Take the High Road…It’s Less Crowded

takethehighroadImagine for a moment, taking a leisurely stroll down a tree lined avenue, far removed from the high volume of expressway traffic. Not only is it a less crowded and pothole free route, but it’s also far more scenic and the tolls you pay are fewer in the end. Considering the mental health costs alone, you have potentially saved enough time and money to finance your dream get-away or perhaps a vacation home.

I am not suggesting that you tolerate any and all infractions, bad behaviors and personal affronts. Avoidance is not the solution. Rather, take a stand for yourself with respect to engaging with the challenging person or uncomfortable situation.

• How do you tend to handle confrontation?
• What is most important to you regarding the outcome?
• Notice when your buttons are being pressed.
• How clear are your boundaries?

Some situations are simply easier to manage. Some associates, even intimates, are highly predictable in the ways they relate to each other so that we can prepare for the interaction. On the other hand, since people do not yet come equipped with “bar codes” that could enable us to identify their personal traits and characteristics beforehand, determining a plan of action can happen on the spot.

Taking the high road is not about turning the other cheek either. It is more in alignment with an overall philosophy of self-care and personal empowerment as well as self management. Scratch even deeper and it is an understanding and sometimes an acceptance of what and who you are reacting to. Is it really the person in front of you or is it your third grade teacher, college coach or scout leader; all voices from the past?

© MWeisner2017

Hope is NOT a Strategy for Change

imagesCAGH4OS8What are you hoping to achieve, change, fix, alter or revise in the next year? What makes this “wish” to change have any greater likelihood of follow through now than before?

What prompts change as delineated by the 4 stages that we all enter and exit at different speeds? In pre-contemplation the seed of a possible notion to perhaps shift something occurs. If there is enough interest, we then move to contemplation where the thought takes on added importance. This is followed by preparation for the big step and lastly moving on to the actual change.

Where are the battle lines drawn? Who will win…the old habit or the new behavior? Unless we traverse the process and internalize the stages, the truth is that it’s not happening. Too often it is much easier to skip along, falling back on old behaviors like “wishing, hoping and praying” for divine intervention and the magical solution to reveal itself.

What’s at stake? Improved health and/or appearance, stronger relationships, financial stability or an uncluttered desk may all be goals we set for ourselves. What’s the reward? More time, a new wardrobe, clearer boundaries and a cleaner work area are all tremendous benefits. Most importantly is the personal satisfaction of seeing ourselves as a number one priority; capable of change and deserving of attention, love and care.

What does your call to action look like?

• Select 1 action you will take in the next 24 hours
• Share your plan
• Select an accountability partner when you have completed your action
• Celebrate your success!

What did you learn about yourself from the experience?

©2016 Maureen Weisner

Best Friends…Really?

book-clubIsn’t it flattering to be everyone’s best friend? Hell no!!

It was a year ago at her monthly book club meeting that these words were spoken to Jane, a 59 year old lawyer. As she related the conversation to me it seemed still fresh and very unsettling to her. She recalled looking around the room at the women gathered and realized that she might consider one a good friend, but best friend sounded like something from childhood.

• What was so very troubling to her?
• What were the feelings it brought up?
• Why did she feel as if she had been punched in the stomach?

Jane was clear that her husband and adult children were very supportive of her professionally as well as the personal development work/journey she had embarked on. Everyone wanted her to be happy and yet she really had no idea what made her happy. However, she knew with certainty that she was unwilling to dismiss the initial “compliment” or her immediate reaction to it. Jane is prepared to give up being responsible for everyone’s welfare and personal happiness. She is also struggling with it and knows that her legacy will not be as “everyone’s best friend.”

Women may reveal information about their lives in order to connect with themselves and others. What frequently happens as we mature may also be a confusing time yet one rich with possibility and personal empowerment. The choices we make, the relationships we are in and the company we keep, all contribute to the mosaic of who we are.

• How varied are you willing to make the “design”?
• How risky is it?
• What’s the hook for you to be in relationships that are feeling so one-sided?
• What are you willing to do about it?
• What challenging conversations are you willing to have?
• How clear are your boundaries?

It’s helpful to create a checklist as you attempt to clean house and reconfigure relationships. Perhaps taking a leave from her book club will clarify its role in Jane’ life.

• Has it become a habit?
• Does she enjoy the focus of the group?
• Is it time to find another book club or redefine her role in it?
• What would you do?


The 10 Steps to Building a Strong Personal Foundation

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAO5AAAAJDg4YzI0NjJlLTNjNDItNDBjMy1iNjgyLWVhMTdmZmJlZmRiMQI consider Thomas Leonard to be one of my most influential coaching mentors. He was a major contributor to the development of personal coaching and founded many of the original training organizations. His body of work continues to support personal growth and below is an example of his emphasis on getting the basics in place. Build a solid foundation from the outset and consistently check-in on your progress. It’s a marvelous template for determining when things are out of alignment, addressing areas that need a tune-up and assessing YOUR needs.

1. Honor your boundaries
Boundaries protect you from people that your spirit cannot easily afford.

2. Raise your standards                                                                                                     The higher your standards, the fewer problems you will experience in life.

3. Clarify your requirements
Everyone in your life deserves to know what you expect/require of them.

4. Finish your unfinished business
The fewer unresolved items in your life, the more confident you will feel.

5. Get your personal needs met
Until your personal needs are met, it’s difficult to live powerfully and sustainably.

6. Orient around your values
When you orient your life and your goals around your values, fulfillment naturally occurs.

7. Build reserves in all areas
Having more than enough calms the mind and affords more experimentation in life.

8. Identify and reduce tolerations
What you put up with drains your energy and slows your development

9. Handle the money, completely
Until your money is handled, you are not at choice in life.

10. Define success for yourself
When you define success for yourself, life becomes very, very simple.