Don’t Be Afraid to Let Someone Struggle

Uncategorized Jan 31, 2019

I want to share a story with you on how NOT to be ruled by fear.  
 
"I know that I hold on to people too long, way past when I know I have to make a change," a CEO told me. "I have always done that, and it costs me." 
 
"What are you afraid of?" I asked. 
 
"I don't think I'm afraid," he said. "I just don't want to hurt them, and I always try to protectthem." 
 
"What's the fear?" I asked again. 
 
It took him a while to get to it, but underneath it all, he was afraid for others to have to go through a struggle. 

 The problem is that the brain is wired to avoid pain and anxiety. Over time, when you continue to avoid things that cause you fear or anxiety, such as this CEO's fear of letting someone struggle, a pattern builds up, causing you to respond almost automatically to any situations that would cause you anxiety. But you cannot allow a pattern of fear and avoidance rule you. If you are afraid of making a mistake, you...

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When Faced With Change, The Immature Person Asks Life to Meet His Demands

Uncategorized Jan 30, 2019

I know a man who runs the a big telecommunications company. He is a transcendent character, and a transcendent leader. To him, life, leadership, and business are all about the “bigger things.” One day, I asked him how he practices his values in his company.

“Well,” he said, “I just believe that businesses succeed when the people are becoming the best that they can be and learn how to come together to be the best that they can be together. So, at the beginning of the year, I always take my team of direct reports on a retreat and we begin with a few questions. The first is ‘What would we like to see happen in the next year?’ That gets us to our vision, and the goals. And we came up with a major one. We said we wanted to do so well that the whole company would stop and want to knowhow we did it. Pretty audacious, to say the least, that kind of goal.

“But, everyone has goals. It is the next steps that count. We then ask ourselves these...

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The Consequences of Making Decisions Based on Emotion

Uncategorized Jan 29, 2019

In a very real way, we have more than one brain. Or, at least more than one system in our brain. One of them “thinks” emotionally, and subjectively, and the other more logically and with reason and judgment. On a good day, they are partners and work together. It would not be far off to say that they “inform” each other and add to the decision-making of each other. In a balanced character, they are good friends and work a little like a small committee.

But like any other committee, this one is subject to “takeovers” as well as harmony. In a real committee, one member may be more powerful than the others and overtake the process and end up calling all the shots. Our brains can work that way too. If the emotional side becomes overpowering, we can be vulnerable to making some really bad decisions that show poor judgment.

The integrated character, as a pattern, does not do that. He or she, over the long haul, maintains balance between strong emotions...

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Moving Forward After Getting Hurt

Uncategorized Jan 27, 2019

When we take responsibility for ourselves, we’re saying that we no longer want to feel “stuck” or burdened by the people and situations that have caused hurt in our lives. As I talk to individuals in different capacities, I’ve found that many people don’t want to take responsibility for their lives. People often remain stuck because they want other people to change. They want others to make it better, and often those people won’t. As a result, they are in bondage to others. I had a client who had four small children. Her husband left her abruptly for another woman. What he did to her was horrible; she had every reason in the world to feel betrayed, angry, abandoned, depressed and over-whelmed. And as long as she expressed those feelings of “look what he’s done to me,” there was no movement. These are natural feelings to have when someone has been done wrong, but they should gradually lead to a sense of ownership of the...

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Just Because You Forgive, it Doesn’t Mean You Have to Trust Again

Uncategorized Jan 27, 2019


“I know I’m supposed to forgive,” a woman said to me at a recent seminar. “But, I just can’t open myself up to that kind of hurt anymore. I know I should forgive him and trust him, but if I let him back in, the same thing will happen, and I can’t go through that again.”

“Who said anything about ‘trusting’ him?” I asked. “I don’t think you should trust him either.”

“But you said I was supposed to forgive him, and if I do that, doesn’t that mean giving him another chance? Don’t I have to open up to him again?”

“No, you don’t,” I replied. “Forgiveness and trust are two totally different things. In fact, that’s part of your problem. Every time he’s done this, he’s come back and apologized, and you have just accepted him right back into your life, and nothing has changed. You trusted him, nothing was different, and he did it again. I...

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Being Angry isn’t a ‘Bad’ Thing

Uncategorized Jan 25, 2019

There’s a lot of confusion about anger in our society. It’s usually seen as a negative emotion that someone needs to “get control” over. And in some instances, that is true. It can be destructive, but are we really giving it a chance to listen to what our anger tells us.

In the last 30 years or so, we have seen a big swing in the way anger is perceived. Back then, it was almost all seen as something bad.

We all know what it feels like to be on the wrong end of someone’s rage attack. Because of this, many people were very out of touch with what they were feeling, and a lot of anger went hidden and suppressed. It did not mean that people were not angry, it just meant that the people weren’t given  very helpful ways to work it out, especially people who had been really hurt in life and were sitting on a lot of pain and anger. They were often times just stuck with it.

About the same time, the world of psychiatry was getting into the...

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Your Response When Your Significant Other Hurts You

Uncategorized Jan 24, 2019

Please note: The following article addresses general conflicts of boundaries, feelings and attitudes in relationships. If you are in an abusive relationship, please seek help from local law enforcement, as well as a counselor, safe place and/or support group.

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Each and every one of us will hurt other people, even the people we love the most. We all get it wrong sometimes, and that will often cause hurt. Partners in good relationship realize this, and as a result, they develop the following attitudes and practices that preserve the connection, even when one has hurt the other.

Accept the fact that your significant other will sometimes do things that hurt you. When you accept this fact, you’ll be able to deal with the hurts when they come, and those hurts won’t destroy the connection and the love you share.

Hang on to the things that you love about your significant other, even when he/she disappoints you. Do not label your significant other as “all bad.” They...

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Wise, Foolish or Evil: How to Know Who You're Dealing With

Uncategorized Jan 09, 2019

If you believe that you’re a responsible and loving person, it’s easy to assume that other people think like you. You think that they care about other people and how their actions affect those people. Since you have a concern about how what you do affects others, then it makes sense that everyone else is just like you, right? The truth is that not many people take responsibility for themselves or care about how their actions are affecting other people or the mission. Moreover, some are even worse than that, and they’re actually out to do you harm. If you don’t want to accept this reality, then you’re going to waste time, money, energy, and resources on people who will either squander or destroy it.

There are three types of people in the world, or rather, three styles of behavior that a person can exhibit in a particular time or context. Depending on whether you’re a psychiatrist, employer, a spouse or a judge, there are different ways of...

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3 Ways You Can Feel Good about Creating an Ending

Uncategorized Jan 09, 2019

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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Having the Difficult Conversation to Request Change

Uncategorized Jan 06, 2019

My friend was struggling over what to do with her boyfriend of over a year. She was very attached to him, and “loved him deeply,” as she said over and over in our conversations.

“Then why the struggle?” I asked.

“He is not the kind of man I want to start a family with. I love him and love to be with him. He has the purest heart I have ever seen, and I love that about him. He is the smartest person I have ever known, and I love that about him. But he has no drive in life. He just gets by on his smarts and has no real initiative or plans for the future. He is a lot like a college student, not thinking much past the weekend,” she said. “I need someone who will take charge and who will be a strong hus­band and father. I don’t need a little boy that I ‘mother’ all the time.”

“Give me some examples.”

“Well, he is so talented that he gets freelance work and makes enough to live working about...

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