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When we meet someone new, we say, Hi, my name is_____________, and start a conversation.
As that conversation continues, we gradually get to know one another. So, for those who are new followers of my blog and podcast, I would like to formally introduce myself.
Hi, I am Marlene Anderson and I write and speak on how you can take advantage of any challenge, turning it into something positive and meaningful. (You can learn more about me on my website About page and Speaking & Workshops page.)
As a former licensed counselor and college teacher, I share my training and life experiences, offering strategies to help you tackle life’s challenges. These become a toolbox of approaches that can be used to combat fear and anxiety, recognize and solve problems, and take charge of your life.
Each week I post a new article on my blog that speaks to concerns we have. These may include:
- Healing from unexpected and heart-breaking losses.
- Learning effective ways to communicate with others so we hear their wants and needs and can express ours as well.
Conflict in our relationships can create on-going high levels of stress.
Messages from our past that tell us we are not good enough can be replaced with affirmations of our value and worth. Knowing that forgiveness is for you allows you to let go of resentment, so it doesn’t destroy you.
As we affirm our worth, we can set personal boundaries. We can respect other people’s differences as we maintain our own.
Alternative ways to frame problems
Understanding how and why we respond to life the way we do helps us find alternative ways to frame problems and find satisfactory outcomes. Without adequate life tools, we will become discouraged and overwhelmed, or angry and resentful. We will remain in endless conflicts and stress-filled environments. Joy, happiness, and contentment will seem to be out of our reach.
I want you to know there is a way to work through any challenge or dispute you face.
If you are like me, you want your life to have purpose and meaning. You want to have a sense of wellbeing and experience satisfaction in your efforts. With that wholeness, you can manage and reduce stress, making it work for you instead of against you. (See my book, Make Stress Work for You.)
Building an optimistic bridge from your past to today allows you to bring reassuring and promising qualities forward. Old wounds can no longer influence who you are or what you can accomplish.
While not every situation will be resolved to your satisfaction, a positive attitude along with possibility thinking will reveal options you can work with to go through, over or around roadblocks. Believe in yourself. Believe in God who loves you and offers His strength, wisdom and guidance so you can live with assurance, faith and a “Yes I can” mindset.
Each of us determines how we will react to difficulties.
You are the CEO of your life; the person who governs the choices that are made. Respond with optimism in tough times. Ask for help when you need it; seek assistance and find good mentors.
When we accept that we won’t have all the answers and that we are not perfect, we can reach out and form supportive friendships. Acceptance of both our imperfections and our strengths, enable us to accept ourselves of worth and value.
Only you can decide what actions are needed to make your life meaningful and productive. Only you can choose how you will respond to tough times.
You can roll up your sleeves and go to work or you can raise your fists and yell and scream and protest. The first way allows you to be in control of your life – the second way gives that power to others as you remain a victim.
Reframe your problems to see a bigger picture with possibilities and not just obstacles. Focus on what you can do and how you will do it instead of what you can’t do. Life can be exciting as we use the tools at our disposal to work towards positive outcomes. You can’t change the destruction caused by a violent storm, but you can choose how you will rebuild.
Every day we will face problems and difficulties, some anticipated as normal life encounters, and others that we are unprepared to meet. When you have the tools to work with, you will find the answers you need.
15 life skills you do not want to be without
Put them in your personal toolbox to pull out and use whenever needed.
- Communication – the ability to listen as well as convey wants and needs
- Understanding how our interpretations and perceptions create emotional turmoil
- Replace negative thinking with possibility thinking
- Become responsible for your reactions and behaviors at all times
- Reframe circumstances to see both the positives and the negatives
- Separate problems from its symptoms in order to find solutions
- Maximize your strengths while managing your weaknesses
- Identify your stress triggers and diminish their impact
- Make the most of your time every day
- Give thanks and gratitude for your blessings
- Laugh and find humor to lighten even the darkest moments
- Savor each moment – what can I learn
- Clarify your values and live them
- Define your focus – develop a sense of meaning and purpose for your life
- Practice relaxation and visualization techniques to lower stress
We will get discouraged. We will feel insecure and have doubts and fears.
I can identify. I have been there. But I also know that we do not need to stay in that space. We can use that discomfort to understand ourselves better, grow and create a new roadmap. Challenges can be reduced from giant mountains to workable mole hills.
As your life coach, I will help you put together a toolbox with the strategies you need and help you implement them. There is so much information available that gives us a better understanding on how to overcome doubts and insecurities and solve problems. I have used these same tools many times in my life to heal after loss, pick up the pieces and construct a new beginning.
As belief in yourself increases, you will develop that confidence to keep trying and not give up. We can not only survive but thrive.
Let go of resentment and anger – Hang on to God, His Word and direction
Let go of worry and anxiety – Hang on to the promises of God
Let go of the unknown – Hang on to the wisdom of God
Do you want to turn your stress into a positive force?
My Make Stress Work for You bundle will help you:
- Identify the personal stressors that create high levels of distress in your life
- Learn how to identify problems and find ways to solve them
- Replace unhelpful thinking with constructive and practical ways to lower levels of fear, worry, and anxiety
The book bundle includes:
- audio recording of each chapter’
- companion Study Guide & Personal Application Workbook
- Four bonus guides