Need for Perfection Leads to Drama

May 25, 2010

Question: My time management is pathetic. I need some help prioritizing and fitting in important things like exercise and a healthy diet. I expect perfection and have a hard time with expectations.

Answer: I love this question because it truly is an energy issue. All drama has three components in common and one of those components is energetic. I call this energetic charge, RESISTANCE.

One of the ways resistance shows up is in self judgment. Let’s address the self judgment. The need to be perfect is a resistance to our humanity. As a human you will always find imperfections.  When we expect to be perfect we will always fail. Perfection is an empty black hole that is easy to fall in to. So I try to encourage my consulting clients to seek excellence because excellence allows room to grow while perfection is a myth that some day I will have all the answers. This is a big trap that will always have you grasping for something you will never achieve. So there is a bit more flexibility with excellence.

Perfection is all about needing approval and being right. 

There is also some resistance around the issue of time and how we use time, and the myth that technology is going to save you time.  Now let’s look at the myths about technology. One myth is that more advances in technology gives us more time. The reality is it only gives us more choices. Our expectations change to fill up the time. This is very difficult for most of us to accept. We reject the notion that you can never really save time. Time just is. You can be more effective. You can choose differently. You can even master your energy differently but you will never really save time because the expectation changes with the technology. What is called for here is mastering energy.

Energy management is the key issue here. This is a matter of making a decision and sticking to it. Simply spending some quiet time and giving yourself a week to exercise three times for 1 hour would be a nice start. It’s really just a discipline and the willingness to slow down in your thinking just a bit.

Once you follow through your self-esteem and overall sense of well being will increase. This extra energy is what will make you more efficient, not working past your limits, skipping meals and feeling bad about yourself.

In addition, remember that if you don’t give your body what it needs, it will eventually take the down time in the form of an illness or accident. In other words, you can’t fool mother nature.  We always reap the consequences of our choices, even when we fail to choose, it does not keep us from the effect.

Ready to release resistance? Join me  for the upcoming virtual training!


How to Master Your Energy and Reclaim Joy

May 18, 2010

Question: Though I have a loving husband and child, most of the people and life situations that surround me seem to drain me of energy and joy — always something to deal with or fix.  Why could this be?  Is this “just life,” and I am expecting too much?

Answer: No, you are definitely not asking too much, in fact, you are probably “giving” too much. You are not expecting too much you are expecting too little, probably from others.

Often, we take over and give until we have nothing more to offer. The good thing is that your body is giving you warning signs. The lack of joy and the exhaustion is a signal that needs to be listened to.  I would say this is going to take a little courage.

 I see two areas where you can practice
1. Setting boundaries
2. Asking for what you want

(By the way,  asking and setting boundaries are two of the LABOR principles.)

Asking for what you want, means risking rejection when others don’t want to help out or do their fair share.

 What will be required of you to do this is to face feelings of guilt, fear of rejection etc. Others may not understand the new you and if they are used to you being so available to their needs and wishes they may feel some resentment. You have to become more committed to yourself than to their approval.

 My challenge to you is to practice for a week just asking for little things. Be OK if you do not get your request met. Just ask. All you have to do is be willing.

Have an authentic conversation with your family and tell them you love them but you feel exhausted and you want to get your joy back. Tell them you realize you have not been letting others contribute and you are turning over a new leaf. Ask for their support. Let them know it is difficult for you to say “no” and difficult to ask.  This will set the foundation for you to move forward with less resistance from them.

Stop Relationship Drama: Get Clear

April 29, 2010

So much of the time, we use our energy trying to convince someone else, or get someone else’s agreement,  instead of getting clear on who we are and what we want.

For example, when someone crosses a boundary and you keep trying to convince them that you have a right to be angry, you are spending more energy convincing them, than you are about clarifying a boundary.

When you say “no” and it upsets someone else, do you keep trying to get them to understand and agree with your decision, or are you clear that you have a good reason and a right to say “no” with no complaints, no excuses and no regrets?

Do you spend hours in self-refection just tying to be more understanding, trying to figure someone out, and trying to be more worthy? Or are you clear that you have worth, and you expect authenticity and respect in your relationships?

Do you have temper tantrums, and use drama to tell someone off, hoping this time they will learn from their mistake and treat you better? Or are you so clear that you know how to draw a line in the sand?

All you really need is clarity.

Quit going to the island called “Getting their approval.”

You may be angry for good reason.
You do have the right to say “no.”
You may not be the one who needs to change or reflect.

If you are being manipulated, or sucked into games, it’s time to leave that drama behind. You can clean it up by getting clear about who you are and what you stand for. 

Of course the problem is, your clarity will not make everyone else happy.
You have two choices. Keep betraying yourself so you can get approval, or let go of the need to make everyone else understand.

If you can deal with that, you can stop your drama.

Master Your Energy: Where are you starting from?

February 24, 2010

You’ve surely had an instance where you left a meeting feeling resentful. Or you’ve had a conversation that caught you totally off guard, or you gave a gift that was not appreciated and you ended upfeeling unappreciated. Or you gave a pitch to a client only to leave feeling totall misunderstood.

You will always think the issue is about the other person, but the reality is, it is always about you and your energy. It is about where you are starting from. 

You  had a hidden motive, you had an agenda or an expectation you were unaware of.

If you could visualize energy as having a starting place, you can eliminate a whole lot of drama and disappointment. You visualize this and realize that you are always starting from some sort of energy and that energy is either positive or negative.

In other words, before every communication, interaction, or activity, you come from some place.  You either come from

  • Desperation
  • Excitement
  • Anticipation
  • Dread
  • Hope
  • Need for approval
  • Intention to manipulate or control

You’ve surely experienced this on the other side of the fence. A friend comes to you and says, I just want to get your feedback, but when you give it,  your friend gets angry, feels insulted or tries to convince you to change your mind. What your friend really wanted was approval, not your advice.

The more clear you are about your intention, the less drama you will feel toward the outcome, and the less need you will have to get agreement, change someone else’s mind,  or make someone else wrong. 

One of my favorite spiritual authors, Gary Zukav says, if you are not sure about your intention before an interaction you will be clear about it afterwards.

Clearing your energy is all about knowing your intention in advance and eliminating the possible integrity gap of having two competing intentions.

Energy Management: Balancing Choice and Responsibility

January 25, 2010

No matter how technology improves, you just can’t catch up.

Because most of us are handling a schedule humanly impossible to manage, we feel frustrated, angry and overwhelmed instead of enjoying our work and feeling like we are contributing.

We are all addicted to the lie that technology is going to save time. The only thing that happens is a new demand emerges and the expectation changes.

The danger I see with emerging technology and the powerful choices that are offered to all of us, is we are not equipped to handle the power.  Not to knock technology. I love it too, but if you believe in the Chinese symbol of yen and yang you must also believe that with every benefit there is a price to pay, and that price is responsibility.

The more power you have the more responsible you must be.  I call this theory the Teeter Totter Effect. Choice and responsibility must be equally balanced.

The Teeter Totter Effect
A teeter totter rests on a fulcrum point. When the teeter totter is balanced, the teeter totter is completely horizontal and when it is not, one end rests higher than the other.

If the teeter totter is completely level and on the right side you have a 20 pound weight called “Choice” then on the left you must also have a 20 lb weight called “Responsibility.”

At first glance we always want more choices because more choices mean more power. However,  if  choice is not balanced with responsibility  then you are going to have trouble and eventually drama.

For example, look at the young, and I mean very YOUNG children who have been given the power of the cell phone and texting.  The result has been less monitoring by parents, and kids as young as 13 years old sexting, being bullied on social networks and then because they do not have the maturity or the support they commit suicide.

Look at how adults who should know better,  risk their lives and put others at risk by texting while driving. (There’s a lot of denial out there about our ability to multi-task while science and research proves our brains are not built for it.)

We have become unconscious and do not know how to balance choice and responsibility. Balancing choice with responsibility, is what energy management is all about.

Ten Ways You Give Away Your Power

August 18, 2009

Guilt, anger, frustration, and overwhelm are some of the signs that you might be losing power.  If you aren’t aware enough to notice the signs, maybe you can identify the signs of giving away power by looking at these ten examples.

1. Getting angry over things you can’t control.
You can’t control the weather, the crowds at the grocery store or traffic. All you can do is prepare, shop at a different time or leave early.

2. Feeling guilty for something you can’t change.
Guilt only serves a purpose when it helps you change something, or apologize for a wrong doing, otherwise it’s a waste of energy.

3. Trying to change others.
The only time someone changes is because it benefits them. Sometimes they change when you set boundaries, or make a request, but only if it serves their purpose. The wisdom comes in remembering this.

4. Comparing yourself to someone else.
You’ll either feel better or worse when you compare yourself to someone else. It’s all a fantasy. Either way leads to the same outcome: judgment, and judgment always blocks prosperity.

5. Betraying yourself to please others.
Betrayal of yourself to please another is still betrayal says Neal Donald Walsh, author of Conversations With God.

6. Bad mouthing yourself or anyone else.
Making yourself or anyone else wrong is just drama. Ask for what you want, correct the situation or accept it.

7. Saying “yes” when you want to say “no.”
This includes volunteering, listening to drama, buying gifts for people you don’t want to buy for, going to parties you hate, spending time with people who bore you, irritate you or otherwise bring out your worst.

8. Blaming anyone or anything for your emotional state or circumstances.
Take responsibility for everything in your life and see how much more powerful you feel.

9. Becoming  a doormat and letting others take advantage.
You can still be polite and say “no” or set a boundary. No one is going to treat you any better than you treat yourself.

10. Giving up time for self-care, relaxation and rejuvenation to work harder.
You need small breaks every 90 minutes. You aren’t doing anyone any favors by exhausting yourself and lowering your effectiveness.

Good News Bad News

May 10, 2009

Waiting out the storm in a hot crowded basement.

Good News: My first “Reinvent Seminar” has 30 participants!

Bad News: The room is not set up like I requested when I arrive.

Good News: I stay calm and get to work and everyone arrives early.

More Good News: It is an overcast day so the shades can stay open to a beautiful view of the city.

Bad News: A tornado was spotted 30 miles away and the wind is ferocious outside.

Good News: There’s a basement in the building.

Bad News: We have to walk down 22 flights and most of us wore high heels.

More Bad News: People are chattering as they walk down the stairs. The person in front of me is spilling coffee down the steps. I judge myself for being judgmental about the chatter, the storm, and the spilt coffee.

Good News: I commend myself for being aware of my judgments and I do a prayer of forgiveness. I feel centered and loving again.

Good News: We arrive at the basement.

Bad News: The basement is hot and crowded.

Good News: I stifle my urge to complain.

Great News: The storm is over and we head for the elevator.

Bad News: Someone was clueless. The storm is not over at all. The elevators aren’t working. I judge myself for thinking someone is clueless and for being mad at the storm.

Good News: The storm really is over. Time to get on the elevator.

Bad News: It’s almost time for lunch and I haven’t even started the seminar.

Good News: Almost everyone is willing to adjust their schedule and stay two more hours.

Learning Points: Life is full of what we describe as good news and bad news. No matter how much you plan, strategize or worry, sometimes there is a bigger plan you must adapt to. When circumstances are out of your control, your best option is to release resistance, because in releasing you learn how to be present and you learn to trust.