Tuesday, May 27, 2014

10 Ways to Nurture Well-Being and Build Resilience

file9121283256517by hooperj, whatchildrenneedtobehappy: http://whatchildrenneedtobehappy.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/10-ways-to-nurture-wellbeing-and-build-resilience/

We live in a busy world where children as well as adults encounter challenges and may find this stressful.

Some people are naturally confident and resilient but most of us need some help.

So how do we support children who need a helping hand?

I passionately believe that we need to talk more about the positive factors which nurture well-being. The prevention of mental health issues makes such sound sense.

Well-being is not about being happy all the time or living a charmed life cushioned from want or challenges.

Well-being is having the personal resources - mental, emotional, social and spiritual to deal with life’s challenges and having the skills to create a good life which is authentic and satisfying. Well-being is not something we can assume comes naturally and we cannot afford to leave it to chance.

Positive Psychology has a growing evidence base on what creates well-being. Here are my top 10 ways to promote well-being  so that children flourish. 

Nurture Positive Emotions

Happiness, joy and contentment are not only pleasant experiences but they also broaden the mind, literally. Professor Barbara Frederickson’s research on positivity has established that positive emotions have 2 valuable effects: firstly they undo any of the physical tension and stress we may be feeling and then they allow us to look beyond our immediate concerns. Negative emotions can take us inwards or preoccupy us with handling a threat while positive emotions release energy and allow us to try new things or think creatively. We all get more done when the mood is right but don’t wait for the mood to appear out of the blue when you can create positivity yourself. Savouring and appreciating good things helps children to learn to stay with the positive and search it out when needed. 

Learn Optimistic Thinking

Life doesn’t always bring us flowers. Thinking optimistically reminds us that today’s challenges are transitory and are not due to the 3 Ps which blight pessimistic thinking: that things are personal (it’s my entire fault), pervasive (this will affect everything - it is hopeless), and permanent (this will last and never go away). Optimistic thinking is open minded and looks for other explanations and most importantly for solutions. Optimistic thinking is essential for resilience which is the ability to bounce back from setbacks. 

Create Positive Relationships

We all need love and support but small children are biologically primed to seek adult protection and they will become very agitated when they feel abandoned or threatened. Children need to feel safe and protected, not only at home, but in school and when playing with friends. A strong sense of community not only helps to protect children but also provides a secure base from which they can go forward to explore and experiment. 

Discover and Develop Strengths

Each of us is unique and we are naturally drawn to do things which reflect our skills and interests. Using our strengths is an appealing way to build a sense of achievement; we enjoy both the process of doing the task and the outcome. Using our strengths give us energy and a zest for living. Becoming competent at something is a powerful motivator for further efforts. Children often have limited opportunities to use their strengths if they are too heavily focused on challenging, fast paced school work and the accompanying homework. Children need a balance between this adult-directed learning and the time to follow their own interests and develop their strengths. 

Talk about Effort Rather than Ability

Learning is a skill which like a muscle grows as a result of practice. Adopting a growth mindset encourages effort and practice and when faced with a challenge a child will set about solving the problem. Traditional psychology with its emphasis on intelligence testing has encouraged a fixed mindset which encourages the belief that ability has a ceiling and challenges may be a sign of being out of your depth. Professor Carol Dweck’s research has shown that children adopting a growth mindset make more progress than those with a fixed mindset. 

Learn Something Challenging but Worthwhile

You may have read about the 10,000 hours it takes to develop expertise with a chosen skill. The original research was with violinists but it applies to other complex skills too. It takes real energy and commitment to learn a complex skill and you are unlikely to persevere unless you are passionately interested in what you are doing. On a smaller scale, having a hobby which is compelling creates that sense of meaning and purpose the experience of practice gives you satisfaction and hooks you in. Life satisfaction often comes from those hard won successes and you can never start too early or in too small a way. 

Lose Track of Time

Deep and focused attention is a powerful skill which absorbs us completely and makes time stand still. Young children experience this in their play and athletes and experts do too while training or using their skill. Psychologists term this experience 'flow' and it is a vital skill for maintaining involvement when doing something difficult. Play is an ideal way to encourage children to experience flow and for older children dancing, sport and music can be easy ways into flow. 

Set Compelling Goals

Children who have an idea of what they want from their future are happier and more successful. The very act of considering the future is a sign of self-awareness which is healthy. Short term goals are equally important encouraging children to set themselves challenges and monitor their progress. Keep it simple and realistic. Too many or too complex a set of goals can rebound and end in disappointment. 

Celebrate Success

Being a child is not an easy ride. Emotions run at full pelt and emotional insecurity is the brain’s default position unless sensitive adults support and protect. If that was not enough to contend, with there is also so much to learn that it can be sometimes over whelming for children who feel anxious and frightened of failure. So focusing on what is going well is vital. If you haven’t tried the 3 Good Things before this is what you do: take it in turns to talk about 3 things that have happened today which you are grateful for. Your choices can be personal achievements, pleasant experiences, acts of kindness given or received, beautiful things you have seen which gave you pleasure - the possibilities are endless. Strangely some people find this difficult to do despite the wide range of possibilities. This can happen when you are primed to look out for dangers and disappointments and the new way of looking at the world can take time to learn. It’s worth persevering. 

Practice Mindfulness

We tend to take our mind and mental well-being for granted in a way we would not do with our physical health. Mindfulness is the practice of being still and fully present in the moment which allows us to slow down and reduce stress. Mindfulness meditation practice can be valuable for adults and some teens. A simple way to encourage mindfulness for younger children is to find activities which absorb their complete attention without being mentally taxing. Slowly stroking a pet, concentrating on the softness of the fur; kicking your way through autumn leaves looking at the colours and textures; skimming stones on a pond and watching the ripples form all these activities encourage awareness of the detail of our immediate experience. I’m sure you can think of many more.

Jeni Hooper is a Child and educational psychologist specialising in helping children to find their best selves and to flourish. Her book. 'What Children Need to be Happy, Confident and Successful: Step by Step Positive Psychology to Help Children Flourish' is published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers and can be viewed here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Children-Happy-Confident-Successful/dp/1849052395/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Monday, May 26, 2014

Skills and Methods for Creative Thinking

Creativity (LinkedIn)
by Leon Edward

For some people, creative thinking is inherent however if you are not one of them you have nothing to worry about, because you can practice and develop the skill.

Listed below are a few skills that could nurture creative thinking skills.

Being organized

Organization and creativity may be antonyms in theory. People usually perceive that creativity would mean being unusual, with disorganized and unique thoughts, however that is not quite the case. Organizational skills will help you have a grip on your ideas and thoughts and assist creative thinking.

Reasoning Skills

Reasoning skills can trigger nurturing and development of creative thinking skills. Being able to reason out will help a lot when you are put in a difficult solution and you will be able to get a quick and effective solution to any problem.

Objectivity

This helps you to explore a lot of alternatives, options and possibilities to a single situation, and helps you to think beyond the usual, common ideas.

Any skill in the arts

If you are skilled in dance, music, poetry, drawing; your mind is already conditioned to be creative, let your thoughts flow and be a creative thinker. You have been gifted with creativity through your art, so creative thinking will come easily to you.

Creative thinking is quite a compelling skill, and it requires a lot of other skills to nurture and develop this skill.

The above mentioned skilled may be inherent for you, otherwise you can work on building up those skills, which will help you further to nurture and inculcate creative thinking. These skills will simplify and trigger the development of creative thinking skills.

Creative Thinking Methods

Creative thinking and development of these skills is a very personal process, there are no rules or no uniform protocols for the same. However, creative thinking can be triggered with the help of this basic procedure and sticking to this procedure will help you develop your creative thinking skills.

This is a simple four step procedure.

Step 1: Analyze

The first step would include a complete analysis of the problem or situation. Don't jump to conclusions; just give time to do a detailed analysis of the situation till you know all aspects of the problem or situation. Resolve any queries or apprehensions you have. The first step involves nothing but gathering all the correct and required information about the situation. Ask all the questions about the situation, and know the situation in and out.

Step 2: Brainstorming

After all the analysis of the situation, the next step is brainstorming. This is where creative thinking actually begins. Do what works best for you, think and brainstorm in a way which will be the best for you. There are various ways in which you can brainstorm; you can jot your ideas, yell them out, talk and discuss them with people or even try out a few of your ideas. Keep a tab on your thoughts and ideas, as they come.

Step 3: Break It Down

After brainstorming, you will have quite a lot of ideas and solutions to your problems. It's time to shortlist the best ideas and sort out the ones which will be effective. You can alter your ideas for them to be more effective and change the ideas to complement the circumstances. This step is nothing but going through your ideas, separating the ones which will be effective from the ones which won't, alter those ideas to fit the situation.

Step 4: Review

Last but not the least; finalize your idea from the top best ideas and make sure your solution is effective and foolproof. After you shortlist a few ideas and separate the effective ones from the lot, you will further pick only 1-2 such ideas which will be effective and useful, after which try and get to the depth of how foolproof these ideas will be and how they should be put to use.

You need organizational skills to be good at creative thinking, and this procedure is a pre-requisite to develop creative thinking skills.

Receive the free 5 day intensive e-course on optimizing your brain with Increasing IQ eBook Plus get a free 25 minute meditation audio and success in life special report at the authors IQ Mind Brain library website, click here.

Leon Edward helps people to improve their thinking, optimizing their thought process and be more intelligent in life his articles plus featured guests and resources are all targeted on improving IQ, focus, memory, concentration, creativity, speed reading or other mind improvement. Download his IQ Mind Brain Memory Self-Help library at his critical thinking website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Leon_Edward
http://EzineArticles.com/?Talking-About-Skills-and-Methods-for-Creative-Thinking&id=8525453

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Idea Construction

Idea Constructionby Jeffrey Phillips, Innovation Excellence: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2014/05/23/idea-construction/
 
I’m interested in dispelling a commonly held myth today, the myth that suggests ideas are created once, whole and complete.

Ideas aren’t found, they don’t emerge.

Good ideas, the ones that get implemented and converted into new ideas, are constructed.

While we enjoy the stories about wildly creative people who are naturally adept at creating ideas out of thin air, customers and markets celebrate new products that deliver unexpected value.

The difference between creativity and innovation is in the delivery.

While we celebrate and appreciate creativity, it’s the transition to valuable new products and services that fill unmet needs that customers value. And to do that well, most ideas don’t emerge, they are constructed.

What really matters is how they are constructed, and the “construction engineers” and processes that produce the final result.

Architects and Builders

For a reference point, let’s consider perhaps one of the most famous architects of the 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright.

His buildings and houses, at least on paper, were interesting, stunning masterpieces. His work spanned the gamut, from commercial buildings to personal homes. One of my favorites is Falling Water, which incorporates a natural stream into the design.

Wright was a visionary, a man who could evoke designs for homes, buildings and furniture out of thin air. He was a bit of a tyrant, ignoring feedback and input into his designs, however, and part of his legacy is that many of his buildings aren’t structurally sound.

While he was a visionary architect and designer, many of his buildings relied on construction that wasn’t possible at the time he was building, or required tradeoffs that people who used the buildings found unacceptable.

Builders, who produce the solutions that customers actually use, and frequently interact with customers as the product is being developed, are far more practical.

They have to translate the idea on blueprints to a real product, service, or building. They have to contend with environmental conditions, site locations, real concerns of the consumer, and financial obligations. This means that they often alter the designs of the architects, to make a design fit a specific location or need.

In this analogy, designers and architects are divergent thinkers, while engineers and builders are convergent thinkers. What would be very helpful would be for each to adopt a bit of the other’s perspective.

Constructed not Emergent

Far too often, in any business setting, executives and managers wait for what I like to call the perfect “emergent” idea - that is, the idea that is formed in perfection and can be implemented quickly and without change.

The only ideas that match this definition, perfect and quickly implemented, are ideas that are very incremental, because typically only very incremental changes can be implemented quickly and have little risk.

When idea generation and other activities don’t produce ideas that are evidently perfect and quickly implementable, the executives often throw up their hands and declare idea generation a failure.

What they fail to realize is that hidden in the pile of “imperfect” ideas are nuggets of great value, if they’ll allow a little experimentation, combining and construction to begin.

Ideas are rarely perfect or implementable after the first iteration, but after review, combining, editing, and constructing from new components and concepts and known solution, far better ideas can be created.

Idea generation doesn’t produce perfect ideas. If it did everyone would drop everything they are doing to spend all their time in brainstorming sessions.

Idea generation produces the raw material for excellent solutions, but you need both an architect and a builder to work together to produce the final result.

Great ideas are constructed with the help of several people who bring different perspectives and capabilities to bear, and do that work over time.

There is no immaculate generation, only a messy iterative process that with the right ingredients and perspectives can create something fresh, unusual and valuable.

It’s a matter of verb use

The real problem we face is a choice of words. When people talk about “finding” ideas or “generating” ideas they assume that good ideas will be produced once, originally, from the whole cloth with little additional work.

What they don’t understand is that the best ideas are products of experimenting, constructing and combining, which results in a creative idea that is also a useful and proven concept.

To quote Edison here, “opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”.

Idea generation is both an event and a process. The event is defined by gathering a team in a room for a few hours to generate raw material that is then combined, tested, evaluated and constructed into a final concept.

In my experience very few ideas sprung complete and unchanged from the idea generation event, yet for some reason many firms expect a “once and done” solution with little follow-on development.

We need to shift our language to talk about concept construction rather than idea generation.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Resilience: The Ability to Come Back

n_112by minesblog: http://minesblog.wordpress.com/tag/resilience/

Resilience: What is it? Who has it? How does one get it? How does it relate to mental health and wellness?
 
I polled a few of my co-workers to get their perspective on definitions of resilience.

One person stated that resilience is “the ability to absorb and cope with emotionally trying issues that come up and ‘bounce back’”.

Another co-worker stated it is “the structural integrity to be able to withstand stress with minimal negative impact on the self”.

Yet another co-worker added, “it’s like a rubber band - you can twist it, tie it, stretch it, throw it, roll it, snap it. When you stop messing with (stressing) it, it goes back to its original shape. The hope is that you can learn a variety of strategies to manage life so you can stay flexible.”

The above definitions of my co-workers are all similar but it is important to note the differences in meaning and perception.

Everyone above works at a behavioral psychology firm and all have various understandings of behavioral and wellness issues.

One person who provided a definition works in a Marketing department, one works in a front call center and screens all incoming calls and forwards them appropriately, and one works as a case manager, daily screening individuals/ couples/ families for mental health or substance abuse issues.

While all have some knowledge on wellness and resilience, it is interesting to read the differing definitions depending on personal/ professional experiences and their role in the company and with clients.

While most people do have some idea of what resilience means, that brings me to the next question: who has resilience? The simple and short answer is everyone; and everyone has different experiences and levels of resilience.

However, there are some common characteristics that have been observed in people who seem to bounce back from trauma or even thrive after it while others crumble and really struggle. People can vary in the following qualities and this variation influences whether they have higher or lower levels of resilience.
  1. Flexibility - people who are observed as possessing higher levels of resilience are those who are flexible and adapt to new circumstances and thrive with change.
  2. Confidence - going through trauma expecting to bounce back and having the confidence that getting better will happen.
  3. Awareness and Acceptance - an understanding that life is full of challenges and awareness of situations and reactions to them.
  4. Internal Locus of Control - believing everyone has control of their own lives, and while some experiences are out of anyone’s control, knowing the power of choice in how to react to a certain situation lies within each individual.
On the other hand, people who tend to have lower levels of resilience tend to be less aware of their circumstances and their emotions and blame others for their challenges.

They tend to have weak problem-solving skills and are unable to react beyond emotion to come up with logical, realistic solutions to experiences. These people are also less likely to ask for help when challenges arise and instead choose a “victim stance”.

When thinking about who has resilience, one might ask if people can obtain or even learn it. Given the answer to the previous question, it can be said that practicing these characteristics and developing the skills mentioned above can improve a person’s ability to deal with life challenges.

When going through a crisis, people should ask themselves if they are utilizing these characteristics, or are they blaming others or not asking for help? Are they in control and aware of their situation or are they playing victim to life?

One thought that comes up is whether or not people are born with certain levels of resilience. How can two people born to the same parents and raised in the same circumstance grow up with one struggling in life and the other seeming to be completely successful?

Researching this question will bring mixed results. There are some that say people are born with higher levels, and others that state resilience can be learned, practiced, and improved.

I think it is important to note that practicing the skills that lead toward higher levels of resilience are useful skills of life in general, and should be what people strive for whether it is for higher resilience or not.

The final question is how levels of resilience relate to mental health and wellness issues. Everyone at some point in life will struggle: with choices, grief, life transitions, emotions, and the list can go on and on. People struggle in life, relationships and in connections with themselves.

Let’s examine levels of resilience with the specific issue of grief.

Whether it is due to the loss of a loved one, pet, job, or relationship, humans experience grief at some point in life. And while grief is a universal process, it is very individualistic. No two people experience grief in exactly the same way.

Most have heard of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. No one goes through them in a linear process; instead, it’s often related to a roller coaster. Emotions go up and down and back and forth and the only real way to heal is to go through them all and accept the emotions as they come.

Resilience is an important part of the grief process as well. In applying the skills listed above for resilience, we can see that it helps people accept that grief happens in life and helps them make the choice to ask for help, either from family and friends, or from a professional.

Having resilience means grievers have control over how they react to grief and they know they will be okay; that right now is hard but it will get better with time.

Resilience can be applied to mental health and wellness issues in how people are able to go through some sort of challenge or struggle and know they will be okay as long as they can accept that struggle is part of life and learn to accept their emotions as they come without judgment.

Resilience means knowing that life changes and is hard at times, and being able to make healthy choices in the effort to “bounce back” and still be okay. Everyone has this ability and it can be learned and practiced and improved.

It is a very important part of mental health and wellness, and making the choice to improve resilience skills can improve one’s quality of life.

The Case Management Team

Thursday, May 22, 2014

One of the Best Things About Generosity

by Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist:
http://www.becomingminimalist.com/generous/

giving

The more you give, the more you receive. When we give stuff away, we make the world a better place.

Generous people feel better about themselves. They report a greater sense of life satisfaction and happiness.

They build stronger relationships with others. Studies have even linked generosity to improved physical health.

Giving also benefits the receiver. We improve their lives. We fight to overturn injustice. We offer an example to the world of a better way to live. And spur others to do the same.

But maybe the greatest benefit of generosity is the realization that we already have enough.

Our society is held hostage by the pursuit of more. No matter how much we have, we always seem to need more - more stuff and more money.

We choose our careers for the sake of securing more. We spend the best hours of our day trying to obtain more. We get jealous when “less-deserving” people seem to have more. And we constantly worry about having enough.

But this constant desire for more is having damaging effects on our society. 71% of us report feeling stress about money. There are some who experience this anxiety because of legitimate financial need, but for most of us, this stress is misplaced.

In a world where 6 billion people live on less than $13,000/year, most of our financial-related stress occurs because of artificially-manufactured need.

Generosity changes these thoughts and helps to remove this pursuit. It reveals to us how blessed we already are. It reminds us we already own more than we need. It shows us how much we have to give and how much good we can accomplish.

It helps us see the needs of those we live alongside. And it offers a better alternative for our money than spending it on ourselves.

Generosity counters materialism and consumerism in our lives. It reminds us that we already have enough. It wars against greed and selfish pursuits. It aligns our life with higher purposes. And offers a better way to live.

Give more things away. Your life will feel lighter. Your heart will feel warmer. And the world will be better (tweet that).

Make a financial donation to a charity you support. Donate clothing you don’t wear, sporting equipment you don’t use, books you have read, or furniture taking up space.

Be generous with your time by volunteering at your local school, homeless shelter, or nonprofit of your choice.

Just give something away this week. And be reminded that you already have more than you need. 

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less. Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Resilience and Challenges are Best Friends

by , Snap:Connect:Inspire: http://snapconnectinspire.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/resilience-and-challenges-are-best-friends/

womenonthefence.com
Are you wondering how to become more resilient?

Resilience is a hot issue at the moment. Schools, workplaces, the army are all interested in increasing resilience of their students, people and recruits. But why?

Resilience, loosely defined, is someone’s ability to bounce back (rather than crumple or shatter) in the face of challenges or some sort of trauma.

Clearly bouncing back is an important life skill - at school, work, the army - and every life situation we find ourselves in.

There’s a big industry working to help people become more resilient. From workshops, to seminars, to coaching, to books, to apps - there’s a solution for anyone looking to increase their own or other people’s resilience.

It’s good to see preventive mental health being taken seriously by so many. It’s good to see investments being made in the psychological and emotional well-being - in giving people strategies to help manage challenges without being destroyed by them.

The thing is though, resilience can’t be taught theoretically and out of context - it’s more a life-subject where you need to learn on the job.

There are lot’s of strategies people can use to increase their resilience - everything from laughter yoga and mindfulness meditation to assertiveness training and relationship skills.

It’s wonderful and healthy to have the skills these things teach you. Yet it’s not until you are in a challenge that you learn anything about resilience, that you learn when and how to use these strategies or understand their power to help.

It’s like most things in life - you can’t learn or grow or develop expertise unless you sweat and persevere and make every mistake in the book and then some.

Only then do you understand your range of response to challenge. Only then do you understand the depth and range of resources for coping. Only then do you know (and own) just how crucial laughter yoga or mindfulness is to your wellbeing.

Because without the challenges that bowl you over and make you sweat, you might seem to sail through life - but you don’t even know if you have developed the right muscles to respond in the face of a challenge that knocks you off your feet. You might not have the right antibodies to deal with stress.

None of us lives a life without challenges. It just seems to be the way to the world that we don’t have growth without pain.

We all get bowled over from time to time - at school, work or in life. And each time we get back up we have added another resilience muscle to use for next challenge that will inevitably come.

So that’s why resilience is best friends with challenge. Resilience knows the challenges will be there - and uses them to help you grow as a student, a colleague, a person. Becoming more resilient puts polish on your personality with each challenge you master.

If we are honest, there are so many wonderful aspects of our lives could not have come about were it not for the pain and challenges. Indeed, I am finally finding thankfulness for some of the most painful times in my life because the blessings that have come as a result could not have come any other way.

It takes my breath away to see the wonderful things that have grown out of pain. And gratitude, of course, is another string to the resilience bow.

Fair enough that being resilient makes the most of difficult situations, but how can it be that challenges appreciates what resilience brings? Doesn’t challenge and pain (often at the hands of wickedness) wish only to trip us up?

Well the only way I can make sense of this is to understand the world as more purposeful and holistic than we see on the surface.

What if we see the world as a place where challenges secretly want us to pass each test thrown our way. What if challenge is the stick to resilience’s carrot - all part of a greater plan to get the most out of us? What if challenge cheers every time we pass a test? Then things start to look a little different.

It doesn’t stop us suffering, crying out in pain or asking why? There is spice and savoury in the world just as there is sweet. But perhaps it leaves us open to finding a small spark of resilience deep inside and fanning it into a fire of  absolute strength.

I doubt that I’ll find evidence that things work the way I have proposed. We can’t find challenge and resilience and ask them and do a study on their responses. But this is a way of seeing the world I’ve found that seems to bring some level of peace - and that itself is strengthening.

So how do you see things? I’d love to hear from you.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Develop Your Strengths: a 4 Step Plan

catseyecoaching.com
by Jan M. Mueller

Each of us is special. You have your unique strengths and talents - and I have mine. Of course, some are more apparent than others, but we've all got them.

So let me ask you something ... do you know what yours are and are you actively working to hone and develop them?

I'm sure you've been told at one time or another that you're good at something. Maybe you've noticed it for yourself.

Even so, many of us let our natural gifts and talents simmer beneath the surface, waiting until we're able to muster the confidence and courage to actually use them to our best advantage.

Let me share a simple 4 step plan to help you develop your strengths and put you on the path to being all you can be ...

Step 1: Give It a Try!

Often we feel like we might be strong in an area but never really give ourselves the chance to find out for sure. But you'll never know unless you try, right?

So, now's the time to look at things you think might be interesting and try them out. Do a search online. Look for a local opportunity to try something new. Discover what resources are available to you.

Most importantly, commit to stepping outside your comfort zone and experimenting to see what you enjoy and what you are really good at! Remember you won't know until you try.

Step 2: Be Patient

If you're like me, when you finally decide to do something, the next challenge you face is wanting it to happen overnight! But, of course, you can't snap your fingers and expect your strengths to be instantaneously developed to their fullest potential.

That would be nice but it wouldn't be realistic.

Fully developing your strengths and talents takes time and patience. In truth, it is the journey along the way that can be the most enlightening. Though it can take time, there is no question you will learn a lot about yourself with each step you take.

Don't worry about making mistakes. If you stumble and fall, get back up and keep on going. Celebrate your victories along the way - no matter how small. And - above all - enjoy the journey you're on!

Step 3: Have a Plan

The most direct path to any destination starts with having a goal in the first place. So, write down what it is you want to accomplish and decide on a date you'd like to accomplish it by.

You may find yourself tweaking and adjusting your plan as you go, and that's okay. Nothing is set in stone and you'll be learning more about your talents and strengths as you go. Use that new knowledge to help propel you forward.

Be realistic about your expectations and go over your goals often to help keep you on track. You may even want to try hanging them up where you can see (and read!) them, each and every day. Stick a copy on the bathroom mirror. Tape one to the kitchen cupboard. And don't forget to have a copy on your desk!

The more often you review your goals, the easier it will be for you to stay focused. And the more focused you are, the more motivated you will be to do what it takes to get you where you're going.

Step 4: Believe in Yourself

Confidence can be one of your greatest allies when it comes to discovering and developing your gifts and talents. Setting out on a course of personal growth and discovery is never easy.

But truly believing in yourself and your ability to do what you put your mind to is crucial if you want to succeed.

As Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Believe you can and you're halfway there."

Truth is the greatest challenge we face is often inside our heads. It is so easy to let negative thoughts shake us up and drag us down. The trick is pushing past the bad days and getting back on track. That is the only way to keep the momentum going.

One Last Thought ...

Discovering what you're really good at might seem like an enormous task - it might seem like something you'll never be able to figure out. But I know you can. Yes, it's going to take some work and commitment. But then, everything worth doing does.

Focus on the big picture. The pride and confidence that comes with knowing just what your strengths and talents are. How using your strengths to your best advantage can open the door to so many unexpected opportunities!

You deserve the best in this world. Taking steps to develop your strengths and talents will get you there.

Jan Marie Mueller is the founder and CEO of ThinkBrilliantly.com. As a firm believer in personal growth and development for a better, more productive life, she's passionate about helping people recognize the power they have to define and direct their lives through the choices they make.

Jan is also a successful business owner, author, community volunteer and co-founder of the German non-profit Helping Hands for Children in Tanzania.

For more information on tips, strategies and resources on living your best life, visit http://www.ThinkBrilliantly.com.

While you're there be sure to download the FREE Developing Self-Awareness Guide & Workbook she's put together for you: http://www.ThinkBrilliantly.com/Free-Guide. Discover just what you need to do to start knock down the barriers and start living the life you've always dreamed of.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jan_M._Mueller
http://EzineArticles.com/?Develop-Your-Strengths:-A-4-Step-Plan&id=8510078

Friday, May 16, 2014

How to Build Emotional Resilience

ondemandleadership.com
by Online Counselling College: onlinecounsellingcollege: http://neurolove.me/post/85789997311/how-to-build-emotional-resilience

1. Talk to someone: Sharing how we feel helps to reduce the inner tension (but make sure it is someone who cares about your feelings). 

2. Work on improving your self-esteem: Self-esteem is the way you see and feel about yourself … and there are lots of lots of things that undermine our self esteem. For example, experiencing a break up, putting on unwanted weight, doing badly on a test or being excluded by our friends. It’s important that we keep on working on our self-esteem by treating ourselves well and noticing when we succeed (instead of noticing the negatives). 

3. Manage your stress levels: If we’re always feelings stressed then it’s hard to cope with life. We tend to over react and have a negative mind set … which drains us of our energy and saps our will to fight.  So take a look at your lifestyle and see what you can drop. You may be doing too much, and don’t have time to relax. 

4. Make the time and effort to enjoy yourself: Doing things that we enjoy helps to improve the way we feel. So build in little things like having coffee with a friend, or going to a game, or taking time to watch some sports. 

5. Choose a healthy lifestyle: Pay attention to your diet and how much you exercise; try to limit alcohol, and don’t deprive yourself of sleep. 

6. Develop good relationships: Do your friends make you happy? Do you enjoy their company? Are they kind of people with your best interests at heart? Do they treat you with respect and help to boost your self-esteem? If not, then work on finding new relationships!