The Truth about Perfectionism

Perfectionism2

 

I know. Simply the title of this entry has some of you already defensive. I am defensive about it and I am the one writing it. The idea that striving for perfection may be unhealthy or counterproductive is hard for many of us to accept. I mean clearly we were taught to be the best, to strive for the top, to excel in all things…so of course we should strive for perfection right? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
Too soften the blow I have added the word ‘extreme’ when I describe perfectionism because again I know this idea is hard to accept. But let me help you as I help myself. There is a stark difference between striving to be the best you can be and striving to be perfect. Being the best you can be means that you consistently put your all into your efforts. Striving to be perfect means you don’t allow room for mistakes and ultimately growth.
I use to see extreme perfectionism as a badge of honor. I now understand it is often an indication of hidden fear. I will explain what I mean, but first, do you mind if I put on my clinician hat for a moment?

In my field the idea of ‘perfectionism’ can lead to serious challenges in our ability to live our lives freely. Perfectionism demands that an individual be without any error, it places unrealistic expectations on one’s performance and it leads to emotionally damaging self-criticism. It also puts too much weight on the perceptions of others. Lastly, and this is the one that really concerns me…it leads to the person striving for perfectionism to be judgmental of others who don’t always get it right.

I know! I know! You are saying “Come on Robin…it’s not that serious”. But if a need for perfectionism is high on your radar I don’t want you to so quickly dismiss this information.

If anyone has followed my work longer than a month you know that I love Oprah. Within the last year I was introduced through Oprah (like we are friends…let me keep my fantasy world in tact please…) to my new obsession and her name is Brene Brown (this woman is amazing). Brene Brown recently said this when it comes to the idea of perfectionism:

“Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.”

I could do a church shout on that! Please re-read it! Perfectionism gives us the false belief that we can “….avoid or minimize feelings of shame, judgment and blame”.

Remember I said that I now understand that striving for extreme perfectionism is an indicator of unspoken fear. We are afraid to be judged, afraid that we will not ‘measure up’, afraid that someone will see our flaws and imperfections, afraid that if we are not flawless we will not be deemed credible.
Of course when we are being logical we know that most of that doesn’t make sense and even if it is true it shouldn’t be…but again that is when we are being logical and most times ‘perfectionism’ is driven by our emotions and not our logic.

So what is the real truth about perfectionism? Instead of it pushing us forward, it actually holds us back. Below are 3 facts I have learned about perfectionism through my own journey…check them out and let’s free ourselves…

Perfectionism…

1. …Stifles your creativity
Being able to truly create and dream requires mental freedom. Perfectionism literally stifles your ability to be FREE! Who can be free when they can’t make any mistakes? If you want to truly be your best creative self, intentionally schedule time where you can create without an expectation of doing it all right.

2. …Suffocates your confidence
While you might long for perfectionism, it is illusive and you can never fully meet that standard. And so then what happens? Well over time you begin to subconsciously (or maybe even with full consciousness) beat yourself up for not being perfect…for not getting it all right! In order to limit the self-esteem draining impact of perfectionism, remind yourself (audibly if necessary) that you are amazing not because you are perfect, but because you keep going even when you don’t have all the answers or when you make mistakes.

3. …Sabotages your growth
I know you think that demanding perfectionism will increase your professional and or personal growth, but it does the opposite. First of all it creates stress for you and carrying stress long-term has consequences. Secondly, it can hinder how people connect with you. On a personal level, your friends and family can not measure up to your unspoken (or for those of us who are really out there…spoken) demands. You may think you aren’t putting your pressures on other people but it happens often without you even trying too. You raise the bar so high that your friends, family or even your children just can’t meet it. And professionally, your need to be perfect in your delivery causes you to be overly analytical, unable to go with the flow and it may even cause you to miss deadlines because “…I can’t turn this in until is perfect”. In order to stop the sabotage, get feedback from people you trust. Ask them to hold you accountable. Let them know you want to maintain your standard without limiting your ability to connect and produce.

Again, I know that this is a challenge for those of us who have found our identify in doing and being right. And to be fair, striving for excellence should be everyone’s goal. We should not live our lives haphazardly and not give our very best at all times. But there is a difference between excellence and perfectionism. One leads us to be at the top of our game and the other leads us to be controlled by the game. Finding the right balance will allow you to live intentionally…it will allow you to fully engage!
****

I want to hear from you. Do you struggle with perfectionism? How has it hindered you personally or professionally? Have you found ways to overcome the need for perfectionism?

Published in: on April 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm  Comments (2)  

Who is riding with you?

passengers

I am not sure what it is about me and flights but a pattern is starting to develop. More often than not while on a flight a situation occurs that leads to a life lesson for me.  Recently while flying from Dallas back to Atlanta, it happened again.

Let me set the scene for you.  I attended a women’s gathering a few weeks ago with 3 of my girlfriends. It was an amazing time, not just at the conference but connecting with my sister-friends. We literally stayed up till 3am moving back and forth between laughing & crying as we shared and encouraged one another.  But like most women, while I had a great time, I knew I needed to get back home to attend to the needs of my family

***Lesson #1:  It is critical that we don’t play the “martyr” role.  You don’t have to sacrifice time for yourself…or time with friends just because you are a wife & / or mother (or a father/husband for that matter!)  But you do need to make sure you prioritize your time wisely.

One of my friends who attended the gathering also lived in Atlanta so we traveled together for the entire trip.  We were both anxious to get back home so we got to the airport in plenty of time to catch our flight.  Unfortunately, there was no need for us to rush because our plane was delayed.  But because I understand that we sometimes have to trust the delay, I took a deep breath and decided to get some work done while we waited.

***Lesson #2:  Trust the Delay. Click DEVOTIONAL SNEAK PEAK_Week 50 to read an excerpt from “Live Intentionally. Fully Engage” (another “in- flight” life lesson)

After a while we were able to board the plane and my girlfriend and I settled in for what should have been a pretty uneventful flight.  The flight attendants went through the normal spill and the plane began to taxi away from the gate.  About 10 minutes later the pilot announced that we had to return to the gate for an unexpected ‘situation’.

We returned to the gate and sat there for another 10 minutes.  The pilot never explained what the ‘situation’ was, but luckily for me (or maybe it wasn’t luck…maybe God wanted me to hear what I was about to hear for a reason), the person in front of us just couldn’t stand the suspense.  She rang the bell for the stewardess and asked her what was going on.  The stewardess’s response was eye-opening for me.

***Lesson #3: Not really sure this should be included, but I just couldn’t resist.  It’s important to be surrounded by some nosey people who are willing to ask the questions you aren’t. Again…not really a life lesson but I was so glad she was nosey enough to get the information we all wanted to know!

The stewardess shared that there was a passenger on the plane that was being disruptive, would not follow the rules/regulations set by the airline, and was creating unsafe chaos for both the employees and the people sitting around him.  She went on to say that they had to make an executive decision to return to the gate and escort him off of the plane because they could not risk getting off the ground and him creating a distraction that would put everyone else in serious danger.

Do I even have to share with you the 4th lesson? I am sure that you got it…but just in case, let me give it to you!

***Lesson #4:  You are destined to SOAR! God has amazing plans for your life.  But you MUST be careful about who is riding with you! You do not want to “take-off” to higher heights towards your purpose and find that someone connected to you is “creating a distraction” that is putting you and everyone else in danger!

Can I elaborate a little more on this?  What is amazing to me, is because my friend and I were towards the middle of the plane, we had no idea this disruption was taking place!  It was truly reassuring to know that the flight crew was on top of it! They were looking out for us and handled an issue without us even having to deal with it!

*** Lesson #5:  Make sure you have people in your life that have committed to looking out for you!  Surround yourself with people who aren’t afraid to make some executive decisions on your behalf.  Whether it be through prayer (I have a team of people who have committed to standing in the gap for me and my family during this season of our life), or through delegating tasks, you need a team that can have your back!

Again, I am not sure why I keep getting this “in-flight” life lessons, but I’ll keep listening…and sharing!

__________

Let me hear from you! Which of these lessons resonates the most with you?  What is one action step that you can take today from one of these lessons?

*** Ladies, I want to make sure that you are connected to like-minded women as you travel your life journey.  Join me for the 3rd Annual Celebrating Sisterhood Luncheon.  Click HERE to get your ticket!

Published in: on February 25, 2014 at 2:40 am  Leave a Comment  

What is YOUR plan?

plans

Recently I attended a working session that challenged the participants to hash out the first 100 days for their businesses.  The event was awesome and it is something I think all of us should do.  Even if you aren’t focused on entrepreneurship, you should take time to plan out the first 100 days, first 3 months or even the first 6 months of this year when it comes to every area of your life.

Planning out your year is critical to you making this year count.  You’ve heard it before and I know it may sound corny…but if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

If you’ve been connected to me for anytime you have heard me talk about the importance of living your life intentionally.  When you live intentionally that means you are not living by happenstance.  You are not waiting on life to happen to you, but you are making your life happen.

My husband often says that those who are reactive will always serve those who are proactive.  That’s a pretty profound statement (and not just because my honey said it!).  It is a powerful truth because those who are proactive in life are at the table where decisions are made.  Those who live reactive lives are left to go along with the decisions that have been made for them.

It’s time for you to be PROACTIVE! It’s imperative that you P.L.A.N so that others aren’t planning for you.

Let’s talk in more detail about why having a plan is so important.

When you have prayerfully strategize your plan for the year, you will then be able to:

Prioritize:  When a horse is in a race, the jockey’s often put blinders on the horse so that the horse isn’t distracted by what is going on around it. Your plan should serve as a “blinder” for you.  The blinder (your plan) allows you to be very clear about your priorities.  One of the powerful things about identifying your priorities is not only does it help you know what you want or need to do; it also helps you to know what you should not be doing. And many times knowing when to say NO is just as important as when to say YES!

Leverage: Being clear about your plan puts you in a powerful seat.  In order to fully walk out your purpose you cannot do it alone. You need ongoing support but you should have something to bring to the table as well. Being clear on what God has called you too and making the appropriate plans will allow you to know what you can leverage as you seek to build relationships.

Anticipate: Your plan should be clear enough that you can be prepared for what is to come in that specific area.  For instance, if your plan is focused on improving your finances, then you should already know what to expect. Ladies, you know that a special shoe sale is going to come up that will cause you to get off focus, what will you do to handle that?  Fella’s, you know you are going to want to hang with the guys so what is your recreational budget?  Your plan will allow you to anticipate what is to come so that you can be as prepared as possible.

Normalize: When working with clients I use a 3 part process to help them move forward from where they are to where they want to be. One of those steps includes ‘normalizing’ how they feel about the changes or challenges they are facing.  Your plan will allow you to do the same thing for yourself! As you move forward towards your goals there will be moments of doubt…there will be times that you want to walk away…there will be opportunities to give up.  However…if your plan is clearly defined (meaning you have also included the reason WHY you are doing what you are doing), when the challenging moments happen, you will be able to normalize your feelings, process them and keep moving forward.

I really want you to take a moment and review the importance of a P.L.A.N., and then give yourself about 30 minutes this week to either start writing out your plan, or to review the plan you already have for this year.

******************

I want to hear from you! Choose one of the pointers above (Prioritize, leverage, anticipate or normalize) and tell me your take away!  Let’s stay on this journey together!

Also, ladies, take a moment to check out the video below:

Published in: on February 5, 2014 at 2:50 am  Leave a Comment  

3 things you can do THIS week to make it count

3 things you can do this week

Are you ready to make this week count? Here are THREE SIMPLE STEPS you can take to move from being passive to productive!

1.  Be still &  be quiet

Instead of waking up, rushing into your day, coming home, rushing to get your “stuff” done as you prepare for the next day, how about taking a minute to slow down and be quiet? Whether you do it first thing in the morning or before you retire for the night, take a moment to be still. Turn off the phone, the TV and anything that would distract you, and quiet your mind and your soul.

Initially this activity may be difficult for some people.  The idea of being still seems unproductive and maybe fruitless. But stillness is quite the opposite. Stillness is the key that helps us to realign our mind, body and spirit so that we can function effectively.

Seek refuge through prayer or meditation and watch how this one commitment will make you more productive and purposeful.

2. Reach out

This action is two-fold. We’ve all heard the adage “we have not because we ask not”.  This week think about any support you need to move forward in your life (personally or professionally) and then humbly ask someone to assist you.

Most of us have people in our lives who want to support us, they just don’t know what we need. This week, make your request known.  Remember, when asking someone to support you, make it as easy as possible for them. Are you seeking professional mentorship from someone? Consider volunteering for their organization so that you can watch and learn.  Do you need a recommendation? Write the recommendation yourself and ask the person to approve it.  Make your “ask” as easy as possible so that the person isn’t taxed by your request.

But don’t stop there.  Think about someone in your life that you know needs support and reach out to them. Ask them how you can be of service to them and if possible do what you can to help.  When we give or serve out of the goodness of our hearts, we will never be left empty.

3. Take a step

I don’t know what you are hoping for this year, but this week, take one step towards your goal.  Are you seeking financial stability? Then sign up for a financial class.  Are you hoping for a promotion? Express your career goals to your boss.  Do you need to process a situation in your life that is hindering you? Reach out to a therapist or spiritual advisor.

This week, take a step towards your goals even if the step seems small. Each step will move you closer to your goals.  Remember our comfort zone is never stagnant. It is either growing or shrinking.  Inactivity lulls you into being stagnant which keeps you away from the abundant life you’ve been promised.

 

____________

Let me hear from you.  Which of these steps do you think you can do TODAY?  Remember, your tomorrow is simply a result of what you do today.  Make proactive choices daily so that you can have the life you want to live!

Published in: on January 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm  Comments (1)  

Is the door locked?

Door knob_Opening Door Knob by sixninepixels

The other day I sat in my office waiting for my 9am appointment to arrive. I began to think she was going to be a no-show because as I looked at the clock it was 9:15am. But finally, the receptionist let me know she was there and we got settled in my office to begin our session. Before we could get started she says “Robin, I have been here since 8:30am!” I immediately got frustrated with the front desk staff because I thought they’d forgotten to let me know she’d arrived. But I quickly realized they were not at fault.

My client said that when she got to the front door of my office, there were 3 people waiting outside. As she walked up one of the women said to her “the door is still locked. We are just waiting for someone to come open the door”. My client said she stood there for about 5 minutes and then decided she would go back to her car and wait for someone to come and open the door.

Fast forward about 20 minutes and she returned to the front door. She assumed the staff had arrived because the people who’d been waiting outside were no longer there. She said as she came in the office, one of the people who’d been waiting outside said to her “guess what! The door has been unlocked since 8am! After you went to your car, someone else arrived and before we could tell him the door was locked, he walked up to the door, turned the knob and walked in”. The person went on to tell her that the woman who’d been telling everyone the door was locked, just hadn’t pushed the door hard enough! It had been unlocked the entire time!

As my client shared this with me, she started laughing because she could see the wheels turning in my head. That story is the stuff life lessons are made of! Think about it! My client had a scheduled appointment to see me. She got to her appointment early but as she prepared to enter the office, she was told that she could not gain access because the door was locked. My client listened to what someone (that she didn’t even know) told her and returned to her car. She later learned that the information she’d been given was wrong, but because she didn’t try for herself, she was actually late getting to her scheduled appointment. If she’d waited any longer, I would have had to cancel her appointment and reschedule her for a later time.

Can you relate? Has that ever happened to you? Flow with me…move past my client and this appointment. I want you to think about how many times you have turned back, not turned the knob yourself, or walked away from an opportunity, simply because someone else told you that you couldn’t get in!

Even as I write this blog I can name several situations that I have counted myself out of, simply because I thought the door was locked to me. Whether it was because I didn’t have the education for it, I didn’t have the right connections for it or….(and this is hard to admit)….I didn’t have the courage to try the door for myself!

This year I want to challenge you to ignore what others tell you. Despite your fears, despite the potential embarrassment, despite the possible rejection, I want you to walk up to the door and turn the knob yourself.

It doesn’t matter if there are 3, 6, 12 people standing outside of the door telling you that you can’t get in, try it for yourself.
This year, don’t you dare “…go back to your car…” and simply wait until you think the door is open, or until someone else tries the door for you! I want you to move past your reservations and try the door yourself!

Let me warn you! Just because you muster up the courage to try the door doesn’t mean you will definitely gain access. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but sometimes the door will be locked. What do you then? You simply refocus and reassess. You ask yourself the tough questions:

1. Is this opportunity really meant for me? (Of course you asked yourself this question before you ever tried the door, but it is important to revisit it! You don’t want to be anywhere that isn’t for you, no matter how good you think it looks.)
2. Is there something I need to do to be better prepared? (If it’s worth having, it’s worth preparing adequately for.)
3. Is this the only way to gain access? (Just because everyone else goes in a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s your route.)

Once you’ve answered those questions you can decide if you should try again.

The bottom line is that this year, you will make the decision to not be turned away because of your own intimidation or fear. This year, you will push past the war-zone going on in your mind and you will fully embrace the open doors that are before you! Go ahead…turn the knob…great opportunities are there waiting on you!

****
I want to hear from you. Do you have an example of a time where you didn’t try for something but in hindsight you realized you should have? Is there something you want to do this year, but have been hesitant to go for it? What is one thing you can do, TODAY as a step towards “opening the door” to that opportunity or goal?

If you are a woman seeking to live your life with intention and direction, consider investing in my latest book, “Live Intentionally. Fully Engage”. This devotional is your weekly plan for intentional living! Click HERE to get your copy!

Published in: on January 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm  Comments (1)  

Are you pregnant?

Pregnancy

As we close out this year, I pray that you are able to look back over the last 12 months and see God’s grace towards you and your loved ones.  My year has been filled with many many (did I say many?) surprises.  My family has had to make major adjustments to accommodate the many changes but I believe we just might be getting a grip on our new normal.

One of the greatest adjustments is that my husband and I are expecting a new baby! Dealing with being pregnant (particularly at this age!) has been interesting.  As I am going through this last pregnancy I have been surprised to really see how much of life can correlate to what happens during pregnancy.  As you read this, I want you to consider if you are also pregnant.

1.  During my pregnancy I have been extremely exhausted, sick, and frankly uncomfortable.  But part of what has helped me get through all of that is knowing that an amazing blessing is on its way.

Isn’t that just like what happens to us in life?  Many times when God has something great in store for us, it gets really rocky, scary and downright uncomfortable for a while.  But if we can ride the waves, hang in there and get through it, we will experience an amazing blessing that we could not have orchestrated on our own!

2.  The other day I was chatting with my husband on the phone.  While talking to him I of course got tired so I laid across the back of the couch in some strange position. I should have known better. Because once I finished talking to him and tried to get up from the couch it was almost impossible. I struggled for a while to get up on my own, but it just wasn’t happening. I had to yell for my daughters to come and help me because I just couldn’t get up by myself. Next time, I won’t make the same mistake.

Many times as we are going through experiences in our lives, we find ourselves in situations or positions that if we are honest, we knew better than to get involved in.  And once we are there, we try to get out of the situation on our own.  But the truth is, we need help. Yes, we got ourselves into the situation, but we need support from someone we trust (hopefully they are older than 6 years old!) to help us get out of the situation.  And once we are free, we’ll know better than to go down that road again the next time.  Hopefully.

3.  The food I eat, the exercise I am supposed to do (clearly I am telling on myself), every time I listen to my body and rest….it’s not just for me.  Sure I may enjoy the food…and folks say that exercising will give me more energy (who knows if that is true)…but the reality is that those things don’t only benefit me.  All of those things also benefit this precious human I am growing inside of me.  So even when I don’t want to eat right or exercise I must remember that my decisions not only impact me…they are impacting the life I am carrying.

This is true for you too! The very gifts that are residing in you…your ability to sing, your gift of service your call to preach.  All of that is not for you! Your gifts are for the people who God has connected to you! So when you choose to stifle you gifts…when you choose to live beneath your full potential…when you choose to ignore the gift that is growing inside of you, you are choosing to hinder someone else’s growth and development!

Maybe you are not pregnant with a human.  But you too are pregnant with a calling.  And I hope that as the year closes and we prepare for the next, you will truly live intentionally and that you will fully engage!

***

What a nice segue to share with you my new book project: Living Intentionally. Fully Engaged! I would love for you to get your copy and start a year-long journey with me! Click HERE to get your copy!

3D Devotional Set Image-1

Published in: on December 17, 2013 at 3:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Rebounding from a broken heart_Part 2

broken%20heart

 

A few weeks ago I posted Part 1 of this 2 part series “Healing after a Broken Heart”.  During part 1, I discussed healing from a broken heart when you have a desire to hold onto the relationship. But did you know that you still have some healing to do even if you have no desire for the relationship that facilitated the heart-break?

Often, we think moving on from the relationship is the toughest part.  Letting go IS often hard, but the real work comes when you start dealing with the residue from the relationship.  Below I will share with you a few tips for healing from a broken heart when you are also moving on from the relationship.  But first, to read part one, click HERE.

Also, as I shared in part one, there are many triggers for a broken heart.  It’s important that we understand the role unmet expectations play in our relationships and how to deal with it for your future romance.  Click HERE to check out the worksheet I created to help you understand this dynamic of relationships.

Heartbreak is real, but you can rebound.  You can move forward and experience a healthy, romantic and fulfilling romance.  If you do the “heart-work” that is necessary you can experience a new relationship that may just be what you’ve been hoping for!

So, with that said, here we go…Part 2 of healing from a broken heart.

My heart is broken, and I want to move on from this relationship:

Heartbreak is real. And sometimes the impact of the heartbreak makes it too difficult to try to salvage the relationship. It makes even worse when one person wants to hold on and the other doesn’t. Either way, it is critical to follow certain steps if we are going to move forward after a broken heart and the end of a relationship.  Below are a few tips that can help:

 

  • Be real with yourself

 

As humans we are hard-wired to move from pain to pleasure.  When something comes towards us with the intent to harm we immediately (automatically & without thought) go into defense mode. This is true even with our emotional responses.  No one voluntarily signs up to be hurt (and if they do, we have other issues going on).

 

But if you are going to move on from this relationship and the emotional drain it has had on you, you must be honest with your emotions. Although we instinctively turn away from pain, sometimes we have to give ourselves a chance to feel our feelings.  Remember, your feelings are not right or wrong…they just “are”. They are there to give you information.

 

Pay attention to what you are feeling. Did you feel neglected in the relationship, disrespected, misunderstood? Did you feel taken advantage of in the relationship?

 

You have to stop trying to ignore the hurt. Be honest with yourself about what you are feeling so that you can start the healing process.  Stop trying to run from it…you have to go through it so you can once and for all leave it!

 

And listen.  If you need professional help, GET IT! If the relationship was serious and especially if you were together for a while, you may need someone to help you sort through all the ruminating thoughts in your mind! There is nothing wrong with seeking professional support!

 

  • Don’t make any rash decisions

 

This is important, especially for those who are freshly heartbroken.  When we are hurt, angry, and / or frustrated our initial reaction is to do something drastic.  I think it’s because, again, we want to get away from the pain by doing something that may distract us.  People sometimes do things extremely dramatic like quit their jobs and others less dramatic but still impactful like making derogatory remarks via social media.

 

If you are going to move forward from this situation, do you best to move forward with your integrity and reputation intact. Now this may be very difficult if you were married to the person and you felt that you were treated unfairly.  We often want the person to hurt the way we are hurt. But most of you who are reading this are believers in the Word of God and so you have to allow God to deal with folks who wrong you.  He can handle much better than you can.

 

After a break up, don’t make rash decisions. Give yourself enough time to process what has happened and to make the decision that is going to truly be best for you. I often encourage my clients to wait at least 6 months before they make any big changes in their life after a breakup. I would encourage you to do the same.

 

  • Don’t try to force a friendship right away

 

I know it may sound noble to break up with someone and remain their friend because “we really did have a great friendship”.  It especially sounds good if there are children involved. But often, instead of being noble it ends up being messy and confusing (even for the children).  Its one thing to maintain a cordial relationship (again, only if children are involved), but to try to maintain a true friendship initially is in most cases unhealthy.

 

If you and your ex do not have children together, I would encourage you to take time to really get to the root of WHY you want to hold on to the friendship. Often it is a loosely veiled hope that things may rekindle.  But once you’ve made the decision to let go…then let go! It’s like slowly pulling off a band-aid…the slower you go the more it hurts. If it’s over, rip the band aid off so you can get on to the next part.

 

 

  • Don’t isolate, BUT be careful of who you connect with

 

When I am going through a tough time in my life, my tendency is to close the blinds, turn off the phone and literally get underneath the covers.  I am quick to isolate and close off from the world.  If you are like me, don’t do that.  If you have experienced heartbreak, don’t put yourself on punishment.  Of course it’s fine to give yourself a few days to adjust, but don’t make it several months.  It’s important to have a support system that won’t allow you to go too far into the dark.

 

With that being said, you also don’t want to find yourself connecting with people who don’t know how to help you, or that will set you back.   You don’t need anyone on the “dogging your ex” campaign! As good as that may seem at the moment, remember whatever you give attention too grows.  So don’t make your focus about your ex, make it about your wholeness.  So while you shouldn’t isolate, remember you are in a vulnerable position so be careful who you connect with during this time.

 

  • To get over your ex, the answer is NOT to get under someone else!

 

I know that is the popular response to someone who has just had a break up! “Girl (or homeboy) you need to just find you someone else!”   That is usually not the best way to deal with a breakup.  By quickly moving from one romance to another, you never give yourself time to readjust, figure out what went wrong; determine your role in the chaos. It’s like transferring junk from one relationship to the next.

 

But here is a caveat to that statement.  While you should not immediately jump from one relationship to the next, I do find that often people are so nervous about getting into a new relationship that they stay single simply out of fear.   Once you’ve done the heart-work to heal from your past relationship, don’t be afraid to trust that God can connect you with someone new that will not present the same challenges from the last relationship. Think about it. Now you know what works and what doesn’t work for you…you’ve had time to be by yourself and deal with issues that you may have contributed to the relationship…you’ve grown and matured.  You are a brand new person…don’t be afraid to try love again.

******

As you move towards your emotional healing, following these steps will facilitate the process for you!  As always, I want to hear from you. How have you healed from a broken heart? How did you get over your ex?

Published in: on October 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm  Comments (1)  

Rebounding from a broken heart_Part 1

broken%20heart

If you have ever had a broken heart you know that it literally feels like your heart is broken…you actually FEEL the pain.  And it’s not just women.  Men also experience broken hearts but from what I have heard from some pretty reliable men, it’s rare that you’ll hear him say “my heart is broken”. The best you might get is “I’m hurt” and more often “that pissed me off”.  But again, heartbreak is universal. Regardless of what we call it.

There are many things that can cause a broken heart, particularly in romantic relationships. Most people automatically think about infidelity which is a common trigger of broken heart.  But to give a more global view, a heartbreak (or for my fella’s those things that hurt you or upset you) is often the result of unmet expectations.

In other words, many times we have expectations in our relationships but then when our expectations don’t match the reality of what is really going on, distressing emotions arise (click HERE for a worksheet that breaks this down).

This is why it is so important not to rush into relationships and to talk as openly and honestly about your expectations. Also, it’s critically important that you be emotionally healthy so that you can be sure your expectations are realistic! (Click to Tweet)

While heartbreak is real and can have a lasting impact, you can rebound after a broken heart.  Below you will find tips for rebounding from a broken heart from one of two different perspectives. This week, we will talk about rebounding from hurt when you want to remain in the relationship.  Make sure you check back in two weeks, for part 2 (rebounding from a broken heart when the relationship is over!).

My heart is broken, but I don’t want to give up on this relationship:

Many people have experienced hurt in their romance, but they believe there is still redeeming value in the relationship.  If that’s you, in addition to being prayerful here are some tips:

*  Get clear about why you are hurt

Remember while your pain is REAL it is YOUR pain.  That means that the person who may have hurt you might not understand exactly what button they pushed, especially if it isn’t something obvious (like infidelity). Be intentional about explaining clearly what was done to hurt you so that they person can know what to do differently in the future. Is the situation connected to a past experience, your upbringing or your value system? Get clear so you can communicate clearly!

*  Recognize that you must be willing to forgive and risk again

If the relationship is going to rebound, that means you have to forgive and that means you may risk getting hurt again. I know! That sounds scary, but the truth is some level of vulnerability is required in a relationship.  Forgiveness simply means releasing the need for revenge and a willingness to move past the bitterness. Also, if you are going to move forward it requires calculated risk. Now let’s be clear: of course the person should not intentionally try and hurt you.  But we are all human and we make mistakes. Being in any relationship means that you understand there is a risk for hurt, disappointment or being let down.  So if you are going to move forward you must be open to forgiving and opening yourself up again (cautiously).

 *  Have the tough conversation

When you’ve been hurt it sometimes seems easier to brush the situation under the rug because talking about ‘pain’ is never easy. But don’t do that! Talk about the situation and give your partner the opportunity to share his / her concerns.  The most important part is to keep talking…constructively!

*  Identify the pitfall and build safeguards

If the relationship is going to have minimal risk for this situation to occur again, you and your partner need to identify what was going on in the relationship (or the individual) to trigger this situation and how do you make sure it doesn’t happen again.  For example, if the heartbreak was because your significant other said something hurtful in the middle of an argument, what can you do moving forward to ensure that harsh things aren’t said in the heat of the movement?  Maybe the heartbreak was something as serious as infidelity.  Have the two of you talked about safeguards for faithfulness moving forward? Relationships take work AND strategy! Discuss your strategy for keeping your relationship healthy by identifying potential hazards and ways to avoid them!

________________

I believe that if you and your significant other follow the steps above you will be able to safely move forward in your relationship AND rebound from a broken heart!  As always, I want to hear from you. How have you healed from a broken heart? What did you do right and / or wrong?

Published in: on October 1, 2013 at 2:01 am  Comments (1)  

Is it time for you to soar? Learn some lessons from the airlines!

plane

Recently I took a trip to Austin for an event that honestly I had very few details about. It was a gathering of Christian women with some level of influence in the lives of other women. That’s about all I knew. And as a matter of fact, I didn’t even know ANY of the other 60 women who were in attendance. It was definitely a trip of faith for me. I went simply because a dear friend suggested I be there. And boy was she right. That trip, those two days, have had a major impact on me. I am still coming to grips with what it all meant and how I am to move forward after that experience. But one thing I do know, is that the gathering took me to a new level in my faith, my perspective on life and my calling. I know I was elevated.
Even as I returned home on the flight from Austin, as I paid attention to the process of our flight (the passengers being checked in all the way to the plane taking off), I saw valuable lessons for us as we all strive to go higher in our lives. Allow me to share a few of the nuggets I received from the trip home:

The purpose of a flight is to get you from where you are to where you need to be. When you travel from one place to the next via air, you must be ELEVATED. But there are a lot of steps that the airline requires before the plane can be elevated.
First, the airline has to make sure that the people on the plane actually belong there. Before you can even get to the plane, you must go through an extensive security check. But even if you make it through the extensive security check, if someone how you make it to your airline’s gate and you don’t have a boarding pass, you will not be granted entrance onto the plane.

The Lesson: If you know it is time for you to go to another level in your own life, you must make sure that the people traveling with you, actually belong there. So many times we open the “security doors” of our life and let just anyone in. But the time is out for that! You need to do a security check before you welcome people into your life. If they are going to travel with you to the next level, you need to be sure they have a ‘boarding pass’. You need to ensure that God wants them to be a part of the journey. If not, you risk a security breach that could cost you your life.
Question: Have the people closes to you been given security clearance from God to be on this journey with you?

Back to the flight. Once all of the passengers that belonged on the plane were situated, the flight attendants gave us some directions on how to handle the rough patches if they were to occur while in the air. They reminded us where the exits were, how to use the floating devices and where the oxygen masks were. Also, throughout the flight they attended to us to ensure that we were all taken care of.

The Lesson: Stop trying to go higher all by yourself! You need to find one or two “flight attendants” that can support you on the journey. These people have gone this way before and can show you how to navigate the rough patches that are sure to come. Throughout your journey they will be there to support you and encourage you along the way!

Question: Have you identified at least two people who have been where you are trying to go and have you asked them to support you on your journey?

Next, as the plane prepped to take off, the pilot told us that it was time to push away from the gate but we had to wait our turn to actually take off. As we taxed away from the gate, I glanced out the window and I could see that about 4 planes were in front of us. The pilot inched along slowly, patiently waiting until it was our time to take off.

The Lesson: Don’t get ahead of yourself! As we are preparing to go “Higher” and to be “elevated” in our lives, we must make sure we are right in line with God’s plan for us. Don’t try and jump ahead of someone else. Don’t become impatient because it seems like this is the exact time for you to take off and you don’t want to wait! Your time is coming. Allow the process of God to continue doing the work in you that is necessary so that when it is your time, you can go as high as He is calling you to go!

Question: Is there an area in your life that you are rushing God? Have you done the work necessary to ensure that you are ready when it is your time?

Finally, it was our time to take off. I have flown so many times in my life but it was amazing to see this flight through the lens of my own life. In order for the plane to actually lift off from the ground, the runway had to be clear and the plane had to have enough momentum to actually take off! If there had been anything in the way or if the plane had not had the capacity to garner enough momentum we wouldn’t have had a successful departure to our destination.

The Lesson: When it is your time make sure there is nothing in your way. The “runway” of your life needs to be clear! The ‘issues’ of life cannot be in the way or else your path for take-off will be compromised. Once the path is clear, you must have garnered enough momentum to ensure that you can soar!

Question: What is currently in your way? What ‘issue’ are you dealing with personally that could hinder your take off? Have you worked diligently enough to have created the momentum needed to go to the next level?

As previously mentioned I’ve flown so many times but this flight was particularly insightful for me. Even once we were in the air, I was still able to make connections to the physical flight and the “new level” I’d reached while in Austin. But the lessons shared above are enough for all of us to chew on!

Share your thoughts. Which of the lessons above resonate with you the most? Which one do you feel you need to focus on in this season of your life? As you think of your last flight, do you see any similarities to your own life when it comes to going to the next level? Let me hear from you!

Published in: on September 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm  Comments (3)  

5 Clues that you are NOT ready for a relationship!

Recently I was asked to share with a blogger the 5 clues that someone is not ready for a relationship.  I actually have a “Relationship Readiness” Assessment that I can provide for those that are interested (shoot me an email and you’ll get it!).  But below are my top FIVE clues that someone is not ready for a relationship!

Reason # 5:  YOU HAVE NEVER GONE LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS WITHOUT BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP.

It’s something about having time alone that helps us learn more about ourselves.  But if we are always in a relationship we never get an opportunity to figure out what we really like or what we don’t for that matter.  We aren’t quiet enough w/ our own thoughts to sort through what our triggers are and our core beliefs!  Often being in a relationship is our security blanket and if we want to be in a healthy relationship we have to figure out how to exist without needing one!

Reason # 4:  YOU FIND YOUR IDENTIFY IN WHO YOU ARE DATING.

Of course when we date someone we are often attracted to them not only physically but also for who they are as a person.  But if we begin to find OUR identity in who our partner is or what our partner does, we are in for a rude awakening.  It’s bad enough to find our identity in what WE do…it’s extremely detrimental to do that through someone else.  Our identity should be based on who we are in God.  That’s difficult.  especially in a society that is focused on what you drive, live in and wear.  It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘who’s-who’s’ lifestyle but doing so will lead to heartbreak. 

Reason # 3 : YOU HAVEN’T IDENTIFIED WHY YOUR LAST FEW RELATIONSHIPS FAILED

Remember. You are the common denominator in all of your past relationships.  If every last dude was a dog, you gotta ask yourself why you are dating dogs!  If you cheated on everyone you dated you have to ask yourself why you can’t commit.  Figuring out the pattern of your love life is critical if you want to move forward in a healthy manner.  Until you do that you will continue to repeat what you’ve always done!

Reason # 2:  YOU AREN’T INTENTIONAL ABOUT GROWING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE RELATIONSHIP EXPERT — GOD!

You can call me super-spiritual.  But if someone isn’t grounded and rooted in their own relationship with God, they are not in a position to romance me.  See, relationships go through enough valleys that the couple needs to know that they are operating from the same base…and the best base I know is rooted in God.  But like any relationship, your relationship with God has to be nurtured. And that takes intentionality. 

Reason # 1: YOUR INSECURITIES DICTATE WHO AND HOW YOU LOVE!

We all have insecurities.  From Idris to Halle…from Beyonce to Jay-Z.  From me to you.  We all have them.  The issue though is when we let our insecurities dictate how we live and how we connect with others!  Learning how to love freely despite our shortcomings is important if we want to be ready for a real and lasting relationship.  It will also help us with our selection process.  We can’t allow our insecurities to cause us to choose people that we think will hide our issues.  We should love people who are readily able and willing to love us.  Despite what we think we have…or don’t have!

There you have it 

What would you add?  What clues do you have that would let you know that you are NOT ready for a relationship?

Published in: on September 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm  Comments (5)  
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 213 other followers