Dear Coach Kim:
I’m so overwhelmed and I can’t come close to getting everything done. Can you give me some advice on handling stress so I’m nicer to my family and maybe share some ways to make my days more productive?
There are days that make you want to hit your head against the wall, but you have to find a way to chill out. Stress and overwhelm can take a huge toll on your relationships and your health.
There are three reasons you may be experiencing overwhelm. Figure out which of the three is the cause of your stress, and you’re on your way to a solution.
1. You have more on your plate than is humanly possible to do. Get realistic about your responsibilities and your schedule. If you want to stay sane, you are going to have to drop some things. You can’t do it all.
Look at your priorities and decide what’s most important. Your kids will survive with fewer activities and your house will survive being less than perfect. You don’t have anything to prove. Stop and smell the roses. Literally. Forget what the neighbors think, simplify your life and lower your standards.
2. You could handle what’s on your plate if you were more organized. It’s time to get serious about time management. You may be resistant to adopting a time management system because it feels restrictive, but it will make a huge difference in your life.
By the way, making lists does not qualify as time management. There is no time scheduling involved on a list. Lists cause overwhelm. Throw out the lists and use a planner or an electronic equivalent.
Figure out what needs to be done and schedule a specific time to do each task. Plan a week at a time instead of a day at a time because there’s more time to work with. If you struggle with this, get some help.
3. Stop using “I’m so overwhelmed” as an excuse to get you out of being more responsible. Some people who dwell in stress and overwhelm talk about it constantly. They are using the telling of this story in order to gain sympathy, get attention or to keep anyone from asking them to do anything else. Take a minute and make sure this isn’t you.
What would change if you stopped complaining about your stress and just got to work? It’s time to put on your grown-up pants and take responsibility for your life. This will also involve some time management and prioritizing.
Don’t waste time hitting your head against the wall even if it burns calories. Get organized and schedule some time to relax and have fun.
“The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.” – Elbert Hubbard
Question: My sister said something cruel about me, to my daughter. She has judged me unfairly and has no compassion for my situation. I’m so hurt. It is eating me alive. I can’t stand to even be around her. Should I confront her and tell her how I feel? Or try to forgive her and let it go? I’m not sure I can let it go. I can’t figure out how to handle this one. Could you help me?
Answer: Every day I am asked for advice on how to handle situations when someone gets offended, mistreated, hurt or ticked off by someone else.
Apparently this happens all the time.
If you can learn to appropriately respond to this kind of mistreatment, you will be capable of handling most of life's problems. Here are some simple steps to follow whenever someone does you wrong.
1. Step back and don’t take it personally.
All bad behavior is a request for love. It is a bad request for love, but it is one.
So don't waste your time and energy defending yourself because you don't need to. It’s not about you. Your sister probably feels the need to put you down so she can feel superior.
Your sister is suffering from self-esteem problems. Don’t take her problems and make them yours. Just because she is painting you as the bad guy, doesn’t mean you are.
Instead of defending yourself, you could choose not to be offended.
You could respond with love.
Love will completely throw her off. Love is the last thing people expect when they have been unkind. If you show love instead of getting defensive, it will knock her off balance and take all the steam out of her attack.
I guarentee: Your sister is hoping you will behave badly too, so she will have more proof about how bad you are.
When you choose love, even when someone doesn’t deserve it, you make them own their bad behavior and you show them the kind of person you are choosing to be.
2. Don't cast good guys and bad guys.
You must step back from this and make sure you are seeing your sister as the same as you.
As human beings, we have a tendency to cast other people as "good guys" or "bad guys" in every situation. When someone offends you, you immediately make them into the "bad guy" so you can be the "good guy."
This is never accurate.
There are no "good guys" and "bad guys" here. There are just a bunch of flawed, scared, struggling human beings.
Your sister has flaws, but you have flaws too. You cannot cast the first stone.
You are both works in progress and this situation is just a lesson for both of you. It is showing you things about yourself and giving you an opportunity to chose who you want to be.
Choose to be mature, wise and loving.
3. Trust that your value is not on the line.
Being offended is about defending yourself. The question is, Do you really need defending? Is your value even on the line?
It may feel like it is, but in reality your value is infinite and absolute. It is never on the line.
Nothing anyone says can change your value.
With this mindset, you can address the issue with love because you are not worried about you. You are the same regardless.
4. Trust in your perfect journey.
Your life is constantly providing you with experiences to learn and grow. This experience is one of those.
What is this situation showing you about yourself that could help you to become a better person?
If you can figure this out, it will change how you respond.
Jesus Christ taught us how to handle offenses with compassion, love and wisdom.
He was accused of crimes he didn’t commit and when his accusers were bearing false testimony against him, he didn’t defend himself. He knew it wouldn’t do any good because it wasn’t about him.
He didn’t take offenses personally.
He said, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”
The people who offend you are doing the best they can with what they know at the time. The problem is ... they don’t know very much.
They know not what they do.
Your sister is afraid and misinformed and she is taking it out on you. Don’t take it personally. Trust your value isn’t on the line. This offense is here to help you learn about love.
You will become a better person from this experience.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker.
Question: I have been out of work for a while. After sending out hundreds of resumes, I finally have a good job interview lined up. But I’m scared to death. I really need this job and am afraid of blowing it because I’m so nervous. Could you give me some advice?
Answer: You are suffering from a bad case of the fear of failure (the fear of looking bad or being rejected), and you are right, if you don’t get it under control it could sabotage the interview.
When you show up needy and desperate people can sense your desperation. They can feel your fear and it is not attractive. Fear says you don’t believe in yourself and it makes other people doubt your abilities, too.
If you aren’t sure you deserve this position, they won’t be either. You must walk in there fearless.
Here are a few tips for overcoming fear on the spot:
1. Focus on trusting the universe
There are no accidents. Everything happens as it’s supposed to happen. (At least that’s what you can choose to believe if you want to.) You may want to choose to believe this because believing the opposite (that there is no rhyme or reason to anything and we live in chaos) makes life feel scarier.
Oprah Winfrey once said, “I trust in the ebb and flow of the universe. I trust that life’s bigger than what I can see. I trust there is a divine order beyond my control and I trust no matter what happens, I will be alright.”
Choosing to trust the universe makes you feel safe. With this mindset you have no fear about interviews because if you are supposed to get this job you will, and if not you won’t — either way you’re going to be fine. You have nothing to fear. This mindset brings peace and calm.
2. Make sure you see the interviewer as the same as you
We have a tendency, as human beings, to see other people as different from us. We usually see them as either better than us or worse than us.
In an interview situation you often feel “less than” the person interviewing you. This is not accurate. You are the same as they are. You are both human beings with the same intrinsic value. The fact they are employed and you aren’t doesn’t change that.
Abraham Lincoln said, “The assertion that 'all men are created equal' was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain, it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use.”
Use that idea now.
Decide to see this interviewer as the same as you. Treat them with respect and treat yourself with respect too. This kind of confidence is very attractive.
3. Focus on giving and serving instead of getting
Most people approach job interviews focused on getting the job. This can be a needy and selfish energy because it is all about you.
Instead, focus on how you can serve that company and those people. Ask questions about their needs and how you could best be of service.
Have some of these “giving type questions” planned ahead of time.
You can also send silent messages of love to the interviewer as you talk (not in a creepy way but in terms of love for your fellow human being).
This focus on love shifts the energy of the interview from one of getting to one of giving and it is a shift the interviewer will feel. People subconsciously like you when you show up with love.
Love is even more attractive than confidence.
4. Handle yourself like a pro
Seize control of the room when you walk in. Extend your hand for a handshake and be the first to say “Hello” or “How are you?” Once seated, let the interviewer take control of the conversation.
During the interview make eye contact, sit up straight and smile. Don’t fidget with your clothes or hair. These small things can be a distraction and are a sign of self consciousness.
Remember, you have nothing to be afraid of here. No matter how this goes, you are still a good person. Don’t be afraid of rejection. It doesn’t mean anything.
This experience does not determine your worth.
If this job isn’t the right one, another will be.
Focus on staying in trust with the universe, seeing the other person as the same as you and showing up with love to serve that company, and you will do great.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after executive life coach and speaker.
How would you handle a major “fail” on national TV?
On "America’s Got Talent" Thursday night, the Kinetic King (aka Tim Fort), a nerdy inventor who uses tongue depressors and dominos to create moving gadgets that work by chain reaction, went down in flames.
He had hoped to make it to the next level on the program and at the same time break a world record with a once-in-a-lifetime performance. The nerdy Minnesota native was not going to get another shot like this.
Fort spent 36 hours putting his “biggest gadget ever” together, but when the big moment arrived, it just wouldn’t go.
The act was a dud.
As expected, Piers Morgan was not kind. “Rarely have we seen an act go this badly,” Piers said. “On a scale of 1 to 20 million, the performance was a -1.”
But the Kinetic King kept on smiling.
He showed America how to handle failure with style and laughed at his predicament. “If you’re going to blunder, you should blunder big!” he said.
Fort was baffled over why this gadget didn’t work while his others always did. He said, “woo hoo” over and over, almost finding excitement in the outcome he never expected.
This was the kind of act Americans needed to see right now. There were no tears, no drama and no self pity. Things often don't go the way we plan. The question is how are we going to choose to experience that. The Kinetic King chose to smile.
“You gotta be famous for something,” said Fort, “and I’m going to be the biggest loser on AGT.”
Fort was stumped as to why his gadget wouldn’t go. He’s done this thousands of times and never had a problem, until this one — the big one that could have changed his life forever. But he met this disaster with optimism. "It was inspiring to watch," said one viewer.
It reminded us of when Thomas Edison's workshop containing irreplaceable research work burned to the ground. The famous inventor woke up his wife and friends and encouraged them to come down and watch his work go up in flames, saying you’ll never see another fire like this.
Edison rebuilt and made his greatest discoveries after that event.
If you ask me, handling humiliating failure with dignity and good humor makes him a winner.
Watch the failed performance here: http://youtu.be/v_H0OubcD54.
Kimberly Sayer Giles is the founder and president of LDS Life Coaching and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought-after life coach who has a popular radio show LIFEadvice on Utah's AM 1430 Saturday mornings at 8 a.m.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.