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Self Improvement

Why Learning to Choose the Battles You Fight is Important

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Why Learning to Choose the Battles You Fight is Important

Not all battles are worth fighting, this is something all of us know in theory, but seldom know how to practice it. There’s a thin line between not taking action because you are scared and not taking action because it is not worth it.

It is easy to convince yourself that the reason for your inaction is the knowledge that the fight isn’t worth it when, in reality, you are just scared to take the leap and vice versa.

Most of the time, when we see something wrong happening, our instinct is to right the wrong. We decide to get up and fight for the cause; we all want what’s best to happen. But, sometimes we are stopped and told to “reconsider our decision, our stance, because it may not be worth it.” But then again, we are also advised to keep trying, “because it may not show results right away, but someday it would.”

Sometimes when we are way angry about someone or something or can’t agree with the masses, we are told to calm down because, “Live peacefully, the world is already at war.”

These questions often plague our minds – Why are we told to calm down? Why are we told to let it be? Why should we pick our fights carefully?

Why Should You Be Selective of the Battles You Fight?

Why Learning to Choose the Battles You Fight is Important

The reason we are told to be selective of jumping into a fight, especially when it comes to personal relationships, is because a relationship of any kind goes on only when two people learn to enjoy their differences. Instead of lashing out on each other at every small issue, we need to learn to respect each other’s boundaries. What matters to you might not make sense to someone else, and what matters to them might seem illogical to you – this is where you are usually supposed to take a step back.

“Part of the happiness of life consists not in fighting battles, but in avoiding them. A masterly retreat is in itself a victory.”

-Norman Vincent Peale

Because usually, in situations like this, there is a low probability of winning, and winning isn’t everything. At the moment, it may seem like winning the argument is everything, and you may win the argument, but lose the relationship. Because winning doesn’t matter as much as you think it does, people do. 

Which is why, you need to be selective in your battles, sometimes peace is better than being right. I have always chosen peace. This choice wasn’t my first always. I would jump at the opportunity of proving myself right, but then slowly, I realized not only was I straining my relationships, but also was hammering away at my own peace. When this realization dawns on you, you realize how futile the need to win was, and you start choosing peace.

“The foolish race of mankind are swarming below in the night; they shriek and rage and quarrel — and all of them are right.”

-Heinrich Heine

Sometimes staying calm and not giving in to the anger can help with the situation more than trying to diffuse it with words ever would. Because in the heat of the moment, words can be easily lost in translation and can be perceived as something they weren’t supposed to be. That being said, speak up when it’s necessary, not when it would simply lead to an insignificant argument. 

When and Why Should You Walk Away?

Why Learning to Choose the Battles You Fight is Important

“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it.”

-George Bernard Shaw

Some people love baiting other people to get a reaction out of them. These people are usually attention seekers; they like the attention being on them. For that, they will rope in anyone. You may even be forced to participate in a fight you don’t even care about. But, because they have riled you enough, you don’t stand back. Don’t engage in the futile exercise, instead say, “Yes okay, you win” and walk away. They are looking for an argument most of the time, and they want to get a reaction out of you; don’t give in, you simply don’t play their game.

“Sometimes you win by walking away.” 

Because you are not giving them what they wanted, you walking away is going to piss them as well. There’s no making them happy. You need to understand that it’s their own struggle, you don’t need to be a part of that. You don’t need to entertain the needs of such people. This is why it is also important to cut toxic people out of your life.

“Whenever we want to combat our enemies, first and foremost we must start by understanding them rather than exaggerating their motives.”

-Criss Jami

YOU are your biggest opponent. Fight yourself every day, to improve the quality of the life you lead, to achieve what you want. Live life on your own terms and stop justifying yourself to everybody – you don’t owe anyone, anything. Our biggest flaw is that we are never really confident about ourselves; we are never sure about our capabilities. Our inadequacy is the reason we compete, and it is the reason we get angry, jealous. 

Final Thoughts

There aren’t a lot of battles worth fighting – when there is something really wrong happening; either your friend is in trouble, or someone is being mistreated – that is when you are actually supposed to take a stand. 

“Pick the right battle and win the war.”

Petty fights don’t deserve your attention, nor do they deserve a reaction. They only make a mess and leave scars. Not everything is worth flipping out over – very few things in life are. 

Learn to stay calm and composed – it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Talking less or not fighting doesn’t make you a coward; it just shows that you are mature enough not to let irrational things hurt you. Don’t let people get the best of you.

Goals

Why Do We Need Measurable Goals?

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Why Do We Need Measurable Goals

Measurable goals are the first step to setting a realistic goal. It is very important to have a clear idea of what you want so that you can have a proper plan as to what needs to be done to achieve that. When people aren’t dead set on achieving something is when they set vague goals and that gives them an out for not doing it.

Unrealistic goals can be goals with either no defining line as to when it can be considered as complete or goals that are way out of the realism of achieving them. In both cases, you are going to end up failing and, in turn, being demoralized go after the said thing again. Being ambitious is important and setting goals is important – the problem occurs when you overdo both of these things.

“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.”

-Orison Swett Marden

Let’s start with the basics today – Why do we need to set goals?

Why Do We Need Measurable Goals

“Man does not live by bread alone.” This is what Jesus says when Satan asks him to turn a stone into bread. 

The world has discussed this popular maxim for over years. What does a man need to truly live?

The moment we are born, the society categorizes us, labels us, gives us a name and expects us to make our presence count. We are sent to school, then to college, all this to get a job and continue the same cycle with our children. But why do we need a job? We need a job to make our stay on this planet comfortable. 

Some of you may interpret this statement as basic requirements one needs to lead a normal-ordinary life. But ‘bread’ stands for much more than just food, clothes and shelter. There is deeper meaning to the statement. There is a difference between living your life and merely existing. 

Why Do We Need Measurable Goals

We all have this phase in life when we are pressurized to choose our career options. We either go for engineering or medicine or maybe even law or accounts. This is the point where you should choose what you like rather than what would pay better in future. If you are passionate about your choice, then you would eventually find your way to success. Choose a path you are willing to travel despite all the hardships you experience on the way. 

Some of you say you are not even clear with your passion. In that case list your talents and interests, weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose one.  

There is always a way, a choice because 30 years from now you cannot afford to have regrets about the one thing which shaped your whole life. This is why goals are needed and to achieve them, measurable ones are the most logical way to go.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

-Pablo Picasso

Measurable goals define a goal that is specific and measurable and that makes it more likely to be achieved.

Imagine having hundreds of immeasurable goals written down on your list – what do you think you are going to achieve or how many goals do you think you will be able to achieve? If I say I want to get a healthy body and that is my goal. Now, because I haven’t specified how much weight I need to lose in order to get to my desired weight, I cannot make a proper plan and I will not know when to stop or how dedicated I need to be. I will not be able to mark it as achieved and move on to another goal because this one will always linger in my mind as incomplete. Marking goals as achieved or complete is what drives up to aim for new ones.

This is why your goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. 

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”  

-Steve Jobs

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Self Improvement

Best Ways to Deal With Self-Doubt

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Best Ways to Deal With Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is an issue that a lot of us face. We don’t always need external factors to generate stress for us, we often do it ourselves. I have talked about how we give rise to self-doubt by comparing our journey to other people’s among other reasons. Today, I have Ellen Tran from ZyraKuma to tell you guys about the best ways to deal with self-doubt. Here’s what she has to say- 

Have you ever felt like you’re just not good enough? Or you just want to run away from “fear of failure”? It’s ok! People deal with self-doubt plenty of times because it’s just a human thing we suffer from day to day.

The term “self-doubt” revolves around the mental state of feeling uncertainty or distrust within oneself (a.k.a. you). In easier terms, the feeling of rejection (“fear of failure”). A lack of low self-esteem delaying a certain action because you think you are “not good enough” for that certain thing based on lack of evidence.

Here’s an example of self-doubt: pretend you have a job in any creative industry. You’re about to do a presentation in like 15 minutes, and you’re all prepared. But at the last minute, your anxious mind is telling you all these negative thoughts like “I can’t do this!” “What if I end up embarrassing myself?” “What if no one likes my work?”. You’re there standing in a daze where you’re doubting your success and wanting to escape.

If you’re in a similar situation, don’t feel discouraged! Here are ways to deal with self-doubt.

1. Talk to a Close Family Member or Friend

Best Ways to Deal With Self-Doubt

It’s always good to talk to someone you trust who can be empathetic and non-judgemental (I’m probably talking about a therapist), but you can always talk to a trusted friend or a family member. 

Back then, I was at my lowest of lows after being rejected from job applications after job applications. I talked to one of my closest friends, and they helped cheer me up after that whole incident. So if you know your “go-to” person, just straight up throw words at their faces and tell them your thoughts and feelings even if it ends up with you throwing a fit or being overly emotional.

2. Write in a Journal

Best Ways to Deal With Self-Doubt

If you’re the type who is afraid of expressing their self-doubt to someone else, then you can always try journaling because no journal will ever judge you.

I can feel that way sometimes too. Some days, I don’t feel like talking to someone about my rejections, so I go to my diary instead. You can always write about anything that comes to your mind and what’s giving you self-doubt. Journaling helps you release a few emotions and gives you a clearer mind to the barrier that’s stopping you.

A suggestion that journaling can help you overcome your self-doubt is to figure out your problem-focused (how you can attempt to change the situation) or emotion-focused (how you can attempt to change the thoughts or emotional consequences of the doubt) triggers. This can work out if you’re in a stressful situation too.

And note, you DON’T have to go out of your way to buy yourself a journal. You can always use your phone’s note app to do that. But writing by hand is preferable, it helps you feel more connected.

3. Motivational Thinking

Best Ways to Deal With Self-Doubt

It could be a motivational video on YouTube or a podcast. There are also motivational quotes that you can write in your journal or stick a sticky note where you often see it (like a mirror or bathroom door, for example).

Give yourself motivation. Tell yourself “I can do this” or “I know I can do this”. The more positive reinforcement you give yourself the more your mind will do what you’re telling it to do.

I do this a few times before a group presentation or before a test. I tell myself “Just get this over and done with!” or “Do it for the credits. Just do it for the credits!”. Sometimes it works, and other times it doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter once you get it over and done with, right?

4. You Have Other Chances

Best Ways to Deal With Self-Doubt

One true realization I had recently was after my first test for my unit. I’m not afraid to share my score here so I’ll just say it. I got a 19/30. Was I disappointed? Yes. If I had scored another point, I would have been happy. 

Then my professor said to everyone in the class “If you guys scored a 23/30, you would have graduated as a psychologist” or something like that. That made me self-doubt about graduating a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. The whole day, I thought to myself that I’m going to be another failed drop-out with no degree and fall into a lot of debt.

But the thing is, that test only results in 10% of my credits. Why worry about something that little when you can always find another way?

People say “Learn from your mistakes,” and that’s what I’m telling you. People make mistakes for a reason, and that reason is to learn and use it to climb to success. Did JK Rowling give up when she couldn’t find a publisher to publish her “Harry Potter” novel? No, she didn’t! Now it’s one of the most popular novels worldwide and has made Rowling a billionaire.

If it’s a dream that you want to accomplish, you should never give up unless you know that you feel that it’s impossible to achieve it. Balance the optimistic and pessimistic thoughts. This is also a reminder for you to practice better for the next time (a.k.a. don’t be like me and fall asleep at 4 am before a test day).

5. Change Your Mindset 

Has this happened in the past? If so, look at the patterns and look at what it’s doing to you. You shouldn’t fall back into this self-doubt trap again, and adopting a positive mindset helps with that.

These traps are known as “faulty thoughts”. These include:

  • overgeneralization (categorizing those as a never-ending negative cycle), 
  • overlooking the positives (bias towards the negatives than the positives), 
  • definite statements (believing in great expectations), 
  • blaming other factors (targeting other reasons for your failure),
  • categorization/labeling (another way of looking at things in black-and-white), 
  • emotional reasoning (using your feelings as facts and basing it on your decisions or actions), 
  • exaggeration (overlooking the “other side” or someone/something and extending more of the good qualities), 
  • predicting the future (predicting the negative event or situation), 
  • mind-reading (thinking something negative based on their reaction or attitude) and
  • mentally filtering occasions (overlooking the positive and focusing more on the negative details). 

You can read more about these in detail here.

Ph.D., Karyl McBride states “You don’t need to brag, but give yourself credit where credit is due,” and I couldn’t agree on enough. She also exclaims about narcissism and being stuck in the “imposter syndrome.”

This is where you feel like you can’t accept accomplishment, knowing that you might feel like a complete “fraud”. If you do feel like you have imposter syndrome, tell yourself “If it’s something to be seen as worthy of a celebration, then celebrate it! Only I can give myself credit”. 

These are some of the best ways you can overcome self-doubt about yourself.

Author: Ellen Tran @ZyraKuma
Site: https://www.zyrakuma.com
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Quotes

5 Lessons for Communicating Efficiently and Professionally Through Quotes

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5 Lessons for Communicating Efficiently and Professionally Through Quotes

Considering we have been communicating since we were born, by crying and yelling, in the beginning, to get our message across, to slowly learning the words to do the same, you would think, we would have mastered it by the time we reach adulthood. How right yet how wrong that logic is?

When you think about it, communication is one of the first skills we learn. We have been talking and conveying our thoughts for our whole lives, yet, it becomes harder to effectively communicate as we grow up. There’s just something about communications that’s harder than it should be for us.

Of all the skills we develop as leaders and professionals, communicating is one that many people fail in. We frequently miscommunicate, bypass the point, cause an unintended reaction, or avoid a messy discussion altogether. As a result, not communicating holds us back.

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”

-Lee Iacocca

How many times has it happened that you have had a great idea, an obvious solution, known the answer to the question that’s worrying everyone, but haven’t voiced your thoughts? When you have difficulty putting your thoughts across, you choose not to speak at all. While that saves you from discomfort in that particular moment, it only harms you in the long run.

5 Lessons for Communicating Efficiently and Professionally Through Quotes

You might never stand out from your colleagues, even though you have better ideas. You might never be taken seriously because you don’t speak when it is needed. You might miss opportunities because you were too afraid to put in your two cents. Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is always going to be no.

“Communication is the solvent of all problems and is the foundation for personal development.”

-Peter Shepherd

Following up on the previous quote, when you speak out, you get feedback. When you get feedback, you understand whether your idea is brilliant in reality or just your head. You learn how to implement it or learn where it falls short.

While not speaking out means your ideas will never fail, it also means that you will never learn and you will never grow. Hence, it will stump your personal development. 

Apart from that, it is really a solution for most problems – personal as well as professional. Many times the things that are bothering you can be easily solved with communication. Putting up boundaries, being open to discussion, raising objections, apologizing, a lot rides on words and how you put them. 

“Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise, you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”

-C.S. Lewis

You communicate to be heard, to be understood; so if you use words that aren’t that common while speaking, then you are going to be getting nowhere. Try to keep your dialect as simple as you can when conveying something. Try to think of the least qualified person in the room, if even they can comprehend what you are saying then you are doing great.

5 Lessons for Communicating Efficiently and Professionally Through Quotes

This also applies to exaggeration when we are trying to sell an idea that isn’t great. We might succeed in selling it now, but no one is going to believe it when you actually do have a great idea.

“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”

-Sydney J. Harris

This goes hand in hand with not using big words when putting your thoughts across. If it is a meeting with people from different departments, then chances are that not everyone is going to be familiar with the jargon of your sector.

While using jargon and technical mumbo-jumbo will help make you sound intelligent, it won’t help you put your point across. Try to communicate your information by finding a balance between speaking in layman’s terms and including enough to make you sound authoritative.

“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.”

-William Butler Yeats

This is more applicable in professional life, even though it has an influence in personal life as well. When you are in meetings or business setting, not everyone is going to have the same expertise as you. While you might think in the terms of statistics, it might mean nothing to the person who thinks in the terms of profit margin. This is where it is important to learn to put your messages in a more understandable dome. If you have ever been into public speaking, then you will know that it helps you with being tactful about what you say, how you say it, and it is received.

5 Lessons for Communicating Efficiently and Professionally Through Quotes

In personal life, you might be able to look at a situation logically being at the outside of its direct impact radius, that does not mean you can put it as it to someone who is clearly in the center of everything. This helps no one, instead, it has the power to ruin, something that could have been easily solved. Sometimes you have to use your knowledge to help you navigate a situation without quoting your knowledge.

Final Thoughts

Communication might not be your strength, but it isn’t something that can’t be developed. Read books about communicating effectively. Basically, sound confident when you speak, try being concise with your words. Think about what you need to put across and mould your words to that. The words you choose should not be based on you but on the listener. Simpler the dialect, better it is perceived – fewer chances of miscommunication and misunderstanding.

When you start reading more, listening to more than just words, and writing down your thoughts – it becomes easier to communicate. To be able to give, you should learn how to receive. Communicating is a skill that is a necessity. You need to be able to put yourself out there to be seen, to be heard, and to be understood.

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