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Want Better Communication? Stop Pushing Buttons

I’m around little kids a lot these days. It’s amazing how early and thoroughly they learn to push our buttons. They know our weaknesses, and they aren’t afraid to use them. A very convincing cry, some irritating whining, or even a guilt trip. Man, they are good. I try to remember the motto posted in my daughter’s classroom at daycare: They’re two. Whatcha going to do? I give kids credit, they really don’t have a lot of power. They have to use what they can. They are resourceful, really. While it’s skilled for kids to at least try to push buttons to get what they want, the same is not true of adults. As adults, if we purposefully say something to another person just to get our way or get them to feel something negative, then that is unskilled communication.     . . . read more

What 56 Pull-Ups, Positive Psychology, and Mister Rogers Taught Me About Failure (and Happiness)

I looked up at the bar, but I knew I couldn’t do any more. I had reached muscle failure. I looked at my coach, feeling defeated, and said, “I’m done.” She looked at me warmly and said, “Okay.” As I caught my breath, I thought about how I didn’t make it through the whole workout. It was a failure, a disappointment. Then I looked up at the whiteboard, where the workout was written. I started counting up the pull-ups I had completed in the 20 minute workout. 56. Wait a second…when and how did doing 56 pull-ups become possible? And when the heck did it start to represent a failure? I started CrossFit about two years ago. I cared only about gaining energy and sleeping better so I could live my life more fully. But soon there were other perks. I     . . . read more

The Hidden Dangers of People-Pleasing

I know how this is going to sound. But I’m going to say it anyway. Be careful of being nice. The problem is that we do “nice” in ways that are actually detrimental. The misconceptions about how to be nice are the key issues. One of the main problems is that a lot of kind people believe it’s essential to please everyone. Now most of us are aware that being a people-pleaser is hard on the person doing the pleasing. There is the exhausting work of always saying yes, trying to read minds, and always doing what the other person wants. It’s sometimes hard to get nice people to change just based on this, “it’s not good for you” argument. So I go for two other cold, hard truths about people-pleasing. 1. When you spend energy pleasing everyone, you inevitably     . . . read more

5 Tips to Get You Through the Inevitable New Mom Identity Crisis

This week I’m over at What to Expect talking about pregnancy, motherhood, and identity. Find out about the surprising moment of panic that led me to discover how to overcome the new mom identity crisis… (click here to link to the post). It was great to be featured on What to Expect and to add my story to the Word of Mom blog. I believe it’s important to have real stories of pregnancy and parenting. The reality is more messy than the cute pics of babies and families on Facebook suggest. Chaos, craziness, and general mayhem is as much a part of child-rearing as adorableness and laughs. I think it’s good to be more authentic and this promotes being more reasonable in our expectations of ourselves and our children. What do you think? Did you have a new mom (or     . . . read more

Resources for Staying Motivated

To cap off the week, I thought it might be fun to make a big list of everything I could think of to help you with motivation and change. This blog is filled with ideas that can help you sustain positive change. I hope the following ideas, with links to posts, can help you in your process. Feel inspired? Add some more ideas to this list in the comments section. Hannah’s Strategies for Sustaining Success: Know why you are doing it Create a compelling list of your motivators Ask for help Get quality information and guidance Understand that mistakes and setbacks are part of the process Stop using that really bad f-word: fail. There is no such thing. Reject perfectionism Give yourself credit Build on momentum Stay lighthearted Look beyond a win/lose mentality Practice Experiment Start with knowing that you     . . . read more

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