity we are unaware of. When you are at work, or out in public, your interactions may impress someone. How you speak, your smile, your compassion may be an opportunity for a promotion at work or a job offer from an unexpected source.
Think of your work as important. Most of us do not respect ourselves. We are important, what we do is important. When you make a decision to place more value on yourself, you will automatically have a better attitude and be more confident. Others will notice the value you place on your work which may lead to more opportunities in the future.
There is a lesson learned from what I did today. I took advantage of time outside and getting lots of major work done. I needed to do that. The downside is I did not prioritize my inside work.
It is so important to have a plan and a schedule we follow. It is even more important to be flexible and have the ability to make adjustments in our day so we can get everything done. I was stressing from not writing this blog so it was ready first thing this morning. If I had made the needed adjustments first thing in the morning and did some prioritizing, there would be no stress.
Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.”
As always, thanks for reading my blog. Have a great day.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
— H. P. Lovecraft
People are capable, but we are afraid. We can deny it, but it is true.
Think about all the things you want to do, either in the past or right now. What excuses do you have for not doing them?
It’s easy to make excuses. We may not realize that we are afraid because we make all sorts of excuses, but at the core of the reasons, you will find fear.
Fear is a basic human emotion. Fear does protect us, but it also limits us. In today’s ever-changing world, there are many reasons to be fearful, but we cannot let that rule our life.
There are three types of fear: Illogical fear, healthy fear, and real fear.
Healthy fear is instinctual. I think of it as caveman fear. We automatically feel it when we are in a dangerous situation. It comes from the physical world and warns us of actual danger.
Real fear is a valid fear because it is associated with real-life events. We are fearful of death, pain, and change. We like to live a stable life, so we are afraid of the events that affect us in those ways.
Illogical fear is something we believe will happen, but there is no basis for it; it is made up in our mind. Most often, we are afraid of failure; we are scared of the unknown, and what someone else may think of you. We restrict ourselves by fearing something which in reality does not exist.
We can overcome our illogical fear by actually doing what makes us afraid. It takes work, but it is possible. There is nothing to be scared of; we are the ones who are allowing this kind of fear to control us.
If you are afraid of public speaking, make an action plan on how you can overcome that fear. You can take a class or practice in front of a mirror. Read your speech over and over until you are comfortable. Then ask a friend to critique you. You will be ready to tackle your first speech and you will have alleviated your fear.
Use irrational fear as an opportunity to grow. We all have our comfort zone, and irrational fear can keep us entrenched there. We need to work our way out of that. When we do, we will realize there was nothing to fear. We will gain the confidence to do other new activities.
Giving in to fear can take away opportunities and leave limitations in its place. Fear places boundaries and is a stepping stone to failure. Fear creates more fear.
No one wants to fail; it stings, but what we do not know, or we forget, is that when we fail, we have the opportunity to learn. You have probably heard many times that a failure is a tool we can use to become better. You pull back from the failure, dissect it, and use what you learned to move forward and do a better job the next time. Each time you fail, you can become better, stronger.
Fear is a powerful emotion and can keep us from achieving our goals and reaching our potential. When we learn to take a step back and think a moment and ask why we are afraid, hopefully, we will be able to discern the forgery staring back at us. Our fear is a figment of our imagination. Look fear straight in the face and laugh at it. Move forward into a new reality of your real ability.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
~ Nelson Mandela
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Be fearless today!
What Is Resilience, Do You Have It, And How Can You Get It?
“Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up.”
Resilience is that indefinable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back at least as strong as before, and quite possibility better, stronger.
A large portion of the population is likely at any given time immersed in what could be considered a life altering experience. How we respond to it defines us as a person.
We encounter something that shocks us and knocks us down; takes us to our knees and overpowers us. We are left with a feeling of disbelief, a wave of grief, or seismic depression. How can we move forward when we are filled with doubt and despair?
It does not matter what event it may be. There is no need to put a name to it. Life is full of such experiences, and there seems to be more of them every day in this crazy world we live in. Each of us will, at some point, be overwhelmed by mind-numbing pain or hardship. Each of us will respond differently, and what we feel is the best we can do at the time. Some of us may choose to accept a new normal and not be able to move on. Others will not accept that and will fight back and be stronger as a result because of their resilience.
Resilience is not a superhuman ability. It is hard work and requires a sustained effort. The length of time needed to get to a new normal will vary, and be different for each person. Your mental outlook before this experience will help determine how you handle your adjustment, and the length of time required.
The type of person you were, and how you responded to any event, good or bad, will affect how you handle your response now. People who previously had a positive outlook and optimistic attitude should have an easier adjustment. If you can self regulate your emotions, control any powerful feelings, and impulsive responses, it will help you lower the level of stress you experience.
If you were a positive person previously with confidence in your abilities, that would help you to plan for what needs to be accomplished to be able to move forward. Your problem-solving and communication skills are important and will help you adapt to what may be an altered new life.
Part of being resilient is maintaining your connections with your support group; the people you turn to in times of need. You can turn to your close family members and friends, as well as any groups you are part of such as a church or social group.
It is essential to accept that change is part of life. Life is a continually evolving event, and includes good and bad. It may be difficult to accept the changes that result in a significant shift in your everyday life.
It may not be easy to accept what happened, and it may appear to be insurmountable, something you cannot handle. It is imperative to look beyond what happened to the possibility of the future, the potential for the pain to ease, emotions to calm, and healing to occur. Look for small improvements and focus on them and look for additional ways to move forward.
Goals are a part of life, big or little they are important. They were important to you before, and they are even more important after a negative, life changing event. They should always be an important part of your life.
We learn the most about ourselves in moments of stress and negativity. Like it or not, when we experience challenging events, we are faced with difficult decisions. Decisions we thought we would never have to make. Our perspective changes. We gain a sense of purpose and confidence we may not have had before. We place more value in our relationships and appreciate the value of how we spend our time.
As with everything in life it is so important to maintain a hopeful outlook and keep everything in perspective. Visualize what you want to achieve, focus on the positive, and do not dwell on the fear and negativity.
Always be aware of your attitude and include taking care of yourself. Feed your body and mind with a healthy diet and exercise your body to maintain your energy. It can be helpful to write about your feelings when you have experienced stressful events or to practice a soothing activity such as yoga or meditation.
If you feel overwhelmed and are finding it difficult to find your way out of the trauma, look for help. Find a support group, or talk to a professional, to help you move forward.
Life is a journey, and it is full of ups and downs, with some unexpected obstacles along the way. It is good to have a plan for what you want to do on your journey. It is also good to understand that there may be a fork in the road, or an unexpected cliff, where we have to take a different path. We should plan and be prepared for those too.
“There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who do not. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.”
– José N. Harris
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day.
“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”
As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a great day.
“Whether an illness affects your heart, your arm, or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there shouldn’t be any distinction. We would never tell someone with a broken leg that they should stop wallowing and get it together. We don’t consider taking medication for an ear infection something to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t treat mental health conditions any differently. Instead, we should make it clear that getting help isn’t a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of strength—and we should ensure that people can get the treatment they need.”
In my last post, Depression – Does Being Active Help – A Debate, I attempted to give insight into the many types of depression and the treatments for each. I believe that we do not understand depression and that we need to be more aware of what the disease is.
What started my interest was an article encouraging the use of exercise as a treatment for depression. After all my research, I concluded that, yes, exercise can certainly be used and should be, but it is not a fix-all for depression. In my opinion, it is more a helpful preventative. Physical activity is an excellent practice to be followed in any treatment for depression and improved health in general.
Today, I am writing about signs to look for in identifying a person who may be depressed.
Depression has a stigma attached to it; no one wants to be labeled a depressed person. They will go to great lengths to hide that there is anything wrong. It may be reasonable for them to hope if they keep maintaining what looks like a normal life, their depression will just go away.
So how can we recognize that someone is depressed? Here are some changes in someone’s behavior we might observe:
Their normal behavior changes. They are a little lost and are trying to ease their feelings of sadness and loneliness. They may lose interest in activities they previously enjoyed.
They may no longer enjoy foods they once did, stop eating, and start losing weight. They may also overcompensate and eat more than they did, hoping it will help them feel better. They may turn to alcohol or drugs to try and alleviate their emotions.
Some times they will exhibit unusual irritability over something they would not have had a problem with before. They may also show anger in the same way, which would be a change of character.
Many people can conceal their depression and wear a ‘happy face’ like they would wear a mask. They pretend they are happy and hide behind their false persona. It is not easy to maintain, and it is very tiring, which can, of course, make them feel worse.
“The only thing more exhausting than being depressed is pretending that you’re not.”
To avoid anyone seeing their mask, they will spend less time with other people and prefer to be alone. They will make excuses to avoid everyday events such as dinner with friends. It can be difficult to see through the false exterior they present.
Their outlook will appear to change, and they may become more thoughtful in their discussions. They may now talk openly about being disappointed that they have not accomplished more. It is a change in behavior, something that they would not have done before. They may talk about being better, being happier, but they do not acknowledge they are sad.
A depressed person tries to keep their feelings hidden so that no one will know. It is difficult and emotional. They don’t want to show their depression but may react more strongly than before. Where before they did not openly cry, they may do so now and also be more openly affectionate. On the other extreme is when they may respond with anger in certain circumstances. That would not be an expected response for them. Both of these emotional responses may be a sign that something is wrong.
There is a psychological term called, depressive realism. I found this difficult to explain, so I am using the definition from the American Psychological Association.
“Psychologists have thought for decades that depressed people tend to distort the facts and view their lives more negatively than do non-depressed people. Yet, psychological studies have consistently revealed a peculiar exception to that pattern: Depressed people, studies indicated, judge their control of events more accurately than do non-depressed people in a phenomenon that came to be known as “depressive realism.”
It may be a sign of depression if someone you know has always responded in a very positive way. They have always indicated everything is excellent, but now they have the opposite reaction and do not anticipate anything going well.
They may cry out for help, but then they reverse course. Being depressed and struggling to hide it from everyone is an intense struggle. They have a resolve to continue to hide their depression, which may become unbearable for a moment in time. They relent and tell someone. They may talk to a close friend or decide to talk to a therapist.
Telling someone is such a momentous event a depressed person may feel like they are confessing a crime. It may be too much for them to handle, and they will not follow through with any appointments they may have made with a therapist. They will tell family or friends that they were having a bad day and now they are fine.
They do not want to admit to themselves that they suffer from depression. It may be easier to continue life as they have been. It may actually feel comfortable to them. It feels too difficult to change.
Depression is real, too real. It comes in many forms, from mild to very deep and dark. It is a disease that is not understood. It is hidden, partly because we do not want to acknowledge it. Someone who is depressed does not want to be. They do not want to admit that they are. People who are not depressed do not understand, and they are frightened by it. They do not know what to do, and it is more comfortable to ignore it.
There is a stigma regarding depression, and that needs to change. Life is hard. Wouldn’t it be nice if that were not the case? I do not have any answers. The best thing I think we can do is educate ourselves so we can better understand what depression is. Always smile at someone and be kind. If you see someone struggling ask if there is anything you can do for them. Hold out a hand. Help them take a step forward.
“My mental health problems are real and they are valid. I will not judge myself for the bad days when I can barely get out of bed. I will not make myself feel worse because someone else appears to be handling their mental illness better than I am handling mine. Recovery is not a competition.”