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This article was first published on KSL.com
The main issue in our relationship is that my husband chooses to believe that I have cheated on him when I haven’t. I have been faithful to him. I hardly ever leave the house. I work from home and have given him no reason at all to think this. People have said to me that usually the accuser is the guilty one, but in my heart I don’t believe he has cheated on me either. I just don’t know what to do anymore. How can I get him to trust me and stop being afraid of this all the time?
You can’t really fix this on your own. Your husband will probably need some professional help to deal with his control, fear and trust issues. I will tell you a few things that may help you to understand where it's coming from though. Most people, who have deep trust issues, have experienced one or more of the following, which have created deep wounds at the subconscious level. See if any of these sound familiar.
Did he have a controlling, fearful, inconsistent, angry parent that didn’t make him feel safe?
Did he experience the loss or betrayal of a parent or loved one?
Did he have a parent who was distant, cold or unloving?
Did he have a loved one with excessive anger or control issues?
Does he have some deep, unresolved self-esteem issues, poor body image, or rejection in childhood that has stayed with him?
Was he controlled by a parent and does he project his fear of being controlled onto you, even though he is the one who is controlling?
People who grow up with a very controlling, manipulative parent or experienced loss as a child are often distrustful of their spouses. This kind of childhood pain can create powerful subconscious anger, rage, distrust or control issues which they may project onto you, even with no evidence to support it.
Some people with these kinds of childhood problems end up with conditions like narcissism or borderline personality disorder. (You may want to read about these conditions and see if the symptoms sound familiar.) If your husband has a problem like this, nothing but professional help is going to change things.
If he refuses to get help and continues to be controlling, distrustful or angry, you will have to decide if you can live with it or want out.
If the situation is not quite that serious — or in the meantime while you are waiting to get help — here are a few things experts say you could do:
Be an open book. Be totally honest about everything you do (and unafraid to be that way). Let him have total access to your cellphone, email and social media. Let him know that you have nothing to hide and no fear about him seeing everything you do. The less scared you are, the more calm you will create in your home.
Stay in trust that your value is infinite and absolute, and doesn’t change based on what he thinks, says or does. You are bulletproof and good enough all the time, no matter what mood he is in or how bad he sees you today. Your value doesn’t change! This will prevent you from being hurt or getting defensive. Let everything bounce off. I know this is hard to do but it is the only way to not get pulled into his drama and anger.
Stay calm and cool. It’s not a fight without two participants. If you are unafraid and calm it will be no fun to fight with you. You must stay bulletproof no matter what he says. When he accuses you, say, "You can choose to believe that but it doesn't make it true. I stand by my love for you." Remember that every mean comment is a projection of his pain. It is not really about you. He is miserable and scared and doesn’t want to own it alone. Seeing this situation accurately will help you not get pulled in.
Remember life is a classroom to teach us love and we always marry our greatest teachers. This is a chance for you to learn to choose love over defensiveness — at a really serious level. You must start seeing past the blame and accusations and see the wounded, scared soul that he is. When you see each comment as today’s lesson to teach you to be calm and loving, you will show up with more love for him. This mature response may calm him down, too.
I have written about this story before, but I think it really applies here. There is an old legend that a man started insulting and verbally abusing Buddha. Buddha let the man go on for a while, then asked, “May I ask you a question?” The man responded, "What?” Buddha said, “If someone offers you a gift and you decline to accept it, who does it belong to?” The man said, “Then it belongs to the person who offered it. He must keep it.” “That is correct," and with that, Buddha walked away. Number five is based on this idea.
Don’t take his distrust personally. It is not really about you. It is about his subconscious insecurity. He has some serious fear and self-worth issues and they aren’t about you. You can try to reassure and validate him, but at the end of the day you cannot be responsible for his issues or fix them. He has to do that. Keep asking him (calmly) to join you in some marriage counseling. Tell him you really want a better, happier marriage and "everyone is doing it these days." This is true, more people than ever are reaching out for professional help. Marriage counseling doesn’t have the stigma it had in the past. Explain to him that asking for help is a sign of his strength, not weakness. (As I said before, if he refuses to get help, you will have to decide if it’s your perfect journey to stick it out or leave.)
Don’t cast him as the bad guy because of these trust issues. You both are souls with infinite absolute value — the same value. He is just scared — he is not a bad person. Make sure you choose to see both of you as the same, struggling scared students in the classroom of life, doing the best you can with what you know. See him as a equal and remember that you have issues and flaws, too. If you always choose to see him as the same as you, you won’t talk down to him, which would make him even angrier.
You may want to consider burying the past together. Get two pieces of paper and each of you write all the things that your spouse has done in the past that you still have pain and hurt about. Put those lists in a shoebox and bury them in the backyard. (Bury them deep.) Make a commitment not to bring those issues up ever again unless you first go dip the box up. Unless you are willing to do that, you can’t bring those issues back. This helps to facilitate mutual forgiveness for many couples.
I know how painful these situations can be and my heart goes out to you. You may want to read my book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" for more tips on eliminating fear from your marriage.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular coach and speaker.
This article was first published on ksl.com
Things at work have been extra stressful lately. With changes in management, policies and procedures I find myself missing important deadlines. This leaves me feeling unnecessarily rushed, stressed and incompetent. Any suggestions for helping me get my act together at work?
In order to properly address your question I would ask if this is an external (work) or internal (you) problem or a mixture of both?
Ask yourself if you are missing deadlines because you are worried you will not measure up to new responsibilities. Are you afraid of looking bad to the new boss? Are you falling behind because you do not like the new management or its rules? Is there any part of you that is resisting the changes you are now required to make? These questions can help you realize if this is an external or internal problem.
As children we were required, encouraged and/or forced to do many things. Now as adults many of us feel resentment when asked to do things we do not want to do. That includes things we know are good for us. We feel rebellious and subconsciously resist being pushed. This could cause some subconscious sabotage at work.
In every dimension of life there needs to be accountability. This means learning to hold yourself accountable, be responsible and to do what is asked of you, whether you want to or not. This also applies to tasks you are trying to force yourself to do that don't involve other people. Achieving personal goals takes time, commitment and dedicated effort. Like an out-of-shape muscle our personal-responsibility muscle needs to be consistently worked on, to keep it strong and in shape.
If missing deadlines is something you have always struggled with consider what Linda Galindo writes about in her book "The 85% Solution."
“You can keep doing what hasn't worked for you in the past if you want to, but it's not going to work for you in the future, either," the book reads. "A lack of personal accountability is at the heart of chronic stress. It saps us of productivity. It wastes our time. It makes us less satisfied with our jobs, our relationships and ourselves.”
On her blog Galindo states. “If you don’t like structure, you probably need it. What will seem counterintuitive at first is the amount of structure required to realize lower stress, greater productivity and the satisfaction of completing each day completely in time.”
Galindo recommends that you schedule each step to increase your productivity.
“When you agree to do something, put on your calendar the time it will require, not only the deadline. If you are going to write a report, for example, block time for research, writing and revision. When you schedule a meeting set aside time to prepare for the meeting and for follow-up activities such as preparing and distributing the minutes.”
Maybe you have generally been able to meet your deadlines in the past and you are now experiencing growing pains in a restructuring environment. Realize these challenges may be temporary but still require you to put in extra time until you are in a workable rhythm with the increased demands.
If you have determined the problem is external and cannot be fixed by becoming more organized or spending more time at the office you may need to get creative to find solutions.
Are there others in the company who would be willing and available assist you with some of your assignments?
Is there anything you have been asked to do that isn’t time sensitive that you can table until the prioritized projects are completed?
Do you need to request extra help be hired?
If the problem is a combination of external and internal factors the most important thing you can do is to be very clear about what you can and can’t reasonably do within the timeframe provided. Often fear of not wanting to be the employee who can’t get it done may tempt you to take on too much. This will cause extra stress and in such an environment you will make more mistakes.
The next important step is to make sure that you follow through 100 percent on any commitments you have made. If snags come up and challenge the deadline or pending results on the projects you have agreed to, speak up as soon as possible. When you do fall short on not getting the job done and done well — own up to it 100 percent.
You brought up feeling incompetent. The way to ensure you can trust yourself and feel confident in what you do, is to accept your wins and your losses are not you and don't affect your value. You must separate your intrinsic value from your performance and work. When you do make mistakes, make no excuses. People will respect you more, and you will respect yourself more when you take your licks, learn from them, and recommit to doing whatever it takes to not let the same mistake happen again.
Our losses teach us much more than our wins ever could. The only man who hasn’t fallen is the one who never got up and tried. Being a person of integrity is being someone who takes full accountability when they mess up.
Pay attention to any thoughts you have along the way that tell you lies such as: you aren’t smart enough, educated enough, experienced enough, etc. Challenge these thoughts and work to see the situation and yourself in the situation accurately. Make the decision to see your life as a classroom with lessons to practice each day you give yourself (and others) permission and space to be a work in progress.
Everyone feels in over his or her head at times, but if you are taking steps to ensure you have what you need to accomplish every task in a workable timeframe and then go about doing everything in your power to make it happen your confidence in your abilities will grow and you will find a new level of success.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. Shauna Jensen, who co-wrote this article, is also a popular local Claritypoint Coach.
This article was first published on KSL.com
I am struggling at work and I don’t know why or how to fix myself. I’m doing enough to get by, but I hold back and drop the ball on occasion. I procrastinate until the last minute and then do a rush job instead of my best work. I know I am the problem, but how do I change this and get more motivated at work?
This is not a motivation problem, it’s a fear problem.
Jon Acuff, author of the book, "Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters," was asked in an interview with Forbes Magazine what prevents most people from reaching their full potential at work. His answer, “The most common trap is fear. Fear never bothers you if you’re average, but the second you dare to be more than ordinary, fear awakens.”
You are either battling a fear of failure or a fear of success at work. In my experience these two fears are always the culprit when you feel like you have one foot on the gas and the other on the break.
The fear of failure is the most common, and it is a fear of looking bad, being embarrassed or being found out as not good enough. It is tied to your fear of what others think of you and will make you procrastinate doing things you are afraid you won't do perfectly. It also prevents you from trying new things, taking risks or putting your full effort into projects.
A fear of success (though it sounds counterintuitive) is a fear of achieving more or shooting higher because you lack confidence in your abilities long-term. You are afraid of the responsibilities and commitments that will come with stepping it up and raising the bar. You may be afraid you can't handle the pressures of a higher position, so it feel safer to be average.
Forbes also asked Acuff why most people decide to travel down the average path.
“The truth is that they don’t decide," he said. "The only thing you have to do on the average path is not die. You graduate from high school or college and effectively shift into neutral. Sure, you’re not moving that fast but you’re getting great gas mileage and you are making some progress, if you want to call it that. But you’re coasting. Eventually, you’ll roll your way right into the grave.”
Don’t settle for average at work. There is no reason to let your subconscious fears drive your career. You have the power to change your thinking and do better. You just have to believe it’s possible and do the work to overcome your fears, which isn’t that hard if you know how.
You may want to find a coach or counselor to help you. You may also want to visit my website and take the free Fear Assessment, it will show you on paper which of these two fears is an issue for you.
Here are 14 things successful people do to get past fear and reach their potential:
1. Recognize the benefits you are getting from shooting low. What do you get from keeping the bar low? What are you afraid of losing if you succeed? Free time? Your excuse to be lazy? Would trying harder mean finding out you aren’t good enough? Does it feel safer to play small? Own the reasons your subconscious mind thinks drifting is the best path. Decide you don’t want these benefits as much as you want success.
2. Focus on your assets and what you are good at, not your deficits and weaknesses. We all have both, but successful people focus more on what they have going for them, than what they don’t. Watch out for a tendency to shoot down your own ideas with excuses and negatives. If you catch yourself doing this, stop. Think of a positive possibility for every negative you come up with.
3. Know what your gifts are and focus on those. Don’t waste time trying to be good at everything. What are you best at? Focus all your time and energy there. Delegate or pass off the tasks that you are bad, OK, or even adequate at. Focus on your unique genius as much as you can.
4. Take risks in small doses — one step at a time. Raise the bar and slowly step out of your comfort zone. You can handle the next step. You’re ready for that. Take one small step outside your comfort zone today and do the same tomorrow. All successful people are risk-takers and they can do this because they aren't afraid of some failure.
5. Don’t take failure personally. Jonathon Brown from the University of Washington found that people lacking self-esteem take failure personally. They think failure means they aren’t smart, competent or good enough. Successful people understand that failure is about the issue or the technique. It isn’t about them. You can’t be a failure. Failure is an event, not a person. Many of us attach our self-worth to mistakes. This makes no sense. You are not the idea, the performance, the property or the experience. You are the amazing being who will learn and grow from the experience. Failures do not define you.
6. Accept failure as a part of success. Barbara Sher, the author of "Wishcraft," said “If you try and fail, you won’t feel as bad as you think. You’ll gain experience, education, contacts and self-confidence.” All successful people have a history of failures, but they understand failures are the path to experience. Failures makes you stronger and smarter. People who have tried and failed know more than people who never tried.
7. Gain knowledge — knowledge eliminates fear. What skills would make you feel more confident? Sign up for a class to improve those skills. Marie Curie said “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that (you) may fear less.”
8. Choose to focus on love. The law of the universe says you can feel only one emotion at a time. If you choose to focus on love and serving others, it is impossible to feel fear. How can you make your work about giving to others and not about you?
9. Visualize yourself comfortably handling more responsibility. If you can’t see it, you can’t achieve it. Visualize yourself carrying responsibilities with ease and confidence. This really helps.
10. Don’t blame others. Take full responsibility for what you do and don’t do. This will show you that you’re in control and have the power to create better results. Blame shifts responsibility, but it also shifts power away from you.
11. Cultivate relationships. If you have been a loner because it felt safer this must stop. The road to more success is paved by the valuable relationships you develop in your field. If you aren’t good at this, you may need some executive coaching to work on your communication and relationship skills.
12. Work hard. There are many people who want to be successful, but there are very few who are willing to work hard enough to get it. There is no easy, effortless, short road to real success. They only way is to work hard and not give up until you get there. Do the things others are not willing to do.
13. Create more value than you are paid for. I learned the secret to success from Og Mandino’s famous book "The Greatest Secret in the World." He said the secret is “to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.” In other words go farther, work harder and provide more value than your employer expects. So few people will do this, you will stand out everywhere you go.
14. Write your story now. Sit down with some paper and imagine yourself old and gray at the end of your life. If you could look back and see yourself now at this time, what do you want this next chapter to look like? Write the story the way you want it to play out. Read this daily. This harnesses the power of intention and you won’t believe how powerful it is.
You can do this!
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular coach and speaker.
This article was first published on KSL.com
1) For the past several years my wife has acted like I have horrible cooties. She pulls away from any touch, sometimes gives me "the look" that she is annoyed when I tell her I love her. It hurts so much when she refuses to allow me to show any physical affection or love and I'm not talking about the S word. I gave up on that long ago. I would be happy with a cuddle or a hug or even a pat on the back. I love my wife and I am committed to her and sticking with her, but this situation hurts. Any advice?
2) I am suffering with grief and discouragement because my wife refuses to have physical intimacy with me. I cannot be happy in life without this. I want my life to include being with someone who loves me and wants me. I am considering leaving her because I believe I have the right to be happy, even though it will cause issues with our grown children. This is the most difficult decision of my life. Am I right that I deserve happiness and if she refuses to be loving towards me, I have the right to leave?
I decided to answer these two questions together because though one person has decided to stay in their marriage and one is deciding to leave — what they are both seeking (happiness) is the same and the answer to gaining this happiness is also the same.
(I would ask readers on the comment boards to be compassionate towards these people and their situations and honor their right to follow their own hearts about what is right for them. I appreciate you not judging them for their choices.)
I wrote a recent article on creating more intimacy in marriage if you are interested in that. It is important and we should try to fix this important part of a good relationship. But this article is going to address how to be happy when life disappoints you and I believe this may be one of the most important articles I’ve ever written.
I hope everyone will read it, share it and ponder the truth of the principles behind it. When you understood these principles you will be able to choose happiness in any situation of life. Here are five important universal principles about the nature of life:
Principle 1: It is the nature of the universe that everything changes. Every misery, problem, blessing and joy is impermanent. They come and go, ebb and flow. In every situation you can accurately say “this too will pass” because though some situation take longer to change, everything eventually changes. You can see the truth of this in nature, the seasons and in life and death.
Principle 2: In every moment there will be things in your life that you don’t like and wish weren’t there. You may have health problems, financial problems, a leaky roof, a mean neighbor, or a wife who is struggling with love. You can experience a great deal of aversion towards these horrible things and their presence in your life. You can create feelings of misery, anger or self-pity. Your disappointment and frustration towards these less than ideal circumstances can create suffering.
Principle 3: In every moment of your life there are things you want but don’t have. You can have intense and painful cravings for these missing things. You may have an urge to shop and buy things to feel better, drink alcohol, take drugs, you may obsess over clothes, your house or hobbies, you may watch too much television or overeat. You may ache because you want a child, to be married or have a better marriage to someone who is more affectionate. All of this can lead to craving, which creates misery and suffering.
Principle 4: In every moment of your life there are great things you do have in your life and are glad you have. You may take these things for granted, though, until you lose them. When you experience loss, your perspective often shifts and you realize how grateful you were for the blessing. There are countless good things to be grateful for every moment of your life.
Principle 5: In every moment of your life there are bad things that are not in your life, which you are also grateful for. These are often taken for granted until they happen to someone near you. This causes your perspective to shift and you realize how grateful you are not to have that in your life.
When we put these five principles together it gives us what I call “The Law of the Nature of Life.” It says everything is impermanent and changing, always shifting between these four categories every day, but all four categories always exist in one’s life — all the time. Your misery or happiness is based on your focus and how you choose to see, feel and think about your life as it is.
This is the one critically important secret of happiness: You are causing your suffering with your craving and aversion towards "what is." You can end your misery right now with a shift in your perspective. You can choose gratitude and happiness in this moment.
I know in moments of intense suffering and heartache it is hard to accept this idea. You will want to believe your circumstances are responsible for your misery. You will want to be a victim of the situation, but this doesn’t change the truth. You get to decide how happy each moment will be.
Your life will never be perfect. There will always be problems, but you can focus on what’s right in your life and understand that everything is here for a perfect reason to help you learn and grow. Life is a classroom and every experience is here to educate you and teach you love.
To the first man who has decided to stay in his marriage even though it is painful and difficult, this is my advice: If you want relief from suffering, you will have to focus on what you do have. You must decide to be grateful and happy as things are and refuse to dwell in misery, craving or aversion. It is not easy to do, though. I’m battling chronic health issues myself that I wish I didn’t have, and it is a battle night and day to choose happiness over misery, but I promise you — you have the power to do this.
As you practice this you will also show up less needy and more confident around your wife. You will be able to give acts of service to her without any strings attached. There is a chance this change in you could change the environment in your marriage, but you can’t start craving this outcome. You must let go of needing or expecting it to be better and be happy now.
I find that ViPassana meditation really helps me, and you may want to work with a coach or counselor who can help you learn to control your thinking. There is also a new worksheet on my website that shows the nature of life and helps you inventory your situation daily and choose gratitude.
To the second man who is thinking about leaving his wife: I would recommend that you work on shifting your perspective and learning to be happy now before you make the choice to leave. If you don’t learn how to be grateful and happy in this moment, you may find yourself in a new situation (which will still have something missing because that is the nature of life) and you may still be unhappy. If you would work on choosing happiness now, it will do one of two things. It will either create more love in your marriage or you will still know that leaving is right for you, but you will leave with the skills to create happiness wherever you end up.
There are obviously periods of situational suffering and misery in life where you are entitled to some disappointment, grief, misery and pain — and it is OK and normal to experience this. You should feel unhappy, mourn, have a pity-party and feel a sense of loss, but you shouldn't live there. Understanding the true nature of life and learning to focus on the blessings will help you to accept situations you can’t change and choose to be happy anyway.
Buddha said, “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” He meant that your situation does not determine your happiness. The way you choose to think and feel about life does. You have the power to be at peace right now.
I know this is a hard one — but you can do it.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a coach and speaker.
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These articles were originally published on KSL.COM
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.