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March 3

How to Focus on Growth, Even When Others Bring You Down

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Personal growth can happen in many equally successful ways. Life coaching is about the coach presenting options for helping a person to reach their goals. Therapy is for prescribing changes in the client’s beliefs and behaviors so that mental health and emotional healing can happen. That allows the person to pursue their goals instead of self-sabotaging themselves into repeated disappointment. Coaching and therapy empower a person to value their strengths and to build upon them. That’s fun for the client and a heart-warming start to reaching desired finish lines. Therapy and life coaching leads to inner growth and self-satisfaction. But when friends or relatives, maybe bosses and colleagues start telling you what to do or what not to do, when, and maybe even why, a person can feel discouraged, not even willing to make efforts that are debatably necessary. Let’s look at how to keep a clear mind about all that so you can think and behave productively when other people leave you feeling discouraged and down.

Self-appointed experts tend to demean the person whom they’re advising. Unfamiliar with or resistant to safe, proven techniques for positive change, they might give orders, ultimatums, or punishments. Some people call them “Blamers and Shamers.” All too often they are parents, siblings, spouses, and other people hard to avoid. They’re not likely to behave nicely because you need that, and they might even try to punish you for resisting their condemnations. However, helping someone to grow is about compassion and patience. This article about Dating Someone with Depression holds sound guidelines about how to hold space for the person who needs to better adjust to bothersome ideas. Those guidelines work in other areas of life, too.

Focusing on personal growth is about setting productive goals that will leave you in better condition for the effort you’ll make in achieving those goals. You attach meaning to your priorities. That meaning is something for others to respect. People who respect you will remain supportive as you invest time and effort in a chosen process. If the people in your life respond with arguments, contempt, or sabotage of your efforts, however, then you need to separate from them physically if not psychologically. Their goal is to leave you feeling trapped, unhappy, and confused. You also need to spend more time with supportive people who respect your mindset. The happiness that results is the stuff of success stories. Supportive people can share insights, soothe you during a slump, and even cheer you on. Warm, respectful relationships give us strength to carry on when we feel defeated, tired, or stressed.

This list of can-do strategies holds powerful ideas for staying strong when other people leave you sad, discouraged, or annoyed:

  1. Refresh your spirit with a review of your goals and why you have them, as often as necessary.
  2. Define your incremental steps to achieving what you want, then celebrate the smaller achievements along the way to the big goal.
  3. Value your thinking ability and emotions. Self-respect matters when you want to succeed at something. 
  4. Do and think upbeat things to strengthen your mood. That helps us to overcome setbacks, an inevitable part of life. Hindsight proves that perseverance is a way to make us more resilient. We learn how to time and our projects go on.
  5. Control your thinking and emotions with clarity of mind. Consult people who can guide you in your efforts. Their experiences can prevent problems for you.
  6. Surround yourself with supportive people. Call them, share conversations in the same airspace, and communicate with digital devices, too. Keep the live conversations going, though, too. You can detect valuable nuance in voices, facial expressions, and body language. Online communication prevents all that.

Face your future with a grin, knowing that you’re doing sensible things to protect your interests and to improve your quality of life. Set your goals and pursue them with pride.

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