Why It's OK to End Something That's Wasting Your Time

Uncategorized Aug 11, 2020

I was on a golfing trip one year when I met a guy named Blair. When I asked Blair about his line of work, he said he was in bonds. 

“Wow, that’s cool.” I said. “Have you been in bonds for a long time?”

“Not too long,” he said. “It’s a second career for me. I was in chemical manufacturing for a long time, and then made a switch a couple of years ago.”

I was impressed that he got to the top in a second career so fast, but you know what made the difference? He told me that although he’d experienced many temptations to keep believing things in his former career would turn around, he finally came to “the moment.” There was a moment when he knew that it was his time to get out.

When you can overcome internal conflict and get comfortable with a necessary ending, you’re going to get a more desirable result. You have to make endings a normal occurrence and a normal part of business and life instead of...

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How to Foster Better Relationships and Create Life-Giving Boundaries

Uncategorized Aug 08, 2020

Boundaries have a two-sided nature. You may lose something, but you gain a new life of peacefulness and self control.

Fear of the unknown is a really powerful internal obstacle to overcome when setting boundaries. As one woman said, "I didn't want to move out of Hell. I knew the names of all the streets!"

Setting boundaries and being more independent is scary because it is a step into the unknown. Many of us are aware that we can be rewarded for stepping out on faith into the unknown. However, that doesn't always make it easy to do.

Change is frightening. It may comfort you to know, that if you are afraid, you are possibly on the right road -- the road to change and growth. One businessman I know says that if he's not totally frightened at some point in every day, he is not stretching himself far enough. He is very successful at what he does.

Boundaries separate you from what you have known and what you do not want. They open up all sorts of new options for you. You will have mixed...

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The Difference Between Being Responsible For Someone and To Someone

Uncategorized Aug 06, 2020

When it comes to helping others, I get a lot of questions about the difference between being responsible for someone and being responsible to someone. Hopefully this will clear some of that up and help you make the distinction in the future.

The Law of Responsibility says that you are responsible for yourself and to others. It is realizing the boundaries of what you are to worry about and how. There is nothing wrong with helping another person. It’s one of the foundations of relationships. But the lines must always be clear as to whether you are helping them to do what they should be doing, and thus empowering them, or if you are doing for them what they should be doing for themselves.

Stephanie is losing a lot of work time helping Diane. She was always covering for her, it seemed, when Diane was overstressed and overloaded. Diane had a lot of personal issues that were taking more of her work time, and as that was happening, she was coming in later, not getting projects done...

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9 Ways Words Kill a Relationship

Uncategorized Aug 04, 2020

In a group I was leading once, a man held the floor for some time. He’d go off on tangents, change the subject and spend inordinate amounts of time on irrelevant details.

(I promise it wasn’t me this time.)

He couldn’t seem to get to the point. Other members were spacing out, dozing off or becoming restless. Just as I was about to speak to the man’s struggle with getting to the point, a woman in the group spoke up.

“Aaron, talk net, will ya?”

“Talking net” rather than “gross” means putting a net or boundary on how many words we use and how we use them — and that can be a struggle for many. How we use language can deeply affect the quality of our relationships. The words we use can be a source of both blessing and cursing. They can be a blessing when we empathize, identify, encourage, confront and exhort others. They can be a curse when we use them to do the following:

  • Hide from intimacy by talking nonstop
  • Dominate...
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Addressing Gaslighting that Takes Place in Church

Uncategorized Aug 03, 2020

A new group for divorced singles was opening up at Megan’s church, so she decided to join. On the first night there, she shared a story about the issues with her husband. 

“He was an addict, and I made excuses for his behavior all the time. I didn’t want to believe things were that bad, so I tried to overlook it for awhile.” 

Another member of the group interrupted her. “Well, did you pray for him?”

“Of course. With friends, too.”

“Have you forgiven him?”

“I’m working on that,” Megan said. “That’s why I’m here.” 

At the end of the group, Megan was hesitant about going back. She knew that she needed to forgive her husband for the hurt he brought in her life, but she was still working on processing the trauma that happened within their relationship. 

Sometimes when we’re sharing our pains with another person, they think they’re being helpful when they...

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A Lesson From My Daughter

Uncategorized Jul 31, 2020

It was a holiday weekend, and I was at a celebration that included a memorial “paddle out” on surfboards in the Pacific Ocean to honor and remember my brother-in-law, Mark. He was a Navy SEAL, a great American, husband, father, hero, brother, and a friend. Mark died on a mission in Iraq in 2008.

My daughter, Olivia, was 10 at the time, and she wanted to participate in the paddle-out to honor her uncle. So, we borrowed a surfboard and began to walk out to the beach where the surfers were gathering, with me carrying the board. I was excited for her to take part in honoring her uncle Mark and was inspired by her fearlessness in wanting to paddle way out into the ocean with all the adults. She did just great and when we came back to the beach we hugged.

She was very proud and thankful for her uncle Mark, and we spent a moment talking about all of it before everyone gathered their things to make the long walk back up the hillside to the main event. Everyone, that is, except...

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You're Not Responsible for an Addict's Behavior

Uncategorized Jul 30, 2020
 

You develop codependent habits because you care, and you don’t want to hurt anyone. You want to see an addict get better or feel good, but When we see our loved ones suffering, it’s easy to want to come to their rescue. But the reality is, you can’t just take on their feelings, get sober for them or solve all their problems. We are to be responsible to someone by providing them resources to get help, but we are not responsible for someone in the sense that it’s not our place to do the work for someone else.

This clip comes from Episode 66 of The Dr. Cloud Show. 

Also, I talk more about boundaries with addicts right here. 

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How to Negotiate and Get What You Want

Uncategorized Jul 30, 2020
 

In life, you don't get what you want. You get what you negotiate. The things we want are very doable. They're attainable. But there's an obstacle in the way because it requires an agreement from someone on the other side that has some power to block it or say no. And we have to be able to get to a yes at some point.

In a negotiation, you're looking to come to a solution that you can live in agreement with someone else, but many times, people come to a standstill on what they'll agree on. There are a few things that are important as you find yourself trying to get to an agreement that works.

This clip comes from Episode 66 of The Dr. Cloud Show. 

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How Healthy is Your Most Important Relationship? Find Out.

Uncategorized Jul 29, 2020
 

 

What’s your relationship with the word no? Do you get along well? Are you friends, or are you strangers?

 

If I’ve got a conflict with the word no, then I am going to have some problems in life. The word no is one of the most important tools that you have in your toolbox if you want to have a good life.

I hope this clip from today’s episode of The Dr. Cloud Show brings you insight and encouragement.

If you’d like to feel more confident in your relationship with the word no, I can help you work on that right here.  

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How to Show Yourself Grace

Uncategorized Jul 28, 2020

Have you ever had one of those moments where everything just seemed perfect? It never seems to last, does it?

What are those perfect moments? How do we create more of them?

We all have a perfect nature, and in a perfect world, every one of us would succeed beyond our wildest dreams. However, we do not live in a perfect world, so we have to manage the imperfection that makes up our day-to-day reality. We have to pursue virtue and ideal outcomes despite living in a world that sometimes seems to reward people who act in bad faith.

We need to develop the character to face reality, to handle whatever challenges are put in front of us, and to overcome them. Part of developing that character is admitting your imperfections to yourself. There may be a lot of qualities that you really don't like in others, that you might give yourself a pass on because you haven't examined your own life the way you scrutinize others. We must do this because otherwise we will be continually disappointed, and...

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