Tag Archives: Attitude

How To Listen Up! – Dr Sandy Nelson

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HOW TO LISTEN UP!

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey tells of a father who came to him saying, “I can’t understand my kid. He just won’t listen to me.” Covey patiently tried to get the dad to see the inconsistency of his statement. You don’t understand people by getting them to listen to you. You understand them when you listen to them.charlie brown listen

Is anyone listening?

It’s true that our high-tech, fast paced society today allots less time to listen to one another. Everyone is in a hurry, no one has time, but the need for communication and connection is more important than ever. Relationships at work and at home cannot thrive or survive without listening to one another. It’s imperative that we need to listen up!

Ever jump to understand a person’s disagreeing view? That’s not the first move of most people in conversation. People usually jump to judge, to argue, or to reject, to debate, but to understand? That’s in a minority of people.

listen1But we can change that. When we listen to another person, we can refuse to be distracted by our own opinions and biases. We can accept that listening to a differing view is not going to cause the veins in our foreheads to explode. It’s only fair that If we want our point to be understood, we need to practice understanding the point of others. We need to listen up!

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Listen to what people say, not to what we want to hear. Listen to their choice of words, not what we want them to say. Listen to their values, their complaints, their priorities, their outlook, and how they speak about other people, because that will reveal who that person is. So pay attention, put down any distractions, look at the person speaking, and listen up.

To avoid the impulse to finish the sentences of a person who speaks slower than we do is often a tussle. This is a test of our patience. And another impulse to avoid is planning what to say next when we should be listening. Also don’t interrupt the person talking, or take calls, or look at our phone (or TV), or wave to someone we know, or stare at the floor or out the window, all of which convey that the person talking is a bother to us, and not important.

Look at the person talking, without distraction. Practice listening with the intent to understand. This earns the respect of others.

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drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

Stand-In’s For Self-Acceptance – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Are you using stand-in’s for self-acceptance? It’s not uncommon.

Many people use possessions as a stand-in for self-acceptance. They acquire stuff to show the world they have value and measure up.

It’s tragic to realize these individuals are merely adding more baggage to a self-confidence2muddled frame of mind. Self-acceptance doesn’t require icons to represent significance or success. There’s no need to prove that we’re significant when we’re thinking correctly about our self-worth. The more uncertainty we have about our worth, the more we need objects around us to represent what’s missing in ourselves.

When we lack self-acceptance, we’re unhappy campers. We’re unhappy because we believe, incorrectly, that we need something to hide behind. We believe we 10433864_10153254889623908_6471637140694356733_nmust have something to simulate the outward appearance of self-confidence and success. There’s a belief that we’re not acceptable the way we are. We may have the tendency to criticize and condemn ourselves. This negative self-talk has been in our minds so long that we never questioned where it came from or why it started.

Come out from hiding. correct your negative self-talk. Correct those lies. There’s nothing amiss about you! Focus on your talents and skills. Use them to better yourself and the world. There will be no stand-in necessary for your self-confidence.

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drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

What Negativity Guarantees – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Have you ever known a pessimistic person to be overflowing with enthusiasm and a positive outlook? Me either. In fact, the negativity that reeks from pessimists reminds me of static electricity—energy in the vicinity that gets encased and stuck in its sphere.

When focused thought is negative, it creates ill, Marianne Williamson wrote in negative peopleEveryday Grace. Negativity guarantees a toxic energy that breeds ill—physically and emotionally. Wrongheaded persons draw and mentally shackle the people around them into a mind-set that’s diminishes any encouraging conditions in life. It’s all Armageddon to them. They engage discussions on only what’s dreadful, what is deficient, and what is wicked in the world. Their focus lacks any observations of what’s effective, good, productive, and positive. If this describes you, allow me to stretch my hand out and shock you back into worthwhile thinking.

Imagine a planet where blame was missing.

Picture a world absent of mindless faultfinders and pessimists.

IMG_3131Now, do your part in creating that vision. Put down any doom and gloom binoculars. Stop any guilt tripping. Stop criticizing everything and everyone. Stop highlighting the mistakes of other people. The more we stop the blame and catastrophic views, the more of us there are to focus on solutions, answers, and remedies. Blame keeps us glued to the dilemma instead of adhered to resolve. Explanations keep us attached to the problem instead of fastened to improvements.

If we think we hold a superior position on this earth, then it would be better served discovering tonics for peace and understanding instead of judgment and condemnation.

In Working and Thinking on the Waterfront, Eric Hoffer wrote: Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us. 

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Dr. Sandy Nelson

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

Ditch That Godawful Attitude Here – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Beyond your heart beat, and everything, how do you know if you’re alive? Is there any excitement or interests in your life? Any passion?

Vernon Howard was a man on a mission. In his books and lectures, it was clear that each day he aspired everyone to experience an emotional awareness of being alive. He was probably one of the first trailblazers for mindfulness in the 1950’s with this statement Try to see what attitudes rule your day, then ask yourself what kind of a day you usually have.IMG_2308

What kind of days have you been having lately? Are you sick of the same crap? If the past week has been bleak and negative, or filled with resentment and criticism, chances are high that your attitude on those days has not been working well for you. The bold truth is that if you latch on to a negative outlook you’re experiences in life are going to be negative which then prompts a negative outlook, and so on.

Instead of waiting for life to treat you better before changing a negative attitude, change your attitude first. Focus on the good in your life, find it, accept “what is” in everyday situations, be thankful for what hasn’t gone wrong, and then expect the positive. With that outlook, you’re bound for a good day which then prompts a good attitude!

IMG_2327Joan Baez reminds all of us that: You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live.

Most of us are guilty at some time or another of taking life for granted. We’re blinded with the eluding belief that there’s always tomorrow, and next week. In taking life for granted we become immune to the treasures found in each day and instead complain about this or that unfairness. We’re indifferent with other people. Instead of filled with kindness and gratitude, we’re filled with indifference and resentment.

Each dawn is to be a celebration because it’s a gift.  If tomorrow’s arrival was up in the air, how would you live today?

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Dr. Sandy Nelson

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

The Trick In Life – Dr. Sandy Nelson, Life Coach

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What would change in your level of happiness if you craved for nothing except what you already possess? Wouldn’t it be bliss to believe there is nothing IMG_2742more to gain because you have everything that makes you happy? Can you imagine that feeling of abundant happiness from having it all?

On the slip-side, when we make a mental list of those possessions that we feel we lack, our happiness is usually lacking as well. We believe that we can’t be happy unless we have what is missing.

Today, imagine that everything you hold dear to your heart and everything that is important to you is taken away. Make a mental list. Don’t be vague about it, be specific. Imagine your laptop, iPod, coffee pot, car, your home, your telephone, your loved ones, your friends, your cat, dog, are all gone. Plus, all memories-407021_150those other things on your list that are important to you. Envision your despair, your sadness, your emptiness.

Now, one by one, imagine that those things, and people, are given back to you—your closet once again has clothes, your car is parked in the driveway, your loved ones are around you. You again feel happiness and thankful.

The state of comfort and happiness you experience from this exercise is the state of mind you can experience every single day. Will this mindfulness visualization make a difference in your day-to-day outlook? It can.

The trick in life is not in getting what you want but in wanting what you get after you get it. —Warren Beatty and Robert Towne from the USA Motion picture Love Affair spoken by Katherine Hepburn

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

You’re a victim. Now what?

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Everyone views life from their past experiences. From an understanding of those past experiences, you come to conclusions of what you believe to be true about yourself, other people, and life. Unless you cross check those conclusions with reality, you may be living your life based on a belief about yourself, other people, and life that, frankly, isn’t true or accurate.

IMG_0883 - CopyFollowing a situation where you’ve been a victim, it takes some effort to regain a sense of empowerment. But sometimes that process becomes stalled. A condition of learned helplessness was discovered and researched by psychologist Martin Seligman, author of the excellent book Learned Optimism. In a nutshell, the condition of learned helplessness exists when a person’s thoughts or actions from a past situation where he or she was actually helpless, is continued in current situations where the person isn’t helpless. George Kelly, a clinical psychologist and personality theorist, calls this a personal construct—a well-defined conscious idea about oneself.

The book learned helplessness says: When experience with uncontrollable events gives rise to the expectation that events in the future will also elude control, then disruptions in motivation, emotion, and learning may ensue.

An adult in an abusive relationship, will in time tend to develop a victim mind-set of learned helplessness. It explains why individuals who experience repeated abuse or mistreatment often don’t try harder to improve or change their situation. They give up trying to better their lives believing that life will never change.

Robert Burney author of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls, writes: We were taught to look outside of ourselves—to people, places, things, to IMG_0937 - Copy - Copy - Copymoney, property and prestige—for fulfillment and happiness. It does not work; it is dysfunctional. We cannot fill the hole within with anything outside of Self. When we look outside for self-definition and self-worth, we are giving power away and setting ourselves up to be victims. We are trained to be victims. We are taught to give our power away. As just one small example of how pervasively we are trained to be victims, consider how often you have said, or heard someone say, “I have to work tomorrow.” When we say “I have to” we are making a victim statement. To say “I have to get up and I have to go to work” is a lie. No one forces an adult to get up and go to work. The truth is “I choose to get up and I choose to go to work because I choose to not have the consequences of not working.” To say “I choose” is not only the truth, it is empowering. When we “have to” do something we feel like a victim. And because we feel victimized, we will then be angry and want to punish whomever we see as forcing us to do something we do not want to do.

IMG_0936 - Copy - Copy - CopyPeople who see themselves as victims are difficult people to get along with. They feel entitled to special attention and privileges. They tend to believe that other people just don’t understand. They blame others for their lot in life believing that if this or that hadn’t happen then their crumby situation wouldn’t exist. This self-defeating behavior fuels the loneliness and the resentment that victims experience. Any situation where an expectation doesn’t occur, that situation will be experienced as unfair, disappointing, or unjust.

A vital need in any unfair or disappointing situation is the requirement to cope and proceed —in other words—adjust and respond! You need to accept “what is” and seek solutions to enable an adjustment to “what is.” When you’re unable to take responsibility for your life, an incorrect learned helplessness results in self-pity and a victim mind-set. People with a victim mind-set are sometimes unaware that their thoughts are full of untruths and unhealthy thinking. Victims do need assistance in processing the circumstances that develop into a victim mind-set. Psychotherapy can be a big help.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy