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How Much Do You Love Yourself?

I have a friend who occasionally says, “I may not be much, but I’m all I ever think about.” He says that the phrase isn’t original with him. He heard it from a friend of his. Regardless of where the statement originated, I’ve always found it to be hauntingly personal.

If it was possible for someone to read my thoughts every minute of the day, I wonder how often I would be thinking about myself. I’m guessing that my friend’s statement would be correct. I do think about myself a lot. I imagine that we all think about ourselves more than we think about anything else.

We may not be thinking directly about ourselves, be we’re probably thinking about things that pertain to us like our finances, home, health, work, etc. So why do so many of our thoughts center on ourselves? Perhaps it comes from our instinct for self-preservation. I mean if we don’t take care of ourselves, who’s going to take care of us? Right? You hear this self-focused philosophy every time you board an airplane for a flight. The flight attendant reminds you that “In case of an emergency, an oxygen mask will drop down in front of you. If you are traveling with young children, put the mask on yourself, first and then, place the mask on the child, who is traveling with you.” Let’s face it. When it comes to preserving life we often think of ourselves before we think about others.

Don’t’ get me wrong. I am a big proponent of having a healthy self-esteem. I’ve heard it said that you will only be able to love others to the degree that you love yourself. If this is true, I’m guessing that there are quite a few people who are struggling to love others because they have so little love for themselves.

On the other hand, I’ve also heard it said that the greatest love anyone can display in life is to lay down their life for others. This kind of thinking goes way beyond thinking about ourselves. It involves giving up everything we have for the good of others. So here’s a challenge for you and me. Select a day and attempt to focus your thoughts on others and what they need more often than you think about yourself and what you need. Perhaps in giving ourselves away, we will find our true selves, which will be a self we really can love.


Lessons from a Frog about Resolving Conflict

While attending a book fair at my granddaughter’s elementary school, not only did I get to see my granddaughter’s second-grade classroom, but I was also able to visit the class where she attended first grade the previous year.

While I was visiting with my granddaughter’s first-grade teacher, I noticed a large poster on the wall with large letters entitled, Kelso the Frog – It’s Your Choice. Below the title, were the words, “Do you have a small problem? Try two of Kelso’s choices.”

The poster was apparently intended to give a young child nine choices when encountering a conflict with another child. I remarked to the teacher that perhaps adults could use this advice when they had a disagreement with someone.

As you read the nine choices listed below, you might want to give some thought about the two choices you could select regarding a conflict you are currently experiencing with someone.

  • Go to another game. There’s always another game you can play. Why are you insistent on playing the game you are playing?
  • Talk it out. Yeah, this takes a little courage. However, open and honest dialogue can often remedy a difficult situation.
  • Share and take turns. Perhaps you might consider this one the next time someone wants to squeeze in your traffic lane.
  • Ignore it. Like a smoldering ember, if you keep adding fuel to a conflict, eventually it grows into a raging fire. If you don’t pay attention to it, it will often lose energy and become nothing more than cold charcoal.
  • Walk away. Once you’re out-of-site, you’re also out-of-mind. It takes two to have a conflict. If you walk away, the other person can only look in the mirror and have a monologue.
  • Tell them to stop. This is called assertive behavior, not to be confused with aggressive behavior. For bad behavior to exist, good people do nothing. Respectfully ask the other person to stop doing what they are doing.
  • Apologize. This is the opposite of the victim mentality, which seeks to blame others for your mistakes. If you’re the one who is wrong, admit it right away and apologize for your behavior.
  • Make a deal. Perhaps you can negotiate a win-win solution. You may not both get everything you want, but you can both get something. If there is only one piece of pie remaining, perhaps one person can cut it, and the other person can select the first portion.
  • Wait and cool off. Count to ten or twenty. Walk outside for fifteen minutes. Continue the discussion twenty-four hours later. You’ll be surprised at the difference you can make in a conflict by waiting a few extra minutes or a day.

Perhaps these choices could be posted on your refrigerator or the wall in your organization’s meeting room. Above the options, you could write, “Pick Two.”


When You Get Squeezed, Do You Like What Comes Out?

It’s a scientific fact that when you remove the cap from a tube containing an ingredient and squeeze the tube, whatever is inside the tube will come out. You wouldn’t expect to squeeze a tube of toothpaste and get glue.

People are similar to a tube that has been squeezed. Whatever is in them will come out whenever they are compressed by enough pressure. This squeezing is often called stress, and it has a way of pushing out whatever is inside of us when we are pressed hard enough.

Sometimes, what you usually observe in others is not the same as what you receive from them when stress enters their life. For example, some people who are relatively congenial may become loud and belligerent when stress wraps its prickly hand around their life. Occasionally, someone known as a people-person will retreat to a quiet place and assume the posture of a clam when they are confronted by stress.

These stress reactions are defense mechanisms that mask what’s really inside in a person, which is often the fear of loss. When stress invades one’s space, the response is fight or flight. Raising your voice or walking away from a stressful situation can drive the stress monster back from where it came, but the villain soon returns.

The problem with this type of approach to handling stress is that you never know when your stress reaction will raise its ugly head. If often happens when you least expect it.

The best way to guarantee a positive reaction to the stress that will, no doubt, appear in your life sooner or later is to examine those deep-seated anxieties and fears in your life before you’re squeezed. Be intentional and mindful about putting things into your life when you are not in stress, which will eliminate your inward dread and remove your adverse and automatic reactions to stress.

If you would like help knowing how to fill your inward self with things that will eliminate your anxieties and cause positive reactions to flow out of you when you are under stress, contact us at ReWorkMe. We’ve been doing this for over four decades, and we’re really good at helping people eliminate the harmful effects of stress and live a more fulfilling life.




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