I always try to leave my clients with a piece of advice or wisdom they will (hopefully) find useful even after our official working relationship has ended. I don’t think I’ve done my job properly if I haven’t found a way to help them help themselves. Self reliance is always Emma Approved!
For the last several weeks, I have been my own client, attempting to make amends for the wrongs I have done to some of the wonderful people in my life. Admitting and facing my own emotions. Trying to put the needs of those I care about before my own, even when I thought it would cause me pain. And finally, opening myself up to the vulnerability that loving someone requires. It’s taken a lot of soul searching and difficult conversations, as well as several pints of Chunky Monkey, but I now think I’m ready to move on to the next phase of my life. While I’m not sure exactly what that is, I do know I will be doing so surrounded by a small band of true friends and loved ones who teach me every day through their own actions about the kind of person I want to be.
I have loved sharing my thoughts with you on the EmmaApproved.com blog, but in the interest of having more work/life balance, I’m going to take a break from posting for awhile and focus more on the “life” part of the equation. Recently, I’ve added a few more factors, and it’s all adding up to sum-thing very special (wow, I’m making math jokes. What have you done to me, Alex Knightley?!?!?). And I owe it to both myself and those I love to take the time to focus inward and fully explore all the possibilities without the distraction of airing all my inner thoughts to the public before taking into account the needs of those I’m closest to.
Thank you for taking this journey with me – it has meant so much to hear your stories and share in your triumphs. I hope to be back with more wisdom to pass along. And remember, as long as you never stop learning and never stop growing, you will always be Emma Approved!
We’ve talked a lot on this blog about how to deal with change. Change in the workplace, change in relationships, change with family and friends. But before you can create change in your own life, you have to decide to do so. For some, the “decision to make the decision” is the hardest part of the process. The endless deliberation, the pros-and-cons lists, the worrying about making the wrong choice. For others, the process is exactly the opposite – the insight that a situation needs to change hits you like a ton of bricks. It’s the proverbial light bulb going off above your head.
No matter how you come to a point of change, though, at some point you need to figure out how to make that change real for yourself – how to transition something from just a thought in your head to actual difference in your life. A few ways to do this include verbalizing the change, allocating resources (including money, time and effort), pursuing education and creating accountability. Here are just a few examples of how these strategies can manifest themselves in different ways. Continue reading →
Apologies are by nature one of the more difficult interactions to master. Feelings have been hurt. Disappointment, bitterness, and anger are just some of the challenging emotions that have to be dealt with. Delivering a meaningful, heartfelt apology is a skill that can take practice to master. But it can mean the difference between saving a relationship, or simply peace of mind. Here are a few tips on how to make an effective apology. Continue reading →
“It’s not personal, it’s business” is a memorable quote from the classic Meg Ryan film “You’ve Got Mail”. A film that captures the very real problem of when, and how, to separate your personal feelings from your business decisions. How do you stay true to your relationships but still be practical and ambitious in your career? If you want to succeed in your chosen field, you can’t always allow emotions to get in your way. It’s a business, with goals, and everything else falls into two categories. Things that help you achieve those goals and things that don’t. Separating your career and your personal life can be extremely sticky, and unfortunately there will be times when you have to preference one of the other. Which you choose in each instance is entirely up to you, but you can’t, and shouldn’t, feel guilty in those times. Here’s a list containing some of the most common situations where personal life and career intersect, and how to handle them.
The dictionary defines gossip as: “Information about the behavior and personal lives of other people.” Taken literally, that means every time we speak to someone about a third party who is not present, it’s automatically gossip, in which case it’s almost impossible to avoid. More updated definitions include terms like “sensational,” “intimate,” and “not confirmed as being true.” That indicates that gossip means talking about someone else’s private life, including speculation as well as facts, for entertainment value. But I believe there are plenty of occasions that warrant speaking about someone’s personal life with no malicious intentions whatsoever! If you’ve ever felt guilty for gossiping, been accused of gossiping, or been confused about what actually constitutes gossip, here are a few examples of when gossiping is helpful instead of hurtful.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about “Getting Unstuck,” in which I talked about taking the time to get in touch with what truly matters to you and then making sure that your goals are aligned with these deeper values. I wouldn’t be a very good lifestyle professional if I couldn’t follow my own advice.
As you all know, I’m a big believer in going after what you want. You deserve to be the best you can be, and you should do whatever you can to make that possible. However, sometimes when pursuing your goals, one can go too far and cause damage to others in the process. Or damage to yourself. How do you know when you have crossed a line? How far is too far?
Or to be more specific running into someone you never wanted to see or hear from again. It could be facing the drama of an ex-boyfriend or an ex-best friend, the kind that ended in shouting and tears. Or the awkwardness of that person you dated three times and never called back. Perhaps a childhood friend you just let drift away or an old coworker whose Facebook friend request you ignored. In the end it’s all the same. You’re being forced to confront a person you used to share some sort of intimacy with and it’s difficult.
You have goals, ambitions, and dreams. That’s something that is definitely Emma Approved! But there is a difference between believing in a path and actually walking the path, and you’re never exactly the same person you used to be after the journey. Every experience changes you in the best way possible, making you a wiser, more layered, stronger individual. And just like that dress you used to love in high school that you would never wear now, your old plans may no longer fit you. You’re just hanging on because you see yourself a certain way and have a hard time letting go. So here are a few tips on how to put the past behind you and leave yourself open to all the possibilities of the future.
We all know the cliché. A sad, depressed girl sits alone in her apartment in the dark, unshowered, wearing sweatpants, eating a carton of ice cream while watching cheesy movies and listening to sad music that speaks to her soul. And let’s not forget the constant bouts of sobbing.
The worst part of this picture is that the cliche is pulled straight from reality. At one time or another, most girls (and even some guys) have indulged in just this way. Often, when life hands you a major disappointment the instinct is to close ranks, wallow and stop functioning until the pain passes. As a culture, as friends, we encourage it.
“Whatever makes you feel better.”
“Take a load off.”
“Do what you have to.”
But this is the WRONG approach.
All the things people usually do to comfort themselves when life gets hard are, in fact, the exact opposite of what would actually make them truly feel better. Take a day or two away from the rest of the world to lick your wounds, but the longer you shut down, the more likely you are to stay down.
I recently went through some major setbacks that touched on many aspects of my life, creating a domino effect and causing me to question my career, my purpose in life and my qualifications for being anyone’s friend. I’m not alone in this – turns out this kind of experience happens to all of us at least once. But I’ve been in the business of making people’s lives better long enough to know that I needed some additional support, especially given that the situation was so unfamiliar to me. I spent a lot of time researching how to get better as quickly as possible. Here are a few great tips on how to cheer yourself up when life has you down.