Posts Tagged ‘stress management’

The pros and cons of being a People Pleaser!

April 11, 2013

iStock_000010736302XSmallDo you find yourself struggling to manage your time because you’re too busy running around after others?

Do you find it hard to say ‘no’ to requests for help/support and end up working late to catch up on your work?

A phrase I often hear from clients working on resolving time/stress management issues is:

“It’s because I’m a people pleaser, isn’t it?!”

Can you relate to this? There are often times when the motivation behind our actions is to help or please others, and sometimes this can have a negative impact on other things.

But being a ‘people pleaser’ isn’t all bad … it just depends whether or not you overdo it!

Here’s my take on the case for and against ‘People Pleasing’ …

PROS …

Imagine you are starting a new job or taking on a new position, and you want to make a good impression.

This can give rise to a tendency to say ‘yes’ to several requests for help, advice, guidance, etc.

It can also be a great opportunity to showcase your talents and skills, as well as show everyone how good your ‘people skills’ are!

Even in areas where you don’t officially hold responsibility, you may have experience, and this can be another opportunity to:

  • help others,
  • build rapport,
  • establish your place as one of the team (as long as you’re not stepping on someone else’s toes!)

CONS …

iStock_000018857374XSmallWithout keeping this in check you can become exhausted!

Not only are you doing things to help others, but you’re having to find time to do the things that you should be doing for yourself … leaving you very little time to unwind.

This can lead to stress and a feeling of overwhelm, because you can’t handle all the demands you’ve agreed to.

If you’re not careful, the following may also happen:

  • you gain a reputation as ‘the person who gets things done for others’,
  • you are taken for granted,
  • you feel guilty when you realise you can’t please everyone!

A SOLUTION …

Saying ‘yes’ and looking for opportunities to help others should be done in moderation, whilst being mindful of the things that are important to do for you / your role.

Learn to say ‘no’ more often, and be confident that your team colleagues will respect you for who you are and for your integrity when you need to say no … not just for your willingness to help others.

Would love to hear your thoughts or experiences on this topic 🙂

IMG_0060 - Version 2I’m Debbie Inglis and I work with school leaders, team leaders and teachers helping them to be more effective and successful in their roles. Contact me to find out how I can help with any of the areas mentioned in this or any other blog post.

Call me on o1629 734101 or email: debbie.inglis@squaretwo.co.uk

2013 Goals – It’s all in the language

January 14, 2013

Popular targets people set for themselves are around what they want less of in the year ahead …

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  • I want to eat less chocolate
  • I want to lose weight
  • I want to be less stressed
  • I want less clutter
  • I want to work less evenings during the week

Have you ever found yourself phrasing your goals in terms of what you are trying to avoid, reduce or give up?

What we say to ourselves about the changes we want to make is crucial in achieving those changes.

When I was doing my coaching training, one thing I learned stuck in my mind … apparently the brain doesn’t process negative language the way we intend it to.

So for  “I want to eat less chocolate”, the brain doesn’t interpret that you want to reduce your chocolate intake, rather it focuses on “I want to eat ___ chocolate”.

Thinking about how I used to set goals it makes sense that this was happening with me on a conscious as well as a subconscious level. Whenever I thought about my goals I found myself reminded about what I was trying to avoid!

So focus on what you want, rather than on what you’re aiming to avoid – even if you start from the latter point, you can always re-word your goals to something more positive and achievable.

For example:

  • I want to eat fruit (or other healthier) snacks between meals
  • I want to be ___ kg (or stone/pounds!)
  • I want to have strategies I can use for stressful situations
  • I want to create a tidy home/work space
  • I want to have 3 evenings a week to spend with family/friends/chilling out

How have you worded your goals this year?

The 12 Stress Less Days to Christmas: Day 12

December 24, 2012

Day #12: Now just enjoy!!

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So hopefully by now – whatever your plans for the next fews days – you’ll be just about ready!

There will need to come a point, if you’re not there already, when you decide that you’ve done as much as you can.

Once you’re there, it’s about enjoying the moment! Make the most of all your experiences over the next few days. Look for the positives, rather than focusing on what’s not gone according to plan. Maximise those moments with family and friends.

Decide that your mindset is going to be a “glass half-full” one … or even one that’s brimming over!

However you are spending this holiday period, make it the best one you can 🙂

Wishing you all a fabulous Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful 2013!

The 12 Stress Less Days to Christmas: Day 11

December 23, 2012

Day #11: Look after yourself!

Mixed FruitThe main reason why today’s blog is later than usual is because I’ve had to follow my own advice! 

Following a particularly long journey over the weekend, I ended up with a thumping headache which I couldn’t shift and had to spend some time in bed.

I’m pleased to say it’s now gone, and although I’m feeling quite drained I’m much better. I knew I just needed to take some time out to recover before I could get back on track.

I haven’t done everything I wanted to do over the weekend, but I know I’m not superhuman … now I just need to prioritise what Christmas prep I’ve not done yet, and do what I can tomorrow!

One of the things I know I must do for myself is to eat as healthily as I can tomorrow, to help speed up my recovery and improve my energy levels.

What are you doing to give your energy a boost at the moment?

The 12 Stress Less Days to Christmas: Day 10

December 22, 2012

Day #10: Don’t succumb to Christmas fever!

C

No I don’t mean the flu or a temperature from a bug you’ve picked up (although try to avoid that too!)

I mean that haze which seems to engulf some people at this time of year.

Typical examples include:

  • People who stop with their shopping trolley in the middle of an aisle to try and remember why they wanted down that aisle.  Forgetting what you wanted isn’t the problem, it’s the resulting queue behind you that can cause an issue. When I have these ‘senior’ moments of forgetfulness I try to remember to move over to one side whilst I collect my thoughts, satisfied in the knowledge that I’ve saved my fellow shoppers from a little extra frustration!
  • Drivers who become particularly selfish and won’t let their fellow road users into a queue of traffic. Everyone wants to progress with their journey in the fastest way possible, but queues are an unavoidable result of last minute shopping trips and extra visits to family/friends, etc.

Perhaps you can think of some other examples?

The key thing to leave home with at this time of year is an extra dose of patience!

The 12 Stress Less Days to Christmas: Day 9

December 21, 2012

Day #9: Use your strengths to see you through this busy period

SWOT analysis, strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat words

Are you good at organising people?

Can you solve problems relatively quickly and efficiently?

Do you possess good communication skills?

These are examples of the kind of skills/strengths that can stand you in good stead in the lead up to Christmas.

When you use what you’re good at it can make the holiday period less stressful because these skills come more naturally to you.

 What are your strengths, and how are you using them at the moment?

The 12 Stress Less Days to Christmas: Day 8

December 20, 2012

Day #8: Be realistic – you’re not superhuman!

iStock_000000373073XSmallKnow your limits and don’t say “yes” to everything because you’re concerned about letting people down if you say “no”.

If you’re the type of person who likes to help others, you may find yourself inundated with requests or feel obliged to help those who seem to be struggling.

This is all fine if you can manage additional tasks without impacting on the important things you already have lined up to do.

Keep demands on your time in check; stop and think before answering “yes, of course I’ll help you with that” …

Do you really have time?

What are you prepared to give up to do this?

Be prepared to say a polite “no thanks”, if necessary.

See #3 on Day 1 for other assertive phrases you could use!

The 12 Stress Less Days to Christmas: Day 7

December 19, 2012

Day #7: Don’t forget your sense of humour!

'Eat Ham' TurkeyWhat makes you laugh?

  • your pets?
  • your children?
  • a comedy programme?
  • a funny cartoon or video?
  • a colleague? (the jokes may not be that funny – it’s all about delivery!)

The average adult laughs 15 times a day. 

The average 4 yr old laughs 400 times! 

Are you getting your daily quota?

I’ve got some favourites that I can rely on to make me smile or laugh out loud. I’m sure you have yours too.

I’m a fan of Bob Newhart: “Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.”

Perhaps this is a good mantra for those more stressful times??

Will leave you with one of my favourite sketches of his. Feel free to share links to yours below!

The 12 Stress Less Days to Christmas: Day 6

December 18, 2012

Day #6: Focus on what’s going well rather than what’s not going well

Think positive, do not think negative

When you’re tired and you focus on the negative stuff – it will drain whatever energy reserves you have left at this time of year. This will make you even more tired and can lead to you being more irritable and stressed!

Avoid using phrases like:

“It never rains but it pours”

“No-one ever tells me anything”

“I’ll never get everything done in time”

We can end up thinking these things particularly if we set ourselves unrealistic expectations!

So focus on what’s going well and what you’re managing to achieve each day, even the ‘small wins’ 🙂

The 12 Stress Less Days to Christmas: Day 5

December 17, 2012

Day #5: Wear Your Confidence Coat!

iStock_000008122926XSmallAs you add the required layers to ensure you’re warm enough this winter, make sure you’re also wearing your ‘Confidence Coat’ at the start of each day.

This isn’t about giving yourself an excuse to go shopping! It’s about making a conscious decision to give yourself an extra confidence boost so you’re more capable of dealing with the season’s additional pressures.

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When we’re feeling confident, we have more energy, are able to deal with difficult situations more easily, and we improve our ability to be resilient.

Wearing your confidence coat will mean different things for each of us. For example, it might be about smiling more, or being more assertive.

In ‘Want more confidence in the workplace?’ I suggest a few ideas for building confidence. Or you might like to look at ‘Are you making the most of who you are?’ for more ideas and how to gain useful feedback to increase confidence levels.

How does your ‘confidence coat’ make you look to others?