How To Break Through Fear in Turbulent Times Fear is becoming all too common in many people’s lives today. In turbulent times, inner voices of fear and self- doubt can surface with an increased vitality and urgency. By focusing on addressing these fears and restoring your inner balance, you can gain the resilience and healthy outlook that will get you through these difficult times.
Find the time to do the techniques in this exercise. Save this newsletter, print it out, and come back to it if necessary. Understanding how fears impact your life and activities will empower you to push past them. Here are some techniques and processes that can identify, address, and break through fears and doubts.
1. MAKE A LIST OF YOUR FEARS. Only by admitting that they exist can you seek solutions. Include fears you may have about your career, life, and about other people.
2. WRITE DOWN HOW THESE FEARS IMPACT YOUR LIFE. Think about how these fears impact your reactions and actions in different situations.
3. BECOME AWARE OF THE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD. Write down the negative messages that you think and say to yourself when thinking about these fears.
4. BUILD A SUPPORT SYSTEM. Start building a support system of friends and eliminate people from your life who foster feelings of negativity.
5. GET INFORMATION. Learn as much as you can about the stimulus for your fear. Knowledge can reduce anxiety. If you have fears about people from different backgrounds, learn about their cultures. If your fears are career related, invest in yourself and learn about your options and career path.
6. ELIMINATE DESTRUCTIVE SELF-TALK. Focus on changing each negative message to one that is affirming and constructive.
7. READ. Read books that help you feel better about yourself.
8. LET GO OF YOUR PAST. Be aware of and understand your past. Be willing to let go of it and learn to live in the present in order to prepare for the future.
9. SET GOALS. List your goals and the actions you need to achieve them.
10. TAKE ACTION. Take one of those actions every day. Each time you do something that brings you closer to achieving your goals you will feel better about yourself.
When fears and self-doubts come back, and they still do, break through them using these tools and skills. They work.
The Life Juggle: How to Find Lifework Balance
If there is universal rule in lifework balance principles, it is to have flexibility. Flexibility allows people to play many life roles without neglecting any one responsibility. It means breaking from routines and rigid schedules and having the ability to find creative solutions to daily dilemmas. In the numerous lifework balance principles we’ve studied and taught, flexibility is most often the driving force behind effective techniques.
So how can you gain more flexibility in your life? Here are our suggestions:
GET IN THE MINDSET
Flexibility is first and foremost a mindset. It is when we become rigid in our thinking that we determine we can’t get done what we need to, which creates stress and imbalance. Flexibility, on the other hand, means feasibility. It means keeping options open and adapting solutions. Let’s say your child has a sporting event right smack in the middle of your workday. If you miss out on work, you’ll disappoint your co-worker who needs you for a project you are working on. If you miss out on your child’s activity, you feel you might break his/her heart. At this point, many people believe they are going to let someone down, so they don’t invest much time in finding a win-win solution.
Now, practice flexibility. Sit back, loosen up your shoulders, get the creaks out of your neck and consider your options. Can your co-worker join you for the event so you can work on the project on the drive there and back? Can you do a quick assessment of the project’s tasks for the day and find ones that you can do alone that will still move the project forward? If you order in and pay for lunch, would your coworker be willing to stay in to work on it? If you don’t have kids, your responsibilities may revolve more around your family or friends. Whatever the responsibility, everyone needs balance in their lives. When you establish an environment of support and flexibility, you’ll find creative solutions and establish a norm with your coworkers to help each other out in times of need.
FIND 2-FOR-1 DEALS
Part of what made the solutions above work was that they accomplished multiple tasks at the same time (lunch and work, drive time and project discussion). Activities that allow you to feel like you are moving forward in two different life planes at the same time are the gems of life balance. Don’t wait for situations that force you to do two things at once. Seek them out instead to open up your schedule for unexpected twists and turns. Our all-time favorite 2-for-1 activity: exercising with a friend. It gives you a chance to catch up, give and get some emotional support, and keep your health in check, which will give you the resilience to work through stressful times.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Organizations have become increasingly aware of the need to be flexible to meet the needs of their employees. Take the time to find out what your organization offers before you get stuck in a difficult lifework balance situation. Knowing your options will help keep you flexible. Make a point of discussing your needs with your boss and coworkers so you can all help each other out. Remember that not all lifework balance solutions will be formal ones with written policies.
If you are a manager, make a point of finding out what other organizations are doing to accommodate their employees and determine what you can do. Have an action plan to adapt to varying needs in place before the need arises, so you can establish fair and equitable practices for ensuring the health and happiness of your employees. Here’s an overview of the programs companies offer to help employees balance work and life needs:
– 88% of companies offer employee assistance programs
– 73% of companies offer flexible work arrangement
– 61% of companies offer part-time employment
– 42% of companies offer child care resource and referral
– 37% of companies offer job sharing
– 24% of companies offer compressed work schedules
– 20% of companies offer telecommuting
Source: Hewitt & Associates
Plan to make a difference in your workplace in 2003! Call us to discuss programs that can help all your employees or coworkers strike a healthy lifework balance.