Archive for May, 2012
We all like to get a compliment and praise from other people. It makes us feel good and reminds us that people care about us. For the most part, however, compliments are short lived. “I like your dress”, in reality, feels good in the moment, but has limited impact on our deeper sense of worth.
When we give a compliment, we are usually referring to what the person has done. An example might be “Great effort” or “You made an awesome meal yesterday”.
If you want to take a compliment to a deeper level, rather than simply recognizing the action, focus on acknowledging the qualities and characteristics that enabled her to do what she did.
Recognition “You made a great meal, Joan.”
Acknowledgement “Joan, I know how busy you are and I noticed how much planning you did to prepare this meal. Your dedication to creating great food and great fun allows the family to experience a real connection with one another.”
It may seem like a lot of words and a lot of effort to say all that, but imagine receiving such a compliment. It would really encourage you take stock of your strengths and not just feel like they are taken for granted. You’ll be much more inclined to continue with the behaviour and use your best assets, knowing the greater impact of your efforts.
Acknowledging the positive qualities in the people we care for, at home and at work, rather than focusing on the problems that need to be fixed, creates a huge shift in how we relate and connect to each other in our families and communities. It helps to build an environment of respect, trust, and positivity.
Often, people are not conscious of their own strengths, abilities, and gifts. When you set an intention to look for strengths in people and acknowledge their gifts, what you are doing is holding up a mirror and saying “This is the person I see in you.” In many cases, you are awakening an awareness of qualities that may not have been noticed or accepted before by that person. This self-knowledge builds confidence and a desire to keep exploring, discovering, and sharing one’s gifts and purpose with others.
As the person who offers compliments and acknowledgements, there is a benefit for you as well. There is little more rewarding than being there when a person recognizes their own purpose and greatness and then makes effort to grow and move forward towards living a fulfilled, meaningful , gifted life.
As a certified life coach, it was part of my training to learn how to very clearly mirror back a clients’ gift and strengths. So, I can attest to experiencing pure joy when a client has accepted my compliment at a deep, personal, and sometimes spiritual level.
If you need a compliment you may just be interested in setting up a free Exploratory Coaching session with me. You can contact me here.
You have a brave and daring spirit if you do!
When I was in school, it didn’t happen very often but every once in a while, I played hooky (GASP!). It was never a full day, usually just a class at a time, and it was always calculated so that I wouldn’t get into too much trouble (I didn’t like trouble!).
I didn’t know it then, but there were lots of lessons for me in playing hooky.
- I needed to be rebellious once in a while.
- I didn’t have to be perfect.
- I was smart enough to choose the hooky times wisely to not miss something important, and I was smart enough to catch up if I did happen to miss something important.
- When you take time for yourself, you have more energy when you get back to things.
My hooky ways followed me into my work life. Every once in awhile, probably 2-4 times a year, I would take a day off (it became more appropriate to call it a “mental health day” in the work world). There were times I felt guilty because the idea of a day off without being “sick” was often scoffed at by bosses or co-workers. Which was especially funny because I worked in the mental health industry. But I worked hard to get over my guilt and took my days away when I needed to, knowing that it was better for me, my co-workers, and my employer to re-energize and be the best me I could be.
Here are my Top 5 Tips To Play Hooky Guilt Free
- Recognize the signs that you need a day away from work.
- poor sleep
- over-reacting to minor stress at work
- underlying feeling of stress and anxiety at work
- unmotivated to complete work responsibilities
- having a short fuse with friends and family
- Be intentional on your hooky day. Do things that you know will re-energize you so that you can return to being the best you, you can be at both work and at home. If you need to sleep, sleep. If you need to get a massage, get a massage. If you need to go fishing, go fishing.
- Plan your hooky day for a slow time at work. If you plan a little in advance, you may be able to clear most of your schedule so your co-workers and clients may not even notice you’re gone.
- Give yourself credit for taking action before a total meltdown. Prevention is the best medicine and you may be avoiding an extended sick leave that would have a much greater impact at your work. AND you may become a role model to co-workers who could use a hooky day.
- Talk to your boss. This may be a tough one but could be the best way to avoid that feeling of guilt. If your boss “gets it”, she may help you figure out how to best categorize your time away (vacation time, overtime, sick time, just because you work hard time, compensatory time).
So go ahead, play hooky guilt free.
What do you think: is playing hooky from work okay?
For almost twenty years I worked with youth-at-risk who were part of the child and family services system. As a therapeutic recreation specialist, my passion was to help these kids see themselves as valuable, loveable, and beautiful through all their internal wounds and scars. In many ways, I felt like an explorer, setting out on an adventure to discover hidden treasures.
For the majority of the kids I worked with, their treasure, their gifts, were deeply hidden by layers of abandonment, abuse, neglect, and failure. When most people looked at these kids what they saw what was ugly; that was obscuring the treasure. It showed up in their behaviour as violence, crime, anger, self harm, drug and alcohol abuse. When these kids looked at themselves in the mirror, they saw a person who was a failure, unlovable, stupid, hopeless, and defensive.
And yet, there were times when whatever was blocking the sight of the gift disappeared. There was a glimmer of brightness. There was a spark that would catch my eye and I became aware that if I just explored a little deeper and got past my own assumptions and fears, I would discover something extremely valuable.
It was when these kids were playing that the shiny thing, the treasure, would reveal itself, if only just for a moment. For some kids, it was when they were creating art, for others when they were playing sport. Music was the spark for many, as was enjoying nature; climbing trees, canoeing, playing with a dog. For others it was in the quiet moments of writing poetry, teaching me their favourite card game, or learning a new craft.
It was my joy to be witness when the light shone through the darkness. I was ready with my mirror to reflect it back to the source, giving evidence to its existence. These kids needed to know that there was beauty within them in order to have the dreams and hopes for a future of joy and fulfillment.
With the perspective of an explorer and viewing everything in life as an adventure, it becomes a habit to acknowledge the ugly stuff and sift through it, to discover the hidden gems in all things, and share in the appreciation of life’s beauty.
If you have a story of finding the hidden treasure in another person, please share in the comments section.