When All You Can See Are Problems

There's Always a Silver Lining

 

 

Introduction

It isn’t hard to find something to be depressed about. Every day you read about murders, famine, nations ready to go to war, and of course, the current administration in Washington leaves a lot to be desired.

Hearing and reading about these things is depressing enough, but what about the problems you’re experiencing in your own life? You may have lost your job, have family problems, or bills that you can’t afford to pay.

Everyone experiences hard times, but there is often an opportunity for growth inside a problem, and hard times can often turn into bigger blessings.

You Lose Your Job

For instance, let’s say you lost your job. You may feel afraid, ashamed, and angry and want to avoid friends and neighbors who might ask you why you are now home during the day.

Now, you not only don’t have a job, but there is no money coming in, and the bill collectors may be hounding you day and night. Depending on where you live, jobs may be scarce, and to stay competitive, you may need to take a class or two for which you’ll have to pay.

Ask Yourself These Questions

Did you really enjoy that job? Maybe your boss was a jerk, or you were facing a sea of cranky commuters that got on your last nerve. Now, you are free to look for a job that is a better fit, and closer to home and you don’t have to leave at the crack of dawn to get there.

Why were you fired? Be honest with yourself. Did you really not understand the job requirements, and you asked for help but none was given? Once you work somewhere for a long period, you may have taken advantage of the job by taking a longer lunch or breaks, or turning in work late.

What Went Right?

On the positive side, you may have done your best work, but you were not adequately trained to do the job. Look for a job that you have the skillset for and stop taking advantage of your employer by slacking off. When you have your dream job it may not even seem like work because you enjoy it so much.

What Did You Learn?

It might not seem like it at the time, but there is always some nugget of wisdom you can learn that will help you on life’s journey. If you asked for help, pat yourself on the back for speaking up. You may have taken advantage of company time, but now you know that isn’t going to cut it, and you make a conscious effort to do better.

When you go through problems it may seem like you’re going to stay stuck forever. Do what you can to remedy the situation, but in the meantime do your best, and keep moving forward.

Do You Feel Like You’re Going Crazy?

5 Good Tips to Find a Self-Help Group

If you’re depressed or suffering from anxiety it isn’t always easy to talk to friends and family.  In an effort to be helpful, they may try to minimize your problems and tell you to count your blessings and get over it.

This is where a self-help support group can help you put things into perspective. You feel more at ease because everyone there needs help with something. Members are encouraged to share their stories and you might find the missing pieces in your life by listening to others.

Here are five good tips to help you find the right self-help group:

What Problems Are You Dealing With?

It seems like some self-help groups try to lump many problems together. People suffering with depression will not benefit as much from a Generalized Anxiety group, and need to join others who are depressed.

Consult Your Doctor

Ask your doctor for some support groups he may know about. Your conversation is confidential, so you won’t have to worry about the doctor blabbing all over town that you are depressed and need a self-help group.

Do Your Research

Make sure you have enough information on a support group before making a decision. You don’t want to take part in a support group that you find to be uncomfortable or not helpful. Before going to your first session, try getting in touch with the coordinator and talk to him about any questions and concerns you may have.

Location of Meeting

Is the meeting near your house, or will you have to take an extra hour up the freeway, with a handful of rude drivers getting on your last nerve? This may turn out to be a convenient excuse to skip the meeting and you may feel even more depressed.

How Do You Feel Afterwards?

Did you feel more positive and that the meeting really gave you comfort and hope? If you aren’t feeling too positive after a couple of meetings, that group isn’t for you. You’re there to get better, not to get worse.

Are your symptoms improving? If you answer yes to this question, that’s great! That means the self-help group is working for you. Keep going to meetings and continue to improve.

Once you have found the right support group for you, make a commitment to attend the meetings and participate in the process. You’ll feel better and may make some new supportive friends along the way.

 

 

 

Finding Your Passion

Discover a Whole New You!

I was thinking this morning about my own employment history, and I performed a variety of jobs. Most were in the clerical field as a receptionist or typist, and it was a way to keep a roof over my head and the bill collectors off my back. Most of the jobs were not that enjoyable with the exceptions of working at a mortuary and a temp job where I tied ribbons on candied apples. We dressed in Wizard of Oz costumes, carried a small dog dressed like Toto, and went from office to office passing out these Halloween treats.

I was just grateful to have a job, but now people are thinking more outside the box, and want to work at something they are passionate about.  Here are four benefits of finding your passion:

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

You probably have a set routine every day, but now you’ll need to be open to new opportunities and possibilities that may send you in a different direction. This is a deal-breaker for some people who decide it’s easier to stay where they are instead of trying something that may not work.

Improved Mental Health

Nothing saps your energy quicker than working a soul-sucking job in which you feel trapped. However, the excitement of finding that special passion can make you feel more energetic.  You may have to continue working at your job for a while, but now you may have new opportunities on the horizon.

Learning More About Yourself

As a life coach, I am continually amazed that so many clients don’t know what they want out of life. There are many helpful tools out there such as passion quizzes, aptitude tests, and making a list of your strong interests to see what motivates you.

Meeting Others on the Same Journey

As I have pursued my passion of writing, I have connected with others who are on the same journey. There are some people who have always known what they are passionate about, but the majority are just like you and me. It takes a voyage of self-discovery which may include prayer, a willingness to experiment, and some good old-fashioned patience.

The journey to finding your passion may be a long one and you may feel like it is never going to happen, but don’t give up. What is waiting for you on the other side will be well worth it.

Is Your Life Stuck in Quicksand?

5 Signs You're About to Experience a Breakthrough

 

There comes a point in every life where you may need to make a change. Change is not always easy, and some people just give up and go back to their own comfortable life, where there are no risks.

When you feel stuck in life, you may think you did something wrong, you’re not trying hard enough, or success is beyond your reach.

It may be hard to believe, but feeling stuck is actually a good thing. You’re getting closer to your goals. Here are five signs that you’re about to experience a breakthrough:

You’re Fed Up

You’re tired of being broke, or  carrying those 20 extra pounds. Your job sucks and you’re tired of annoying co-workers and a boss that’s a jerk. Does this sound familiar? Circumstances are different for each person, but you know when you’ve reached the breaking point.

Nothing is Working

What you’re doing is no longer enjoyable, and you’re not making any progress. Your venture is not profitable and your energy is non-existent. Things you have tried in the past are no longer working.

Things Become Critical

If you’re facing bankruptcy, and living under the bridge becomes a real possibility, change becomes critical. You may be facing health challenges that require time off, or that force you to seek out a new career.

You Learn From Successful People

One thing that has worked for me when I’ve felt stuck, is to find others’ in my chosen field, and see what they’re doing. Follow others blogs, books, and magazines. Google your goal, and you’ll find lots of success stories from those you admire.

A Door Opens

This can be the most interesting part of the journey because you never know when or how you’ll receive that golden nugget of wisdom that helps you get your life back on track. You may read a book, talk to a friend or get inspiration from a coaching session. Oddly enough, I get most of my inspirational ideas in the shower.

 

Does Your Life Seem Stuck in Quicksand?

Five Signs You're Experiencing a Breakthrough

There comes a point in every life where you may need to make a change. Change is not always easy, and some people just give up and go back to their own comfortable life, where there are no risks.

When you feel stuck in life, you may think you did something wrong, you’re not trying hard enough, or success is beyond your reach.

It may be hard to believe, but feeling stuck is actually a good thing. You’re getting closer to your goals. Here are five signs that you’re about to experience a breakthrough:

You’re Fed Up

You’re tired of being broke, sick of carrying those 20 extra pounds, or you don’t want to work one more day with that jerk of a boss. Does this sound familiar? Circumstances are different for each person, but you know when you’ve reached the breaking point.

Nothing is Working

What you’re doing is no longer enjoyable,or you’re not making any progress. Your venture is not profitable or your energy is non-existent. Things you have tried in the past are no longer working.

Things Become Critical

If you’re facing bankruptcy, and living under the bridge becomes a real possibility, change becomes critical. You may be facing health challenges that require time off, or that force you to seek out a new career.

You Learn From Successful People

One thing that has worked for me when I’ve felt stuck, is to find others in my chosen field, and see what they’re doing. Follow others’ blogs, books, and magazines. Google your goal, and you’ll find lots of success stories from those you admire.

A Door Opens

This can be the most interesting part of the journey because you never know when or how you’ll find that nugget of wisdom that will get your life back on track. You may read a book, talk to a friend, or book a coaching session, to name a few. Oddly enough, most of my inspiring ideas occur in the shower.

 

 

 

4 Tips to Help You Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Watch Your Confidence Soar!

 

When I was in college, each member of my class was required give a speech. Luckily for me, or at least I thought it was lucky at the time, the instructor gave us this information on the first day. I was so freaked out, I went to the school office, and dropped the class.

I didn’t want to take the chance of choking up, stumbling over my words, or someone laughing at my discomfort. Now, I look back and think it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if any of these things had happened, and I probably would have learned a thing or two.

It’s different for each person, but stepping out of our comfort zone is not easy. Here are four benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone:

It Gets Easier

The next time something unexpected comes up, you’ll remember you got through that tough situation before and you can do it again.

Make You More Productive

If you’ve gotten comfortable with your routine at work, it’s tempting to just do the absolute minimum to get by, and act like you’re too busy to learn something new.  When there is a sense of urgency to meet deadlines, you shift into high gear, and may find new ways to streamline the process.

Trust Your Judgment

When problems come up, it’s tempting to weigh all the options over and over again. Sometimes a snap decision needs to be made just to get the process in motion. You may have to make corrections along the way, but that’s also a good learning experience.

It Might Be Fun

Drive a new route to work, change your hairstyle, visit a new church, or run through the lawn sprinkler. If things don’t work out, so what?  Change things up again.

 

When Life Hands You Lemons

Pick Yourself Up and Keep Moving Forward!

I blogged a few days ago about how everything seemed to be going wrong at once. We got the car fixed, the heat pump is in the process of being fixed, Mark is feeling better, and so I thought ok this was a financial strain, but we got through it and it’s time to move on with life.

Then, this week we had a massive storm and the fence blew down. It’s always something, and no one is immune from problems. The only thing you can change is your attitude.

Here are five tips to follow when life hands you lemons:

Accept Change

It may often seem like you are dealing with more than your share of problems, but if you can accept the fact that things in life never stay the same, it will be easier to find solutions when problems arise.

Keep a Positive Attitude

I will be the first to admit this is not always easy, but not all unexpected problems are negative. For example, if you lose your job it may seem like the end of the world, but often it can lead to better opportunities that you might not have been able to take advantage of before.

Have An Alternate Plan

It can be so exciting to put those life-changing plans in motion. Perhaps it’s looking for a new job, a new house, or you’ve decided to go back to school and train for a different career.

Unfortunately, things don’t always work out when we want them to, so it’s always good to have an alternate plan, so you don’t get depressed and not know what to do next.

Practice Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

There’s no better way to get used to change than getting out of your comfort zone. Introduce small changes in your life. Take a different route to work, invite a new friend out to lunch, or order Chinese and eat the whole meal with chopsticks.

Stress Doesn’t Solve Your Problems

Stressing out is not going to solve your problems, and you’ll just feel more flustered and confused. Put your thinking cap on and decide where you’re going to go from here. Decide what you can fix or improve. In some cases, you might have to make the best of your situation until you can put your plans into motion.

 

 

 

 

Are You Sick and Tired of Bad News?

One Positive Thing That Will Have You Smiling!

 

I’ve decided my days of being a news junkie are over. I’m tired of hearing about the senseless things people say and do, and the current administration in Washington leaves a lot to be desired.

What I have been doing more of is seeking out positive news stories. There is still a lot of good in the world, you just have to look for it. Surprisingly, we often overlook the blessings we have already experienced.

I was reading an article this morning about the benefits of having a blessings bowl. You may be thinking what in the world is a blessings bowl? As you go through your day, think about all the things you are grateful for. Write these things down on a small slip of paper or Post-It note and put it in your blessings bowl.  At the end of the year, read each slip of paper, and you’ll be surprised at how much is going right in your life.

If you want to get fancy about it, you can order a beautiful blessings bowl online. There are sets that have the blessing bowl, a pen and paper, ribbon, and instructions on how to use it.  However, if your wallet is flatter than a pancake, use any bowl you have on hand, a pot, or even a hat.

A blessings bowl makes a nice gift for a friend or family member. Instead of writing what you’re grateful for, think of all the helpful things this person has done for you and write them down. Once the bowl is full, you have a nice gift that will be cherished forever.

It’s easy to get lost in our crazy world, and counting your blessings keeps your emotions in check, and you realize that you are still making a difference in your own life, and in the lives of others.

What are you grateful for today?

 

 

 

Are Wordly Worries Weighing You Down?

5 Benefits of Attending Church

 

I have to chuckle when my Mom talks about her church. I thought I was a foodie, but this congregation takes the prize when it comes to eating. The morning starts off with doughnuts, and then after the last hymn is sung there is a pow-wow in the parking lot about where to meet for lunch.

After a long afternoon nap, whoever can still rise to a standing position, lumbers out to the car, and drives back to the church for a potluck and evening program.

A good feast is always a good thing in my book, and it is fun to fellowship and meet new friends. Here are four other benefits of attending church:

Time of Reflection

Menopause is typically a time when you are an empty nester, and you’ve been so busy tending to everyone else’s needs that you lose sight of what is important in your life. Following the teachings of your church can lead to massive personal growth, and you’ll wonder what you can do to make the world a better place.

Positive Environment

You’re not smoking and drinking at some honky-tonk bar, or doing drugs with the in-crowd. When you’re going through hard times, the church can be a great support system. Listening to positive sermons encourages you to live a better life and develop to your full potential.

Giving Back

There is always some type of program that needs a healthy infusion of cash, or some able-bodied volunteers. You can teach Sunday school, help serve at coffee hour, volunteer in the office, or offer to help with gardening or lawn maintenance.

Fellowship with God

If you could count all the things you worry about on a daily basis, I’m sure you would have a very impressive list. There are plenty of opportunities to pray with like believers, or you can seek out a private area and pray on your own.

Let God handle your problems and you’ll leave church with a lighter, more carefree spirit.

 

Get Back on the Horse

Keep Working Toward Your Goals!

 

I’m always up for a new adventure and when a friend invited me to go horseback riding, I was eager to give it a try.  It was just my luck to get the biggest and most cantankerous horse in the stable. I gave myself a little pep talk, and swung into the saddle.

I tried to guide him with the reins, but either he was mixed up or I was, because he kept walking into bushes on the trail. It wasn’t long before we were at the halfway point, and I felt I could finally relax. Apparently, my horse had a difference of opinion, and took off running at top speed back to the stable.

I felt like the villain in a bad western movie being chased by the sheriff. I hung on for dear life, and was a nervous wreck by the time we got back to the stable. It’s a good thing I love animals, because my first thought was to dismount and give him a good swift kick in the rear.  I could have sworn he gave me a dirty look as he was led back to his stall.

My journey into horseback riding was shaky to say the least, but if I had another opportunity, I would get back on the horse and try again. Maybe choosing a smaller horse with a calmer disposition, doing some research to see what makes a horse tick, and more guidance from the staff, would make all the difference.

Living a successful life is a lot like riding a horse.  There are times when you’re feeling your way along, and you’re going to make some mistakes along the way. You may be so discouraged that you’re tempted to give up.

Get back on the horse. It may take awhile to reach your goals, but if you stay on your feet and keep moving forward, you will be successful.