How to Stand Your Ground When no One Stands With You

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #22

When both feet are planted firmly, nothing can shake you.

Sometimes it can be tough to stand your ground when there are opposing sides coming at you. I am a passionate person and when I have chosen to stand my ground the consequences of my choice to stand firm has affected certain relationships. The decisions I made were based mainly on the safety of my family and myself, and I felt that there was no budging. The result has led me to cut ties with some of my family members. I will be honest I don’t regret the decisions I have made and wished those that do not agree the very best. Even though our differences have kept us apart, I am still compassionate towards them. I still hope that one day we may also meet on good terms and be able to build the relationships we once had. A person can hold steadfast in what they believe and still be compassionate to the others that don’t agree. The reason I chose to separate myself was based purely on the fact that I was tired of being a doormat and I felt that my family was feeling the repercussions. Here are five ways that I stood my ground and can still make peace with my decision.

1. Be Compassionate

When I first had to learn to do this, it was hard for me to wrap my head around this concept. The people I had to stand my ground with were my family, and I had grown up with these individuals my whole life. I remember when I was an adult, and the situation became extremely dramatic; I wanted to blame the family that was involved. I was mad and hurt that they did not have faith in me and my life choices. After a while, the blame game gets pretty old, and with that, I started to feel sympathy for these people involved. It made me sad that they would not be able to watch my kids grow up and have a relationship with them. They would miss any of my husband’s and mine accomplishments and celebrate with us. My anger changed to sadness not so much for myself but for those that would lose these life moments. I am sure you may be curious about what I decided to walk away from that would cause me to choose to separate myself from family. My reason to stand my ground was alcoholism, and it takes a lot for someone who is dealing with addiction to gain compassion for those that suffer. It took me many years to gain an understanding of my family that struggles with this. Instead of being angry I decided to be more sympathetic although all of these feelings have to be done from a distance. It helps heal my spirit to be compassionate to the people I love and gives me comfort in my decision.

2. Learn to Have the Right Attitude

Having a bad attitude has never worked for anyone wanting to move forward. Sometimes taking a stand for what we believe in means we need to stay positive about what is confronting us. Even when there are those around us that want to try to change who we are we still need to be respectful of their beliefs and opinions. Sometimes standing our ground can get us ridiculed and we need to be able to be confident in what we are standing for. I am a homeschool mom of two children, and I have run into this in the past where I have had to stand up for my belief in teaching my children. I have had many different conversations where people believe that this can not be a good fit for a child socially and from an educational standpoint. I respect them for their belief, but it is not going to change the way my family lives their lives. Many times after these individuals have met my children and spent time with them the opinion they once had has now changed. Having the right attitude when it comes to dealing with those awkward situations can have a more significant effect on the situation instead of handling it negatively.

3. Don’t be a Pushover be Assertive

Being a pushover never got me anywhere. I began to realize early when needing to stand my ground that if I did not, I dealt with the most disrespect. Just because these individuals may be close does not mean you have to bend your rules. When dealing with my kids and their friends, I have a rule in my house that when you are in my house, you need to follow my rules. I recognize that other people have other rules in their homes and I support their rules when I am in their homes. I expect the same thing when others are in my house. Being assertive is not a bad thing and shows that you are confident in what you want for your life. It keeps those that want to use you as a doormat at a comfortable distance. When you are assertive it lets, people know that you deserve to be respected.

4. Prioritize the Things in Your Life

What is important to you? What things hold special meaning? My priorities in my life are my husband and my kids. When these things get disrupted, that is when I take a stand and don’t budge. When addiction was affecting my family, I chose to separate myself to keep my family safe and healthy. The things you prioritize in life are the things that you value most, and you don’t want those things to be affected negatively. My family is something that I have worked hard for, and it is not something I am willing to negotiate with when the negotiation may cause pain to them in the end.

4. Keep your Vision

Don’t lose sight of what you have worked so hard for. Even when there is an opposition that you must face know that you can still keep your head high and be comfortable where you stand. Keeping your vision helps you stay on your path even when a deterrent hits. It helps you work toward your primary goal and gives you a light at the end of a tunnel. If you can make it through this, you can make it through anything.

5. You do not Have to Give a Reason for Your Stance

Your reasons are your reasons and no one else’s. People should not have to explain why they decided the way they did; it is their business. Never let anyone make you second guess what you firmly believe in your way of thinking is precisely that your way. Giving reasons also shows that you may not be as set as you thought and can show a sign of weakness. If people see a flaw, they may also see an opportunity to use that against you.

Standing our ground can be difficult at times, but it is very beneficial for us to do so. While we do need to be firm, we also must show compassion for the opposite side and understand where they are coming from. Having a right attitude when dealing with a situation that questions our ideas gets us a lot farther than one that is more combative. Remember to stay strong and don’t let others push you around. By being assertive and confident, this will less likely try to force their views on you, and respect what you have to offer. Prioritize the things in your life that you treasure you will work harder and you will value them more and expect others to appreciate them in return. Never lose sight of the vision you want for your life. Keeping your idea keeps you on the path to attaining the ultimate goal. Never feel like you have to explain to others why you do things a certain way. Everyone has the freedom of choice and telling others why you choose to do things a certain way is not allowing you to have that freedom. Never feel like your less than just because you may do things differently than others, embrace the individuality that lies within you.

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How to Use Charm to Benefit You at Your Next Party

Be a master of the social game.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #21

You will always possess a charm and sense of humor that attracts others.

Do charming people have more carefree times in social settings? Thinking about this question gets me thinking how I socialize in specific environments. For the most part, I feel that I am warm and comfortable to communicate with and don’t see myself struggling in this area. I was a personal trainer for nine years and gave seminars where I needed to speak to an audience, and when I first started I was shy and many times would get the butterfly feeling in the pit of my gut before I was to speak. As the years gone by and I kept giving seminars, teaching classes, and working with new people these insecurities disappeared. The one talent I do wish I had more of was that of being charming. What is so wonderful about being charming? I feel that being lovely with those around us can benefit us much especially when it comes to critical social settings such as business meetings. Being charming can bring positive attention to you. This behavior can help make connections that may not have been made otherwise, and will even build one’s self-confidence. Sometimes when I try, I can be a bit socially awkward, and this is something that I know I could benefit from doing in social settings. Here are four ways that I plan on becoming more charming to those around me.

1. Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

Why must we always step out of the comfort zone to get anything done? If we are comfortable, we won’t try as hard to get what we want. People like to associate with others who think outside the box. Think about the times you have conversations and who you like to talk with, are they boring or are they interesting to you? What makes them that way? Being creative in your discussions brings a little spice of life to the party, and you will get more people interested. Think of fun and creative ways that you can communicate with those around you. If you are at an office party, don’t start the conversation off about work instead find some common interest outside of work to discuss. Talking about hiking on the weekends will be far more interesting than the spreadsheets you look at every day.

2. Listen

Please be a good listener. Listening to those around us can be a hard one to follow and if you are like me and always thinking about what to say next. I have had to practice this one in the last few years and can say that I am grasping at this concept. I never knew how annoying this could be to be in a conversation and not listen till I started catching myself in this dangerous behavior. You will make more friends by lending an ear instead of a mouth. People love those that listen and pay attention to what they are talking about. Many times people don’t listen, and it is scarce to find a good listener. Remember when in a conversation don’t keep thinking about what you are going to say next, you won’t be listening, and that can get you into trouble. Recieve their message in full so that you can give a response that is meaningful to another person.

3. Focus on the Emotions

Make sure to check those emotions at the door. Making sure my feelings didn’t get the best of me was the lesson I learned when I was a trainer. It doesn’t matter what people think of me I can’t be shy and nervous when I needed to be confident and motivating. I would have never kept a client being shy and timid. I had to suck it up buttercup and put on that confident face to get through many of my seminars and sessions. After they were done and I had positive feedback it gave me the confidence to do the next one and pretty soon I no longer needed to check my emotions at the door. Give yourself a break and relax. Being able to relax and not worry about what and how you are going to start a conversation makes communication with others so much more comfortable. Don’t be hard on yourself and have fun in whatever setting you are involved with. If you are fumbling for your words and awkward, this will be a no-win situation for you, and you will inevitably crash and burn.

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4. Body Language Says More than you Think

Body language says a lot in a conversation and how you hold yourself will tell others quite a bit about you, and you want to make a good impression. If you stand tall, you are showing confidence. When we stand slouched and hunched over, we may give off the idea there is a weakness. Giving eye contact shows that you are listening and interested in what the other person is saying. Often matching the way others in the conversation are holding their body language will make you and them comfortable.

Everyone can have a certain amount of charm, and it takes a little practice to master the skill. Make sure to get outside of your box and be creative when engaging in a social conversation. Listening to those around us and paying attention to what is being said will make us valuable to those that are telling the story. Make sure to keep those emotions where they need to be and that it is better to be relaxed and confident then it is to be awkward and nervous. Take your body language and make it work for any social situation. Practicing these qualities will bring us closer to being the charming individuals we have always wanted to be.

How to Make The Best Out of a Bad Situation

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #19

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a magic wand that we could instantly change the bad things that happen in our lives? We would be able to flip the switch in an instant with no pain or fear. Unfortunately, that is not how life works, and bad things do happen. We can get a handle on these unexpected circumstances if we can work with the harder times in life. Here are five ways to take not so pleasant situation and make it better in the end.

1. Perspective is Everything

Take a look at the problem as a whole. Ask yourself if this is going to affect the rest of your life? If your answer is yes, then take a look at how to improve the circumstance and make it better so that it will work for you in the future. Look at ways to make this work and then start fixing the problem the best way you can. Perspective gives you the freedom to decide how you feel about the outcome. You can hate the result and feel miserable, or you can keep your head high and see what you can do to change the situation. If the situation is not going to affect you for the rest of your life acknowledge the problem and move on and don’t look back, you don’t have time to waste reminiscing on things that did not work out.

2. Accept What You Can Not Change

We can not always control the outcome that life gives us. When life throws you into a tailspin remember to not focus on the things that are unchangeable. Focusing on these things can hold us back on repairing and moving forward in our lives. If something isn’t working, don’t focus on this instead move on to another plan. I have learned by taking those things that I can not change and grow from the experience is better than waiting for something to happen that won’t.

3. Flexibility

Just like accepting change we also have to allow for flexibility in our outcome. If something is not working, reevaluate what the problem is and see what else will work. Being flexible will also let you not to be surprised if what you initially thought did not work out. Being flexible will also lighten the blow if what you worked hard for fails. I used to believe that life was scheduled and planned for every minute of every day and this thought process quickly changed the moment I had children. Anyone who has dealt with littles will agree that the planning and organization that you work so hard for as an adult will quickly fly right out the window when children are involved. I am thankful for the opportunity to raise my children so that they could teach me to be flexible.

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4. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Beating yourself up for something that can not be changed is a complete waste of time.  If you made a bad choice then you are human just like the rest of us and as long as you acknowledge and move forward this will be the best learning experience.  Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes we make big mistakes but it is ok and to be able to grow from your mistakes make you a stronger human being.

5. What Have You Gained From the Experience

Whether life hands you lemons or lemonade, we need to be able to take whatever experience and learn from it. Nothing is perfect and being able to take the knowledge that we gain from our failures is priceless and should be valued.

Why does life seem to be so unpredictable? If life were so predictable, it would not be so exciting. Even though there may be times when we feel like we have moved twenty steps back instead of forward taking the time to learn from the experience and make a plan to move forward to new experiences. Always take a look at the situation as if it were a glass half full instead of empty. Your perspective will affect how you deal with the situation and if your attitude is confident you will be able to handle what life throws at you a lot better. Accept that whatever is ailing you will not change and figure out how to fix it. If you live your life with more flexibility, it will prepare you for times when they are not the best. Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake learn from this and move forward. Always take a lesson from failure it will keep you from making the same mistakes in the future.

Understanding Your Learning Style

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #13

Learning is a treasure which occompanies us anywhere.

 

There are so many ways to learn. Some of us prefer to learn through visualizing while others prefer to learn through instruction that is given to us. Not one learning style works for everyone, and sometimes more than one method can benefit the way we understand things. Being able to understand which style works best for our individual needs will help us further our understanding. Everywhere we go we can usually learn something new. Wheather we are traveling to another country and need to be able to understand the language or giving a presentation at work the next day if we know how to learn our best we will go a lot further down the road. Here are seven different learning styles to help you decide which is the best way you can get your best-educating experience.

1. The Visual Learner
Do you love to read and can remember what you have learned? Then this style may work best for you. Visual learners do just that they visualize. The visual learner is also known as a spatial learner. Visual learning style studies by using vision and will be taking notes in class, and may sit in front of the classroom so that they can have the full visual experience. Many visual learners are good with faces and not so good with names. These individuals can give right directions and can read a map front, sideways, and backward. Maybe not exactly like that but pretty close. They tend to daydream and might be caught doodling when bored. An excellent way for you to learn is to take notes, make outlines and graphs.

2. The Verbal Learner
Verbal learners do well when they write or are spoken too. It is easy for a verbal learner to express themselves. When these types were kids, they loved tongue twisters and rhymes. Many times, if there is a word that someone cannot think of a verbal learner, will get it for you. Lists are great ways for these types, and they will be excellent spellers. In a group setting, they may carry a recorder to tape what they need to know and often they will talk to themselves to solve problems. Rhythm and music are great for verbal learners as they find this very satisfying. Good study habits for verbal learners are reading notes out loud and repetition. Also reading textbooks or lessons are an excellent way for them to understand the concept.

3. The Aural Learner
Aurel learners learn best with a combination of listening, speaking, and hearing. Sound and music are very beneficial to these types. Many times the aural learner will be excellent singers and musicians. They must be able to hear what is being said and the primary focus for them is sound. When they are reading, they tend to have sound in the background. Aural learners make excellent storytellers. There will be times when they will come up with solutions to problems by talking through the situation. The best way for an aural to learn is using rhyming and mnemonics to help with memory. Also, it is beneficial for them to record lessons and review them frequently.

4. The Physical Learner
A physical learner uses their hands and bodies. They love to touch. Kids and babies are great physical learners. Many times physical learners will be involved in sports and exercise. They tend to like textures and love to work with their hands. Physical learners will use body language to express themselves. An excellent career to look into for a physical learner is Culinary Arts. My husband is a hands-on type and is most happy when he is cooking. He went to Culinary School and enjoyed it and excelled at the curriculum. The best way for a physical learner to study is by using objects such as flashcards to help with memory.

5. The Logical Learner
A logical learner uses reason to solve problems. They will use numbers and are comfortable with them. This type will also do a lot with cause and effect. Many times they are mathematical and enjoy doing these activities. Patterns are fun for the logical learner, and they may perform complicated calculations. These people would enjoy dealing with targets and budgets. Most times they create agendas and to do lists. They may even pick up on logic weaknesses and point them out. The best way for the logic learner to understand is by adding lots of detail to learning. They study vital points and analyze. Breaking down more substantial material to more precise content is an easy way for the logic learner to grasp the concept.

6. The Social Learner
The social learner is the social butterfly of the learning style. They love the interaction with others and are excellent communicators. They can communicate in verbal and nonverbal forms effectively. People like to listen to the social learner, and the social learner will listen to those around them and accept other points of view. A social learner will bounce ideas off of those around them and likes to work through problems in a group setting. They thrive on teamwork and enjoy team sports. A social learner gets their energy from those around them. The best way for a social learner to study is in a group atmosphere. They also will do well with other people quizzing them on their content.

After learning about all the different learning styles, I concluded that I am mostly a verbal learner. I had a few traits in other categories but found that I do the best with language. I love to write, read, and spell and even remember myself as a child reciting all those nursery rhymes and tongue twisters hours on end. I am a list person and make them every day. By learning what kind of learning style benefits me, I feel this will take my knowledge journey to a new level, and I can accomplish more knowing what fits me best.

Being able to learn something is a treasure. We get to experience something new and take it with us wherever we go. Understanding our style of learning can take us to another level that we may not have had otherwise. Find out what learning style works best for you and use it to your best advantage.

Don’t Waste Time! 8 Ways to Turn Your Vision Into Your Reality.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #8

Watch one’s thoughts become one’s actions.

Where do you see yourself?  Do you see yourself wanting more out of the life that you have?  These are questions that many of us struggle with daily.  You want to move forward but are not sure how to begin, and the thought of the change brings on intense feelings of doubt and uncertainty.  You can attain your vision, and you can overcome your fears, it may not happen overnight, but it can happen if you practice these 8 steps to help you take your vision and turn it into reality.

Write down your goals.

Writing down your goals helps you visualize what can happen.  Rather than dreaming of what you want you have taken the initiative to write these down and stick with them.

Work small than large.

Break these goals into small goals and significant goals.  Sometimes if we try to go all in it can be overwhelming and can lead us to feel discouraged which won’t get us anywhere.  When we finish the smaller goal, we feel like we have climbed a mountain and can work toward our bigger picture.

Don’t Get Distracted. 

It can be effortless to get distracted, and it is so important to keep an eye on the prize.  When these distractions arise do your best to control them and not let the overtake what you have worked so hard to create.

If it doesn’t work tweak it. 

Sometimes visions take more than one try, and we have to be patient and realize that if it doesn’t work the first time we try and make it work the second or even third time.  Life is not easy, and most things are not just given; it will take some blood, sweat, and tears, but it is all worth it in the end.

Get support. 

Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed.  If you are around people who are not in your corner you will feel like your dream should never be a reality.  Those that love you will want to see you shine.

Realize that you want this more than anything. 

Hard work is precisely that, and nothing comes easy.  Be able to make the conscious decision that this is what your future holds and you will do whatever it takes to get there.  This includes sacrifices you may have not thought about and realizing you are making this choice makes the vision so much more important.

Practice makes perfect.

Whatever your dream is you need to practice.  Usually when you want to do something that makes you happy you need to learn everything about it. Dive in and learn all you can and then practice the techniques that are taught to get you where you want to be.

Be open to all options.

Don’t shut our anything because you think that it doesn’t fit your box.  Many times thinking outside the box will give you the best results.  Look at all your options and weigh them before making any clear cut decisions.

Today is the day to show what you are made of, and take your vision and turn it into your reality.  Don’t waste time dreaming and start using your time to create the reality you have always wanted.