Why We Feel the Need to Explain Ourselves and Justify Our Choices

“You are responsible for your intention, not your reception.” ~Amy E. Smith

I’ve realized that I put a lot of energy into trying to explain my decisions. Sometimes those explanations are an honest attempt to connect with another person or to step a little further out of hiding. Often, they are a result of my own self-doubt and desire for people to like me.

For example, I feel an obligation to say yes to any invitation or request I receive. Sometimes I’m glad to agree, other times I’d prefer to do something else. It gets tricky when the thing I’d prefer to do seems unimportant.

Wanting a quiet night at home doesn’t seem like a valid reason to decline an invitation to go out. So I come up with all the reasons I can’t go—I’m exhausted and maybe feeling a little sick and I have a lot I need to get done the next day and… and… and…

For some reason, “because someone asked” is a sufficient reason to say yes, but in order to say no I feel I have to prove that I have an abundance of important and inescapable circumstances getting in the way.

Recently I had a conversation that prompted me to think more deeply about when, how, and why I choose to explain myself to others. I was explaining my choice, but for very different reasons.

I had decided to step down from a leading a discussion group and agreed to meet with the woman who would have to find my replacement. I didn’t have to explain why I was leaving. I could have given a generic reason or declined to give any reason at all.

Instead, I chose to offer a fuller explanation. I was quitting because I felt like I had to hide part of myself in order to meet the expectations of the role. I didn’t want to keep hiding who I was and, for me, an important piece of being more visible was offering an honest explanation of why I was leaving.

In this instance, explaining wasn’t about caretaking her feelings or making sure she would still like me. It was about saying what I really thought and felt instead of letting her continue to think I was who she imagined me to be. Even if she didn’t understand or was disappointed in me, I wanted to be seen.

We offer (or don’t) an explanation of our choices for a variety of reasons. We can be motivated by fear, guilt, or self-doubt. We can also be honoring ourselves and others.

There isn’t a straightforward answer to the question of how much to explain and when. While there may be some truth to the idea that we don’t owe anyone an explanation, there are still plenty of situations when explaining is the right choice for us.

Becoming more aware of the reasons behind my urge to explain myself helps me make better choices about how much to share. Here are some motivations I’ve noticed. What would you add?

We’re trying to control the other person’s response.

It’s uncomfortable to be around someone who is angry or hurt or disappointed. If we’re giving someone information we fear they won’t like, it’s tempting to pile on explanations. We believe if we can give a compelling enough reason for our choice, we can ensure the other person will see things our way.

If we have a good enough excuse for declining their invitation, then maybe they won’t take it personally and be hurt. If we have enough solid reasons for our choice, maybe they won’t be mad that we didn’t follow their advice.

Maybe if we can make them understand, then they will still like us.

We’re trying to ease our own feeling of guilt.

Choosing something another person might not like can prompt feelings of guilt in us. When we feel guilty about our decision, we often turn to explanations and excuses to convince the other person and ourselves that we have a very good reason for choosing the way we did.

Many of us believe, whether we realize it or not, that other people’s wants, needs, and feelings are more important than our own. We believe saying no or declining an invitation is selfish or rude. We think that in order to be kind, generous, and likable we have to be unfailingly agreeable and accommodating.

We’re insecure about our own choices and want the other person to validate our decision.

No matter what we decide, there will likely be someone who doesn’t agree with our decision. It doesn’t matter if the choice is around career, education, parenting, wardrobe, reading material, cleaning supplies, diet, or paint color. While it doesn’t feel great to have people disagree with us, we’re less impacted by their opinion if we are confident about our own choices.

On the other hand, if we are unsure about our decision, we often look to others for reassurance. We over-explain in the hope that the other person will understand and come around to our point of view. Often, it’s not really about the other person changing their mind as much as it is about needing external approval for our own choices.

We want to foster a closer, more open connection with the other person.

Sometimes we choose to honestly share what’s going on for us with the people we care about most. We take the time to be clear about our reasons and intentions in order to increase depth and authenticity in our relationship.

In this instance, we are not as concerned about making someone see things our way. We’re trusting them to support us whether they agree with our decision or not. Our explanation is not a form of persuasion or manipulation but a sign of respect and a chance for the other person to get to know us better.

We have been hiding.

Some of us have a habit of staying silent in order to not disrupt others’ good opinion of us. If we stay quiet, others will often fill in the blanks about who we are with their idea of who they think we should be. It can feel safer to let them think they know us—they might not like us if we share more of who we really are.

But there are times when the divide between who we are and how others see us becomes too great and we’re no longer content to stay hidden. We may be tired of feeling disconnected and unseen or want to practice more visibility and integrity.

As we take steps toward greater visibility, people may pushback against the change. We might try to explain for one of the reasons above—to try to ensure they’ll understand and still like us. We might, instead, decide to be open and honest about who we are and where we are, whether or not anyone else understands.

So how do we know when and how much to explain? Every situation is different and there’s not an answer that’s always right. Taking a closer look at the reasons behind my urge to explain is key but identifying our real intentions can be a challenge. The following questions can help us explore our motivations from a few different angles.

How will I respond if they don’t like my explanation?

How we are impacted by the possibility of an unfavorable response can give us a clue about our motivations for explaining. Imagine the other person disagreeing with your explanation. What will you do?

Will you rush to explain again, more thoroughly and clearly? Will you feel guilty and change your mind? Will you be proud of yourself for being honest whether or not you would be understood?

As a note, the emotions you experience about their response don’t necessarily indicate that what you chose is right or wrong. You can feel sad, frustrated, or hurt by the other person’s response while also feeling proud of your decision and the way you handled yourself.

What does it mean about me if they don’t agree with my decision?

This is where we can gain insight into some of our biggest fears. If we believe their disagreement means something bad about us, we might feel compelled to explain why they should see things our way—even if it means exaggerating or only telling part of the truth.

If, on the other hand, we can see that their disagreement doesn’t necessarily indicate whether our decision was right or wrong, then we can be more confident that any explanations we choose to give are motivated by connection or respect.

What do I hope my explanation will accomplish?

Whether you’re hoping for deeper connection and understanding, to avoid something you don’t want to do, or to win approval, getting clear about your goal will help you understand your reason for explaining.

Are you looking for reassurance about your decision? Do you need to step into greater visibility? Are you trying to decline an invitation without hurting anyone’s feelings?

Try to look below the surface answer. For example, if you hope your explanation will change someone’s mind, asking yourself why that’s important to you may reveal another motivation.

What if the situation were reversed?

How would you feel if the person you invited assumed they needed to make up lots of excuses to keep you from getting upset with them for declining? What if someone was hiding their opinions and preferences and needs in deference to yours? What if they depended on you to validate their ideas when they couldn’t trust themselves?

We tend to hold ourselves to a different standard. Switching roles can help shake up our assumptions and give us an opportunity to treat others as we would like to be treated.

So what do we do?

Explaining doesn’t come with a set of rules, but here are a few thoughts that are helping me make choices about when and how to explain.

Get clear about your intention. Why do you really want to explain? Who do you want to be in this situation? Remember, you don’t have to agree to be kind.

Keep it simple. Longer explanations don’t necessarily bring greater understanding. What is the most important thing you want the other person to know?

“Thanks so much for thinking of me! I won’t be joining you this time, but I hope you have lots of fun.” Isn’t that way simpler (and kinder) than a string of excuses or agreeing with resentment?

This takes practice. Our explanation habits won’t change overnight. Take the time you need to get clear on your intentions and think through how you really want to respond. It’s ok to let the other person know you’ll need to get back to them later.

You likely won’t get your explanation just right every time—I don’t think any of us do. Be gentle with yourself. See what you can learn for next time and keep practicing. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect.

I’d love to know, what are the main reasons you explain your choices? What helps you offer explanations out of respect (for self or others) instead of fear? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About Johanna Schram

Johanna Schram is learning to value wrestling with the questions over having all the answers. She’s sifting through the internal and external expectations of who she is supposed to be to discover who she really is, what she values, and what she has to give. Join her at joRuth and deepen your self-knowledge with her free guides.

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

The post Why We Feel the Need to Explain Ourselves and Justify Our Choices appeared first on Tiny Buddha.

5 Unusual Techniques to Stay Confident Under Extreme Pressure

You’re reading 5 Unusual Techniques to Stay Confident Under Extreme Pressure, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

You freeze. Your mind races furiously, as you try to come up with a reply.

Time seems to stretch forever while everyone in the room looks at you for an answer, the silence growing louder every second.

You know the work inside out, but yet, at this crucial moment, your mind seems to have shut down.

And you can’t help thinking:

What is wrong with me? Why does my mind always freeze when I need it most?

I am so embarrassed.

Why can’t I be like other people who are calm and confident?

The truth is, mind freeze is absolutely normal and there’s nothing to feel ashamed of.

It’s simply our body’s way of reacting and protecting us when we are in a stressful situation. Even the most seasoned politicians have frozen during presidential debates.

While this is normal, it’s still extremely painful to go through it. The blow to our confidence can be debilitating, as we start questioning our capabilities and beat ourselves up.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With a little practice, staying confident under pressure can be achieved.

Here are some unusual but effective techniques that help you overcome the freeze and feel confident and composed in a high-stress situation.


Reset Your Mind

When our mind goes blank under high pressure, it’s because our body feels overwhelmed by the situation and shuts down.

To break the freeze cycle, use a distracting image or thought to cut through the overwhelm and reset your mind.

Choose a distracting thought that has nothing to do with the situation. For example, pick an image that makes you laugh, so it eases the tension and relaxes you.

You could decide on an anchor image ahead of time so it’s easy to recall whenever you need it. For example, I use an image of Homer Simpson dreaming of donuts and going “Mmm…donuts.” It’s an unexpected image in the middle of something serious, and it’s funny.

Doing this interrupts your mind from the current stress and anxiety, since it switches its attention to this new thought.

This helps to reset your mind so you can get back on track during the situation.

Relaxed Face Technique

Whenever we feel stress, one of the first areas to tense up are our jaw and facial muscles. This tends to go unnoticed because it happens so quickly and unconsciously that we are unaware that it’s happening.

So when you feel flustered in a high-stress situation, put your attention on the back of your jaw, and consciously let go of the tension. Relaxing the jaw muscles, helps your facial muslces to relax, which also signals to the rest of the body to let go of tension.

This helps you feel calmer, reduces feelings of anxiety flooding your body, and enables you to think more clearly.

Embrace the Elephant in the Room

Fighting the anxiety when you are under pressure takes up an incredible amount energy. It feels like you are repeatedly knocking your head against a massive, blank wall that surrounds you.

In this state, fighting it only serves to heightens your anxiety and makes it worse.

Instead of fighting it, acknowledge its presence. Don’t judge it, just breathe into it, observe it, and let it flow through and out of you.

Letting it pass through you helps you bounce back and into the present quickly, which empowers you to handle the situation with confidence.

Call out Your Fears

When we feel fear, the mind can feel like a runaway train, exaggerating the negative effects on us. It becomes an oppressive dark cloud that threatens to swallow us whole, and skyrockets our panic to stratospheric levels.

However, when we bring the fear out into the open, we often realize that the reality is not as bad as we thought it would be.

So, call out the fear and address it: What is it that you are fearful about? What is the worst that could happen? Is this worst fear likely to occur or is it an exaggerated projection?

This helps us put things into perspective that the outcome of a stressful situation is not as bad as it seems, and cools down the build up of frantic anxiety.

Be The Ball of Light in the Room

Our body language, and how we project our energy has large physiological effects on our confidence and how we feel.

Project confidence by imagining a ball of energy that extends outward from you to about 1 feet from your body. This is your inviolable, sacred space. Carry yourself with this projected confident energy radiating outwards.

When we move with confidence, we feel confident and energized, which others can sense immediately. As they react and reflect back the positive energy towards you, this results in a cumulative positive feedback loop, which creates more confidence within you.

Move Forward Positively

Having your mind go blank during the most crucial moments can crush your confidence.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Just putting into practice some simple techniques can have a dramatic effect on your ability to stay calm and confident in the face of pressure.

Imagine feeling composed and self-assured, as you answer questions with ease and poise in a high stakes meeting.

Knowing that you are able to truly display the wealth and depth of the expertise you possess and articulate it clearly and confidently.

All it takes is just one step. Pick one or two of the techniques that appeal to you and try it out tomorrow.

And you will be on your way to bringing out the composed and confident you that’s been there all along.

Shan Foo is an irreverent Sociologist who’s on a mission to help folks get out of confusion, leverage their full potential and step into an amazing career. Join the Free Amazing Career Community, with how-to videos on navigating career & mindset challenges, an expanding video content library and community support.

You’ve read 5 Unusual Techniques to Stay Confident Under Extreme Pressure, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Self-Care Idea #302: Take a Facebook break


take a facebook break





Decide it (days and days). Do it (1 minute).



Facebook post- Tuesday, October 17, 2017

“Dear friends of the Self-Care Journey, I’m taking a Facebook break.

I’ve been here every day for the last 300 days. And if it weren’t for your comments and your encouragements, I would have never made it to that day. Your support allowed me to get over the longest and most difficult part of the Journey.

But now, every time I come to FB to post my self-care act of the day, I find myself totally unable to resist appealing videos, comments, posts…and I stay here forever.

Even when I’m working on something else on my laptop, I have this temptation: check what’s going on on your FB. Maybe you have messages? Or new comments?

As a result, I’m never totally logged out.

Today, my self-care act of the day is a hard one: Take a Facebook break.

I don’t know how long it’s going to last. So I don’t know for how long I won’t be able to share my posts here. I’m sad about it because I’m going to miss you. I’m going to miss your encouraging Likes and I’m going to miss our interactions.  But I’m sure you understand.

The 365-day challenge is not over so I will keep posting and sharing my self-care acts daily on TheSelfCareJourney.com.

Let’s meet there!

I’ll be back as soon as I feel better about FB.

Love to all and take care!

PS: I might be back tomorrow, who knows 🙂 “


That was yesterday.

And this almost insignificant Facebook post brought me to write the longest blog post I’ve ever written since I started this Journey. Here it is.



Before I started the Self-Care Journey, I wasn’t on Facebook.

To be more accurate, I had a Facebook account and was a member of a secret group my friends had created. I used it for about 2 or 3 months and I stopped.

Then, my sister and I created a Skin Care line and I wanted to use Facebook as a way to promote the business.

I reactivated my account but posting or interacting with  people didn’t come naturally. I forced myself to use Facebook to get an audience.

It felt so unnatural that I stopped.

Then, I initiated The Self-Care Journey and I started posting and interacting daily. Spending more time on FB then ever before. Today, after 300 days of intensive daily use, I realize I don’t like it.

Don’t get me wrong. I love talking to people on Facebook, I love getting comments and commenting on comments. I love Liking and being Liked. And the interactions with you on Facebook helped me keep my motivation and get to the present day: #302 of the Journey. I’m thankful for that. I mean it. It’s not some thankful bulsh*t! I’m really thankful: because you were supporting me on Facebook, I was able to get here.

But there is something I don’t like. Inside of me, I don’t like this new urge to check my Facebook account several times a day (almost every 10 minutes).

I don’t like this sensation of being on hold all the time. How many people are going to like? Who’s going to comment?

Not that I think of it consciously. It’s rather a subtle thought that’s here, always, all the time.

With The Self-Care Journey, I had a great excuse not to question my new behavior. I was doing a challenge (365 days, 365 acts of self-care) and I needed to connect with people, to share ideas, to interact. It was an obligation.

But this brought me to question my motives: why am I doing The Self-Care Journey?

To take care of myself.

To create a community of people who want to take care of themselves

To create a successful blog/FB page and get lots and lots of followers.

As time went by -and not that I reached phenomenal figures- I started feeling the rewards of having more people reading. I started checking the graphs telling me that the audience was growing and I was happy about it. I sponsored a few posts to grow these numbers.

But after a little while, I realized that –if I was super motivated to write honest content- I wasn’t motivated in growing my audience. I wasn’t motivated in educating myself on Social Media Marketing, on content production or audience growth. I was just not interested in that.

Which brought me back to my initial question again: why am I doing The Self-Care Journey?

To take care of myself?

Ok. But why create a blog? Why share on Facebook? I can be good to myself by myself. I don’t have to share in front of an audience.

Why then?

Hint #1: Work

Since my first corporate job, which I got after 2 weeks of job hunting, I have never searched for a job in my life. I followed my path, one position taking me to another. I created a company, then another one, then another one. Those companies were successful. I was managing people, money, never worrying about how to pay the bills or how to take the whole family for our next vacations. Turning down partnership offers, working at my own rhythm. I never thought that I’d be back on the job market one day.

Then, Hubby, our kids and I moved to the US and I decided to take a break from business. I sold what I could and lived on my savings. I wrote. I had artistic projects.

Then entrepreneurship called me back and I created another business. In the US this time. But it didn’t work as I expected. I hadn’t allowed the necessary financial resources, research or time. And I had chosen a market I wasn’t passionate about. Long story short, it didn’t work and my resources melted.

I had to find a job.

I started looking enthusiastically. I honestly thought it would be take me a couple weeks. I had 15 years of experience managing and growing businesses. I was willing and able to work hard. Why would I even think about having troubles getting a job?

I soon realized that I had been overconfident. I gave time, energy and consistency to the job search. My efforts didn’t pay still I couldn’t understand why.

Did recruiters perceive me differently than I perceived myself? Did they perceive me as an immigrant with no experience in the US and thus the inability/incapacity to work here?  As a woman in her early forties who wouldn’t be able to work hard? As the mom of young kids who wouldn’t be able to commit?

I thought about this over and over – 5 months of unsuccessful and daily job search- and it made me sick. I just couldn’t understand why.

So I questioned my abilities.

Maybe I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.

Hint #2: Letters to my kids

I’ve always wanted to write letters to my kids for when they grow.

To tell them a bit about myself, about their story and that of their family.

I really hope I can take them to adulthood and I hope I can tell them as much as I can face to face. But what if I can’t? What if my time comes sooner? How will they know about me? About my life?

Not that I think I have exceptional thoughts or experiences to share. But I’m their mom so these thoughts and experiences –who might seem ordinary to someone else- will be unique and exceptional to them.

Writing those letters always seemed too complicated. What am I going to start with? I can’t tell who I am in one letter. I can’t tell about my family neither in one letter. Will I write one letter for all kids? Or a personalized one for each? How long will this letter be? 300 pages?

Plus, I’m not static. I’m changing and so are my thoughts.


As soon as I started thinking about it, a lot of questions arouse and the “letter project” became a monumental, way too complicated one.

Each time, I ended up aborting it before starting working on it. 

Letters to my kids, Facebook and Work. What does this have to do with that?


A few months after I started The Self-Care Journey, I made a huge realization: I was getting my confidence in my abilities back.

I realized that somehow, I started this Journey to prove others –and myself- that I was able to take up a unique challenge, work hard, learn, be consistent, creative, keep the pace and the good vibes. In English- not my main language- adding an extra level of difficulty to prove myself I could do this to.

Through this journey, I learnt a lot. And I hope I keep learning.

I accepted the idea that my path is not a straight road. I accepted that things happen for a reason

Every time I look back in my life, I am able to understand afterwards how something that made me suffer at a time was beneficial for me at another time.

I don’t know yet how not being able to find the kind of job I wanted will be beneficial for me.

But I know it will. It’s just a matter a time. And this is not wishful thinking. I feel it deep inside.

Then, after gaining confidence and understanding why I was doing this journey, I made another realization.

A striking one.

I was writing to share my self-care acts but I was also writing for my kids.

I was writing those letters I never knew how to write.

Now I know.

I know I’m not going to write a 300-page letter. I know I’m not writing one letter for all nor am I writing one for each of them.

I’m writing 365 posts and sharing with them a year of my life.

When I’m not here anymore, they will able to follow this year of my life. This year of their lives.

I like this idea.

Because I’m sure I’m telling much more than I know.

I’m aware this year is nothing but a photograph. A moment. I’m going to grow and change. Also, I have my secrets. By no means, it says it all. But no letter will ever say it all either.

Writing those posts gave me meaning.

Since I realized it, every time I lacked motivation to write, find ideas or just be good to myself, I thought about my kids.

And to these letters I’m leaving for them -and sharing with you.

Today, I feel lucky.

I don’t feel the urge to post daily on Facebook for The Self-Care Journey anymore.

I will get out of people’s minds if I don’t post? Marketing says you have to post every day, several times a day to keep your “audience”? That you need to create as much interaction as possible?

That’s entirely true. But I’m not here for that.

I’m not doing this to get an audience nor to stay in people’s minds.

I’m not either doing this Journey to prove that I can take up a unique challenge, work hard, learn, be consistent, creative, keep the pace and the good vibes.

I know I can do it.

Today, I feel lucky.

I know what I’m doing is meaningful.

I’m leaving a trace for my kids.

I’m finishing what I started.

I’m sharing the experience with you on this blog.

You will visit whenever you feel like it.

And I will share on Facebook whenever I feel like it.

Love to all and thank you from the bottom of my full heart.

WHY IS IT SELF-CARE? Facebook and other social medias are time consuming and can be invading. If you feel they’re taking too much space, time in your mind or in your life, unplug. You will feel fantastic and proud after that.


I love this paper on the benefits of unplugging.

Highly documented and well-written. 

By Joshua Becker, minimalist and bestselling author of The More is Less.

Follow me here and get notifications when I post my acts 🙂

90 Minutes – Football Motivational Speech

90 minutes to give your all. 90 minutes that could change your life forever. Are you ready?

90 Minutes – Football Motivational Speech

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Download or Stream To ANY DEVICE, Worldwide: iTunes | GooglePlay | AmazonMP3 | Spotify | Apple Music | CDBaby.com (WorldWide)
90 Minutes – Lyrics, Music, Speech: Copyright: Fearless Football
Speakers: Jones 2.0 + Leonard Sicilian

90 Minutes – Football Motivational Speech by Fearless Football – WATCH FREE:

Transcript – 90 Minutes – Football Motivational Speech | Fearless Motivation Football

90 minutes of sweat.. 90 minutes of pain…

All the hard work, all the sacrifices you have made,
it all comes down to these 90 minutes.

When you step on that field, you’re spending 90 minutes.
90 minutes that will never come back.

These 90 minutes can determine your future, they can change your whole life if you use them correctly.

During this limited time you must work harder than the rest.

You must do your best, no matter what the scoreboard says. You must give your all, no matter what ANYONE says.

This sport is unpredictable, at one moment it feels like you’re losing… and in the next you might be winning.

Everyone wants to win, but one thing is for sure.
When you’re walking down that tunnel, when you step on the field – KNOW in your heart there will only be ONE winner.

There will only be ONE WINNER because you will NOT accept anything else.


I’m not here to participate , I’m here to win and win ONLY

I didn’t come this far to see the other team lift the trophy!
I didn’t come this far to see the other team win!

NO ONE remembers the one who finished second, NO ONE remembers the one who received the silver medal!

The person who puts in the most hours on the training ground, the person who wants it the most is the one who will win!
This sport requires a strong body but even a stronger mindset. If you’re not prepared mentally you will never be ready physically.

You have to program your mind into victory.

This game is all about how bad you want it, it’s about grit. It’s about HEART. The difference between winning and losing is how far you’re willing to go!

Your HUNGER will be tested on the field.
Your DESIRE to win, will determine the outcome of the game.

We keep on fighting even if the odds are stacked against us.

They don’t know that we have the heart, the courage and the will to make things happen!

We will destroy everything that comes in our way, BECAUSE WE WERE BORN TO WIN, WE WERE BORN TO DOMINATE!

We might be the underdogs, we might be the “weaker” team.

But one thing is for sure: When we step on the field we FIGHT. We fight for ourselves and WE FIGHT for each other!






A champion is someone who keeps going even if everything seems impossible!

Not everyone becomes a champion but I know that you got it within you.

The next time you got 90 minutes, how are you going to perform?

It’s now or never, show the world WHO …. YOU … ARE.

It all comes down to the 90 minutes…

90 minutes football motivational speech

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It’s a joint effort

everybody participates


The advertising titan, Leo Burnett once famously said, “Great ads don’t care who wrote them”.

Leo just wanted a great ad to show to the client- he didn’t care if it came from the star copywriter in the corner office, or the guy in the mailroom.

This attitude allowed everybody on the team to participate, to bring their best selves to bear on the problem at hand.

This is how great teams operate- Everyone participates.

The post It’s a joint effort appeared first on Gapingvoid.

Change Your Life Forever With These 30 Strategies

There are strategies which bring together all happy and successful people who can also use them to improve the quality of your life. Usually when you want to change your life, you don’t know where to start and you risk losing the motivation because you don’t know the best strategies to apply. To change your life forever you have to change yourself. If you want to achieve extraordinary results, you must become an extraordinary person.

Here are 30 ways you can change your life today:

1. Face your fears, first the smallest, then the greatest.

2. Transform gratitude into a daily and constant mood. This will allow you to change your life.

3. Be conscious in every moment of what you think, feel, desire and do. Be Present. Do the exercises of “Remembering yourself” all year round.

4. Engage in realizing your dreams, creating a monthly plan with daily actions to accomplish them.

5. Decide what person you want to become, create a purpose that will guide your life and your days.

6. Practice observing thoughts, without identifying yourself with them.

7. Make your power supply healthier.

8. Read more books and take part in several courses and seminars.

9. Always out of the ordinary, do not imitate the mass.

10. Make gentle gestures to people you don’t know.

11. Imagine yourself while you have realized your dreams.

12. Take more time to be alone and get to know you better.

13. Live with the awareness that nothing is yours, everything is a gift.

14. Stop complaining; stop complaining; stop complaining.

15. Help others with the example.

16. Smile and laugh more often, even without reason.

17. Stay for a longer time in contact with nature.

18. Think, talk and act as the person you want to become.

19. Be punctual and if you make a mistake, please apologize.

20. Say thank you for each gift, learn to receive.

21. Change a habit or recurring reaction.

22. Take responsibility for the successes and failures you achieve, never point your finger at someone else.

23. Admire and bless more often.

24. Strive to perceive perfection and beauty in everything that happens to you.

25. Inwardly love your enemies, even if you don’t talk to them externally.

26. Learn a musical instrument or a new language.

27. Keep promises made.

28. During a difficult period ask yourself “What can I learn from this situation”?

29. Do more often what is right and less what is convenient for you.

30. Change your way of thinking.

If you want to change your life forever, you must act as if you were already the person you want to become. Take action as if you were already sure of yourself, and see what beliefs are held by successful people, great leaders, the best in your industry and those who get great results.

Listening to them, spend time with them, try to understand what they think, how they see each other, and what they think about their activity. Read the books of those who get the same results that you want to achieve, listen to their interviews, read their autobiographies, and find out what their mental attitude is.

All successful people have similar beliefs

I’ll tell you a secret: There is no greater psychological strength than the need we have to remain consistent with our own identity; to remain consistent with who we believe we are. What does that mean? Simple, that everything that anything I put after the words “I am:…” becomes reality.

If you think you are shy, you will do everything you can to act accordingly. If you believe you are extroverted, you will give everything to act accordingly. Listen and pay attention to what you add after the words “I am…”. If you don’t believe you can achieve your goals beyond the objective difficulties, you won’t be able to do it anyway: you will be the first cause of your failure.

Which one of these 30 strategies will you implement in your life today? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

10 Transformative Benefits Of Gratitude

Benefits of Gratitude

The world is ending.

Life as we know it is over.

Things are going to hell in a hand basket.

Doesn’t it feel that way sometimes? All the time? Doesn’t it seem like we are plagued by bad news, dire events, political upheaval, and mass tragedies?

If those weren’t enough, every day our inboxes and social media feeds are cluttered with updates on the newest disease that will kill us, the stuff we should buy to feel happy, and all of the reasons we aren’t attractive, wealthy, or successful enough.

We are bombarded with negativity and manipulation, which keeps us weirdly addicted to the information that is feeding our inner angst and unhappiness.

But if you turned off the television, shut down your phone, and closed the lid on your computer, life wouldn’t seem so bad, would it?

You have most of what you need and a lot of what you want in life. There are good things happening all around you. People love you. There’s food on the table. You have a bed to sleep in and a roof over your head.

The antidote to our unhappiness isn’t the newest thing, the better politician, the latest diet fad, or the next achievement. The antidote is gratitude. Gratitude for what you have right now. Gratitude for the people in your life. Gratitude for all good things that are available to you in this moment.

Being grateful isn’t an idea you stick on a Post-It note for a quick shot of feel-good. There’s a reason (many reasons) why you are hearing it touted so much.

Gratitude can transform you. It can pull you from the vortex of negativity that is sucking the life out of you and give you a renewed sense of purpose and joy. I know this and so does science.

According to an article in the Harvard Healthy Newsletter which outlines research on the topic, “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

Here are 10 transformative benefits of gratitude:

1. Gratitude improves your mental health and well-being.

Tired of feeling anxious, dissatisfied, frustrated, and depressed? Try a little practice of being grateful.

According to Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at UC Davis and author of the book, The Psychology of Gratitude, has found through his research that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.

In her book, The How of Happiness, happiness researcher and psychologist, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, states, “Gratitude is an antidote to negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, hostility, worry, and irritation. It is savoring; it is not taking things for granted; it is present oriented.”

2. Gratitude helps you savor positive experiences.

If I asked you what your top ten life events have been, you could probably reel them off pretty quickly. Maybe they include meeting your spouse or partner, having your children, celebrating big milestones or achievements, or taking the vacation of a lifetime.

But once those experiences have come and gone, we rarely take the time to think about how amazing and memorable they were. Even when good things happen to us in the moment, we are often so busy or distracted that we don’t take the time to fully experience the joy they afford us.

Gratitude allows you to relive past events to revive the positive feelings they created at the time. You can make yourself feel happy and optimistic simply by dwelling on these events and savoring the joy they brought you.

By being mindful and engaged in the present moment, you will squeeze so much more happiness and appreciation from the experience you’re experiencing. Just reminding yourself to stop and feel grateful will give you a boost and enhance richness of the occasion.

3. Gratitude helps you cope with stress and life difficulties.

Trauma, stress, and negative life events can have the counterintuitive effect of making us feel more grateful. One study revealed that in the days after the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., gratitude was the second most commonly felt emotion after sympathy.

All of the positive things in our lives come into sharp focus when something tragic happens to us or around us. When we are dealing with stress or adversity, gratitude helps us cope and process our emotions in a healthy way.

By focusing on the positive aspects of our lives, rather than allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by negative events, we feel more in control and optimistic about our situation.

4. Gratitude boosts your confidence and self-esteem.

Gratitude allows you to reflect on your achievements, the people in your life who are important to you, and the blessings you encounter every day.

When you focus on these, you see how good your life really is and how much you have done to make good things happen.

Read Related: How to Practice Gratitude When You Don’t Feel Like It

Your hard work has resulted in the house you live in and the material things you own. Your love, devotion, and presence has helped build a strong and secure family. Your efforts in school and past jobs have landed you in this career.

Being grateful for all of your own abilities, skills, interests, and aptitudes will boost your feelings of self-worth and stoke your confidence.

The practice of gratitude is a great replacement for the bad habit of focusing on past failures and setbacks. You can use your negative thinking habits to trigger you to focus on gratitude instead.

5. Gratitude fosters empathy.

Gratitude inspires you to be less materialistic and more inclined to help others. As you focus on your own blessings, you become keenly aware of what other people don’t have.

When you feel grateful for easy access to food and water, you might be inspired to support or help someone who doesn’t. As you express gratefulness for your wonderful friendships, you might decide to reach out to someone who is lonely.

The practice of gratitude has a spillover effect, making you more aware of the feelings and suffering of others even after you have focused on feeling grateful. You will become a more compassionate person in general.

6. Gratitude improves your physical health.

If you want to be healthier and more fit, start counting your blessings. Maybe even count them while taking a walk or riding your bike.

According to a 2012 study, people who practice gratitude have fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people.

Grateful people are more inclined to practice healthy activities, eat better, and seek treatment for health concerns, adding to their longevity.

7. Gratitude gives you a better night’s sleep.

Lying in bed wide-eyed, fretting over all of your worries? Pull out a pen and your journal and start writing down everything you’re grateful for.

Many studies have shown that gratitude journaling before bed can reduce worry and pessimism, helping you relax and fall asleep faster. Some study participants reported getting longer, more refreshing sleep as well.

8. Gratitude fosters resilience.

When you are grateful for what you have, you are better able to overcome negative events in your life. You don’t view your life as a “glass half empty,” but rather you recognize that despite bad things happening, you will survive and even thrive.

In fact, gratefulness was shown to be a critical factor in preventing post traumatic stress disorder in veterans after the Vietnam war and following the terrorists attacks on 9/11.

With the practice of gratitude, you build your inner coping muscle, allowing you to manage life difficulties with less emotional trauma.

9. Gratitude strengthens relationships.

Do you want a happier, stronger marriage? Focus on your partner’s good qualities and the positive aspects of your relationship, rather than dwelling on what’s missing.

Do you want closer friendships? Let your friends know how much your appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them as friends.

Do you want more success at work? Tell your boss and coworkers how thankful you are for their support and hard work.

In fact, you don’t even need to tell them you’re grateful (although it’s a nice thing to do) in order to benefit. Just feeling gratitude for these people will improve your relationship with them.

Gratitude strengthens feelings of intimacy and connectedness with others. The closer you feel with the important people in your life, the more you will discover and enjoy about them — which in turn gives you more to feel grateful about.

Having close, satisfying relationships is a huge factor in lifelong happiness and health.

10. Gratitude enhances mindfulness.

Whenever you find yourself pulled away by distractions, negative news, or mental ruminating, turn your attention to gratitude instead. Focus on everything around you that you can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch that you feel grateful for.

The chair you are sitting in. The sun streaming in the window. The smell of coffee brewing. The taste of the food you are eating. The sound of the wind in the trees. How often we take these simple but glorious things for granted.

When you focus on the good things that are right in front of you, you can fully experience and appreciate the moment without suffering or distraction. You savor the beauty of right now and all of the simple blessings packed within this moment.

Do you need some ideas for how to practice gratitude? Here are a few to consider:

  • Keep a gratitude journal, and add to it every evening before bed.
  • Write a love note to your spouse or partner and tell them how grateful you for him or her.
  • Take a few minutes every morning to appreciate your bed and your night of sleep.
  • Before you eat, express (silently or out loud) gratitude for the food you are eating.
  • Savor the food you eat as you are eating it.
  • Feel grateful for the beauty of the natural world around you.
  • Say “thank you” to all of the service people in your life, like the mail person, the grocery clerk, etc.
  • Call your friends and tell them what you love about them.
  • Perform a random act of kindness every day.
  • Think about losing the people and things you love and what you would miss about them.
  • Acknowledge and praise someone at work who has done a good job.
  • Let your parents know how much you appreciate them and all they have done for you.
  • Think about all of the people who have help you and given you opportunities along the way.
  • Have a gratitude moment with your family when you each express your blessings.
  • Ponder all of your personal strengths and aptitudes and feel grateful for them.
  • Make a gratitude board, pasting images on it of things you are grateful for.
  • Make an effort to find the positive in difficult situations.
  • Spend less time watching the news, surfing the net, and hanging out on social media.

How do you express gratitude and how has the practice of gratitude impacted your life? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The post 10 Transformative Benefits Of Gratitude appeared first on Live Bold and Bloom.

Three Surprising Ways That Gratitude Works at Work

A couple of summers ago, I traveled to the steamy cauldron of central Florida to speak at the WorkHuman conference. Nearly 1,500 human resource professionals were in attendance, eager to hear from luminaries like Arianna Huffington and Rob Lowe (probably more than they wanted to hear an academic like me recite his research findings). Beaten down by dispiriting, depleting, and demoralizing workplaces, they were hungry for ways to create more energizing and elevating environments.

WorkHuman is the brainchild of Globoforce, a progressive company that helps other companies develop and implement effective programs that recognize and celebrate the work of their employees. In a nutshell, they aim to bring more gratitude into organizations, making workplaces more human and humane.

Globoforce is in the global business of thanks, using the power of gratitude to proactively improve a company’s culture. Drawing upon the science of gratitude and their own internally driven set of practices, they have demonstrated that giving and receiving appreciation is both beneficial and vital to a high-functioning organization.

In collaboration with the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management, Globoforce has been conducting research in nearly 50 countries around the world. Their studies, along with others’ research, have linked gratitude and related traits (like engagement) to improvements in productivity, profitability, quality, loyalty, safety, absenteeism, and other cost and performance metrics.

Globoforce would be the first to admit that recognizing and celebrating the contributions that others make to our work is not a brand new idea. But the science of gratitude has been highlighting new reasons to take this idea seriously. While some of these reasons—stronger relationships, more happiness—have long been documented by studies that I and many others have conducted, research is also pointing to more ways in which gratitude works at work. Here are three surprising ways that gratitude pays off.

1. Gratitude facilitates better sleep

Lost sleep quantity and quality is also linked with poor job satisfaction, worse executive functioning, less innovative thinking, lower occupational performance, more safety errors and work injuries, and even death. Sleep deprivation also negatively affects relationships because sleep-deprived people are less trusting of others and more impatient, frustrated, and hostile. Sleep is the mind and body’s quintessential restorative activity. The National Sleep Foundation reports that 95 percent of people need seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and yet 30 percent of Americans get less than six hours. Preventing sleep deprivation could be a massive cost saver for workplaces: Last year’s Rand Corporation study reported that sleep deprivation cost US companies more than $400 billion a year in lost productivity, more than 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Similar losses were found around the world, with Japan, Germany, and the UK also losing 1.5-3 percent of their GDP to too little sleep. The Rand study estimated that if people who sleep under six hours a night started sleeping between six and seven, this could add over $200 billion to the US economy.

In one study, people keeping a gratitude journal slept on average 30 minutes more per night, woke up feeling more refreshed, and had an easier time staying awake during the day compared to those who didn’t practice gratitude.

A number of studies have shown that gratitude promotes physiologically restorative behaviors, chief of which is better sleep. Grateful thinking and grateful moods help us sleep better and longer. In one study, people keeping a gratitude journal slept on average 30 minutes more per night, woke up feeling more refreshed, and had an easier time staying awake during the day compared to those who didn’t practice gratitude.

How does gratitude facilitate better sleep? Research suggests that grateful people have more positive “pre-sleep cognitions” and fewer negative pre-sleep cognitions. Negative, critical thoughts (e.g., about bad things happening in the world) tend to induce sleeplessness. But grateful people’s minds are awash in pleasant thoughts (e.g., about enjoyable things that happened to them during the day), and this promotes sleepiness.

The connection is clear: Grateful people enjoy more restful, restorative, and refreshing sleep and reap the benefits at work the next day.

2. Gratitude reduces excessive entitlement

On the job, people with excessive entitlement tend to engage in more counterproductive work behaviors, actions designed to harm an organization or its members. These include theft, aggression, violence, sabotage, withdrawal, deliberate poor performance, and threatening, abusing, and blaming others. Entitlement can show up in toxic workplace cultures alongside gossip, complaining, and negativity. 

Entitlement refers to “attitudes about what a person feels here she has a right to and what a person feels here she can expect from others.” But some people suffer from a condition known as “excessive entitlement”: They feel they deserve more than others, a disproportionately greater amount of a particular good beyond what would be considered appropriate. They are dissatisfied with whatever they receive, whether it is pay, promotions, or praise.

How is gratitude relevant here? A person who feels entitled to everything will be grateful for nothing; gratitude is the antidote to entitlement, and to other aspects of toxic workplace culture. Grateful individuals live in a way that leads to the kind of workplace environment that human beings long for. Gratitude produces higher levels of positive emotions that are beneficial in the workplace, such as joy, enthusiasm, and optimism, and lower levels of the destructive impulses of envy, resentment, greed, and bitterness.

A person who feels entitled to everything will be grateful for nothing; gratitude is the antidote to entitlement, and to other aspects of toxic workplace culture.

Furthermore, recent social psychological research has shown that gratitude is linked to lower levels of hostility and aggression. When people are experiencing gratitude, they are approximately 20-30 percent less likely to be annoyed, irritated, and aggressive. They are less susceptible to having their feelings hurt, and, when their feelings are hurt, they are less likely to strike back. Years ago, a very wise person said that gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.

3. Gratitude drives us to contribute more to our organization

Considerable research
 has demonstrated gratitude as a driver of “prosocial” (kind and helpful) behavior. A recent review of over 50 studies found that gratitude is even more strongly linked to prosocial behaviors than happiness or empathy. Not surprisingly, then, grateful people make better organizational citizens. They are more likely to volunteer for extra work assignments, take time to mentor coworkers, be compassionate when someone has problem, and encourage and praise others. Grateful people practice behaviors that fall in the category of being a good citizen. In the workplace, gratitude inspires employees to be helpful and deters them from engaging in behaviors that are harmful.

Beyond the social sphere of work, gratitude also drives enhanced performance in the cognitive domain: Grateful people are more likely to be creative at work. Gratitude promotes innovative thinking, flexibility, openness, curiosity, and love of learning. Grateful people have an interest in learning new information and skills, and they seek opportunities to learn and develop. (In fact, a highly publicized 2015 study found that out of 24 strengths of character, love of learning and gratitude were the strongest predictors of overall well-being.)

Willibald Ruch and his colleagues at the University of Zürich recently proposed a new organizational model where team members fall into one of seven roles: idea creator, information gatherer, decision maker, implementer, influencer, energizer, or relationship manager. They found that grateful people were likely to be “idea creators”: successful with developing new and innovative ideas and reaching solutions in unconventional ways.

These early findings are promising, but systematic research on workplace gratitude has only recently begun. Much work remains: Ryan Fehr, a professor of management at the University of Washington, recently proposed 17 testable hypotheses to move research on gratitude in the workplace forward.

But you literally cannot overplay the hand of gratitude; the grateful mind reaps massive benefits in every domain of life that has been examined so far. There are countless ways in which gratitude could pay off in the workplace. As I wrote in The Little Book of Gratitude, gratitude is “the ultimate performance-enhancing substance.”

This article was adapted from Greater Good, the online magazine of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, one of Mindful’s partners. View the original article.

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 appeared first on Mindful.