Let Go Of The Past: Things Happen For A Reason

 

 

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Do you believe that things happen for a reason? That somehow, someday, all the pieces will come together and make you realize that all you fret about are just a part of something great that is bound to happen? Well, you should because things do happen for a reason!

Some of us are so stuck up in the confusion and struggle with life transitions. “Many women do not know how to cope with change, and depending on the severity or amount of trauma the change has inflicted, women can face a difficult and painful time,” according to Avery Neal, M.A., L.P.C. We fail to get the courage to rise and start all over. But if we let the past control and stop us from going where we’re supposed to go, then there’s no point in living.

 

What Are The Life Changes And Events That Could Cause Our Temporary Death? 

  

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  • Breakups

It is natural to feel devastated after a failed relationship with someone who we thought was going to be there for a long time. All our plans are suddenly going to change, and we just don’t know where and how to start.

“Dealing with setbacks can be exhausting, so it’s important not just to push your way back too hard, but to rest and recharge along the way,” shares Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D.

Bad breakups are a poison that if we can’t see past through the pain, it can ruin our lives. Keep in mind that nobody is ever sure that the person we are with right now is bound to be with us forever. Sometimes, these people we meet are only meant to prepare us for the right person in the future.

 

  • Bad Relationships

Breakups are not only for lovers. It can be between best friends or anyone we are attached to in our lives. We may fight and call it quits, and we may feel horrible about it. Well, we should! All relationships are meaningful, and the fact that they didn’t work is sad.

Letting go of people who don’t nourish us anymore is sometimes necessary for us to become what we’re supposed to be. Yes, you can feel awful, but don’t keep that feeling forever. Always find the silver lining and accept that it’s a path we need to take towards success.

“When we’re not in a relationship we really have some time to get clear about what matters to us and what we value,” explains Dr. Jenny Taitz, a clinical psychologist.

 

  • Death Of A Loved One

In life, we are born, and we’ll die. That’s a fact. Although it’s a hard thing to accept, we must be able to find the will to go on. Maybe it’s teaching us to be independent, to see the confidence in ourselves and to find the meaning of life on our own.

We are in charge of our lives, and sooner or later, the death of someone we love will happen, so we must be brave enough to face this difficult life transition and pick ourselves up.

 

  • Missed Opportunity

We are not meant to grab all the opportunities that come our way. Yes, there are opportunities that we would regret to let go, but think of them as a phase. There is always something in between the beginning and the end – the situation now which may be just the beginning, and success.

We all have to travel our journey, and we don’t have to take all the paths. We have to pass by some doors and pass through the one that’s meant for us.

 

  • Failures

Nobody’s perfect! We make mistakes, and we all fail at some point in our lives. We need to learn from these and move forward. They are mistakes because they can be corrected, and we can do that by making sure we’re not going to make the same one again and again.

 

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Life is all about choices, and we can choose to be successful! We have to learn to have the right mindset that will help us to achieve our goals. There may be struggles, challenges, and traumatic events along the way, but we just need to focus on what’s important, and that is what we’re still alive, and we have the opportunity to make things better.

 

Acceptance Is The Key – How I Realized That My Son Needed Help

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In Denial Of My Son’s Condition

 

I was offended by her remark and told her out of courtesy that I will look into it. In truth, I never did. I mean, my son just started school. He has particular “delays” since he doesn’t know these lessons and other things. As expected, he passed his playschool level with apparent difficulty in the Reading subject. Still, he got an F for Fair and moved on to the next level.

 

He continued to Nursery and what a coincidence! His Nursery teacher asked for a meeting after two months of classes and told me the same thing.

 

“Mrs. Smith, your son has some issues with focusing on his work. He is easily distracted and needs improvement in his reading and writing skills. Is it possible for you to bring him to a neurodevelopmental pediatrician? They can assess him properly, and we can all help your son with what he requires regarding after-school learning programs”.

 

This time I answered with a hiss. In my mind back then, these teachers were obviously singling out my son! Why are the teachers doing this? Is it because he is a slow learner? He is only five years old, and my brother was a slow learner too. It runs in the blood! My brother is a notary public now and works for one of the largest law firms in Maryland. He is brilliant at what he does! I know my son will overcome this “slow” period of his and emerge as someone successful in the future, just like my brother. I mean, he is my son! His sisters are all honor students. This can’t be happening.

 

I Didn’t Listen To The Teacher

 

The school and his Nursery teacher can’t compel me to bring my son to a neurodevelopmental pediatrician. I was also that stubborn, and I didn’t want to see the situation as a teacher would look at it. First and foremost, I am his mother. I am biased and maybe somewhat clouded by my son’s state. She is a teacher, and she has trained for spotting children who need special education. I didn’t like to accept that.

 

Source: defense.gov

 

My son barely passed Nursery and had to take summer classes. When I enrolled him in Kinder, they put him under a certified special education teacher. Within the first 45 days, the teacher expressed her concern.

“If your child’s mental health condition is affecting their functioning at school, your first step should be to identify their condition with either a mental health professional or pediatrician and present this diagnostic information to the school,” suggests Deborah Offner, Ph.D.

I have heard it all before – learning delays

 

Unwilling But I Did It Anyway – It Was The Best Decision I Ever Made For My Son

 

With a heavy heart, I made an appointment with a neurodevelopment pediatrician, and it opened my eyes. My son was diagnosed with ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder with signs of ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. “Students with autism may have unique needs with learning, social skills, and communication,” says Dr. Paula Kluth. I cried so hard that night back then and too proud. For almost three years my son struggled, and I didn’t “see” that.

 

The neurodevelopmental pediatrician recommended therapy programs for my son. I enrolled him in all of it. He said my son needed Speech Therapy, Educational Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. For a year now, my son has been doing all of these, and the therapists all provided their positive reports. They said that my son has developed since his first session.

 

Looking At The Past But Moving On

 

I still regret the day when I was so stubborn. In my mind, the situation keeps on rewinding. He was just four, and I didn’t listen to his teacher. My mother said that what’s done is done and that I can’t go back to the past. At least now, he is under treatment and is improving. “Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often thought of as a childhood disorder, there is an increasing number of older adults who are being diagnosed for the first time,” Katherine K.M. Stavropoulos Ph.D. said.

 

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The doctor also said that it’s not too late. He was just six upon diagnosis and is high-functioning. I do see some problems now that I failed to “look” before. He is different, and now that I have accepted that fact, I will do everything in my power to support and help him.

 

When A Marriage Fails

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When I was younger, I thought, my love for my husband was enough. He’s not a Brad Pitt or a Tom Cruise, but he was my Brad Pitt. At 17, I thought, I found my Tom Cruise. I was so in love with him, and I don’t know why. If you ask me what made me fall in love with this person, I’d say I don’t know. I just have this “pull” that I can’t quite explain. As what  Kurt Smith, Psy.D. said, “Falling in love is easy to do, almost effortless, but losing that loving feeling is not that hard to do, either.” Sometimes, I get so irritated with myself – how can I love a person without knowing the reason why?

 

This story doesn’t have a happy ending. I’m going to tell you right now. You see, I am separated from my husband at the moment after 23 years of being together. I am done crying; been doing that for months. I just don’t want to be depressed anymore. I’m refusing to act like a lost cause any longer. This is the life I have now, and six children are relying on me, their mom. I have to put up a brave face as a front, as I don’t want them to pity me.

 

What Happened?

 

Familiarity happened. Respect was lost. Adultery ensued. Vengeance and spite ruined us more. Saying to forgive, but not meaning it took a toll. He was and is still a gambling addict. I was and still, am a socially anxious person. We may have married on impulse and made a decision based on tainted facts. I was pregnant, and he was more than willing to marry me because of our firstborn. This realization came to me one night, and it has haunted me ever since.

 

My Faults

 

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I used to surrender to him. Gambling was his priority and with occasional affairs here and there – I turned the other cheek and kept it all in. In my mind then, if he came home to me every night, then, he loves me. It’s ok.

 

Well, you know what, it’s not ok. I recently realized, after more than a decade of lying to myself, that if my husband really valued me, he would do everything in his power to stop gambling and womanizing. Sure, an addict will not admit to himself that he is an addict, but he can choose to ask help from me, his wife and life partner so that I can support him through therapy and treatment. “Gambling disorders are highly comorbid with other mental health and substance use disorders, and a further understanding is needed of both the causes and treatment implications of this disorder,” says Seyed Amir Jazaeri, Ph. D. and Mohammad Hussain Bin Habil, Ph. D. But he decided not to listen to me and continued ignoring me so that he can play cards. As for the womanizing part, he is a weak man. I prayed for his redemption too many times, but he just won’t budge.

 

So, what am I to do? Do I keep on being like this? Can I spend another 20 years of gambling debts, night outs, women’s cologne on his clothes, lies, and unusual behavior? I put my foot forward and said to myself – THIS HAS TO STOP.

 

I Wrote Him A Letter

 

My letter only contained three sentences. It wasn’t much in words, but I’m sure it pierced his empty heart and understood where I am coming from indeed.

 

Dear M,

 

I am leaving you for now since I want to find myself and repair the self-inflicted damage wherein you helped me create over the years. This may or may not close the doors for us, and really, it’s up to you now. I am just done with you, your lies, gambling, and womanizing – until then, let’s just enjoy the space.

 

Your Faithful Wife

 

What I’m Doing Now

 

I enrolled in a yoga class and applied for a part-time job as an administrative clerk at the local college. Of course, my one-on-one counseling is regular (once a week), and my therapist has been truly helpful. With some savings, I leased a studio apartment, and for once, I’ve been doing the things that I love.

 

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Our children? Well, our youngest is 15, and he is almost an adult. I spoke with all of them before moving out and asked them to understand me and my situation. The two youngest kids are with me. All the others are in different states finishing their degrees. So yes, my husband is all alone in a big house. I hope it’s doing him good.

 

From time to time, he calls or texts me, asking how I am and if he can see the kids. I mean, sure, I let them meet and bond. I will never snatch that opportunity from my children to spend time with their dad. He may be a lousy husband, but he is a good father and provider. If only things were different, but they’re not. I guess, I just have to accept the fact and move on. As Darlene Lancer, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist quoted, “Acceptance is essential for satisfying relationships.”

Realizing Your Worth

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My mother gave me a clipping of a features article that she cut from the newspaper at work. There were no cell phones at that time since it was in the early ’90s and the news was delivered through a paper. The headline was RYAN CAYABYAB IS LOOKING FOR TALENTED SINGERS TO FORM SMOKEY MOUNTAIN 2.

 

It Was The Opportunity Of A Lifetime

 

I was very excited because first off, Ryan Cayabyab was the “man” if you wanted to get into the singing business, and Smokey Mountain was the “IT” group in our country. Of course, this was not in the United States since I grew up in Davao City, Philippines.

 

Let’s say for comparison, Ryan Cayabyab was the “Marvin Hamlisch” of the US (the multi-awarded composer loved by Ms. Barbra Streisand), and Smokey Mountain was “The Hanson” of the Philippines. The opportunity was truly enormous, and at 13 years old, my mom was handing me that clipping. She knew I loved to sing and it was like her saying that she approves of me auditioning for the part.

 

I Prepared Myself For That Chance

 

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And so, I equipped myself for roughly a week and practiced “Wind Beneath My Wings,” as sung by Ms. Bette Midler. I was confident that I got the song pretty well. You see, I came from a family of singers. My father used to be a singing champion in our city, while my mother didn’t sing, her sisters were local professional singers. One of my aunts was a jazz singer and a regular every Friday at the city’s posh steak restaurant. She serenaded VIP’s and politicians with her sultry voice. The other one was more successful, and had a singing career in Manila with a country-renowned composer – yes, the one and only, Mr. Cayabyab.

 

Anyway, I was ready, and my mind was made up. My godmother dressed me up and let me borrow her clothes. I can’t forget the white silk sleeveless blouse and long wrap-around skirt in an abstract design of white and blue colors. She also lent me her brown loafers and braided my long hair.

 

Night Of The Performance

 

I got on the shortlist. Out of 1,187 teens who auditioned for the part, only thirty remained. I was one of the lucky 30 who got in.

 

It is one of the most memorable nights of my life because Ryan Cayabyab was in front of me, and believe it or not, my voice CROAKED. Yes, you read that right. I croaked. It was due to nervousness (I keep telling myself that reason), and when I sang the first note, I went out of tune and croaked big time. It was awful! But with that mistake, the best thing happened to me.

 

Let me push back a bit and tell the whole story of that specific event.

 

The assistant called my name and the names of nineteen other kids. We went into a massive hall, and of course, we lined up, and there he was, right in front of us, Mr. Ryan Cayabyab. The first person sang her song, and I think I was number 13. While waiting for my turn, I imagined my young self as a guest singer in “Ryan, Ryan, Musikahan” which means “Ryan’s Music.” (This was the name of his music show on TV.)

 

Of course, that was a perfect dream. I couldn’t tell him that my aunt was a regular on his show, that’s why I know I have a chance. If my aunt can do it, so can I, right?

 

Anyway, my turn came, and I made the ultimate mistake. Instead of singing the song from the beginning, I jumped to the chorus and bam! There was no wind beneath my wings, so to speak!

 

What made me do it? I don’t know! I think I got insecure when I heard two of my schoolmates who also auditioned. One of them was Julie Fernandez (angelic voice) and Mitch (forgot her last name, she was in a band). I decided to up my game by singing the high part, the chorus, which turned out to be a disaster.

 

A Blessing In Disguise

What can help is being as aware of how you feel and think as possible. Taking a moment to self-reflect can stop you from doing something you may regret or get you out of a cycle of obsessive thoughts. Taking time to evaluate the situation objectively can help tremendously, too, both in alleviating overwhelming feelings and making better choices.Darius Cikanavicius, Author, Certified Coach

I stopped singing, and Mr. Cayabyab looked straight at me. All I could say was – I’m so embarrassed, Mr. Cayabyab. I’m sorry. I did prepare for this. It’s just I was too nervous hearing everyone sing and well, singing for you; it’s overwhelming.

 

Tears were starting to fall on my cheeks, but then a miracle happened – Ryan Cayabyab spoke to me! I was told after the audition by the assistant that Mr. Cayabyab never talked to any of the auditionees except for me!

 

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“Kim, sing again. From the first stanza.”

 

I managed a weak ok, and then, I started singing. (Quoting the song “Wind Beneath My Wings”)

 

It must have been cold there in my shadow,

To never have sunlight on your face.

You were content to let me shine, that’s your way.

You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,

While you were the one with all the strength.

A beautiful face without a name for so long.

A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

 

And then, another miracle! Ryan Cayabyab, the composer, conductor, producer and recipient of the most prestigious music awards in the Philippines, SANG WITH ME! He never did such as any other person in the room!

 

(Quoting the song “Wind Beneath My Wings”)

 

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,

And everything I would like to be?

I can fly higher than an eagle,

For you are the wind beneath my wings.

 

We did a duet, and by this time, my heart was swelling with pride. The error, the croaking, and the embarrassment were all worth it! At least, I was able to experience singing with a legend like him.

 

What Happened Next?

Self-efficacy is built on one’s beliefs in the likelihood of future success; those who believe they have the ability to influence the events of their lives have high self-efficacy, while those who feel they are not in control and have little to no impact on what will happen to them in the future have low self-efficacy. – world-renowned psychologist, Albert Bandura

I didn’t make the cut. The part went to Julie, my schoolmate, but she declined it and formed a band. She did become famous, of course. Did it hurt my ego not winning the part? No, absolutely not. In all honesty, I can say that.

 

It was a fulfillment for me too, in a way, because Julie was once second place in a singing competition wherein I got the gold medal. I know that I have it and with these validations –I beat Julie before, and Mr. Cayabyab singing with me – it’s more than enough.

 

I was and is talented. I know that I have it, and no one can take it from me.

 

Did I Become A Professional Singer?

 

No. I am currently a writer, and a mom of five kids, one of them is a theatre actress and singer. I had my time, and I made my decisions. There are no regrets there, whatsoever.

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the event with Ryan Cayabyab made me realize that I have so many innate talents and that if I harnessed it, I could have been a superstar. Right now, I’m just happy to get a score of 100 in a videoke challenge. Seriously! And maybe, a permanent feeling of self-worth and self-confidence because of that particular night.

Keep moving forward. As you do, recognize your successes. You will still experience disappointments in the future, but hopefully, you will quit calling yourself a failure and stop fearing others will think you are a fraud.Marcia Reynolds Psy.D.

Teenager And Pregnant – But God Had Plans For Me

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Sexual assault is any sexual act, which is unwelcome or unwanted. It is sometimes committed through use of manipulation, coercion, intimidation, threats, force, or a controlled substance. It can range from sexual battery, to threat of sexual assault, to rape. For survivors of sexual assault, talking about your experience may by particularly painful and difficult.Hung Tran, Psy.D.

I wished it was all a nightmare for me on that one damaging evening in October of 1988. The night was cold and crisp, and I just got out of my shift at the local diner where I used to work. Regularly, my dad or older brother would pick me up, and we’d walk home together since my clock ended at 10. But that scarring night, my dad also had to work late. My brother was at home looking after our 3-year old sister who was sick. He couldn’t leave her behind.

 

And so, without reservations in my heart, I told them that I’d be fine to walk home alone. Anyway, it wasn’t that late, and I lived five blocks away. The walk wasn’t that far, and the stars looked beautiful. It was a bright evening. I even assured them that I’d be ok. Oh, how wrong I was back then to think that in five blocks from work to home, nothing bad would happen to me.

 

I was so near that I could almost smell my momma’s chicken pastel. Never in my mind that I would be in danger so close to home. I’ve been walking that path for the last two years, and everything was good, but that night in October, my innocence was wrecked.

 

It all happened so slowly, and almost everything wasn’t a blur at all. Someone hit me from behind, and I fell. Two guys grabbed me and tied me up. One of them had a car, and we drove for a few minutes to a deserted car garage place. In there, three devils disguised as human beings took turns in raping me. I screamed. I begged. I asked for help. I did everything, but they paid no attention to my cry. After what it seemed was an eternity, one of them thanked me and left me for dead. (Some rapists are sociopaths with absolutely no regard for other human beings. Thus, no manner of education will ultimately deter such individuals from harassing or raping another person. However, for some (and I would go as far as to say for many), education will cause them to think before they act in a destructive manner, before they violate someone.Kathryn Stamoulis Ph.D.)

 

Source: en.wikipedia.org

 

God had bigger plans for me, and he kept me alive. I was eighteen, kidnapped, raped (I was a virgin, by the way), and stabbed almost to death, but my creator gave me air so that I could still breathe. Someone found me in the gutter, almost dead, and I was hospitalized for nearly three weeks. After two weeks out of the hospital, we found out that I was pregnant.

 

My first instinct was to have the child adopted. Yes, I would freely give “it” away. I don’t want anything to do with “it.” I was so angry at them and disgusted at myself. My life was ruined by that night, and there’s a baby to remind me of all the trauma I went through? No way! I want it gone. If I could abort it, I would have done the deed. But God had another plan for me. For us.

 

When it was time to deliver the baby, I was still bent on giving “it” away. He was out in roughly an hour, and the social worker told me that I have three days with him. The paper works had to be sorted out, and a young couple would adopt him, 500 miles away from me.

 

Did I give him away? In three days, I saw that what I had in my hands was an angel. He was my son, and he came out of me. I was so stupid for thinking that he ruined my life. How can I push my son away? And so, I did something selfish, and I kept him.

 

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It wasn’t easy at all. Some days, my depression would kick in, and I’d remember every single thing. But there were days when hope would fill my heart, and there was a smile on my face. (Rape is a massive physical and psychological trauma, and people cope in very different ways with a traumatic event. I have treated women who survived rape and later self-medicated with alcohol or drugs, and many of them also met the criteria for Major Depressive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, among other diagnoses.Seth Meyers Psy.D.)

 

I healed, and everything turned out beautifully for our family and me. Someone was brave enough to love a broken woman like me and accept my son. My husband was one of the best things that ever happened to me, apart from my son. He is now successful in his field and has made me so proud. Unlike his “sperm donor,” my son became a good man. I thank God every single day for keeping me alive and touching me on that specific moment when I decided to keep him.

 

Note:

 

From the journal of Anna Christie, New York, NY

Coming Out Triumphant From An Abusive Relationship

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When you are in an abusive relationship, you are most often emotionally broken and drained of your self-confidence, not only half-empty but perhaps with only drops left before you lose the empowered woman that you once were. “Emotionally abused people often come to believe that they are stupid, inconsiderate or selfish because they have been accused of these things so often by their partner.” Beverly Engel, psychotherapist. However, there are coping strategies that can help you deal with the verbal and emotional abuse in marriage or any relationship. You can slowly learn to manage your partner’s manipulative behavior and soon regain your power over your life.

 

Here is a list of tips that have been used by abuse survivors and have been proven to be effective in healing and success.

 

  • Start Your Statements With ‘I.’ In communicating with your partner, own what you say. Speak to your partner in a civil and decent manner, but do not in any way respond to threats, demands, and allegations. You can assert what you want to say, like, “I will not allow you to yell at me while I’m inside the car with you,” or, “I can’t take your rude behavior anymore, and I won’t tolerate it any longer.” You must let your abusive partner know that you know how to protect and take care of yourself. “It can be extremely difficult for a victim of domestic violence to acknowledge that abuse is taking place, especially when it’s not physical abuse but rather emotional or psychological,” says psychiatrist Toby D. Goldsmith, MD.

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  • Draw Your Boundaries. Just as your partner has his boundaries, you must have them too. Boundaries are what keep you safe and sane. It’s how you know that things have gone overboard when your partner (or any person for that matter) has crossed over the lines that you have drawn for your privacy. You may be responsible for keeping your partner or your family happy and healthy, but you must keep yourself safe and happy too. So if it feels like you’ve been drained of your energy, time, and effort for others, it’s time that you spread that list of boundaries and let them know you need your space as well.

 

  • Don’t Make Excuses For Your Abusive Partner. Initially, you might make some kind of excuse for his behavior. “Perhaps if I will show him more love, he’ll change.” “Maybe I need to be a little more patient with him.” If your partner is an abuser, there is nothing you can do to change that unless he changes for himself. The best thing you can do for both of you is to break the cycle, end the usual sequence, and leave.

 

  • Feed Your Soul With Good Things. Read your favorite books and listen to your favorite music. Go to the beach and contemplate about your life. Feed your soul with the good stuff to replace the negativity that you are getting from your abusive relationship. Find time to feel self-love and self-appreciation. Only then will you be able to have the strength to win over the abuse.

 

  • Don’t Let The Abuse Rust You Out. When a faucet drips today and it can be fixed with a simple tape, that’s great. But if the damage of the faucet is so big that the drip keeps going on and on for a month or a year, this will soon rust the pipes and it will be impossible to keep the water from dripping or gushing out from the faucet. Your abusive partner can do this to you – rust you out by his continuing demands, ridicules, blames, and allegations. Leave while you can still be fixed. “Healing requires patience, understanding, safety, and validation,” says Sharie Stines, Psy.D.

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You have the power to come out triumphant from your abusive relationship. Being a victim today doesn’t mean you’ll stay a victim for the rest of your life. Regain your power by first loving yourself, realizing the strength you have, and believing that you have the power to be happy.

2015 Rochester Blogging Conference

The spring event of the 2015 Rochester Blogging Conference is one of the most successful workshops available for writers. The overall discussion and lectures significantly allow attendees to have meaningful participation. There are blogging tips for beginners, advanced online tools descriptions, social media applications, writing sessions for business marketing, and a lot more topics that make an impact on writers’ potential development. The center of the learning workshop is to produce a piece, publish, and promote it. Continue reading

Forgiving Others Empowers You

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Forgiving someone is probably one of the hardest things we can do. It is a selfless act that requires compassion, which is why we should try to learn it. Your most hated person may not deserve your forgiveness, but the point is that you don’t deserve to be trapped in revenge and resentment, and ultimately damage our mental and emotional well-being. According to Lissa Rankin, M.D., “Forgiveness, on the other hand, is an offering of grace – and with that grace comes emotional freedom, liberation from the downward spiral of negativity that resentment breeds, and an opportunity for personal redemption.”

Forgiving Others At Work

We’ve had our fair share of co-workers or bosses who were rude and demanding. Some are there just to exist to annoy you or destroy your reputation by telling fake stories about you. I’ve had the awful experience of getting bullied by my boss a few years back. He would shout at me to get my attention and ask me for a cup of coffee even though I was doing something important. His feedback about my work was usually, “You did terribly,” or, “Was that your best?” I couldn’t even argue or question his feedback.

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Silently, I would forgive him for everything, and I built strength and resilience through forgiveness. Eventually, I told him how much I appreciated his efforts to challenge me and help me become better, and for the opportunity to work with his team. And then I left the company. I left with more confidence in myself and more strength to face even the worst challenges.

Forgiving From The Heart – Not From The Mind

The first purpose for forgiving my boss was to free myself from the darkness that hatred and resentment can do to one’s heart. I refused to be a slave to someone’s unreal opinion of who I am. I also wanted to show others that conflict and other difficult situations can be fixed through forgiveness.

As what Melanie Greenberg Ph.D. said, “Many studies have shown that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who do not.”

If I had thought about the act of forgiving my boss, I think I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I would have thought, “Why would I simply forgive him for allowing me to think negatively about myself and hurting me this way?” That is exactly why one should not use the mind to forgive. Forgiveness must not come from the mind but the heart – because it is in your heart that you feel the self-love and compassion. What my boss did to me was my boss’ behavior, not mine. Who knows? My forgiveness might be a way for him to learn the value of forgiveness.

Forgiveness Is A Choice To Be Empowered

Victor Frankl states that man has a choice, despite the most dreadful circumstances, to forgive to liberate himself.

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In any kind of workplace, conflict cannot be avoided because people commit errors and mistakes. It is vital to accept your misgivings if you are at fault. It is healthy for a company to encourage its employees, particularly its leaders, to be strong enough to find ways to forgive and create strict boundaries that help avoid repeated violations. Leaders, like executives and company heads, who show responsibility and the ability to forgive are most likely capable of creating a better and more constructive future for their team and the rest of the company as a whole.

According to Jason Powers M.D., “Let go of resentments and attend to helpful thoughts. You’ll live better.”

How Productive People Overcome Stress

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These days, it is almost impossible to be a successful professional and not experience moderate to severe stress at frequent points of your life. Yes, all successful people suffer from it (even those who aren’t successful). It’s just that some have mastered the skill of dealing with and overcome stress.

Below is a list of some known effective strategies for overcoming stress when it strikes you at home, in the workplace, or just about anywhere you may be.

  • Learn To Be Compassionate With Yourself. When you learn to see your mistakes with understanding and compassion, you become less pressured, less anxious, and less depressed. Ultimately, people who typically show self-compassion are more productive than those who aren’t. According to Psych Central’s founder, John Grohol, Psy.D, “People with a good and healthy self-esteem are able to feel good about themselves for who they are, appreciate their own worth, and take pride in their abilities and accomplishments.” Most people think that they need to push themselves too much to be the best, but in the long run, it turns out that they are wrong, and they don’t perform their best when they do not cut themselves some slack. Having self-compassion when you’re at your worst can tremendously reduce stress and in fact, improve your performance.

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  • Don’t Break Your Routines. We usually tend to be stressed when we are nearing a deadline or asked to preside an emergency meeting, or about to talk to the head of your company. The mental tension is overwhelming! But productive people claim that you can reduce the tension and the decisions you have to make when you stick to your routines. If you have a daily routine, stick to it, so that you can have room for the new events and decisions you have to make when they come. If you’re used to wearing blue in a meeting, don’t break this routine by having to decide if you should wear red or gray. If you’re used to eating a tuna salad for lunch, order tuna salad before talking with your boss. At least that’s all you need to be ready for, and you won’t have to use your brain to decide about what to eat.
  • Always Have A Little Time Doing What You Love. When you do something you love, it doesn’t add to the stress, but it replenishes you, right? It adds energy to your day, no matter how much effort you need to put into it (it can be effortless too). If you regularly go to the gym, walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes can be effortless routine to you, but perhaps if you run with your favorite music on, it’ll make the activity more interesting, and you learn to love going to the gym more. When you are more energized, you can use that energy to prepare yourself for more challenges.
  • Be An Optimist, Not A Perfectionist. When you have a perfectionist attitude, you tend to compare your work and your personality to others. When this happens, you begin to doubt your capacity to do things, creating more stress and anxiety. You don’t have to be perfect to be productive. You can think optimistically, learn the get-better outlook so that you compare yourself to no one but the previous version of you. “Optimism is all about how we perceive things,” shares  Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury, BA. How did you fair today? Are you better compared to how fair you did yesterday? This is one of the best ways to improve and motivate yourself to become better than you were.

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Try applying some or all of these techniques for overcoming stress, and you’ll experience real changes in the home, workplace, and all aspects of your life. Psychiatrist Melissa Welby M.D. also suggests to “Prioritize health in the same way you prioritize other responsibilities and you will see stress diminish despite a to-do list that doesn’t get shorter.” These have worked wonders for many successful and productive professionals. Hope they work for you too!

Achieving Productivity Despite Stressful Situations

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Sometimes, even though we strive to do the best that we can to get to the top, grab that bonus, or achieve that promotion, we just have other important events coming up, family matters to attend to, and personal situations that need our time. No matter how much we have convinced ourselves that we are strong and resilient to negativity, the stress just gets the best of us. “To shift to a more positive mindset and help you be more productive, psychologist Emma Seppälä recommends replacing your belief in strengths with belief in your efforts and replacing self-criticism with self-compassion.

But please don’t go berserk if and when this happens to you, because almost all studies have proven that stress is inevitable, but the effects that it can have on us aren’t. There are always ways that we can practice so that we don’t see stress as a threat but as, a challenge that can only help us become better, if not the best, version of ourselves. According to Diane Roberts Stoler Ed.D., “There is extensive research on how stress affects your ability to attend, concentrate, store and retrieve information.”

Understand The Stress You Are In. If you are stressed because you’re about to be interviewed for a job, think about the opportunities for career advancement. If you’re anxious about a presentation, think about how the experience will help you improve in terms of interpersonal skills. Don’t think about how stressful the activity is but also include its purpose and its positive outcomes.

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Don’t Overwork The Brain. Studies suggest that when the brain is loaded with too much information, it becomes difficult for it to see the positive aspects, so don’t overwork it. For example, after you’ve showered, eaten, and dressed for work, you then get into your car to go to your office. Don’t turn on the radio yet. Or if you can’t resist listening to music in the car, just put it on low volume, so your brain won’t get ‘shocked’ with the quiet environment it was in while you were getting ready. Think of your brain if you want to see more of the positives in your life.

Get Enough Sleep And Don’t Starve Yourself. A popular acronym for four barriers to success is HALT: hungry, angry, lonely, tired. When you don’t get the sleep that you need, you lose the energy to get up and be excited to work efficiently. If you starve yourself, your sugar levels will drop, causing your mood to go haywire as well. So try to get a goodnight’s rest, eat when you’re hungry, don’t panic, and do talk to someone when you feel lonely or depressed. All these will go a long way to combatting stress negativity. According to Michael J Breus Ph.D., “Managing stress and ensuring a routine of plentiful, high-quality sleep are critical to protecting your health.”

Project Success. When you’re up against a challenge in life, don’t think about how difficult it’s going to be. Think of it as another opportunity to achieve success, just as you did when you have succeeded so many times in your life. Remember that pessimism is a surefire way to be closer to failure.

Don’t Start With Zero. Experts suggest that for the brain to be stimulated to do things enthusiastically, you train it to recognize the progress you’ve done so far. For example, you have so much to do today that you don’t know how or where to start. But you’ve eaten your breakfast, dressed up, and have already made a few phone calls, so that’s progress for the day, right? Jot that down. This somehow speeds your brain up, and you are encouraged to accomplish the rest of your goals.

Final Thoughts

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Stress is not something that we should be afraid of but a challenge to be faced with resilience, positivity, patience, and some of these effective strategies that you learn to live by. With these weapons, you can be sure to achieve productivity if you want to, when you want to!