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Banish Fear and Make Connections

by Lisa Wallace

If you often feel shy and unable to speak up even in one-on-one situations, don't despair. Many people feel self-conscious and awkward talking with others. Here are eight ways to refocus your own thoughts so connecting with others becomes a pleasure. Practice the suggestions below each day and they will become habits. You will create a brand new satisfying way of relating to others.

1. Get into the caring mode.
Approach every interaction with the deliberate and singular purpose of caring for the other person. This conscious act will shift your thoughts away from yourself, allowing a space in you to truly be with another person. As you enter this space, the interaction takes on spiritual significance.

2. Give what you want to have.
What do you want people to do for you when you are with them? Do it for them. You know what you want. You want people to see you - really see you. You want to feel cared for and liked. Be kind, gracious and generous. Help people to hope. Give them different ways to think about their experiences that spark insight, growth and enthusiasm.

3. Seize the moment.
Life is incredibly fragile and unpredictable. The reality is that you may never see the person you're talking to again. It happens! Give generously in the moment from the depths of your being.

4. Take on your mission.
We all have the same mission in this life. St. Francis of Assisi wrote a simple, beautiful prayer to ask for help with it. Make this prayer your prayer (available online at http://www.transchurch.org/sguide/praybk.htm in the General Prayers section.) Commit it to memory. Pray it aloud in private every day as you prepare for the day's events. This prayer will give you a mental framework for living. Let it set the tone for your interactions with people.

5. Be who you really are.
Although our mission is the same, the way each of us fulfills the mission will differ according to our own uniqueness. Learn who you are and embrace yourself. If you are a quiet person, that is a very good thing. You may enjoy cultivating super listening skills. Active listening allows people to get clear about what is going on with them, and what they can do. What a wonderful gift to give!

6. Experiment with how you connect.
Satisfying communication brings about a sharing between two people that fosters mutual appreciation, understanding and support. Body language, facial expression, tone of voice, listening skills, conversation, written notes and physical touch can all be effective tools in building connection. Apply thoughtful creativity to express caring in the context of appreciation, affirmation and encouragement.

7. Reach out, one person at a time.
Connect with just one person, and you will gain confidence and momentum to connect more fully with others. Starting today, choose one person to get to know better. Invite the person for regular walks at lunch. Ask questions and share yourself. Then extend this approach to another person, and another. Conversations will become more comfortable.

8. Take extremely good care of yourself.
Keep yourself well so you have energy to give deeply and enjoy people. Eat healthy, take a multivitamin, drink pure water, and get plenty of sleep. Have something to look forward to each day. Engage in your hobbies. Stay physically active doing things you love. Wear flattering clothes and colors that make you feel great. Take time each day to be alone, and relax before bedtime! You deserve it!

by Lisa Wallace, Personal and Business Coach
Copyright 2001, Lisa Wallace. All Rights Reserved.

Lisa Wallace is a personal and business success coach. She offers individual and small group coaching sessions via the phone or e-mail. To receive Lisa's free Weekly Coaching Tips newsletter, or sign up for a complimentary coaching session, just send an e-mail to windstarlw@aol.com.
Visit Lisa's web site at http://www.lwallacecoach.bigstep.com

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