Elizabethkuhnke's Blog

Archive for January 2011

Developing Resilience

Demonstrating strength and composure in the face of adversity enriches your life and enhances the lives of others you engage with…

Disappointments, challenges and even rejection are unavoidable in life. It is how you respond and handle these situations that are important. Whether the stresses are around work, health, relationships or finances acting with resilience – with grace and buoyancy – will see you through the tough times. 3 keys to resiliency are:

  1. Maintaining Emotional Control. Staying calm in a crisis is vital. Express your feelings without acting out your emotions. Not only is this method more elegant than losing your temper, it allows you to take in the situation fully and find a way to move forward.
  2. Being open to new experiences.  – One way of rebuilding your life after a shattering experience   is by doing. Something new that pushes you out of your comfort zone.  By challenging your beliefs and assumptions you may find out that you’re hardier than you thought.
  3. Learning to solve problems. Often in the face of despair you may find yourself struggling to figure out what to do.  Take small steps.   Start by listing the easy wins and how you can achieve them.  By accepting upset as a natural part of life and facing your issues head on with honesty and flexibility, your confidence will increase and your perspective will clear.

Thinking optimistically improves your performance and produces positive results.  Three simple tips for thinking optimistically are

  • expect good things to happen to you
  • visualise what you want
  • respond to setbacks with grace, humour, and courage.

Finally, follow these pointers to ensure you bounce back from whatever’s troubling you:

  • Ask for and accept support from those who care about you
  • Take personal  responsibility for your feelings and behaviour
  • View each trial as an opportunity to build resilience
  • Manage your emotions
  • See problems as challenges, not impossibilities
  • Maintain perspective
  • Focus on positive outcomes

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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I’ve come up with a new mantra: Following through is fun! That being said, if you are inspired, energised and excited by beginning projects rather than completing them, following through may feel foreign, uncomfortable, or just plain difficult. Whether you find following through challenging or easy, read on.

In golf as in life, it’s the follow through that makes the difference.
Anon

A golfer lines up the ball, makes contact, and follows through the swing long after the ball’s in flight. Without this follow through the ball veers off in a haphazard direction rather than the one intended. It’s the same in business. It’s not uncommon for people to become distracted by the pursuit of the next big thing before finishing what was started. Then what? Not much. Failing to follow through can result in inconsistency, poor results, and ruined reputations [for more information about following through, visit the Myers Briggs Type Indicator section on our website].

Anecdote: As a young girl at the swimming club competitions, Judy was known for being first off the blocks, leaving her rivals in her wake. But then something would change. With spectators cheering her on, willing her to win, Judy’s focus would fade and her challengers would forge ahead. Who took home the trophies? Not Judy. What can be learned from Judy’s story? While the beginning of a project can be fun and exciting, without following through little is accomplished leaving you, and those around you, saying “So what?”

If you struggle with following through these tips might help.

       Focus. Be crystal clear about your goal. Is it the sense of power and precision that comes with a hole in one? Is it the accolades of the admiring crowds? Is it the gold cup/champion’s pay cheque/photo in the paper? Being clear about what you want will help you follow through.

       Passion. Following through requires vision, endurance and the passion to succeed. Without the passion, what’s the point?

       Fun. Following through is fun. And it feels good, too. You can count on a good night’s sleep when you go to bed having followed through on your day’s promises, tasks and commitments.

Remember: Without following through nothing gets completed.

Tip: Keeping the benefits of following through at the forefront of your mind maintains momentum and motivation.

Technical: Are you a person who follows through naturally or do you struggle to complete? The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) identifies personality preferences on four dichotomies, including how you like to live your life when it comes to following through.

Caution: Failing to follow through leaves you with only possibilities and no results.

Finally: Following through ensures a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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In order to treat others well, you must first treat yourself well. While being good to yourself may seem like a selfish mind-set , if you don’t look after yourself, you’re in no state to look after anyone else.

The way you treat yourself is the foundation on which you build your life. Treat yourself how you wish to be treated– with kindness, tolerance and respect. Care for yourself and watch the quality of your life improve.  Only when you’re cared for are you able to care for others. Airlines understand this principle:  during safety briefings the flight attendants instruct you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others.  They know that  unless you take care of yourself you’re in no place to lend a hand to someone else.

Clues that you might not be giving yourself all the nurturing that you need include:

  • Your sleep is disturbed. 
  • You feel guilty about relaxing 
  • You crave  substances such as sugar, caffeine and nicotine
  • Your last priority is always yourself

If you want to look after others, look after yourself first. Below are some suggestions for renewing your zest for life. 

  • Identify what replenishes you and gives you pleasure. Write a list and commit to doing something from the list each day.  Whatever it is -reading a book, doing a crossword, listening to music or going for a walk – build time into your schedule to do something that replenishes you.
  • Top up your energy levels.  10 minutes of concentrated ‘you time’  is all that’s needed to help you relax and feel better about yourself.  Spend at least a small amount of time on your own each day away from the cares, needs and troubles of others.  Once you’ve had some quiet time to yourself, you’re more able to serve others
  • When feeling down, buy yourself a small and affordable present – some bubble bath, flowers or a book .  Whatever it is, make sure that it’s something that gives you pleasure..
  • Allow yourself to indulge in some of the things you enjoy – – wine, chocolate, TV soaps,  just not to excess.
  • Think of one simple way of treating your body with kindness each day and do it. For example , you could drink more water, get fresh air, or go to bed early.  You’ll be surprised at how much better you soon feel.
  • Always take a break from work.
  • Get outdoors and notice nature and your surroundings.
  • Make a list a number of reasons to be grateful and read them when you feel you need to.

Remember only by being good to yourself can you bring out the best in others.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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A question I’m often asked is, “How can I gain some zest in my life?” It’s not uncommon for people to feel a little low, pessimistic, or lacking in energy, especially when the weather’s poor, relationships are challenging, and business is tough. Read on to find ways of regaining your zest.

Think about someone who has made a positive impact on you. Chances are that person shows a zest for life, radiating interest, energy and enthusiasm.
A male friend once described my then 93 year old aunt as ‘one of the sexiest women I have ever met.’ His reason? Her energy. Embracing life until the moment of her death, her varied interests, her unconditional support and non-judgemental attitude made being with her a pleasure. Her zest for life radiated through her open body language, vocal energy and positive attitude. You always felt better for having spent time with her.

Below are some of Aunt Louise’s tips for adding zest to your life:

  •        The zest -ivator: Discover what motivates you and fills you with enthusiasm. For some it’s music or dancing. For others it’s running while there are those who discover their zest through reading or meditation. Whatever adds zest to your life, consciously identify what it is. Then, when you feel your energy slipping you know where to go…
  •        Zest at your best: The next time you’re filled with zest, take note of your feelings. Reflect upon your thoughts. Listen to the sound of your voice, the words you’re speaking, and look at your body language including your gestures and facial expressions. Put these observations into your tool kit to draw upon the next time you need a shot of positive energy to raise your zest levels.
  •        The zest effect: When you are full of energy and enthusiasm watch how your audience responds. Zest is motivational, transformational and guarantees that you are remembered positively and for a long time.

Remember: Take a few moments each day to refresh your zest. Draw on your inspiration to create energy and focus.

Tip: Although the mechanism is not yet clear, research has shown that aerobic exercise improves mood through raising brain serotonin levels. So, if you feel energy depleted go for a brisk walk to replenish your zest reserves.

Technical: The secret to Aunt Louise: having a zest for life can help you live longer and more vibrantly. Research shows that how you perceive aging affects how long you will live. In a study of 660 people, those with more positive perceptions of their own aging lived an average of 7.5 years longer.

Caution: Pace yourself. While a zest-filled life is a life worth living, take time to reflect and replenish your reserves. Unrestricted zest can lead to burn out.

Finally: Let your zest for life radiate: your energy and enthusiasm will wow your audience, filling them with zest, too. As Norman Vincent Peale said:

 ‘If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind.’  

 For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

And…Follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher