This was first published on KSL.COM
My brothers have deeply hurt me and my family, and I've been upset towards them for years. I hear people say all the time "it just takes time to heal." My question is whose time, how much time and how does healing happen? Because time is passing but I'm not feeling any better. Do some offenses take more time? Is there a chance I may never be able to forgive them? I am honestly trying to let it all go, but every time I think about what they did I get upset all over again. Do you have some advice for me?
The truth is time doesn't change anything. You have to do the work to change how you feel yourself … and you can do this at any time. There are situations where some distance from the offense does lessen the pain a little and may make forgiving easier, but you are still going to have to change how you see this situation if you want to feel better.
Some people never do change their mindset and continue to suffer from past offenses forever. One reader told me his father hasn’t spoken to him since Thanksgiving and hadn’t spoken to his brother since 2002. Most of these people are stuck because they either don't know how to change their perspective (this is the most common reason) or they aren't willing to change it because they are getting some benefit from staying hurt.
A couple weeks ago I wrote an article about the quirky benefits of negative thinking, and if you suspect you may be staying mad for a subconscious reason, you may want to read that one.
You must understand changing, healing and forgiving are a choice. Some people make that choice quickly right after an offense and suffer for only a short time. Others hang onto misery and choose to suffer for a long time (again usually because they don't know how to choose something else.)
It is interesting that most people heal faster if the offense involves a stranger than they do if it involves a close relative. It appears the closer the relationship the deeper the wound. Your inner state also determines how much pain an offense causes. If you have really low self-esteem and someone criticizes you, it will cause a deeper wound than if you had good self-esteem. But in the end, you have the power to consciously choose whether an offense is a deep muscle tear or a scratch.
Buddha taught that when an offense happens you should decide right then, if this is going to be a cut through water, which heals immediately, a cut through sand, which will be gone by tomorrow, or a cut through stone, which could be there for decades. You are in charge of how much and for how long you suffer.
When you get offended you immediately create a story around the offense (either consciously or subconsciously) and that story determines the amount and length of your misery. You may want to take some time and write down the story you have created about this offense. Then ask yourself the following questions:
We believe the fastest way to change how you feel about an offense is to look at it from a different perspective. When you can see the positive it has created in your life, and you can see it as a perfect lesson in your classroom journey, you may find you don’t even need to forgive your brothers anymore. Clarity can do that.
Besides, holding onto hatred is like reaching into a fire to grab a hot coal to throw at your enemy, but then realizing you are the one being burned. It would make a lot more sense to pour water on the whole thing and let it wash away.
You should hold onto the lessons this experience taught you (the positive gift) but then chalk the whole thing up to learning on every side. We are all struggling students in the classroom of life, with much more to learn. Also remember that when you are carrying a big pile of stinky old garbage from your past around with you, your arms are too full to receive the fresh, wonderful new things life is bringing you today.
It is time to set down that garbage and focus on the good in your world and choose love. Choose to see people accurately as struggling students and let them all be a work in progress, just like you. Choose to see their value as unaffected by their mistakes. When you do this, you will subconsciously see your own mistakes as not affecting your value and your self-esteem will grow.
We call this the Law of Forgiveness. You get what you give. When you criticize and judge others, you are giving power to the idea that people can be “not good enough” and this will, in the end, affect your self-esteem. You will never feel you're good enough either.
Coach Tim Eversole says there are two types of people.
People who aggrandize the good, who see more good in the world, tend to feel more joy. These people minimize the bad and therefore they feel less bad. By minimizing the bad they also create just a scratch when they are offended, and their scratches heal quickly.
Then, there are people who aggrandize the bad, who see more bad in the world and feel more sorrow and pain. They minimize the good and therefore see less good. By making the bad bigger they get big deep wounds and scars when offended that take a long time to heal.
Who do you want to be?
How do you want to live?
If you are holding onto anger thinking it is protecting you from future offenses, it isn’t. Being confident and bulletproof because you know your value cannot be diminished and doesn’t change — that is your best protection.
You may also want to read my article Forgiving a grudge without getting hurt again from 2013. Keep working on this and you can do it.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com and the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness." Tim Eversole is a certified claritypoint coach and speaker.
This article was first published on KSL.COM
I have a tendency to let people guilt me into doing things I don’t want to do. My mother for instance. I can’t say no to her or maybe the problem is she won’t accept no. She always comes up with logic to counter everything I say. In the end, I always give in and do what she wants. I am just too nice? Do you have any advice for me?
Your problem is not that you are too nice. Your problem is that you are weak and afraid of what others think of you. This isn’t a “nice” problem, it's a fear problem. You are so afraid of looking bad, mean or selfish that you put other people’s wants and needs ahead of yours. You are overly selfless, and yes that’s a big problem.
When you consistently sacrifice yourself for others, everyone ends up happy and liking you, except yourself.
The problem is that most of you think you only have two choices when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do. Option one is to say NO and hurt or disappoint the other person, who then might think less of you (or think you are selfish) which is really terrifying to those of you who already fear you aren’t good enough. This option also feels like you are valuing yourself over the other person, which feels wrong.
Option two is to betray yourself (and value the other person more than yourself) and give the other person what they want. This option feels safer because even though you aren’t happy, you are at least assured the other person likes and approves of you. This option feels more righteous and loving, but at the same time it leaves you feeling taken from.
The good news is there is a third option (one that many people don’t know exists). Instead of being strong and selfish, or loving and weak, you can learn to be strong and loving at the same time. In this place you accurately value yourself and the other person the same amount. You can clearly see everyone's needs as worthy of being honored, yours and theirs. In this place you strike a healthy balance between standing up for yourself and honoring your needs, and sacrificing to serve, love or give to others. If you want to be emotionally happy and healthy you must have this balance.
If you don’t have a healthy balance between giving and receiving there will be problems in your relationships. You may start to resent the people you constantly sacrifice for and they will stop appreciating your sacrifices, because they will take them for granted. You will also have low self-esteem (if you are overly selfless) because you are constantly giving power to the idea that other people are more important than you.
In order to fix this tendency to betray yourself, you must embrace some new principles of truth around your value and life. Read the following often:
Principle 1: What other people think of me is irrelevant. I am the same me no matter what they think. Their opinion doesn't affect or change my value. I have the same infinite, absolute value whether they like me and my decisions or not. I do not need their approval. I just love them and myself where we are.
Principle 2: I teach people how to treat me by how I treat myself. I honor my own needs because I want other people to honor them. If I always put others' needs first, I am literally teaching them that my needs are not important. I believe all human beings have the same value and we are all equally important.
Principle 3: If I disrespect myself and allow people to push me around, they won’t respect me. Weakness is never respected. I may think my sacrifice and love will win their approval, but do I really want approval at the cost of respect? In the end, I will create what I feared. Even though I give them their way, they will think less of me anyway. If I make sure my own needs are met, people will respect me for it.
Principle 4: It is not selfish to take care of my own needs. The Bible says to love your neighbor “as” yourself, not “instead” of yourself. This means I am just as valuable and important as everyone else. When I honor my own needs I demonstrate to the world that all people deserve to be honored and respected. No one is more important than anyone else. My needs and wants should take precedence over others about half the time. This is not selfish, it’s healthy.
Principle 5: If I don’t love myself first, I am not really capable of giving love to others. If I don't value myself, I basically have an empty bucket, which makes me needy all the time. From this place I really have nothing to give others. When I give to others from this place, my gifts have strings attached because I need something (approval) back. From this place all my loving behavior is driven by my need to get validation. That is not love. Real love can only happen when I experience the same amount of love for myself as I feel toward the other person. When I love myself I can give from a full bucket and people will feel this and appreciate my gifts much more.
Using these principles of truth to guide you, I recommend that you redefine your boundaries and write some rules for yourself about when you are going to say YES and when you are going to say NO. Here is an example:
I give to others often, I also say NO to other people’s requests if doing what they want would:
— Make me resent them for asking
— Make me feel taken from
— Force me to miss something that’s important to me
— Push me over the edge of sanity.
This is the loving thing for all concerned. I do not need to hold fear around how others will feel when I say no. I know it is the right thing for me, and that is enough. I will tell them with love that I can’t do it (without having to explain why). In the end, they will respect me for my strength and love.
Taking the time to write on paper exactly how you are going to feel and behave the next time your mother tries to guilt you into giving in will really help. If she won't take your loving no for an answer, say, “Mom, is there anything else I could do to show you I love and respect you, if I can’t do this?” See if there is another way to show her you love her — something that works for you.
It is really hard when you have someone in your life who is overly selfish and doesn’t honor your needs, and there may be times you have to let her be mad at you and process her frustration. She is the one choosing to be bothered, and that isn't any of your business. Let her be mad without letting it affect your self-esteem. Remember that just because she is choosing to feel upset, doesn’t mean you were wrong to say NO. Her opinion and feelings don’t affect your value.
If you really struggle with this problem, I would highly recommend seeking out some professional help with fear and rebuilding self-esteem. It would make a big difference.
You can do this.
This article was first published on KSL.COM
I read your News Year’s article about all people having the same value, but I frankly disagree. People who hurt others, destroy property or cause trouble are bad people and those who work hard and do right things are good people. I also disagree with those who want to give a trophy to every kid, so no one loses or feels bad, and I think you are in that camp saying that virtuous choices don’t mean anything and we should all be treated the same regardless of our behavior. How can I teach my children to be good people if they have the same value either way?
Let me explain my philosophy a different way and see if it makes more sense. There are definitely human beings who behave in a more responsible, mature, kind, law-abiding (conscientious) way than others, but are they intrinsically of more worth than other people?
I personally would classify them as "more conscientious beings," not as having “more intrinsic value.” Can you see the difference?
I believe there are basically two mindset options when it comes to seeing the value of people.
This doesn't mean we trust everyone or want to hang out with everyone — but it does mean we respect everyone.
Let me explain this using the sports analogy you mentioned, because I agree with you that the winners should get the trophies. Having winners and losers in a game is healthy and teaches kids to work hard and roll with the punches in life, but they should also be taught that winning doesn’t make you intrinsically better than the losers. It just means you worked harder, were blessed with more athletic ability, or had parents who spent more time practicing with you. That is why you won, but winning does not make you more deserving of respect or kindness. You still have the same intrinsic value as the losers.
Your hard work and conscientiousness will pay off and benefit you in life, but your virtuous behavior does not make other people less than you. They are just "less conscientious" than you. They are in a different place in their journey.
It is really important that children learn this correctly, because if they start thinking that those who win are better than those who lose, this can bleed over into seeing people who are different from them as less than them. It is a short jump from seeing the T-ball team that lost as less than you, to seeing those of a different color, or who live in a different neighborhood, or who go to a different church, as less than you.
I think when you said you wanted to teach your children to be "good people" you weren’t talking about their value being higher than others, you were talking about them being conscientious, responsible, kind people who are driven by moral values and principles. This is something it would serve all of us to work on and teach our children, but it doesn’t involve being better than anyone else.
It is about virtues and principles — not value and worth. We must work on being good people without looking down on people who aren’t working on it yet. That is the trick.
Here are some rules for being a conscientious human to practice and teach your children:
In my New Year’s article I talked about changing yourself and changing the world. I still believe you are either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem, and the problems on this planet won’t be solved by pointing fingers at others. They will be solved by working on YOU — the only person you have any control over.
Robert S. Hartman said, “The good takes time; one cannot be good in a hurry. … This is why peace will not come through so-called strong men. They look for easy and fast solutions. It will come through men of patience, compassion and humility — men of faith.”
You are the solution and 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 coach and speaker.
This article was first published on ksl.com
Over and over everywhere I work, I end up being unappreciated, taken for granted and mistreated. It’s getting ridiculous that no one appreciates what I do and they seem to find fault in me even though I’m going beyond and above the call of duty. Things always start out good, but soon I can feel that they don’t like me and for some unexplained reason are holding me back, not giving me what others are getting or not supporting me. The more upset I get at this treatment the worse things go. I’m not sure if you can give me advice on this but I thought I’d ask.
Whenever an experience shows up in your life repeatedly, you must start asking two questions.
1) What is this experience here to teach me?
2) How am I creating this and responsible for it?
It is much easier to continue to blame the problem on everyone else, but if you do, you will never get off this merry-go-round and the lesson will keep repeating.
Life is a classroom, and you are here to learn. If the lesson keeps coming back, it is because you haven’t got it yet. I believe you are here in the classroom of life to learn one main lesson (and a whole lot of smaller ones). The main lesson is to get control over yourself so you have the power to become the best you and choose love over fear in every situation. Every lesson is, at its core, about learning to love God, life, yourself and other people. This experience is no exception.
From reading your whole letter, it looks like you are afraid of failure and loss. You are afraid of not being appreciated everywhere you work, because you are probably subconsciously afraid you aren’t good enough (the fear of failure). You are afraid of being mistreated because you are subconsciously afraid that you will not get the life you want and that life is unfair (the fear of loss).
Both of these fears create bad energy that other people can feel from you. All they feel is neediness, selfishness, anger and entitlement coming from you. I’m not saying you are any of these things — but this is what other people feel when you are in fear of failure or loss. Does that make sense?
The bottom line is your fear is making you look bad.
This is what fear does, especially in the workplace. Think of it this way, fear is the opposite of confidence, peace, energy, security, giving and serving. People who show up at work with love energy (something they can only have if they aren’t afraid) are seen as having those qualities. People are naturally drawn to these people and they are appreciated and treated well.
People who are scared they aren’t going to be liked or treated right show up with scarcity, selfish, insecure, needy energy that pushes people away from them.
This is just universal law. The more unappreciated energy you bring into your situation, the more unappreciated you will be. You will get what you are creating.
You are responsible for these result because you are choosing the experience subconsciously. This may take some thinking to get your head around it — but it is very important that you own the responsibility for creating your current situation. It is the only way you will have the power to create something different.
If you don’t own the problem, you can’t fix it. If you give ownership to others by blaming them and casting them as the bad guy, expecting them to change and give you what you want, you are giving away your power.
Everyone reading this article should take a minute and think about destructive patterns showing up in your life over and over. Have you had health problems your whole life, relationship problems, people problems? Can you see a pattern of feeling a certain way in all of the experiences? Can you sum it up in one sentence? I always feel _____________? Can you see a fear behind it? Is it tied to failure, or not feeling good enough or loved? Or is it more about being mistreated or taken from? Are you tired of it?
The good news is you are in the driver's seat of your life.
If you want to create different results, you are going to have to choose to see yourself and your life differently. You are going to need to choose a trust and love attitude towards your value and your journey — and I promise you can turn this whole thing around.
(I’m going to give you some instructions on how, but you may the need the support of a professional to hold you accountable and help you make these changes to your subconscious programming.)
You must choose to trust that you are good enough all the time. Life is a classroom, not a test, and therefore every mistake is a lesson that does not affect your value. Your value as a person is infinite and absolute because you are a one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable human soul who is here to learn. This means you do not need appreciation from anyone to validate your worth. Your sense of worth must come from within so you aren’t needy.
As you practice internalizing this real truth about your value, you will become more peaceful, secure, happy and loving. You will then be able to show up for others with no strings attached and give gifts of service to others (even at work) without needing appreciation in return. The people you work with will feel this. They will know that you need nothing and they will start to appreciate you. I know it sounds counter-intutive that in order to get appreciated you must stop needing appreciation — but that is how it works.
You must also choose to trust that your life is providing the perfect classroom journey for you. So if you are mistreated, it is just a lesson. It is not about your value. It is about giving you a chance to experience the situation and learn something about love from it. This situation may be about learning to forgive others for not being perfect, because in doing so you will also learn to love yourself more fully. It might be about learning how to choose a happy state even when things go wrong, or to trust God more fully, or to let go of your expectations and trust the universe that it knows what it’s doing.
When you let go of needing this situation to meet your expectations, trust the process of life, and choose to be happy where you are, you will show up strong, confident, capable and solid. People will respect this and they will treat you better.
You must stop the neediness for better treatment in order to feel happy and be treated better. (There are some situations, though, where your perfect lesson might be about getting strong enough to leave, but you must even do this in trust and love without any anger or victim energy, fully grounded in love and forgiveness, if you want to stop the cycle.)
This is going to be a battle to change your subconscious programming and stop the destructive cycle, but the answer is simple, it just takes work, awareness and practice to master. The best time to start working on it is today.
(It is hard to get this kind of complex principle from one article. You may want to read my book "Choosing Clarity" to learn more about 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.
This was first published on KSL.COM
There is almost no physical intimacy in my marriage and I miss the sexual activity I thought I would have when I got married. I find myself resenting my wife and feeling frustrated because I did not get married to see how long I could go without sex. I feel discouraged with myself because I should be able to "suck it up" and stop having these feelings of resentment. I keep telling myself that maybe this is a challenge I am supposed to overcome, yet I sometimes talk to a friend who says I'm crazy to put up with it. Any suggestions?
I get letters with basically this same question at least twice a week, so you are not alone on this one. I’d like to address the problem and then give some suggestions to both husbands and wives on fixing this situation.
For many, the heart of the problem is that while most boys grow up hearing positive things about sex, most women grew up hearing nothing but shameful negatives. Women who were sexual were seen as sluts, and sex was talked about like it was dirty and wrong. As teens, many women are still curious about sex, which means they are open to learning about it, but now they have the negative subconscious programming. Needless to say, many women from Christian families are ill-prepared for marriage and don't understand how important sex is in their relationship and how beautiful it can be.
Then, add to that resentment, hurt feelings and betrayals of trust that often happen (like criticism that makes a woman feel emotionally unsafe) or to find out that a husband has been looking at pornography (which makes sex feel more dirty) and many women lose interest in the whole thing.
This is a complex issue and it can’t be fixed in an article, but repairing the intimacy in your relationship is vital. You cannot have a healthy relationship without it. There is a reason they call it “making love.” It is the most meaningful way to express love for another person. Also remember the main reason you are here on this planet is to learn and grow, and especially to learn to love. Your marriage is going to be the most important class you will take on this subject. So whatever the disconnect is between you and your wife, you are both going to have to grow and become more loving to fix it.
Here are some things each spouse can do to start the process of repairing intimacy in their marriage.
1) Be more kind, appreciative and validating: Most women can’t feel amorous when they don't feel emotionally safe. Does your wife feel resentful, angry or walked on at any level? If you are prone to criticism, sarcasm, negative comments or if you just don’t give enough positive validation, this could be a huge part of the problem. Your wife needs to feel admired, appreciated and cherished. She needs to see that you feel lucky to be married to such an amazing woman. (If you have been disappointed because of her sexuality issues and she feels this, it could be making her pull away further to protect herself.) She needs to be showered with praise and appreciation for who she is, as she is. Nothing makes a woman more interested in a man than him thinking she is the most amazing woman in the world.
2) Be the kind of man she can look up to: If you are voluntarily slacking in your responsibilities either in or out of the home, you need to step it up. This may mean exercising and getting in shape, spending less time in front of the TV or finding a better job. You may even ask her what you could be doing that would make her admire you more. She may want to see you deal with some of your own self-esteem, abandonment, career or emotional issues. This could mean getting some professional help and working on you. If you do this and gain some confidence, that will also make you more attractive.
3) Be more generous and giving: This means setting aside your own needs and focusing more on what she needs. This may mean helping around the house and with the children more. It could also mean honoring her feelings when she needs a good night’s rest. Being resentful or complaining that she isn't meeting your needs, isn't showing love and it makes you just as unloving as her. Most couples find it works better if you let the woman initiate sex. I know you fear that if you do this, it will never happen, but being patient and giving her a chance to do this could reverse the cycle of her feeling taken from and you feeling rejected. Now, she might feel more motivated to give to you, and trust me, it will mean more to you when she does. Remember, women must feel emotionally safe and totally admired, accepted and cherished for every part of who they are before they can give sex as an expression of love. When you give more to them, they will want to give more to you. (If she doesn't respond to this, there are deeper issues in play.)
4) Avoid pornography: Pornography will harm your marriage in two ways. One, it will create unrealistic expectations that a normal wife and mother will not be comfortable fulfilling and two, it will trigger body image fears and feelings of betrayal that are difficult for a woman to get past. If a pornography problem has already created these issues in your marriage, you may both need some professional help to repair them. The good news is that you can repair them. They are not the end of the world, but you must get some help.
1) See a doctor or mental health professional: If you suspect a physical or psychological problem is in play, seek out some professional help. There are hormone imbalances and medications that can negatively affect libido. You also want to make sure you don’t have experiences in your past that are creating negative feelings around sex.
2) Be more forgiving: I believe forgiveness is the No. 1 lesson you are here to learn in the classroom of life, and your marriage is the class where you will learn it. You must understand that you are no better than your spouse. You have the same exact value (even if he has made mistakes). You may not have made those mistakes, but you have made other ones, and your inability to forgive him is every bit as bad as his faults and weaknesses. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but you need to hear this. You are in here to learn to become a better, more loving person. If you don’t learn this lesson now and forgive him for being imperfect, the universe will keep bringing this lesson back until you do. I have written numerous articles on forgiveness that may help, and there are two forgiveness worksheets on mywebsite that might help. (Obviously, if you have an abusive spouse, then you need professional help immediately. But most of you just have a struggling, scared and occasionally clueless spouse who should be forgiven and given another chance, just like you. )
3) Be more generous and giving: This means setting aside your needs and focusing more on giving to your spouse and caring for him. This will mean initiating sex and doing it often. Sex is a more meaningful experience for all involved if the woman initiates it and enjoys it. A man desperately wants to be wanted by his wife and honestly gets more out of pleasing you than getting his own needs met. Your man wants sex to be an expression of love for each other, and a “quicky” that gets it over fast isn’t fulfilling to him at all. (Imagine how you would feel if he told you to go take a relaxing bubble bath as his gift to you — “Oh but can you just jump in and out real quick.”) That is not an expression of love. I know that as a mother you give and give, and some nights you have nothing left, but you must set aside time and energy to give to your spouse if you want a marriage that lasts and a spouse who takes care of you.
4) Work on your self-esteem: If you have body image issues or suffer from fears that you aren’t good enough, you are literally incapable of giving love the way you should be. Most women suffer greatly from feelings of inadequacy, and these feelings must be repaired if you want a healthy marriage. We believe most people need professional coaching or counseling to change this. Ask your spouse to help pay for this, because a confident woman has more to give.
5) Communicate: Tell your husband exactly what he can do or change that would make you more attracted to him. Be frank and honest and kind. If there is no way that you can get past issues, or the issues are things he can’t change, you need to be honest about that too, so he can decide if this relationship is right for him.
I believe you should try everything in your power to repair your marriage and learn the powerful lessons your relationship can teach you, but for some of you the lesson could mean loving yourself enough to get out, especially if the other person isn’t capable or interested in changing. Only you know which path is right for you. Just make sure you have done the work on yourself first and learned how to forgive. That way you won't repeat the same pattern.
I would say don't "suck it up live with it." Instead, take action and get some help to fix the underlying issues.
You can do this!
I have a problem with someone at work. They take every available opportunity to put me down, gossip about me, or make snide comments. I can't leave this job, but I don’t want to create drama by going to my boss. I've got to find a solution to this problem. Any ideas?
I would like to recommend a simple, solution-focused process that can help you find solutions to most problems. Many of the questions sent into me at KSL could be easily solved, on your own, by following this simple process.
(If you don’t currently have a pressing people problem, you may want to print this article off and save it anyway, because you will surely have one soon enough.)
I believe we are here on this planet to learn and especially to learn to love both ourselves and other people. Most of the people in your life — and especially the difficult ones — are there primarily to teach you how to love at a deeper level. Difficult people make for amazing learning opportunities.
Get out some scratch paper and follow the process below to find the right solution to this one.
1. Define the problem. You must make sure you really understand the problem. We often assume a lot of things about other people that we don't really know. You might want to ask some more questions and make sure you understand the other person and what is going on in their world. Figure out what they are afraid of (failure or loss) and what they are really trying to accomplish with their current behavior. Are they trying to protect themselves, get validation or just prove they have value? Are they threatened by you? Do they suffer from low self-esteem? Is there any other reason they might be grouchy or unhappy?
2. See if this problem could be broken down into smaller problems. Sometimes problems are more easily solved in pieces. How could you break this one down?
3. Get your fear of failure or loss off the table. If this situation is triggering your fear of not being good enough, it will muddle your ability to see the situation accurately. You can escape fear by choosing to trust that this experience is here to serve you, which means it is meant to be solved. Trust the process of life that however it turns out, it will be OK. Then, choose to trust that your value is infinite and absolute and not affected by this problem. Remember you have the same value no matter what happens. You must get in trust so you can function from a place of clarity.
4. Define the outcome you want. Make sure this is a well-thought-out, unemotional objective that is based in love for yourself and the other person involved. Sometimes the right solution means loving yourself and sometimes it means showing up with love for the other person, but the right solution should be love motivated — not fear motivated.
5. Brainstorm as many possible solutions as you can. Shoot for 50. This will force you to think outside the box and get really creative about all your options. Don't censure, edit or judge your ideas just yet. Write them all down. Who could you ask for help? Write down as many people as you can think of. What other resources are available to you? Write them all down.
6. Bring humor into the situation. This may sound funny but it’s been scientifically proven that humor improves your ability to solve problems. A study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that people who just watched a funny movie could solve difficult problems 75 percent of the time, while those who watched a movie about math beforehand, only solved it 20 percent of the time. So, make this process fun. Laugh and play with your possibilities while you brainstorm as many solutions as you can.
7. Now, go through your list and cross out all the fear-motivated options. (All the selfish, reactive, destructive or unloving ideas must go.)
8. Now, cross off all the impractical or impossible ideas too. (These were helpful because they often trigger some creative ideas that are possible.)
9. See if you can narrow the remaining options down to your top few. Write each on a card and place them in front of you on the table.
10. Now, see if you can eliminate one that doesn’t feel right. Do it again and eliminate one more. Are there some options that you just can't eliminate? That could be your intuition telling you what to do.
The truth is that you are entitled to intuition about the best course of action in every specific situation. If you trust that you are entitled to guidance and believe it will be there, you will feel it.
(I have clients who use this process to solve all kinds of problems, not just people problems — give it a try.)
Most people problems come down to these two loving options, though.
1. Let it go. Decide to forgive the person for being scared, imperfect or blind to their behavior. Decide to give them permission to be work in progress and choose to see the highest best in them. Most of the time (if you can do this) it is the best option.
2. Have a loving conversation with this person and try to resolve the issue. If you choose this route, follow the steps for mutually validating conversations click here to access a worksheet on how to do that.
Hope this helps.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of ldslifecoaching.com and claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in repairing and building self-esteem.
I have a bad habit of ignoring problems. My habit is to pretend they aren’t there and hope they will go away. This is causing problems in my marriage and at work — but I don’t know how to solve either of these problems so I just avoid thinking about them. I realize this can’t go on. Any advice?
Have you ever watched birds perched on a telephone wire? When there is no wind the birds will be randomly facing both directions. But on a windy day, the birds all turn and face the same direction. When there is trouble in the air, the birds all face into the wind.
They do this because facing the wind is the only way they can take off and fly. If they face the wind (the challenge) it provides lift, it keeps their feathers from getting ruffled and it helps them maintain balance. If they turn away from the wind and ignore it, they can’t fly.
When life sends challenges your way — you must also face the wind.
Principle No. 1: When you sweep things under the rug, they don’t go away — they get bigger.
Challenges are in your life to help you grow. If you choose to divorce your spouse instead of working through the problems, if you choose to quit your job and find another instead of finding solutions, you won’t escape these issues — the problems will follow you.
The universe will keep giving you this situation again and again until you learn what you’re meant to learn. You might as well learn it now.
Principle No. 2: Life is a classroom and every experience is a lesson you are meant to learn.
Difficult problems are the teachers of life and they mold you into the person you are meant to become. Every problem the universe sends your way is in your life for a specific reason and you are meant to solve it or learn something from it.
Trust there is a solution out there and if you keep looking you will find it. Choose to trust that you are here to win. This challenge is here to help you grow — not to beat you. If you keep working at it, the solution will show up right on time.
Here are some suggestions for facing your problems and finding solutions:
No. 1: Take responsibility for what is in your control.
Make a list of what is in your control and what isn’t, relative to this situation. Get very clear on your responsibilities and focus on doing those things. If you don’t know how to do those things, ask for help. Leave everything that is out of your control in God’s hands.
No. 2: Be patient.
Most problems don't have a quick fix. They take time. Don’t give up if it’s a two-steps-forward, one-step-back process. A slow process teaches you different lessons than a quick-fix problem does and you need to experience both. Trust the process is moving in the right direction, and it will be resolved if you keep at it.
No. 3: Increase your ability to respond to problems.
One of the reasons you run from problems is you have fear around your ability to solve them — so up your skill level. Read self help or relationship books, attend seminars or get a life coach or counselor to help.
I was avoiding important accounting tasks for my business because I was scared I didn’t know how to do them correctly. Signing up for a Quickbooks class made the task easy and now I enjoy the work. When you sharpen your saw the work gets easier.
No. 4: Focus on solutions.
Brainstorm and come up with 50 possible solutions to this problem. When you focus on solutions instead of complaining about the problem, you create a space to receive inspiration. You could also talk to 20 people and ask for their advice. You may get some interesting solutions you didn’t think of.
No. 5 Write an apology letter to yourself.
Apologize to yourself for avoiding opportunities to grow in the past. Explain to yourself that mistakes don’t define you and commit to a process of growth, learning, stretching and solving problems. This may sound odd (to write a letter to yourself), but you will learn some interesting things from doing it. Put your commitment to face the problems in writing.
The famous motivator and author Jack Canfield in his book "The Success Principles" said: “You have to take the positions that you have always had the power to make it different, to get it right or produce the desired result. For whatever reason (ignorance, lack of awareness, fear, needing to be right, the need to feel safe) you chose not to exercise that power. All that matters now is that from this point forward you choose to act as if you are 100-percent responsible for everything that does or doesn’t happen to you.”
When you make a commitment to change and start taking steps in that direction you will find it is easier than you thought. Your fear is always worse than the real thing.
You can do this.
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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.