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A Woman Alive

November 4th, 2014

As the Seasons Change…..

By Diane

Fall_Fence_Square_Small Fall is my absolute favorite time of year and we have had a spectacular season out here on Long Island. I love the fresh energy in the air, the crisp weather and wearing sweaters again, the color of the leaves and gorgeous skies.  And Fall reminds me of change – of the natural rhythm of changing cycles.  As I consider the leaves changing color and falling from the trees it occurs to me how natural change can be when we are willing to let go: to let go of our preconceived notions, to let go of our need to win and our need to be right, and to let go of our fears.

I have been speaking a lot lately with clients about how “letting go” plays out when we are having those difficult conversations – trying to express ourselves or set a clear boundary.  These types of conversations can often disrupt into a shouting match or hurt feelings as we begin to accuse others of not listening, or when we try to convince another person of what they need to do, or insist on making sure the other person knows we are right!

Cartoon_Compassion

In the midst of these types of conversations can you find a way to step back? To let go of winning and being right?  Here are three strategies that might help you to create positive changes in the way you handle conflict in conversation:

  1. Have empathy.Try to see or understand the situation from the other person’s perspective. Perhaps they are reacting the way they are because something else is bothering them or they are experiencing feelings they can not express in the moment.
  2. What can you learn?  Can you let the conversation go and take away a lesson to carry forward with you?  Perhaps this conversation can be an opportunity for you to practice responding in a new way.
  3. Take a wide lense. Is the point you are trying to make really that important?  Will this conversation matter in the scheme of things a month from now, 6 months from now, a year from now?

I love the comic strip above!  It makes me laugh at myself, at how many times I have been driven in conversation to win, to be right, to make my point. As the seasons change and we enter the holiday season – a time when lots of communication can and often does go south – consider these three lenses and how you can shift from the perspective of “winning” to one of “letting go.”

Enjoy the Fall and may you float softly and gracefully through the cycles of change!

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