Friday, May 30, 2014

Confidence And The Job Seeker


Believing in yourself is an endless destination.  Believing you have failed is the end of the journey.

~~Sarah Meredith

As a career counselor and coach, and the instructor of a college-level career planning class, I’ve worked with a myriad of people over the years.  Each brings some bit of uniqueness to our sessions.  But one thing I see quite often is a lack of confidence, a pre-conceived notion that the job search will be lengthy and they will be the most insignificant and unqualified person looking.

One thing I know for sure is that a lack of confidence is not an asset.  Imagine this conversation between an employer and a prospective employee.  “Hello, I’m Jane Doe and I’m here about the opening.”  “Hello Jane.  Tell me a little about yourself.”  “Well, I really need a job, but I’m certain that I’m not the best candidate.  You see, I have few skills, no confidence in myself, and I’m not sure I can handle the job.  In fact, I’m so sorry to have wasted your time.”

Sound far-fetched?  I assure you this is the thought running through the minds of many of my clients and students.  While we all inhabit the same planet, we all live in a different world… one based on how we see things.  Those who believe nothing good ever happens to them likely live in a world of lack, while those who believe in their own abilities and feel empowered probably live in a world of abundance.

If there is one thing I try to impress on others it’s that we are what we think.  Think positive nurturing thoughts, and you project an image of confidence.  Think negative demeaning thoughts, and your image is just the opposite.  This doesn’t mean that we must be like “Susie Sunshine” without a care in the world, oblivious to reality.  People can hold a positive world-view and still realize that everything is not rosy.  But consistently filling your head with as many negative images as you can find coupled with a steady diet of believing the worst of yourself and others generates a lethal toxic cocktail in your brain that floods your body with poison.  Does anyone seriously believe that’s helpful?

Positive or negative...which do you choose?  I hope you choose wisely.

It IS All In Your Head!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Not For The Faint of Heart

The local news aired a piece for an upcoming documentary about women and aging.  As a woman who is aging, here are my thoughts:

Monday, May 26, 2014

High Flight

                                                      Arlington National Cemetery

This post was first published on May 26, 2013.

Memorial Day was an emotional holiday for Mr. Stewart, my high school
Social Studies teacher.  Mid-way through the class before Memorial Day,

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dusty Halls, Dark Corridors

Dark Hallways of the mind can be very scary places.

Dusty halls and dark corridors are not the places we normally like to visit.  Yet how many of us spend time roaming through the dusty halls and dark corridors of memory?  We go back to visit places we've been and

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Slow Down Therapy

Wisely and slowly.  They stumble that run fast.
~William Shakespeare

As I walked my dogs the other day, I came upon a candy someone had dropped on the sidewalk. And covering the piece of candy were hundreds and hundreds of ants scurrying around in a frenzy, as if being on

Monday, May 19, 2014

Emotion vs. Logic

In any battle between emotions and logic, emotions will always win.

My friend was telling me of her brother's concern for his 20-something daughter. The young woman has poor time management skills which make her late for virtually every family function. If it is a "pot luck" dinner, she waits until the day of the function to decide what to bring, shop for the ingredients and begin making whatever it is she's bringing. If she's meeting a family member for lunch, she shows up late. This behavior is irritating her parents to no end, and they don't know how to cope with it.

The first thing I asked my friend was how her niece felt about her own behavior...did she seem concerned or feel badly about it. The response was absolutely not.  In fact, her niece seemed oblivious to the fact that she was causing problems for anyone. Her own behavior apparently was acceptable to her.  "So your niece sees nothing wrong with her behavior?" "No. It doesn't seem to be causing a problem for her at all." said my friend. "So my brother wants to know how we can get her to change."  My response was that you can't.  Not only can you or I or anyone get another person to change unless they want to, in this case, the young woman was not emotionally invested in changing.

Have you ever wondered why people continue to smoke knowing it's bad for their health and there are countless ways to quit?  What about people who max out their charge cards and continue to spend.  In fact, how can we make sense of anyone who continues a habit that is causing them problems?  They know the behavior is bad, yet they just won't stop.

The explanation is really quite simple.  They are emotionally attached to the behavior.  It serves them in some way.  Logically they know they should stop whatever the behavior is, but logic doesn't have much of a chance when pitted against emotion.  So the next time you know you should change something in your life and you just can't quite seem to do it, remember emotion vs. logic.  If you can get yourself emotionally invested in the change, not just knowing that you should but really feeling that you should, you will have a better chance at success.

It IS All In Your Head!


Friday, May 16, 2014

The Others

"We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do."
                                 ~~Mahatma Gandhi

One of the most important things I impart to my students is that we cannot control others...we can only control ourselves.  We wants others to be different...think differently, act differently, dress differently.  And we become frustrated when they don't or won't change.

One thing we rarely think about is that each of us is an "other" to someone else.  We have this idea that what we're doing is what should be done.  It makes perfect sense to us, so how could others not want to see things our way.

Each of us will change in our own good time.  One thing that may amaze us is that when we change, the change we desired in others has happened too.

It IS All In Your Head!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Be Kind To Your Friend

Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.
~~Ernest Holmes

Have you given much thought to how you talk to your friends?  Are you rude, judgmental, short-tempered, sarcastic or hateful in any way when you speak to them?  Or are you polite, kind, giving compliments or noticing of things that might be important to them?

Now a really important question for do you talk to your best friend...that person who looks back at you from the mirror?  What's that you aren't your best friend?  How does it work when you can be friends with others but not with yourself?  Personally, I don't think it can. I believe that before you can befriend another person, you must first befriend yourself.

Starting right now, listen to what you say about yourself in your thoughts and out loud.  What do you say about yourself when you speak to others?  Are your words kind and caring or self-deprecating?  Would you say to your friends the same words you say to yourself?  If the answer is a resounding NO, then practice loving kindness to your best friend.  Practice loving kindness to you.

It IS All In Your Head!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Teflon or Velcro

You are what you think about and you get what you expect.  

Think and expect the best.

Remember when Bill Clinton was referred to as "Teflon Bill"?  It seemed as if all the bad stuff just slid right off of him.  Whether they were fans or not, many people envied that he had that quality and probably wished they had it too.

But what about you?  Which are you...Teflon or Velcro?  I think too many of us would consider ourselves Teflon for good things and, unfortunately for us, Velcro for bad things.  We believe that any good fortune that comes our way never sticks to us.  But let something bad show up and it sticks to us we were covered in Velcro.

If you are someone who believes that good things don't show up in your life, why not try envisioning yourself covered in Velcro.  Then when something good is on the horizon, imagine it sticking to you.  The same goes for bad luck.  Imagine it sliding off of you just like the eggs slide out of a Teflon frying pan on TV commercials.

It certainly couldn't hurt.



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Giving Up Control

You must learn to let go.  Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.

~Steve Maraboli, "Life, The Truth, and Being Free"

I am a control freak.  There...I've admitted it publicly.  It's hard for me to let someone else do things.  Years ago, my husband gave me a coffee cup emblazoned with the words "If I want something done

Monday, May 5, 2014

Dear Microsoft

Dear Microsoft,

What do you have against me?  I've never been anything but a good user of your products. I've had my hotmail account for over 10 years.  It has never been hacked, I change my password regularly, and I have never strayed outside of the rules of the account. In fact, I think I've been the perfect user.   So imagine my dismay in April when I tried to log in to get my emails and up popped a screen that read "We may be overprotective but..."

Not knowing why you felt the need to be "overprotective" of  my account, I jumped through the hoops you requested, and my email was put on hold for 30 days.  I could still access my messages, so that was good enough for me.  Then last week a message was delivered to the email address you demanded I add to my settings to receive your security information.  My hotmail account was finally free.  YAY!

I tried to log into my newly liberated hotmail account this morning for the first time.  Surprisingly, the screen popped up with a message "We may be overprotective but..." and requested me to enter a 25 digit security code.  Seriously...25 digits! 

Since I have no clue what this is, my account is back on hold for 30 more days.  I looked for a "Contact Us" link where I could discuss this with an actual human being.  Finding none, I sit here...again...fuming...and wondering if I will ever be able to access my hotmail account again.  I wonder if Bill Gates has these issues? 

Dear Microsoft...I just thought you should know.


Friday, May 2, 2014

The Cage

Whether you're beaten or pampered, fed the best food or starved, 

kept in filth or kept clean, a cage is still a cage.

~~Anne Bishop

The tiger was kept in a 12x12 cage where she paced back and forth, back and forth constantly. The zoo visitor felt badly for this confined animal and was determined to improve her habitat.  He worked with the zookeeper, an architect and a natural planner, and together they constructed a beautiful area for the tiger.  There were trees, hills and even a small pond for her to drink from. With great expectations, they introduced