5 essential Leadership tips…

No matter what your job is, domestic-ceo on the home-front, or in Corporate America, or running and growing your own small business, (even in parenting and marriage!) there are certain basic principles of leadership that I have found throughout my life to be vital for growth, unity, & success. This is just a ‘LifeCoachAnnalisa’ theory, but most entrepreneurs I’ve had the pleasure meeting and or learning from, or the great authors who are experts at writing about success tips, teach and mentor from these as well:

1. Everyone has an invisible sign around their neck that says:                                            ~Please, make me feel important.~

2. Always ~Honor your word.~ Keep your commitments. Your word is your bond. It is your credibility, as a person, as a leader, and for the company and family you represent. When your word, or consistency is broken; so is your integrity. People are watching, being influenced, and learning from your example. If you are not committed enough to remain true to your word, or do not lead with consistent efforts; neither will your team, student body, employees, or your children.

3. ~Speak life~ into everyone, and everything. People need affirmation, constant affirmation. Most people move mountains when they are inspired; but freeze up when they are criticized. No one really changes because it’s expected, or demanded. Most change when they are feeling affirmed, appreciated, praised, and most importantly, made to feel they are making a difference!

4. ~Stay in contact~ with people. These high techy days have enormous resteam in mountain pic 1resources to stay in constant communication with people. Now with social media, and the ease and practical ways to connect right on your smartphone, there is just no reason not to be breathing positive, encouraging, uplifting messages of information, praise, recognition, and affirmations each and every day or week! People want to be around excited, successful people. How will they know this exists unless they see, hear, feel, and learn from posts, emails, phone calls, texts, and even snail mail cards – that it is happening and they are an important part !!!

5. ~Connect to an accountability partner!~ someone who has gone on to accomplish what it is you want to! Someone you respect. Someone who practices the ‘above’ four leadership qualities. Someone you feel energetic around. Someone you would trade places with because they live their life in such a honorable way! Stay close to this person, and latch on to their counsel. For more life coaching info in an area you may be struggeling with, or to book a Motivational Speaker, contact LifeCoachAnnalisa at www.annalisaotoole.com or call 678-431-6528.

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Self-Empowerment

Here is a glossary of words to help you feel EMPOWERED to design the life you ‘really’ want….
ANXIETY….thinking on the past or future. Remedy: Be grateful in this present moment, enjoy the moment you are in, put away the electronics at times when you need to take in what is around you; engage in building relationships (not online, but real-face-to-face time) and simply, let go…allow…flow….in the ‘now’.
DEPRESSION…allowing your mind to default to the doubt, fear, worry, past hardships, future anxiety, sadness of something in the past. Remedy:
SHIFT… shift your mindset to your blessings. What do you have in your life right now that you are so appreciative of? WHO do you have in your life right now that you are so thankful for? Think on things that you desire so much, you can almost taste them showing up!!
BELIEVE…in yourself…in your gifts and talents….in your dreams…in your abilities to serve others and make a positive difference. YOU can, but if you think you can’t, your right.
RELATIONSHIPS….think on what IS working. What is DYNAMIC, not on what is not working, not going right. ONLY entertain the thoughts of positive outcomes, what you want, as if those things are already happening. When you do this, it’s like magic. Opportunities and change in others starts to happen. What we focus on; we bring on. Bring on flowing energy of love! Bring on your soul mate. Bring on the things that make you smile!!!!
MANIFESTING…. is awesome. Just remember, you can not think yourself thin by continuing thoughts of how fat you are! Contrasting thoughts are confusing GOD!!! Get clarity and vision for what exactly what you desire, think on that– as if it IS happening, it IS taking place, it IS developing…and you will recognize amazing results, fast, too!! But, as long as you have thoughts of what you don’t want, those will keep showing up.
Ever started liking a certain car, and then all of a sudden, you seem to see it everywhere? AH…..interesting.
SELF-TALK…the words we say to ourselves are powerful. Are you speaking life into yourself? Or, do I hear doubt, worry, fear, anxiety, disbelief, unworthiness, undeservedness whispering over there between your ears? Every great endeavor, every great relationship, every great entrepreneur started with someone putting value in him or herself first, otherwise, how could they get others on board for their mission, idea, or service? We will only receive in life, that which is aligned and equal or above to how we think of ourselves and what we deserve. Are you receiving what you deserve? No? Let’s raise our deserve levels, by acknowledging and believing we are unique, wonderful, and have gifts and talents that serve a greater purpose that can make a difference in this world. YOU ARE DIVINE!!!! No less than an amazingly talented, spiritual being who has work to do. First, in loving and forgiving yourself, and next, recognizing your great qualities, and then lastly; discovering a need in the world that your creativity can go and make a difference !!!! It can be with family, with a spiritual mission, with a business, or a career, or even within something part-time; but we are all called to do something; we must discover that calling, and begin with positive, loving, kind self-talk to accomplish our dreams. Remember Mohammad Ali? When I recall him being filmed, his famous words were: “I AM the greatest, I’ll show you how great I AM.” God worked through him, he was a champion in his field. In the movie, “Facing the Giants”, a teen was doubting his ability to kick for the football team because of his small size. His father said, “God can use you, David”. The boy said, “How can God use me, I’m so small, and the other kicker is the best at it”. His dad looked at him and said, “David, God works through the last, lost and least, to show how mighty He is. You go out there and do your best, let God do the rest!” In the cliff-hanger ending,Image result for champion pic David needed to make a 50 yard field goal to win the State Championship, and the coach asked him, “David, do you believe you can do it?” David said “I’ve never kicked that far before, coach” Coach asked again, “But David, DO YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT? I NEED YOU TO BELIEVE YOU CAN!”…..
……..YOU ARE A CHAMPION, but not until you believe it!!……

Live your Dream in 2016, 10 (steps) to WIN!

Every New year, we all set resolutions (sometimes people don’t) and we set goals, and we at least think on what we want to accomplish, or strive to do different. We think of what we want to do different, we think of what we want to change, what we want to accomplish.

Most people start out with great intentions, but with time, fall off the path of their journey they were so fired up about at the start. I believe in ten things to help people accomplish their goals and resolutions. Here they are:

10 to Win:

1st: We need CLARITY of our goal. What is it specifically we want?

Success is defined as a consistent effort of many steps toward a worthy ideal.

You should write down what you MOST want, one thing that you want more than anything in 2016. Have a detailed idea, write it down.With clarity, you are better able to visualize it, and believe in attracting it!

2nd step: Commitment & Self-Discipline

Commitment to consistent efforts (regardless of how we feel) and  Self-discipline, following through with the commitments made long after the enthusiasm of doing so has passed.

After you make a commitment -to keep your commitments- with consistent discipline, then there a few more steps to getting the results you desire this year.

3rd is the incredibly effective power of visualization. You must actually VISUALIZE having, being, doing, or accomplishing the thing you want most. Visualize it often, as if it IS happening right now. What is the weather like? Where are you standing? Who is with you? What are the emotions your feeling having achieved it? What are others saying to you?  Who would be the most proud? Who would be influenced and inspired by your achievement most? Visualizing is VERY important because it promotes BELIEF.

4th, after commitment, self discipline and Visualization, is deep BELIEF. You must deeply believe you CAN have it. You must believe you deserve it. You must believe you are capable of having it, believe you can maintain it. You must deeply believe it will make a positive difference in your life and in the lives of others. You must believe so deeply- that you feel it is coming to you right now. Each moment, with each choice you’re making, you’re closer to having it show up!!

5th, ACCOUNTABILITY. Who will you check in with on your progress? Or, do you have small target goals to accomplish that hold you to be accountable? Who is a mentor or someone having accomplished this before you that you can check in with? Do you have a support system in place, a person, or a computer program that allows you to ‘track’ progress? No one knows the level of success without the activity toward it being measured. Where will you measure your progress? How will you know if your advancing, or behind schedule of your particular goal without measuring, checking your progress, and getting coached or helped, or mentored toward your goal?

6th -Don’t fall into the Excuse Trap. If you don’t have an accountability partner, create one. If you’re leaders associated to the business you set a goal in are not supporting you in the way you most prefer, or feel is right, don’t spend energy criticizing, BECOME the leader you don’t have! Promote yourself faster! Don’t verbalize or even think on the reasons that have come up why you CAN’T, forget about those. THINK ON the reasons that created your WHY in the first place! Either your DREAM is bigger than all the challenges, or you ‘allow’ the bumps in the road to be bigger. It’s your choice. You can have a GOOD day or a BAD one, the difference is your mindset, and whether or not you’re going to allow exterior factors to influence your journey toward advancement, or allow it to hold you back. Again, your choice. Also, keep in mind, ‘justifying your inactivity, or falling off the band wagon’ is unacceptable. GET MAD! You would get mad if someone didn’t keep their word to YOU! So, why aren’t we mad at ourselves, we treat ourselves horribly!! Don’t be your own enabler!!! HA!!  If you miss your daily action, do it right away, as soon as you become aware!!

7th – Meditation. Start your day with power thoughts! The affirmations, thoughts, and mindset you focus on are the very things that will show up for you throughout your day. Prayer and meditation are two of the most effective ways to design your life and live with positive experiences and aids in easily ridding the negative things from our focus. It can help relieve doubt, pain, fear-based thought, or creating hypotheticals in our mind over circumstances outside our control. It helps keep us in a neutral state of loving peace. Try it!  If you’re unfamiliar, youtube is a great resource, or books on amazon for beginners!!

8th- FAILURE is good. FAILURE is not an option, but know this: You only fail if you don’t keep trying. QUITTING = FAILING. What if Thomas Edison quit after his 1000th attempt to create electricity? What if Abraham Lincoln decided NOT to run in the Presidential campaign after having lost 9 times in his political career, basing his level of success on his failures, verses his small successes along the way? Reggie Jackson could not hold the current #1 home-run hitter position of all time without his 2,597 time record of striking out!! These famous guys failed forward to success. We can too. It’s OK to fail at a task – you don’t fail at the goal unless you make a conscious choice NOT to cross the finish line with whatever it takes. I loved the video of the runner of a race who tore a ligament during running, and as he limped to keep going, his father joined him from the stands, with an arm around him, they crossed the finish line together — NOW THAT’S HAVING COMMITMENT, CONSISTENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, BELIEF, NO EXCUSES, and a NO FAILING MINDSET!!

9th- Do at least ONE THING DAILY toward your goal. If you are not taking daily steps forward, you will fall back. Someday isn’t a day of the week. Don’t allow other FAST TRACK people to get you discouraged. Their time management, their family commitments, their job, and their energy levels are different. Decide on your goal, set an action plan, include something daily –one phone call, one contact, one action step, and your small efforts will turn into big results over time.

And the 10th IN it to WIN it step is this:

KNOW BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, YOU DESERVE IT!  YOU ARE WORTHY!  YOU ARE A CHAMPION!  YOU ARE A WINNER IN GOD’S EYES!

Now…go for it. When you accomplish it….come back to this post and tell us about it!!! Ready, Set,…

Commit, Discipline yourself, Get Clarity, Get accountable, VISUALIZE it, Believe it! No excuses, Do one thing a day to keep failure away, Meditate! FEEL WORTHY and Deserving!!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When she says, “We need to talk!”& other communication survival tips…

downloadCommunicating…

with live speaking is a lost art. If verbal articulation is involved, people bail out, they would rather send a text. God forbid we dial a number! Youth these days begin getting to know someone through text messaging first. I asked my teenage daughter the other day if the cute guy at the gym asked for her friends number. She said yes, he did. I asked her, “Well, did he call yet?” She responded, “Mom, no one calls you! He’s not gonna call.” In shock, I said, “What do you mean he won’t call?” She went on to explain he would text her, and they would start talking. So, innocently, I said, “Oh, so after he texts her, he will call and they start talking.” She says, “NO, Mom. They start texting, you know, talking through texting.”  What a shame, I thought.

The young people today are losing ground on quality communication, and fast because of the vast text messaging that is the preferred method of transferring information. It’s really sad that they are not able to perceive tones, moods, fluctuations of voice, or even detect silence, through texting on a device. What’s even more alarming is that the people skills and social skills that many adults have learned through the youthful experiences of real interaction and real conversations on the phone, will be a weakness for this younger generation of avid text messengers.

As a relationship specialist, I am floored with the number of couples who try to work out problems and actually communicate through text messaging. Couples need to realize that one priority of a solid, love relationship is to be transparent. Couples who share their feelings openly help to create or maintain intimacy through talking in person. When they can look at one another eye to eye, and feel free to express their feelings in a non-judgmental, non-threatening way, they are able to feel a closer connection and bond. When they are able to get better and better at having discussions, versus regular arguments, they can learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses regarding differences and expectations.

Communication involves three phases. First, it involves a talker, and a listener. Second, it involves one person needing to feel understood, and one person being understanding. Third, it involves a talker with a motive, and a listener with feedback. In each of these phases, there are two distinct roles. One role is the giver, one is the receiver. Arguments happen when both people try to take over the same role. Discussions stay discussions (not developing into arguments) when one person seeks to help the other more frustrated person, feel understood, INSTEAD of trying harder to be understood him or herself!

Here’s the best tips for communicating effectively, and having regular discussions that never turn to arguments. The basic five rules critical to follow for productive talks.

  1. Never interrupt.
  2. Never bring up the past; stay on the subject at hand.
  3. Never name call, or criticize your partner.
  4. Never threaten to leave the room, the house, or the relationship.
  5. Never go to bed mad; agree to disagree, or reschedule your talk, but be kind before sleeping.

Here are some other guidelines to keep in mind, so that when you need to talk, both of you have a productive conversation where you both feel that your feelings matter, that you’re being heard, and feel understood.

If one person is frustrated, or even angry, even if it’s not ‘at’ you, it is VITAL, that you become a strong listener, and do not let the elevated emotions of your partner, elevate your own. Keep calm, and offer support, empathy, understanding, and concern. This is not the time to offer opposing viewpoints, alternate suggestions. If tension is high on the subject, become a listener, with little advice, more phrases like, “I hear you” “I understand” “I know what you’re saying”, “I feel your (pain) or (hardship)”

If one person ‘becomes’ highly emotional during a talk or discussion, they should recognize that elevated emotions will decrease chances of coming to a resolution; and increase chances that a full argument could arise. Signs of escalated emotions are: yelling, rapid heart rate, heavy breathing, physical outbursts of hitting, stomping, kicking, etc..

If any of the following things happen when you get frustrated, it is highly advised that you seek anger management, counseling, or help with what may be triggering your outbursts of stress that turn into unhealthy behaviors. Here’s a list of unhealthy characteristics indicative of needing help in communicating:

  • VERBAL THREATS of any kind.
  • HYPOTHETICALS (defined as false accusations or assumptions that are not real) example: “So, if your Mother plans another party, most likely she will be rude again, and then what will you do?” (key words indicative of a hypothetical situation: If, Most likely)
  • CRITICIZING, Blaming, accusing, badgering, harassing, name-calling, or bullying
  • Physically abusing material items, destroying property
  • Physically harming a partner, child, or pet.
  • Hinting or proclaiming statements implying your intent to harm yourself, or take your life.
  • Hinting or proclaiming possible intent to break up, divorce, or leave

The following behaviors are absolutely not appropriate when you’re wanting a productive conversation.

  • Replying with defensive statements.
  • Creating avoidance tactics (changing the subject, not answering the question, blaming, twisting a response around to point toward you, making critical statements, using any response that doesn’t pertain to the subject (the root of the issue)
  • Having a heated discussion in front of others, around the children, or at work.
  • If one or both partners are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • If one person is unwilling to talk, but the other keeps nagging.
  • If one person is getting aggravated and their emotions are escalating, and they don’t take a break.
  • If one person is angry, and the other person decides to be angry because the other one is.
  • When one person is ‘assuming’ things.
  • When one person is ‘taking things personally.’
  • When one person is not willing to ‘own their wrong’ or ‘take responsibility’ for their actions.

~Sometimes, it’s not a matter of one partner being right, and the other wrong; but each having a ‘different’ perspective. Mature couples can recognize this scenario, and accept the difference, rather than try to convert their partner to their view.~

Most people get agitated when they have an unmet expectation. It is important to clearly, and lovingly, express what you need, and get in agreement with both your needs and how each of you plan to fill the other’s. There is nothing more frustrating in a relationship than expressing your need, but continue to have it go unmet. If this is happening, it is necessary to find out ‘why’ your partner is not willing to fill this need. It is usually one of three things:

  • They are incapable of filling this need for some reason
  • They are unwilling to meet the need for some reason
  • They are unclear  of your need or expectation

It is also VITAL to use the FEEL, FELT, FOUND principal when communicating things to your partner. You can begin statements with, “I feel _____________, when _____________” or “I have felt ______________, and _____________’ and then, “I have found that when _____________”

When beginning with these statements, the issue is about YOU, and not about what your partner is doing wrong; it is perceived more as a need of yours that you need filling, versus a wrong behavior their doing.

It is important to learn the art of setting boundaries. Boundaries are a way to inform others of your needs, in a loving way. This is in no way, a permission slip to command your desires, or be demanding of what you want. Here’s a great example of a person who is setting a healthy boundary in a loving way:

Susan, I really feel loved when you take the time to move my laundry over when I forget to. It means a lot to me that you work with me as a team” This works a lot better than saying “Why didn’t you move my laundry over? I forgot to do it last night, what did you do all day?”

Here’s another example: “It is really important to me that the boys eat healthy before practice, but we both get home so late, should I put something in the crock pot today, or can you get home to make something, or should one of us pick up something on my way home?”

What’s great about the latter example, it incorporates questions. The great thing about asking more questions than making more statements in communicating with our partners, is that it sends the following VERY important messages.

  • Questions imply you care about your partners input, their idea’s, and their viewpoint.
  • Questions create a team-mindset, versus a single-mindset that is perceived as selfish or uncaring.
  • Questions make another person feel heard, understood, and creates respect toward the one asking.

During communication, we should be mindful of the Biblical truths as a guideline. Galatians 5:22, 23, and Corinthians 13.

Love is.Kindness, thoughtfulness, patience, not keeping a record of wrongs, not self-seeking, not jealous, joy, hope, forbearance, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, not boastful, not easily angered, not rude. Love never fails.

If you need more communication tips, I can Skype, phone coach, or do an in person session with individuals or couples. Life Coaching is a great way to reconnect in your relationship, or prepare for marriage. 

Happy Talking!

LifeCoach Annalisa O’Toole

678.431.6528

Why do “I” …need Personal Growth?

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“I am who I am”, Heard yourself say that? Or, “I’m just me. No one can expect me to change.” Some of us feel we are fine. We are emotionally healthy. There are hints that life can throw us to know we are kidding ourselves!! Here’s the reality, while setting our personal boundaries is vital to good relationships and creating balance and peace, there are definite times in our lives we need to stop, look within, evaluate our choices and actions to possibly consider tweaking some things. Clues to needing to exit on a new path of personal growth are easy to detect- if your conscious. Here are a few clues:

–People stop listening to you and often become distracted.
–You can not get into or have trouble staying in a committed relationship.
–You do not have a passion, hobby, or strong creative interest in your life outside friends, family and/or a lover(s).
–There is constant drama around you.
Ok…so if any of the criteria above holds true in your life, here are 10 ways to come into massive personal growth –so you can begin to enjoy life! Experience peace. Create balance and harmonious relationships.
1. Read or listen to the audio versions of a personal self help book. I recommend Joel Osteen’s “YOUR BEST LIFE NOW” to start. Or, “THE MAJIC OF THINKING BIG”
2. Surround yourself with people who are where you most want to be in life, emotionally, career wise, spiritually and intellectually.
3. Evaluate who you talk to most. What goes in (your brain) comes out. Make sure people you are close to are not negative, whiney, energy draining, and crisis oriented. Choose positive people who speak life, givers who do for others, people who support your goals, and love their life.
4. If someone walks away from you- Let it be. Let go. Move forward. They may come back in a different season, but for now, you just work on you -to be your very best.
5. Love and forgive yourself. The past is over. Your future is so bright, you’re going to need shades!! Read Jer.29:11
6. You are designing your life. Your thoughts are creating your mood. Your mood inhibits or prohibits your actions. Your actions are developing your life’s journey! So, adjust your thoughts to what you desire with a positive expectation; so deeply believing that all resources and opportunities are aligning to make this a reality even as you read this!! Remember this too: Anxiety happens when our minds are affixed on past or future things. Be mindful of this present moment, be grateful and count your blessings…you will feel anxiousness subside the more you begin to dwell in the “now”.
7. Live and let live. Don’t be needy or clingy to other people. Find your niche’. Discover your calling. This makes you an interesting person. People want to be around people who have fun. People are drawn to those who have enthusiasm! Don’t have unnecessary expectations of others. Let the little stuff roll. Life is too short to get bent over things that won’t matter in 5 years.
8. Understand this: IT IS A HUGE MISTAKE TO MAKE ANOTHER PERSON YOUR WORLD. No one is responsible for your happiness, except you. You should be creating a life that is fulfilling, fun, enriched with activities and opportunities that don’t always involve the love of your life.
9. Trust your inner compass. Go with that gut feeling! This is God within you saying YES or No! If it just doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Know the difference between feeling fear or feeling hesitant.
10. Work on self discovery. Just because you have a physical attraction to someone doesn’t mean you are meant to be and will live happily ever after. Your values must match. People need similar priorities and goals or there will be constant resistance.
Decide your career path. Choose your retirement location. Develop your dream. Work on a project that serves someone or something that helps them in some way! Make a list of your “must haves” in a relationship so you have clarity on what you want, and most importantly, your personal red flags!

In careers, love relationships, family relationships and friendships…we should NEVER let our need for affirmation, affection or attention be so strong that we stay involved, but sacrificing our deeper beliefs and values.
Make 2015 your beginning of a massive personal growth journey! Remember, it’s up to YOU…to make ALL your days great!

For more Self-empowerment, dating or marriage coaching, contact LifeCoach, Relationship specialist, Inspiring Speaker, Annalisa O’Toole
678-431-6528
@coachannalisa /twitter
lifecoachannalisa@gmail /email

Annalisa O’Toole, Life Coach, Relationship Specialist, Inspirational Speaker http://www.annalisaotoole.com

Unhappy in your Relationship or Marriage?…

via LifeCoachAnnalisa (@CoachAnnalisa) | Twitter.

IMG_20140824_114804FOR ALL UNHAPPILY MARRIED WOMEN -or- TROUBLED RELATIONSHIPS……..
*Never allow your need for affection, money, security, affirmation, help with the kids, or fear of being alone and fear of managing as a single parent – be a reason you overlook verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, abandonment, infidelity, addictions, or having your needs go unmet over and over!
***NOTHING is more important than being emotionally connected to someone who is/does the following***
1. Admitting & Seeking therapy for problems/addictions (alcohol, porn, personality disorders, depression, infidelity, fear of intimacy, fear of commitment, fear of rejection, etc)
2. Following through on their word or commitments; does what they say they will do, you can always count on them being responsible.
3. Maintains consistent communication and interaction with their kids
4. Speaks to you and the kids with respectful, kind tones, not harshly, cursing, or rude – even when expressing disagreement, or disciplining.
5. Emotionally healthy (no issues with anger, self-control, impulse control, truthfulness, depression, manages their work/career successfully, can be open and honest with thoughts and feelings, lives transparently (no secrets) takes personal responsibility for mistakes, not a blamer/excuse maker.
6. Secure in who they are, where they are headed (goal oriented), in a job/career they love, happy with life and all that they experience, stays positive most of the time.
7. Enjoys, plans, and looks forward to time with you as a couple, time with family, time with kids. Stays engaged in the family unit, enthusiastically.
8. Is positive about their faith, seeking God in their life, and shows interest in growing spiritually in some way (attends church or Bible study, prays, reads Spiritual books, or serves in Ministry of some sort, etc) Do not be unequally yoked.
9. Has and demonstrates a TEAM attitude with you. Whether there are kids or no kids, everyone needs to feel supported with plans, goals, budgets, social activities, and travel, and hobbies. If the planning and implementing is always one sided, one person can become overwhelmed, over worked, unappreciated, and, bored. Everyone needs that one cheerleader- the person who has their back, helps them by initiating what is needed. It isn’t rocket science to see what is often routine chores may need attending to.
10. A person who genuinely WANTS to meet your love language needs, not because you ask them to, but because it comes from their heart to do it. TIME…GIFTS….WORDS….TOUCH….SERVICES. And they know how to balance these.

For more relationship advice, or support and coaching for your marriage, dating or parenting needs, please consider Life Coach Annalisa – more info at http://www.wordpress.com/inspiredliving, or call 678-431-6528

Happy Valentines Day…but…I want to break up…

IMG_20140725_073621Here’s the hardest reality for some people on Valentines Day: Pretending to celebrate a Love, that in their heart of hearts, has evaporated.  Yet, due to the hurt it may cause their love, they do not want to express their true feelings, before Valentines, during Valentines, or shortly afterwards. The pain of having to conform to a day where lovers exchange gifts, and words of gratitude and passion can be excruciating. Many people love their partner but don’t feel IN LOVE.  It leads to thoughts like, “what is ‘IN LOVE” mean, really? “Can true love even exist?”- “Is finding a soul mate even possible?” Sometimes the hurt of breaking up can be devastating, even if you are the one wanting to call it off. Many times, the other person didn’t do anything wrong, but you aren’t feelin’ it anymore.  When this happens, it is such an ordeal when you know you are going to break someones heart. You dread dealing with the crying, the text messages, the constant questions. You’re to the point of visualizing an interrogation of disastrous proportions!! Maybe though, You’re not wanting the break up, but someone has or is trying to…break up with you.

Here’s an amazingly positive thought. What if breaking up could be perceived as a LOVING gesture? Breaking up could actually be a GIFT!  Let’s examine how this can be true, even for the broken hearted receiver from the ‘breaker-upper’.

First of all, here are some of the feelings breaker-uppers usually have. They feel like they need space. They feel they need to disconnect, not necessarily for actions they dislike about their partner, but rather, actions they want to experience without being in an exclusive relationship. Some people want to break the constant communication, checking in, the assumed ‘together time’ on the weekends, and it’s not always about being interested in someone else. Breaker-uppers sometimes want out of feeling trapped. Or maybe, they haven’t felt independent in so long, they need more time to discover more about themselves.  Some breaker-upper’s have a gut feeling, an intuition that is leading them toward being solo –for no apparent reason, just feels right to transition there. And for some, the red flags of the relationship or the other person are just too much to continue. There are different value systems and priorities that become apparent after being with someone for a while, (after the infatuation stage wears off, which can be a year up to 7 years!) and the person didn’t do anything wrong like cheat, or defy their loyalty or respect, but one person just realizes the differences are too vast to remain compatible.  There is the case where the breaker-upper ‘changes’ in their values or priorities, and the relationship isn’t flowing like it once did when choices and decisions were made around different activities and perspectives. Also, there are people who are shy about speaking up in a new relationship to honor their deeper preferences, and then when they become stronger in expressing what they really want, this becomes foreign to their partner, and causes conflict.

Whatever the situation is, breaking up is always a hard thing to do. However, if you look at yourself, look deep within yourself, it really doesn’t matter if you are being broken up with, or you’re the one breaking up — IT IS STILL A GIFT and let me tell you why.  If the other person is ‘doubtful’ of their feelings, or needs more time to evaluate their individuality — PRAISE GOD for this!!! Would you want someone to stay with you otherwise? If you did, you are selfish. The best relationships are the ones where two individually healthy people team up, speak up, live it up, and love up life – together.  If your partner is breaking up, they are giving you the gift of freedom. Freedom to evaluate ‘your own life’ – (while they evaluate theirs!) and freedom of time to explore your passions, experience life without being on a team for a while. It can be WONDERFUL!  And think of this, they are actually giving you the most UNSELFISH gift. The gift of TRUTH. They are being honest with their feelings.  it would be dishonest to hide those feelings on Valentine’s, offering you rose pedals, bouquets, chocolate, and sex, but their heart is wanting out.

I’ve never understood the ‘anger’ people have when someone breaks up. I don’t want to be with anyone who doesn’t want me. The ‘wanting me’ is a major part of why I want them!!  I value myself. I love myself. I love my life. I like my personality. I like my career. I love my friends and family. If someone else doesn’t value me, ALL the qualities about me, even my short comings, then WHY would I beg, cry, ask a million questions, and even spend any time worrying over their decision of leaving me? I wouldn’t. No one gets that kind of  power over me. Sadness? Yes, it’s OK to be sad. But only for a moment. Some need longer moments than others.  But if you look at a break-up as a gift, a gift the other person gave YOU, and gave their self, you can take this punch a little stronger.

Also, Breaking up is an act of service and kindness. Why? Because it speaks volumes for the breaker-upper’s deeper character. They are being true to self. They are able to express a feeling; they are not afraid to risk a future friendship, or love, because they are honoring their inner sense of knowing. They are trusting a gut feeling, or their inner compass. They could be following God’s will, and/or, their inner sense of caution. While to most, a break-up is horrible, and viewed as depressing, and unkind; to healthy people, it is an act of real love for self, and for their soon to be -former lover.

“IF YOU LOVE SOMETHING, LET IT GO, IF IT’S MEANT TO BE IT WILL COME BACK TO YOU”

Another positive approach to a breakup, is to look at it as a way to know, evaluate, or gauge if the relationship is TRULY meant to be, truly intimate, and truly what you want for the rest of your life. How could you determine this if there has never been a time you could venture into thinking for yourself, deciding individually for yourself, or freedom to develop your own ideas, your own goals. If you have ALWAYS been a team, and you feel shorted by not having independance with life’s ups and downs, it is HEALTHY to break up to go through a discovery process. This type of break up sends a positive message- that you aren’t rejecting your lover, but rather, you are in need of space from being exclusive, and all that exclusivity has involved during your relationship.There is a big difference!

So, if you are contemplating a break-up, or someone is breaking up with you, look at this as a positive transitional time in your life of God’s favor. It is a blessing of time. It is a gift in kindness. It is a chance to personally grow. It is a breather. It is a freedom opportunity to discover more about yourself. It is a healthy time for you to develop personally. It is a break from dual-choices, into the liberating feeling of independent thinking. It can provide time and space for personal reflection, contemplation, and setting values or goals into motion.

BREAKING UP is…(not hard to do)…but rather, a non-selfish, act of honest, loving kindness. Accept or give the gift without worry of hurt, but with compassion for a positive future for both people. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not boastful. Love is not jealous or self serving. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. Love does not anger, but comforts. Love serves. Love never fails. 1 Cor. 14:4-8, and some additions- by your’s truly. : )

Happy Breaking up this Valentines day. I sincerely wish you have found hope and faith in what the world views as a hardship; as a renewal time, an amazing gift, and one of the most sincerest acts of kindness within all that Love embraces.

~Life Coach, Relationship Specialist, Inspirational Speaker,

Annalisa O’Toole

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