Showing posts with label Self Help Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Self Help Related. Show all posts

5 May 2021

P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada [Video Included]

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P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada [Video Included]
P&G and Lazada Empowers Women To Feel More Confident Together in their #RealDeal campaign
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) has launched a new #RealDeal campaign with Lazada, Southeast Asia's leading e-commerce platform to raise awareness around Imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome
is the feeling of inadequacy despite's one capabilities. According to a study by the US National Library of Medicine, up to 82% of the general population experiences imposter syndrome in different periods of their lives. 

Statistics from the 2019 Imposter Syndrome Study (Josa, 2019. Ditching Imposter Syndrome. Beyond Alchemy Publishing, United Kingdom), also shared that 1 out of 2 women experience imposter syndrome on a daily or regular basis, attesting to the fact that women often doubt their own abilities through feelings of fraud and belittlement of their own experiences and expertise.

P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada [Video Included]
P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada (Screengrab)
Dr Lim Boon Leng, Psychiatrist from Dr BL Lim Centre for Psychological Wellness shared that, "Imposter Syndrome should be taken seriously. Women who experience imposter syndrome need to come to the realization that people value their expertise, and they can focus on growing through the process. Additionally, they can speak to someone they trust to help them realise that their fears are unfounded."
  • Although imposter syndrome is prevalent in our society, it is less talked about in Asia. This campaign aims to shed light on this through a short film  telling the real life story of Singaporean entrepreneur, Ms Yeo Wan Qing, founder of social enterprise Hatch, who overcame imposter syndrome by being open to those around her about the struggles she was facing.
Alexandra Vogler, P&G e-commerce Senior Director, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, said, "P&G is deeply committed to equality and inclusion. Through this campaign, we want to bring to light the inner struggles that go unnoticed among women experiencing Imposter Syndrome. Through this short film, we hope to inspire people to start conversations about Imposter Syndrome, and support one another in overcoming it."
  • Beyond the film, the campaign will also come to life on Lazada across five Southeast Asian markets including Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam in May and June, with a wide range of exclusive offers on P&G products such as Olay, Pantene and Oral-B celebrating female shoppers

4 May 2021

7 Significant Benefits to Trying New Things

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7 Significant Benefits to Trying New Things
7 Significant Benefits to Trying New Things
When you make it a goal to try something new, you may not realize why you’re setting out to do something new in the first place. There is a slew of benefits that come along from incorporating “new” into your life; here are 7 of them:

1. Learn New Things

How will you learn new things if you never try new things? Think about an activity you’ve never tried before. You probably don’t know much about it, right? As soon as you put yourself out there and try it out, though, you’ll probably learn a lot more about it.

7 Significant Benefits to Trying New Things
7 Significant Benefits to Trying New Things (Photo by Min An)

2. Get Rid of Boredom

Boredom is the worst – we all can attest. When you’re trying out new projects, new places, new people, etc., that boredom slips by the wayside. Keep your brain engaged, and you won’t have to deal with monotony creeping in.

3. More Stories to Tell

As you try new things and meet new people, you accumulate more stories about your adventures. Whether it’s a funny story or a scary story, your stories become part of who you are. What a great perk!

4. Get a New Perspective

Sometimes, you need to sit in another area of the room to change your perspective – similarly, you need to try new things to change your perspective on life.

7 Significant Benefits to Trying New Things
7 Significant Benefits to Trying New Things (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)

5. Self-Discovery

Let’s face it – we spend a lot of time with ourselves. A whole entire lifetime, in fact. So if you do the same thing day in and day out, you probably won’t see many different sides to yourself. Self-discovery leads to many great attributes – confidence, self-awareness, perceptiveness, to name a few.

6. Gain Confidence

Why fly when you can soar? You can amount to great things by simply expanding your horizons and trying new things. Time after time, you’ll begin to gain a new sense of confidence in yourself and your capabilities.

7 Significant Benefits to Trying New Things
7 Significant Benefits to Trying New Things (Photo by Nina Uhlíková)

7. Experience Life to the Fullest

There’s a reason why people say you only have one life to live. If you take this sentiment to heart, you’ll want to get as many experiences out of life as you possibly can. That begins with your habits – your day-to-day life. When you push yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll gain more of these experiences. Who knows what you could learn about yourself or your life? You’ll have to try to find out!

3 April 2021

7 Reasons Why Raising your Self-Worth is Important [Video Included]

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7 Reasons Why Raising your Self-Worth is Important [Video Included]
7 Reasons Why Raising your Self-Worth is Important (Photo by Matilda Wormwood)
Having a healthy sense of self-worth can change the way you feel about your life. Positive self-worth sets you up to have the energy and confidence to be your best you, to take on challenges and seize opportunities when they come up. Self-worth means you can have your best possible life.
The basis of self-dignity is an honest appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses. That allows you to capitalize on your strengths and to be objective, not defensive about your weaknesses. It gives you the tools to take control of your life.

Having a happy, successful life and feeling good about yourself is not a matter of luck. Positive self-worth is a fundamental part of the Law of Attraction - if you feel good about yourself and believe you deserve to be happy or wealthy or have good relationships, you will attract those things into your life. The experiences we’ve had in our lives, starting from a very early age, alter our self-dignity, either improving it or eroding it.

  • The good news is we can do something about it if we want to have a stronger self-worth. Although it isn’t always pleasant, it’s well worth the time and effort to raise your self-worth.
7 Reasons Why Raising your Self-Worth is Important (Photo by Matilda Wormwood)

Here are some key aspects of the positive role self-worth can have in your life:

  1. You will be more satisfied with life because you will naturally see the good things in life, rather than focusing on the things that are disappointing.
  2. You won’t be undermining yourself with negative self-talk. The Inner Critic will always be there, but you will know how to keep it in check and how to harness that analytical capability to keep increasing your self-awareness.
  3. Self-knowledge is a key part of good leadership. You are more likely to be successful at work when you have a healthy sense of self. You will be able to deal with problems before they get out of proportion, for example.
  4. You will be less needy, less reliant on other people’s good opinion of you. You will be strong enough in your self-worth not to compare yourself with others.
  5. Your relationships will be stronger and more fulfilling because you'll be building them with honesty and self-knowledge.
  6. It will be easier for you to be flexible when situations change. The result is that fewer external circumstances impact your happiness.
  7. You will be more compassionate with yourself and others. When you make mistakes, you’ll be able to view them as lessons rather than failures.

The Video:

18 March 2021

How To Make Quicker And Better Decisions [Video Included]

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How To Make Quicker And Better Decisions [Video Included]
How To Make Quicker And Better Decisions

Many professionals seek to become more efficient decision-makers. Being a good decision-maker is a sought after skill. It can often be the difference between a promotion or a pink slip. In today’s uncertain times this skill lets you stand out on the team with quicker and better decisions. How do you become more accurate and effective at making decisions when it counts?

What is the objective of the mission? 

  • Know the objective of the decision and know your mission on the team.
  • Ask yourself: What are we really trying to do here?
  • Write it out, brainstorm, and discuss. Is it your role to solve this problem? Do you have the tools needed?

How To Make Quicker And Better Decisions [Video Included]
How To Make Quicker And Better Decisions (Photo by Sora Shimazaki)

Seek Out Wisdom And Knowledge

Seek out, wise counsel. Really. If you are surrounded by more experienced professionals who have done what you are about to do, ask questions, and inform yourself. Do needed research. Don’t let pride or proving that you have it all under control” blind you to great resources all around you.

It Does Not Have To Be Perfect

Don’t overthink - just start. Make a plan. An imperfect, real plan. Start doing the work that is deciding and solving. Take note of the effects and response to your action. This way you can adjust if needed.

Adjust Early

Be humble - make the adjustment early if needed. Don’t run the train off the track because you are unwilling to admit that you made a mistake. If your choice was wrong, own up to it in a professional way and make things right to the best of your ability. It’s better to win the fight after a change of tactics than to get knocked out by your own ego and pride.

How To Make Quicker And Better Decisions [Video Included]
How To Make Quicker And Better Decisions

Control What You Can Control

It is important when making decisions to know what you truly have power over. If it’s not your decision to make, stay out of the control room. Also - use this adage to relieve stress. Only focus on what you have the ability to decide on. This means staying focused and being able to take action without becoming overwhelmed by the details.

Decision making does not have to be a tedious and stressful process. With the right attitude, planning, and strategy you can become a faster, more efficient, and competent decision-maker. This is a great tool for the corporate world and for everyday life. 

The Video:


7 March 2021

3 Truths About Being Kind We Need to Re-Remember

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3 Truths About Being Kind We Need to Re-Remember
3 Truths About Being Kind We Need to Re-Remember
It might surprise you to hear that being kind isn’t just good for the other person, it’s good for you too! Skeptical? There is good scientific evidence to show that living up to the adage of doing unto others as you would have them do to you is one of the best things you can do for yourself! It lowers your blood pressure, improves your mood, and acts as a natural anti-depressant by boosting the serotonin levels in your brain.

So, what can you do to stay in the right frame of mind to be kind? After all, being kind isn’t always easy. Some days you want to grit your teeth and just grouse at the world. And there are some people it’s tough to be kind to. How can you change your approach to life to be as kind as you can? Here are three truths to remember when you’re tempted to be unkind.

Remember what you can control and what you can’t

It’s a fact of life that other people can be rude, thoughtless, irritating, and even mean. They have opinions you don’t agree with. You can’t change or control any of that. But you can control how you react. Kindness is always the best option for you and the other guy. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and bite back that retort or putdown. Practice being kind, and soon it will be second nature.

Anger doesn’t help

Reacting with anger doesn’t do anything to resolve a bad situation. Anger makes you feel terrible. It’s likely to escalate things and won’t get you the result you want. Even worse, anger can lead to all sorts of physical problems, from headaches to high blood pressure, sleep problems, and digestive issues. A lifetime habit of anger can even lead to a stroke or a heart attack. Recognize the potential to get angry and take a step back.

Kindness is always the right option

Whatever the situation, you will never go wrong if you’re kind. Kindness also makes you an inspiring leader, a role model for others. Making the choice to be kind in the face of frustration, even provocation, shows that conflict is not inevitable. Giving in to childish feelings of needing to be right or get what you want all the time is easy. But it breeds discontent and won’t win you any friends.
Kindness breeds a more detached attitude to life, it encourages positive emotions and will help to make you and the people around you calmer, happier, and more energized.

23 February 2021

Phone Call Anxiety: Why So Many Of Us Have It, And How To Get Over It

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Phone Call Anxiety: Why So Many Of Us Have It, And How To Get Over It
Many people feel anxious when receiving a phone call. (Photo: Sergey Mironov)

Staying in touch with loved ones without seeing them in person has become even more important during the pandemic. But for some people, making or receiving calls is a stressful experience. Phone anxiety – or telephobia – is the fear and avoidance of phone conversations and it’s common among those with social anxiety disorder.

Having a hatred of your phone doesn’t necessarily mean you have phone anxiety, although the two can be related. There are, of course, many people who dislike making or receiving calls. But if this dislike causes you to experience certain symptoms, you may have phone anxiety.

Some emotional symptoms of phone anxiety include delaying or avoiding making calls because of heightened anxiety, feeling extremely nervous or anxious before, during and after the call and obsessing or worrying about what you’ll say. Physical symptoms include nausea, increase in heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness and muscular tension.

If you feel like this, you’re not alone. A 2019 survey of UK office workers found 76% of millennials and 40% of baby boomers have anxious thoughts when their phone rings. Because of this, 61% of millennials would completely avoid calls, compared with 42% of baby boomers. If you suffer from these symptoms, there are some things you can do to make it easier.

Avoiding phone calls

Talking on the phone can be daunting because we’re limited to just the sounds of our voices. In the absence of all other social cues – including gestures, body language and eye contact – we can often feel self-conscious of the sound of our own voices and our choice of words.

Thanks to technology, we can often go days, weeks or even months without directly speaking to others on the phone. One study found anxious people prefer texting over phone calls, rating it a superior medium for expressive and intimate contact.

Some people opt for texting because it gives them time to think about the wording of their messages, providing the opportunity to be informal. In some cases, they develop a different personality separate and in contrast to their real-life, more reticent, self.

Phone Call Anxiety: Why So Many Of Us Have It, And How To Get Over It
Many people prefer texting to phone calls. (Photo: Tero Vesalainen)

Research also suggests phone anxiety is related to a preoccupation with what the other person thinks of them. By eliminating the immediate reaction of others in spoken conversations, text messaging may offer those with phone anxiety a way of making social contact without the fear of rejection or disapproval.

Another reason phone calls can sometimes feel overwhelming is the pressure that comes with being someone else’s focus. In face-to-face conversations, we have several distractions in our environment; like gazing out of the window or, ironically, checking the missed call notifications on our phones. This can make the interaction feel more casual and the conversation flow naturally. On a call, there are no external distractions, so it can feel like the spotlight is on us to answer questions straight away.

Pauses can feel extremely uncomfortable too. In person, you can see when someone is distracted or thinking but on the phone brief silences can feel awkward. We’re also becoming accustomed to being able to review emails, texts and social media posts before hitting the send button, so a phone conversation can feel impulsive and risky.

It’s easy to put off or completely avoid calls when you’re feeling anxious, but the more you procrastinate, the worse the anxiety is likely to get. The good news is you don’t need to suffer in silence, or over text messages. There are several useful techniques that may help you break the pattern.

Pick up the phone

One of the most effective ways to overcome phone anxiety is to expose yourself to more phone calls. The more you do it, the less overwhelming it becomes. It’s also likely that your phone anxiety is linked to a lack of experience. The more practice you have, the less anxious and more confident you’ll feel.

You can start this process by making a list of the people you need to speak to on the phone, such as friends or colleagues, and go through each one by reflecting on what it is about the call that makes you anxious. For example, it might be making a mistake or feeling judged. When the call is over, acknowledging your success will help you stay motivated for the next call.

If you’ve tried to combat your phone anxiety or you think you might benefit from seeking professional help, counselling is a great option and there are a number of talking therapies available. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a very effective treatment for social anxiety, and there’s an online option that might be a suitable alternative if you feel a bit nervous about speaking to someone in person.

About Today's Contributor:

Ilham Sebah, Teaching Fellow in Psychology, Royal Holloway

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

17 February 2021

The Hero's Journal Team Releases New Journal, Istoria Magic Academy, on Kickstarter [Video Included]

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The Hero's Journal Team Releases New Journal, Istoria Magic Academy, on Kickstarter
The Hero's Journal - A filled out journal
The team behind the popular The Hero's Journal today announced that its newest offering, The Hero's Journal: Istoria Magic Academy, is now live on Kickstarter, where they reached 100% of their funding goal in under 9 minutes.
The Hero's Journal
launched in 2019 via a successful Kickstarter campaign. Over the past two years, a vibrant community of journalers has formed organically on social media to share stories and seek advice.
"Thanks to our first Kickstarter, The Hero's Journal quickly transformed from a simple idea to a community of 25,000 journalers," said Nick Vitellaro, the 27-year-old co-founder.
He added: "During the past year, we learned a lot about what our fans like about the Journal and how it helps them achieve their goals. Today, we're excited to go back to Kickstarter, where it all started, to release a new edition that incorporates feedback and suggestions from our amazing community."
During 2020, the team witnessed firsthand how the Journal is helping people cope during the pandemic. For example, one community member commented: "I've been feeling pretty scatterbrained since quarantine started, but this journal has really helped create more structure in my daily life, in the most fun and thoughtful way."
The Hero's Journal Team Releases New Journal, Istoria Magic Academy, on Kickstarter
Daily Artwork Helps Inspire the Imagination and Make Every Day of Journaling Unique
The Hero's Journal: Istoria Magic Academy is based on a story about magic. The process of learning something new, working through failure, and discovering the ordinary magic of changing the world around you through words and actions.
"We expect that the new edition will resonate with our current community as well as with a new group of journalers who are looking to embark on a new adventure during a uniquely challenging time," said Nick.

The Video:

About The Hero's Journal:

Stories are the oldest form of human communication. From the earliest books ever written to the latest box office hit, humans are hardwired to communicate in the form of narrative. And there is no narrative more important to the core of each of us than the story we tell about ourselves. We set out to create a journal that would combine the power of self-narrative with the psychology of goal setting. The result? The Hero's Journal—now used by thousands of heroes around the world. From brainstorming the journal in 2018 to launching a kickstarter in 2019 to quitting our full-time jobs in the beginning of 2020, we've been blown away by the support of a community that keeps selling out every single one of our production runs. 

SOURCE: The Hero's Journal

12 February 2021

3 Strategies for Confidently and Professionally Expressing Your Feelings at Work

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3 Strategies for Confidently and Professionally Expressing Your Feelings at Work
3 Strategies for Confidently and Professionally Expressing Your Feelings at Work (Photo by Anna Shvets)
Mixing feelings with work? Never! Society usually tells us to keep our work problems and home problems totally separate, which ends up making a lot of people feel like they can’t bring their feelings with them to work situations.

Here’s the reality: Feelings are inevitable at work. Just like any situation in life, you’re going to experience feelings and emotions in your work environment. You can’t always act on these, but you can embrace them and know when and how you can express them. Start with these three strategies!

Go Directly to the Source

If you need to have a difficult or uncomfortable conversation with somebody, your best bet is to cut to the chase. Go directly to the source and ask to have a mature discussion. Office politics tend to confuse and exacerbate the situation, and it’s much better to involve yourself directly with someone rather than engage in gossip beforehand. Because you’re in an office environment, you can always set up a meeting with your coworker or boss to hash things out. Otherwise, if you prefer a more casual setting, ask to get coffee or go for a walk outside of work.

Be Calm and Know Your Stance

Work environments can be stressful, but don’t let that disrupt your calm disposition. Going into a discussion with a sense of calm is really important. You may be taking a bold stance, and that’s perfectly fine. But you should make sure you stay calm about it and don’t get heated. Be confident that you know what you’re doing, and don’t let that change as the conversation begins to take form.

Remember Your “Why”

At the end of the day, you and all of your coworkers are there for the same reason. You’re not trying to disrupt the structure or success of the company, nor are you trying to stir up unnecessary drama. You all have a “why” or a reason to be there. Your job is important to you, so try to remember this throughout your conversation. You’re trying to work through this and talk it out because you want to improve things, not make anything worse. Don’t forget that!

3 Strategies for Confidently and Professionally Expressing Your Feelings at Work
3 Strategies for Confidently and Professionally Expressing Your Feelings at Work (Photo by Sora Shimazaki)

We’ve covered three big strategies for expressing your feelings at work, but you’re not limited to these three. Every situation is different, so take some time to think about yours and create your strategy accordingly. Good luck!

5 February 2021

6 Beneficial Ways to Deal with Critical People

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6 Beneficial Ways to Deal with Critical People
6 Beneficial Ways to Deal with Critical People (Photo by cottonbro)
Constructive criticism is fine, but some people who are so relentlessly negative that they can suck the joy out of life. No matter what happy news you might have, they are guaranteed to find the cloud to fit your silver lining.
Here are 6 strategies you can use to deal with hypercritical people.

1. Don’t Take It Personally

It’s a safe bet that it's not you, it's them. Some people just hug their negativity around them like a security blanket, and it colors their view of the world. They criticize everything because that suits them. Watch how they treat other people. It’s guaranteed they criticize everybody, not just you.

2. Listen to The Message

Is the person obscuring the message? Maybe your critical colleague or friend is tactless, or bad at expressing themselves rather than being mean. Try to see past the messenger to understand what is really being said, otherwise you might miss out on some valuable advice.

3. Accept the Feedback

You can decide to take crucial feedback on its own merits. That is, as a source of honest feedback. At least with hypercritical people what you see is what you get! If you can see past the blunt delivery, you may be able to find a kernel of truth that can improve the way you do things.

4. Deal with Your Discomfort

Criticism never feels good. Try to read your own discomfort as another source of information about what is being said. Does the negative feedback trigger a recognition deep within you? Maybe it subconsciously reminds you of a past event, but maybe there’s a ring of truth in the criticism. Sit with your discomfort and see what it’s telling you.

5. If You Can’t Take the Heat, Stay Out of the Kitchen

If you can’t stand being criticized, then it’s up to you not to get into situations with people who are likely to criticize you. Don’t ask for advice or expose yourself to their negativity. They’re not likely to change, so you need to take control and avoid such conversations. Don’t share good news if you know they’ll throw cold water on it, don’t seek their praise if you know you won’t get it.

6. Stay Out of Their Way

You have a choice about how to deal with negative people. You can decide not to engage with their negativity, you can ignore them, or you can just avoid them altogether. If you must have contact with a negative person at work, for example, be helpful but don’t engage with them. Otherwise, it's up to you whether you want to have any contact with such negativity, or not.

6 Beneficial Ways to Deal with Critical People
6 Beneficial Ways to Deal with Critical People (Photo by Sam Lion)

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30 January 2021

5 Steps to Handle Constructive Criticism Like A Pro

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5 Steps to Handle Constructive Criticism Like A Pro
5 Steps to Handle Constructive Criticism Like A Pro (Photo by Andrew Wilus)
Wise people have learned how to handle criticism. They deal with it like any other feedback, calmly and judiciously. They try and see how they can use it to get ahead and meet their goals. Many people, however; find it hard not to react defensively or angrily. Some people even launch a counterattack and shift the blame to the critic. That behavior doesn’t win you any friends or help you get ahead.
Criticism is a fact of life, and the sooner you learn to handle it positively, the better you can use that feedback for your own success.

1. Before you React – Stop!

You will feel the reaction in your body before you can get the words out. And that is where you must stop. Don’t do anything, just breathe and take a moment to calm your defenses. Chances are, the other person won’t notice a thing, but it will give you time to compose yourself.

5 Steps to Handle Constructive Criticism Like A Pro
5 Steps to Handle Constructive Criticism Like A Pro (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)

2. Remind Yourself that This is Feedback

Your composure time gives you a chance to remember that this criticism is an opportunity to learn something, possibly something valuable. Say to yourself, “This is not personal,” and repeat it as often as you need to until your initial reaction has passed.

3. Practice Your Active Listening

Feedback time is not a time to talk, it’s a time to listen. Try to understand what the other person is saying. Maybe it’s an aspect of your project or goal that you haven’t thought of yet. What initially feels like criticism may offer valuable insight.
Repeat back what you heard and seek clarification if you need to. This is not a time to analyze or push back, it’s a time to understand precisely what is being said.
5 Steps to Handle Constructive Criticism Like A Pro
5 Steps to Handle Constructive Criticism Like A Pro (Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko)

4. Thank Your Critic

Even if it makes you cringe inside, say thank you for the feedback. You don’t have to agree with what they’ve said to be sincerely appreciative of the input. After all, they took the time to say what they thought and give you some advice.

5. Process the Feedback

You may need some time to do this, or you might be able to do it on the spot. If your emotions are running high, it’s probably better to take a break and come back to deal with what has been said. Otherwise, it’s fine to ask questions to clarify the feedback, and maybe seek their suggestions on how to move forward.
Learning to deal constructively with criticism and feedback is an important skill, and one you will be glad you learned sooner rather than later.
5 Steps to Handle Constructive Criticism Like A Pro
5 Steps to Handle Constructive Criticism Like A Pro (Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko)

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28 January 2021

4 Reasons We Should Embrace Criticism

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4 Reasons We Should Embrace Criticism
4 Reasons We Should Embrace Criticism (Photo by mentatdgt)
Being criticized never feels good. It can make you feel judged, as though you’re not good enough no matter how hard you try. Most people’s reaction to criticism is to get defensive, make excuses, or blame someone else. None of those options are especially constructive. 

It’s up to you how you choose to react to criticism. You can see it as a personal attack, or you can embrace it, get the positives out of it, and move on. 
  • If you feel skeptical about criticism having any benefits, here are some excellent reasons why you should embrace it. 

1. Use Criticism for Personal Growth

Often, criticism has more than a grain of truth in, even if it’s delivered a bit harshly. That’s partly why it makes you uncomfortable—deep down it rings true, even if you don’t want to admit it.

Think of criticism as another element in your personal development toolbox, one that offers insight you might otherwise miss. If nothing else, observing and managing how you react to criticism can shine a spotlight on your triggers, your unconscious reactions, and assumptions.

2. Develop Emotional Resilience

Criticism usually comes laden with emotions. You feel shamed, upset, and attacked. Learning to embrace criticism can help you become more emotionally resilient as you learn how to sit with your uncomfortable emotions instead of blindly reacting.

Practicing detachment takes you to a mental place where you can use your problem-solving skills. You can listen, assess, analyze, and work out what lessons to take away from the experience.

Embracing criticism can also help you step away from needing other people’s approval to feel good about yourself. Once you see criticism as potentially helpful feedback, it stops being a judgment of you as a person.

3. Improve Relationships

Once you stop reacting (or over-reacting) to feedback, you allow more space for openness, honesty, and better communication. People can talk to you about problems without feeling they have to walk on eggshells.

Embracing criticism makes for much better relationships as there are fewer barriers or ‘no go’ areas. You don’t want to be seen as prickly, difficult, or defensive, nor do you want to have your self-worth depend on other people’s good opinion of you.

4. Boost Self-Confidence

Embracing criticism will free you from the curse of perfectionism. You can accept that making mistakes is human, and that being criticized is actually okay, even helpful. Accept that criticism is part of everyday life and you’ll be more confident, happier, and freed up to be your best you.

4 Reasons We Should Embrace Criticism
4 Reasons We Should Embrace Criticism (Photo by Jill Wellington)

21 December 2020

We Are Facing A Difficult Winter – But Philosophy Can Help

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We Are Facing A Difficult Winter – But Philosophy Can Help
We Are Facing A Difficult Winter – But Philosophy Can Help (Photo by Sam Wordley)
All around the world, Christmas dreams are becoming nightmares. As R numbers increase and the epidemic spikes, people are seeing long cherished plans go up in smoke.

In England, plans have been curtailed as the five-day Christmas bubble which would have allowed three households to celebrate together has been reduced to one day for two households. For those in the new Tier 4, no household mixing at all is permitted.

After months of lockdowns and social distancing guidelines, many people will be feeling defeated – and exhausted by the prospect of a long winter to come, with further lockdowns possible before vaccines have been widely rolled out. If even the goal of spending one warm and happy day with friends and family cannot be attained, what is the point of all the hard work?

In times like this, though, we can find solace in a few philosophical ideas. One is the concept of human finitude. Simply put, human finitude means we are imperfect creatures with a limited lifespan. We are far from god-like; we do not have a god’s eye view, nor are we immortal.

In philosophy, finitude refers to the study of our human limitations. Many philosophers have explored finitude, including Kant, Heidegger, Levinas and Nietzsche.

This may seem an odd idea to cling to, but recognising that we are finite, imperfect creatures can bring comfort during trying times. It is understandable to feel bewilderment at changing government advice. It is understandable to resent other people telling us to stay away from our loved ones, and to feel deep sadness at cancelled plans. And it is understandable to begin to lose the resolve to do the right thing. If finitude tells us anything, it is that we are only human.

And as finite humans, we are vulnerable. Among other things, we can die, we can lie and we can be used against our wishes.

COVID-19 has taught us how intensively mutually vulnerable we really are. We depend on each other – but this dependency also puts us at risk. More socialising means an increase in virus transmission. Carrying on socialising during a spike in the epidemic might mean an increase in the number of people suffering severely from COVID-19, and a rise in the number of deaths.

So, while finitude tells us that it is understandable to feel the desire to break lockdowns and travel limits, vulnerability keeps us committed to doing the right thing by others – others who might be more vulnerable than us.

There is another philosophical concept that can keep us going in trying times. It is also more recognisably upbeat: hope.

Philosophically, there is a difference between good hope” and “bad hope. While bad hope is simply unrealistic optimism, good hope has warrant; it is based on the idea that goals and aspirations are possible, no matter how bad things seem.

In our current situation, hope is an attitude we have warrant to adopt: what we hope for is really possible. A vaccine is already being rolled out, and with it come warranted hopes: for summer meet-ups with family, holidays with friends, the continuance of lives and loves.

In fact, hope is also related to human finitude. Were we god-like, we would be immortal and all-knowing, and hope for how the future might turn out would be unnecessary. Uncertainty is an inescapable part of the human condition. Even when we cannot be certain of the end result of a commitment or aspiration, we can still hope.

It is understandable to feel resentment when plans are changed – and to feel the desire to ignore guidelines. Yet, recognising our mutual vulnerability means we cannot ignore the small voice telling us that the right thing to do is stay home. And hope can help us. Even as some hopes this Christmas are dashed, we can begin to formulate others. Spring is coming, and with it the hope of a better future.

About Today's Contributor:

Katy Dineen, Assistant Lecturer in Moral Responsibility and Political Theory, University College Cork

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

18 October 2020

Shh! At-Home Workout Tips To Not Disturb the Neighbors

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Shh! At-Home Workout Tips To Not Disturb the Neighbors
Shh! At-Home Workout Tips To Not Disturb the Neighbors (Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels)
With paper thin walls, apartment living can be a real bore sometimes. No playing piano at midnight, singing in the shower, or Hiit class will go unheard by the occupants below you. As we’ve been spending so much time at home this year because of the pandemic, keeping quiet all the time has been especially difficult.
Still, there are little workarounds that we all must do to avoid becoming the most hated tenant in the building. Exercising in particular presents a challenge, but there are plenty of modifications that will allow you to move around quietly. Grab your mens or womens supportive sneakers and try these tips for a whisper-soft workout at home.

Try Bodyweight Exercises, Rather than Lifting Weights

Lifting weights, especially with a weight bench, can be very noisy. All that clanking when you put the weights down might start to annoy your neighbors, so skip the weights and opt for bodyweight exercises instead. An online mat class, like Pilates or yoga, uses only your own body to develop long, lean muscles. If you are going to use weights, try some free weights that are coated in rubber to muffle the sound of the metal.

Skip the Jumping Exercises

If you are going to do a Hiit or other cardio class, modify the exercises by taking out the ones where you are jumping. Avoid burpees, doing quiet burpees that step through the positions instead. These will still be effective without making a ton of noise.

Use a Chair or a Wall

You don’t need anything to get a killer workout at home, but having a sturdy chair to do exercises with can be a help. You can get a full workout done, targeting your arms, legs, and core just by using a chair. According to healthline.com, tricep dips using a chair are the most effective exercise to target the muscles on the backs of your upper arms. You can also do wall sits and pushups agains the wall without making any noise.

Skip the Machinery and Head Outdoors

A treadmill or stationary bike can be great, but they can also be loud. Plus, they take up a lot of space and are costly. Instead, why not head outside for your workouts? All you need is a pair of womens or mens supportive sneakers and you’re ready to run. You’ll get the benefit of fresh air while making sure not to disturb the neighbors. Exercising outside can be done much more safely than in an enclosed space like a gym.

Shh! At-Home Workout Tips To Not Disturb the Neighbors
Shh! At-Home Workout Tips To Not Disturb the Neighbors (Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels)

7 October 2020

4 Key Steps to Design a Strategic Life Apple Style

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4 Key Steps to Design a Strategic Life Apple Style
You probably have at least one Apple product in your home. Or if you don’t have one, you know someone who does. Apple has become shorthand for ubiquitous, sustainable success and instant recognizability.
Apple has a small stable of products that they do exceptionally well. They are focused and strategic in their product development and marketing. And their big not-so-secret weapon? They invent something and then keep refining it. 

  • This approach to innovation and incremental change is something you can easily adapt to your own life. Here’s how.

Keep it Simple

Steve Jobs made a strategic decision to keep Apple’s focus tight. He simplified their product lines down to four computers.

You can easily simplify your life right now by eliminating the elements that waste your time and resources. Start by cutting down or cutting out TV and video games, which are both low-return uses of your time.

Then think of how you can downsize your resources from switching to a smaller car, a smaller house, de-cluttering, to not buying more stuff you don’t need. Free up time by shopping in bulk and batch cooking.

Learn to Iterate

Any psychologist will tell you that small, incremental lifestyle changes are much more successful than the big sort that tries to change everything at once. Think of how successful most New Year’s resolutions are.

Make a commitment to a significant life change, like early retirement or budgeting for more vacations. You can make a series of small changes, like switching from an-on-the-way-to-work coffee to having one at home. Then add in complementary changes, like cutting down on takeout, downgrading your subscriptions and buying a smaller car. Small iterations compound over time and can make a massive impact on your life.

Be curious

One of Apple’s big successes is its research and development capacity. They are committed to not missing an opportunity to learn and grow and improve over time.

Stay ahead of the pack by being curious, by always being open to learning and change, looking for new opportunities, tweaking your goals, and always staying committed to improvement.

Being Okay with Imperfection.

One of Apple’s mottos is ‘just ship’ meaning that they don’t wait to get a product absolutely perfect before they launch it into the world.

Being okay with imperfection doesn’t mean you just leave it there and turn out low-quality work. It means you keep hustling. You give it your best shot, get it out, and then make improvements. You keep moving, keep thinking, keep improving.

19 September 2020

Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries

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Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries
Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)
You have boundaries, but they don’t seem to be working. You still feel like people are taking unfair advantage of you. Your self-esteem is taking constant hits, and the criticism is unending. What gives?
Chances are you need to take a hard look at your boundaries. Perhaps the ones that used to work, don’t anymore because you aren’t the same person. Or it’s time for a tune-up so that you can not only strengthen the boundaries you have but make them healthier at the same time.

What are (some of) the warning signs that your boundaries need work?

  • When someone bullies you, and you stay silent.
  • You agree to things you don’t agree with (such as political opinions) to avoid ‘rocking the boat.
  • You suffer from guilt anytime you do something for yourself
  • You feel invisible.
  • You constantly say ‘yes’ even when you want to say ‘no’ when people ask you to do things.
  • You’re the one who does all the giving in your relationships.
  • You give your time to people who don’t deserve it. 
  • When someone is in your personal space, you don’t say anything, despite how uncomfortable you feel. 
  • You don’t speak up when the joke isn’t funny - and it’s at your expense. 
  • People bully you, but you do nothing about it. 
  • You’re always playing the victim. 

  • People take you for granted. 
  • You worry all the time about what people think of you. 
  • When someone tells you to ‘do something for yourself’ you have no idea what to do. 
  • You over-share when talking to others about yourself. 
  • You take on other people’s guilt as though that will absolve them somehow. 
  • You’re in a career that was chosen for you, rather than in one that you want to do (such as working in a family business you had no desire to be part of)
  • You don’t speak up when someone touches you physically even though you don’t want to be touched. 
  • You wind up in relationships with controlling individuals. 
  • You see yourself as the ‘sacrifice.’ 
  • You feel like people won’t like you if you don’t do things for them. 
  • You use actions as currency with people by doing things in hopes that they will someday do something for you in return (that day never comes, does it?
  • You tend to manipulate people to get your needs met 
  • Reading this list is making you uncomfortable because you’ve already recognized more than one thing on it that sounds like you.
It is a daunting list.

The good news is, there is room for you to change. Remember, boundaries are always a good idea. Making sure that the boundaries are healthy is crucial to your development into the individual you’ve always been meant to become. 

Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries
Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries (Photo by Naveen Annam from Pexels)
  • By checking your boundaries periodically, you will likely see places that need work. But you’ll also see where you can do things to keep them strong and healthy enough to serve you going forward. 
It might seem like a lot of effort on your part, but in the end, don’t you think you’re worth it? With that in mind, it’s time to get down to work. You’ve got this!

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