WORDS OF WISDOM
WORDS OF WISDOM
An observation I’ve made over the years is that people will treat you how you allow them to treat you.
Setting boundaries and saying “no” when you need to, is an important part of our lives. If you feel as though other people take advantage of you, speak to you in a way that lacks respect or are always asking you to do that much more than they do of others, perhaps it’s time for a change.
Being flexible is rather noble but it can also mean that you’re the one who ends up doing more and doing things that go against your core values. It might sound like a contradictory but boundaries enable you to feel more confident, self-assured, stronger and resilient but also much more able to demonstrate flexibility, when the need arises.
Your version of self-respect, the way you treat yourself and others including your communication style will also be a marker for how others view and treat you.
When you set clear and consistent boundaries you are demonstrating to the world around you where they stand with you, so they’re presented with a chance to better understand how to interact with you and what to expect from you.
Setting boundaries for yourself also means you are more likely to look after yourself better, feel more certain of who you are, more settled in yourself and less likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed. These factors also mean you are less likely to be taken for granted or taken advantage of.
When I was at school I remember being taught the Pareto Principle. It didn’t really mean that much to me at the time but since then things have changed and now it does. I’ve modified it to a version that supports me in making helpful choices, allowing me to have and continue moving towards the things I know for certain I want more of in my life.
I’d like to share some of these with you, in the hope that you might also use it as a way to gauge and implement more of the things you want in your life.
What is the Pareto Principle?
The Pareto Principle also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 20% of inputs are responsible for 80% of outcomes or results. It has been widely used in business to increase efficiency and effectiveness and can also be observed in marketing campaigns.
The principle dates back to 1906, where an Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.
So how do I use it, so it might be helpful to you?
What does your language say about you?
I can’t help it I listen and I listen well, It’s been this way for as long as I can remember. I can tell a lot about an individual by what they say about themselves and even more by what they say about others when they’re out of earshot.
Our language demonstrates our beliefs, thoughts and emotions. Listen closely you will hear a pattern relating to all sorts, self-confidence, certainty, frustration, anger, pain, tolerances, contentment, fulfilment and ego, to name a few. Our language can sometimes be used as a window to look into what’s going on for us at a particular time.
I prefer not to judge although this isn’t the case all of the time, the truth is a lifetime of judging can be hard to move way from. This non-judgemental side of me is part of who I am, who I’ve become and it’s also why I’ve been privy to people around the globe sharing their deeply personal stories with me, within a short space of time after meeting me. My non-judgement allows them to trust me and feel safe when they’re speaking with me.
My training and the path I’ve chosen to take also allows me to listen and converse freely without judgement. On a day when I’m out and about and not paying close enough attention the judgement fairy may seek to creep in, but I’m observant of this.
I hear people saying things and they don’t seem to realise what they’re telling themselves. They want to be more confident and feel better about themselves but they say, I’m not confident, I’m not very good at, I could never do X and don’t give it a second thought because these thoughts and what they say to themselves have been there for so long, they don’t yet know different.
An estimated 1 in 6 people experience a common mental health challenge such as depression or anxiety in a given week. There are probably more who choose not to speak to a medical professional so these go unreported.
The subject of mental health has also been given a lot of media coverage recently but we still need to do as much as possible to raise awareness, help each other and learn how we can better manage our own mental health and wellbeing.
Many of us have or will struggle with a mental health related challenge at some point in our lives, if you never do that’s great….Eureka you’ve conquered life.
What can you do to build greater resilience?
It is something to be aware of and one of the first things we can do is build up our resilience around some of our basic challenges so that we feel stronger and have resources to call on should we need them.
We’re not always in control of things that happen but what we can do is change our thoughts and the way we react to them.
For physical health generally it’s quite obvious when we’re unwell or feeling suboptimal the signs can be visible, noticeable or obvious. You can’t see your mind so it can take a little more focus to pinpoint what’s going on. A common reaction is to say things like "I think it’s all in my mind', 'I’m being silly', 'nobody else seems to be struggling' or just suffering in silence until things becomes more serious.
These are the types of things we’ve become programmed to do, think and say to ourselves. If we aren’t able to acknowledge the important topic of our own mental health, how can we become more comfortable taking action for our own wellbeing or even speaking about it to others?
Aiming for incremental improvements rather than a notion of perfection can lighten the psychological and emotional pressures we put on ourselves.
Obviously if waking up every day aiming for perfection is your idea of heaven, you can certainly skip this article, if however on reflection it’s actually creating stress in your life, perhaps it might be time for a review of your idea of perfection.
What is your definition of perfect? Do you aim for a perfect life? Perfection in all that you do? Job? Relationship? Car? Finances? Friendships?
How are you measuring your ideals?
Is it by what other people have, their material possessions? What they are doing, travelling, eating, drinking? Is it their Social Media posts?
Perhaps it’s defined by an ideal created by you, your parents, grandparents or maybe a friend or spouse?
How about these? Do you want more money? A different job? A better Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Husband, Wife? A car that makes people turn their heads when you drive past, are any of these your concept of perfection?
When will what you already have, be enough?
Equality & Diversity is not only about gender, in this instance my viewpoint is from having conversations with women who are feeling extremely challenged working in predominantly male environments.
Here is an example: a conversation was started where a male colleague said “women who have children should not be given any special treatment at work, if they need to go home due to their child being unwell then perhaps they shouldn’t be working and should stay at home”. I appreciate this is one quoted comment but in the same environment it was noted as not unusual for inappropriate comments to be made by male colleagues.
It’s pretty sad to hear things such as this are still being thought, never mind said out loud.
How’s that overthinking working out for you?
As humans we think all the time. A little peak at Google tells me the experts estimate that the mind has somewhere between 50,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day, somewhere between 2,100 and 3,300 per hour….wowzers.
What happens to those thoughts? Do they help or hinder you. With all those thoughts going on it would be a shame if we don’t put some of them to good use and get them to work for us.
There are some people who enjoy their thought processes and choose to do nothing when they’ve finished with a particular thought pattern and are comfortable to just sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labour or take some form of action. Some however go through a series of thought patterns perhaps being less comfortable with the process, who then make decisions that either helps or hinders.
Thinking is obviously such a natural subconscious process we rarely take the time to explore how it’s working out for us.
Guilt can be an expensive emotion, often experienced with neither reward nor added value. I’m not talking about the guilt where you have committed a crime in the eyes of the law therefore punitive action is required or the feeling of guilt when you have wilfully and knowingly committed an ethical or moral wrongdoing, let's park those for now and move on.
To the type of guilt defined as; the feeling of responsibility, culpability or remorse that you hold for having committed a perceived wrong; or where you feel you have failed in an obligation, the type of guilt where you self-punish, whatever your preferred choice of self-punishment is.
I’ve been responsible (use of the word guilty has been carefully swerved here) of this in the past, I also often hear others talking about how guilty they feel; about something they’ve done, something they feel they should have done or worse, they feel guilty when someone else has deliberately gone out of the way to manipulate them into feeling guilty.
I want to challenge your thinking, your feeling of guilt is a choice, things could be different!!
Do you want it to be?
I'm older and wiser than I look. After many years working in the corporate world I decided to branch out on my own.......