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You, First

November 19, 2017 Leave a comment

Featured Image -- 945  If you are giving part of yourself each day of your life, as a profession, volunteer, home carer, or support worker don’t feel guilty about being interested in pursuing personal growth (feeling better in yourself), it does not mean you are a selfish person.  Personal growth does affect relationships with others and with yourself.
 
There is no question about it. We need to have a caring relationship with ourselves before we can expect others to do so. However, being interested in personal growth doesn’t mean you’re selfish. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.
 
In his book, “The Psychology of Romantic Love,” Nathaniel Brandon wrote, “The first affair we must consummate successfully is the love affair with ourselves. Only then are we ready for other love relationships.” In other words, if we don’t even like ourselves, it’s going to be difficult to love others.  When I use the word love, it is not just the romantic, or the paternal, or the friendship kind, it is the empathy, understanding and kindness for patients and colleagues.
 
You see, no matter how concerned we are about others, we are ultimately responsible only for ourselves. If we feel inadequate and victimised, then we have no power to offer another person security and strength. Without that firm personal foundation, we are building our relationships on what amounts to quicksand.
 
Self-development means being the best you can be and giving the best that you can give. It means asking yourself, “If I were living with me or caring for me, would I want to stay around?” Yes, that’s a big question, one that demands an answer. Then, you change what you need to change according to that answer you have given yourself.  You don’t need to make a big deal about it, but realising it, is a huge step forward.
 
You see, although there are tremendous personal benefits to self-development, it is, perhaps, in your relationships with others that a commitment to personal growth will bring you the most gratifying changes – and a deeper sense of happiness and contentment
If you are in a senior position, then showing your team you care for about yourself, take your wellbeing seriously; they will have a model to follow.  Being the leader you would want to follow, sets the example.  Not so many years ago practitioners were smoking around patients, they were not sanitising hands or using gloves for general practice.  All of these changes have made a difference in patient care.
All staff are overworked and stressed with deadlines, cutbacks and red tape.  The more frustrated you become with your situation, your staff/colleagues, patients, the system and life in general; the more you are turning in on yourself.
Taking time to support yourself, allow your feelings to surface, take breaks even very short self-centring techniques can lower your blood pressure and lighten your mood.  These are not a long-term solution, but each small step, leads to the next.
Compassion Fatigue is depleting all of our caregiving services, taking care of yourself is not a luxury, it is a necessity.  It is partly the responsibility of employers to support workers, but at the end of the day; it is your life, your responsibility.
Care for yourself, as much as you care for others.  If you want to know how to feel better, let me know.

Linda Sage  MA, BA Ed(Hons) – Caring for the Caregiver

Taking an Honest Look

November 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Most of us are pretty sharp when it comes to noticing other people’s imperfections and faults, but not always about our own. Some people have the mistaken idea that those of us with high self-esteem think that they are perfect. But the truth is that high self-esteem people don’t think they are perfect. However, they are continuously looking for ways they can improve.

It is people whose self-esteem is shaky who are threatened by looking at their imperfections and weaknesses. They don’t want to know about their problems, because then they may have to actually do something about them and, unfortunately, they don’t feel very effective when it comes to solving problems.
People with high self-esteem know that awareness of a problem is the first step towards solving it. However, they don’t get bogged down in the problem. They have a clear vision of what it will look like when the problem is fixed, and that is what they keep uppermost in their minds. They don’t beat themselves up when they make mistakes. Instead, they use mistakes as teachers and learn from them.
Also, they are used to taking a personal inventory, and they feel competent and capable when it comes to doing what needs to be done to improve themselves and their behaviour. Even when they are not sure exactly how they will do it, they don’t let that stop them because they are confident that they can find a way…and they usually do.
As difficult as it may seem, at first, there is great value when we take an honest look at ourselves. So, gather up your courage and take that look in the mirror. If you don’t like what you see, you do have the power to change it.
Don’t give up your accountability to, “that’s just like me,”  “that’s how I am,” “that’s the way I have always done it.”  All excuses for a comfortable life, living in denial is convenient, but not always healthy.  If you want a different outcome, you need different actions.  The buck stops – here!
Linda Sage
Successful Mindset Ltd.

Small Steps Forward are Better Than No Steps

October 21, 2017 Leave a comment

small steps      Do you ever feel discouraged because your work on personal growth isn’t going as quickly as you would like? Let’s spend a little time on this today.

Many people are interested in doing all they can to develop strong and positive self-esteem, and that is a very good thing. But sometimes, there is a tendency for people who have just started the process of deliberate personal growth to take themselves a bit too seriously. Expectations run high and personal change can’t come fast enough. The same thing can happen to an organisation as it embarks on a growth initiative.

lead2    Individuals may find themselves going abruptly from relative non-awareness (or confidence that there wasn’t any need to change in the past) to total and complete introspection. They hold a magnifying glass up to every thought, feeling, act and relationship. Growth and change then get bogged down in the details.

Perhaps these people need to relax and take it easy. Take the changes a step at a time, a day at a time. Developing high self-esteem is a gradual process, so you don’t need to pressure yourself to get there all at once. New or revised organisational mission and values statements take a while to soak into the fabric of the organisation.

Artists and craftsmen work steadily on their creations. They don’t get frantic over completion. As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Give yourself time and space to develop and rework your self-picture. In the meantime, relax and enjoy yourself. Get involved in activities you like and have fun.

If you are tempted to measure your progress, use a broad time range. See yourself today as compared to five or ten years ago, but always keep your eye on where you want to be.  Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare – slow and steady wins the race. As long as you work consistently, you will get there!

If you make your progression plans; you are 50% more likely to achieve them.
If you write your goals down; you are 50% more likely to achieve them.
50 + 50 = 100%
Small steps will take you in the right direction, you will meet the right people and get the right information.  All like the domino effect.
Here’s to your success.
Linda

Putting in Some Time & Effort

October 7, 2017 Leave a comment

invest in you   Everyone has a self-image, but how does a self-image get built? And what does your self-image have to do with who you are, and how you react in strange or unusual situations?

Your self-image, or your idea of who you are, is a package you put together from how others have seen and treated you, and from your conclusions as you compare yourself to others. Primitive people built homes from available materials – blocks of ice, animal skins, adobe, and logs. In this same way, when you were a child, you built your self-image from what was available.

Your construction materials were the reactions of significant others toward you. So, your self-image is simply a belief system you created. It is manifested in how you respond to the world around you – the people and situations that fill your days. However, these beliefs may or may not be accurate.

Now, your essential nature, the “real you” that exists apart from your behaviour, your opinions, your habits, etc., is really quite wonderful because it is a storehouse of energy and potential that can do and be great things.

But if people, who didn’t have much self-esteem themselves, raised you around constant put-downs, you will not be able to use much of this amazing potential. You see, your behaviour always matches your inner picture of yourself. In this, it makes sense to look at your beliefs, get rid of those that hold you back, and learn how to affirm and tap into your potential.

This same story applies to teams, departments, and entire organisations. In their beginnings, organisations defined themselves by the situation they were in and the lessons learned from interactions with the rest of the world. As time wears on, those definitions were tweaked when necessary, or didn’t change at all because of the core beliefs and values of the organisation. These same beliefs and values may be limiting the potential of the organisation to change and grow.

The good news is that with a little self-reflection – whether by an individual or a group of individuals – old, outdated beliefs can be identified and either modified or completely changed. All it takes is a little bit of time and effort.
You are worth this investment and you deserve the outcomes from the investment.
Be kind to yourself, and care for yourself.
Here’s to your success.
Linda

Caring for the Caregiverds – New Book Review

September 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Please can you have a look at and review the preview of my new book Caring for the Caregivers, dedicated to all individuals who are suffering themselves looking after others.
Featured Image -- 945
Feel free to pass it on to anyone you know it may help.

Purpose = Energy

September 6, 2017 Leave a comment

 hope     How is your energy level? Do you sometimes wish you had more get-up-and-go? Today let’s look at how high-energy people get that way 

Why is it that some people seem to have a never-ending supply of energy? They get up feeling eager to get started and they radiate good spirits and high energy all day long. Have you ever stopped by the vitamin counter at the pharmacy, wondering what you could take to get that kind of energy? 

 Consider this: Assuming you are in good health, your strength and energy will come from having meaningful and clear lifetime goals. In other words, a purpose in life. You see, high-energy people know what they want and have an unshakable belief that what they want is possible. They have a purpose that they have chosen freely, and they set goals and develop action plans to help them achieve that purpose. 

mindset + behaviour   We mentioned earlier some studies that showed the elderly, with a specific goal or purpose, lived longer than those who did not. You have probably proven to yourself how energetic you have felt when you had even a short-term goal, perhaps a yard work chore like pruning a hedge or putting in a rockery. Even if you hadn’t slept the night before, with the goal at hand, you found yourself with the energy to get the job done. (Now, you may have started losing energy as you were nearing the end of the job, but that’s another story!)

What is your purpose? When it comes to energy, it doesn’t matter so much what you want, as long as you want something. You’d be surprised how energised you can become once you know the answer to this question. When you have chosen your purpose, and you have a clear idea fixed firmly in your mind of what it is you want to be and do, you will be surprised at how your energy level will grow to help you find ways to get there. 

You will become very resourceful and creative, and you will discover that having a purpose is the best vitamin in the world! So, what is your purpose in life?

Linda Sage.
Caring for the caregivers

Find Your Purpose for Living

August 24, 2017 Leave a comment

passion  Do you believe that having a purpose in life is important?  Having a purpose contributes a great deal to the quality of our lives. Not surprisingly, having a purpose can actually prolong your life. 

Several years ago, a study done by Judith Roden of Harvard followed two groups of patients in a convalescent home. Members of one group were asked to care for a potted plant during that time. Members of the other group had no such purpose. Those who were plant caretakers lived, on average, twice as long as the others did. You see, a sense of purpose fosters hope, self-motivation and positive feelings about oneself and others.

Viktor Frankl, in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” found this same result during his time in Nazi concentration camps during WWII. Purpose, or goals if you will, provided the will to live.

How many examples can we see, when purpose is absent or taken away, that life ceases. Veteran broadcaster Andy Rooney passed away one month after leaving CBS’ “60 Minutes” programme. Bear Bryant, iconic coach of Alabama’s football team for 24 years, passed a mere 28 days after retiring. Retiring something may have been the catalyst. 

fear1     Now it is important to remember that, if it’s going to be truly meaningful, your life’s purpose must be something that is chosen freely by you, not something that is chosen for you. And it may have nothing whatever to do with what you do for a living, although, if it does that would be ideal. 

Have you thought about what your purpose is? Have you tried to put it into words? If not, take the time to do so, and then use that purpose as a compass to guide your activities.  You will be surprised at how much energy and clarity you’ll feel.

By the way, age has nothing to do with finding purpose in your life; and if you are wondering when you can start – well, today will do just fine!

Here’s to your success.
Linda Sage
Caring for the caregivers