Category: Self-Help

Going Against the Grain or Going Along to Get Along?

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
– Mark Twain

Have you ever gone along with something, whether it was an idea, an action or a joke just because most of your friends or family members agree with it?

Yet something deep down inside tells you that something’s not quite right. That is your intuition talking to you, but unfortunately sometimes we ignore that voice. We choose the path of least resistance and just go along to get along.

Going against the grain (a euphemism for going one way when everyone else is going the other way) seems too difficult a task at first. You may have to deal with ridicule or judgment for your choices. Wouldn’t it just be easier to just agree with everyone and go with the crowd?

But there is SO much freedom in going against the grain when it’s warranted. For one, your conscience is FREE, because you know deep down that you’re doing the right thing. And you’re also freeing yourself from the mental slavery that comes with “group think.” The more people who go along with a certain belief, thought, obsession or action, the tougher it is to resist joining the ranks.

When I first decided that I would work for myself and own my own business, many of the people around me laughed and judged me. I frequently heard “why don’t you just go get a *real* job?” Today many of those same people struggle in careers they don’t really like. I decided to go against the grain, and I love what I do. It’s not always easy work being an entrepreneur, but I earn, have freedom AND I’m able to express my creativity every day.

People are always trying to impose their views and opinions on others — you have the free will and right to not agree if you wish. Exercise that free will at every and any opportunity!

Don’t ever be afraid to go against the grain when necessary. Your skin might get “prickled” a little along the way, but you may look up soon enough to clearly see that you chose the right path for YOU.

Love Lynn

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Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Is It Really a Good Idea to Have a Plan A B and C?

Throughout much of my adult life I lived by the belief that it’s always good to have a plan A B or C in case your initial idea doesn’t pan out. In my mind, the plans after “A” would have been settling into a permanent job; plan B is a good job I like, “C” is not as good of a job and so forth down the alphabet.

But that conflicts with the teachings of my mentors who say that if you have a major goal, nothing should distract you from it. Many say that having a “backup plan” is a bit like predicting the failure of your first goal.

Now I feel the need to adjust the line of thinking that I’ve always clung to about having a backup plan. Now I think that it’s important to have a plan A B C D through Z that specifically moves you toward your ultimate goal or dream of choice.

I agree with my mentors, like Les Brown, who say that if you have a dream you want to achieve you hang onto it like a mad dog with a bone. At the same time it’s still a good idea to have a plan A B and C for pursuing that dream. That’s the key.

There could be many roads that lead you to your ultimate goal — some are smooth, “safe” and curved while others are more “tricky” or risky but they might get you there faster. Each of those roads to your goal are labeled plans ABC. The more backup plans you have the better in this case — if you believe in your dream, you will do what is necessary to achieve it.

Even if you do decide to put your plans on pause for a moment, that doesn’t mean that your “trip” is over. For instance, if you decide to pause a business venture and get a job, let that be a time to regroup, save some money and get refocused on your business plan. In this case, getting a job isn’t plan B for your LIFE… it’s just PART of plan B for achieving your ultimate goal.

Avoid negative people who try to discourage you. Keep learning and growing. And stay focused on your dreams and goals — they help give your life meaning and purpose.

“Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.”
– Les Brown

Watch this motivational video by Les Brown: http://youtu.be/KlUMrzwmbyo

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Success Rarely Happens Overnight (Don’t Stomp on Your Sprouts)

Say one day you decide to plant a sunflower. After 2 weeks, there’s a tiny sprout. After 3 weeks there’s even more of a sprout but not quite a sunflower yet.

Do you give up on your sunflower, yell at the sun, stomp on the dirt and pour antifreeze over the sprout because it hasn’t become a full grown flower yet?

Or are you encouraged by the small bit of progress, and continue to water and feed your soon-to-be flower?

Choosing the first option sounds RIDICULOUS doesn’t it? Yet people do that all the time to their goals, dreams and pursuits of success. You make a bit of progress, but it’s not enough, so you abandon the whole thing after a short while. You don’t see the “fruit” from your efforts quickly enough, so you pour antifreeze all over your plans and scream at the sky.

One of the questions in my book Why Doesn’t He Love Me? is “Why do good things take so long to happen for me?”

We tend to be very impatient about progress. We want results now, or even better YESTERDAY.

Well a fact of life is that success takes time — it rarely happens overnight!

Pursuing a goal is like planting a seed in the ground. You water it, feed it and let the sun bless it. It grows slowly and perfectly until one day there’s a beautiful flower in the dirt.

And each seed has its own timeline. Some will be ready for harvest in just a few weeks, while others (like bushes and trees) take years to fully mature.

How many times have you given up on a new workout or nutrition plan, just because you didn’t see flatter abs and less pounds on the scale in 2 or 3 weeks? (Sometimes days!) It takes months and years for a shift in your diet and exercise plan to show significant results, and consistency is key.

Have you ever tried to learn a new skill, like dancing, playing an instrument, or painting and after a short time gave up because you didn’t think you were good enough?

Do me a favor right now and look up the early/first paintings of iconic artists like Salvadore Dali, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Many famous artists didn’t start off painting “perfect” masterpieces. There was a progression in their art that came with time, practice and inspiration. The same is true for many of your favorite musicians and entertainers.

Then there are the trials of starting your own business. You opened the business and no one flooded through your doors the first week. That doesn’t mean you and your business idea is a failure! It means that more time is needed, more new ideas or maybe even a slight shift in your business plan. Steve Jobs didn’t turn Apple into a multibillion dollar corporation overnight — it took many years for him to finally get his footing.

And sometimes, some seeds just don’t ever turn into flowers for any number of reasons. Maybe the seed didn’t get enough water or the weather wasn’t warm enough. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or that you’re a failure — it simply means that you have to plant more seeds until you start to see some sprouts coming in. The soil’s still good! So keep planting.

“If you really believe in what you’re doing, work hard, take nothing personally and if something blocks one route, find another. Never give up.”
– Laurie Notaro

Don’t Stomp on Your Sprouts
If you are the type of person who gives up on your goals and dreams quickly, keep these words in mind:

Don’t stomp on your sprouts. Keep watering, watching over them and loving them instead — they need time and plenty of love to flourish.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Guidance vs Pushing Opinions on Others

I recently watched the Lifetime biopic Whitney, about the life of one of my favorite entertainers of all time — Whitney Houston. It centered around the romantic relationship she had with her ex-husband Bobby Brown.

In one scene, Whitney announces to her family that she is getting married to Bobby and her family flips their collective lids! In the movie, her mother warns her that he will bring her down, but she defiantly stayed by his side. In the end, her mother was right and they eventually divorced. He seemed to love her, but the energy that he shared with Whitney did ultimately contribute to her fall from "grace" in the public eye, as her mother advised.

What is the difference between giving someone guidance and forcing your will on them? I think there can be a fine line.

On one hand, you can’t tell someone how to live her life. She is ultimately the person who will decide the direction it will take.

On the other hand, if you know something that another person doesn’t know, isn’t it irresponsible not to try to warn them?

Sometimes I feel that some segments of our culture have been on the decline because so many people are insistent on living a totally "free" life where they just go where the wind blows. They don’t want to hear the opinions of others because they find it too "oppressive." But how can you learn and grow in a productive way if you refuse to accept well-intentioned guidance from others? Values, mores and standards help keep us all level-headed.

I think that the difference between guidance and forcing your will on others is the source. If people trust you and value your opinion, your advice is more likely to be considered valuable guidance. If you are considered a "messy" and judgmental person who doesn’t practice what you preach, your opinion is more likely to be considered an oppression or intrusion — even if it does hold some value.

A Little Guidance on Accepting Guidance 🙂
Live your life the way that you want to live it AND also be open to positive guidance from others from time to time. An opinion from another person is not always meant to be judgment or oppression — sometimes it is a blessing. You never know if one small piece of advice from someone can save you from unnecessary, long-term stress and strife.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOUand an upcoming book of life advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me?

Poem: Invictus

I have probably read hundreds of poems in English classes throughout my young life, but I never thought that much of them. Nowadays they mean so much more to me. This poem is by William Ernest Henley. He was inspired to write this poem after going through a number of hardships in his life. What I get from it is “never ever ever give up; keep moving forward.”

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

– written by William Ernest Henley

 

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and an upcoming book full of life advice entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me?

How Do I Deal with Being Alone During the Holidays? (Question from “Why Doesn’t He Love Me?”)

Here is a snippet of a question answered from my forthcoming book “Why Doesn’t He Love Me? (And More Questions We Women Torture Ourselves Over).” Hopefully the answer gives you some peace this holiday season.

Love Lynn

Question: How Do I Deal with Being Alone During the Holidays?

The major holidays (Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s) can be the most depressing times of the year when you’re single. It seems as if everyone you know is with their significant others or enjoying fun times with their families.

So how do you deal with being alone and lonely during the holidays?

Surround yourself with the things that you love!

They say that light is the only cure for darkness, so if you’re preparing for a holiday alone, fill your life and space with things that you absolutely love. Not just like…LOVE.

For example, I LOVE to have what I call a “seafood fest” from time to time. I buy crab legs, jumbo shrimp, flounder, potatoes and all of the extras. I am so involved in the process of buying and cooking my seafood that I completely forget anything else going on in my life at the moment.

I also LOVE to watch French movies with subtitles. They completely hold my attention (no distractions from social media) and I’m almost always inspired in some way. So I might find several French movies on Netflix and line them up for watching during the holidays.

I also LOVE a good massage, so I might schedule some time to go to the mall or a spa to have a 10 or 20 minutes massage by a professional early in the day. Then I’ll have my nails done. This gives me a good feeling that lasts all day long.

List a minimum of three things that you absolutely LOVE to do, and treat yourself to those things during the holidays. If money is an issue, explore the free things about life that can bring a smile to your face, like playing in the snow outside—who said you have to be a kid to make a snow angel? Maybe you’ll decide to volunteer to help someone else in need because you know that will give you a good feeling.

There’s one last thing to remember—avoid all negative media during the holidays that might make you feel insufficient at this time of year. Turn off the TV and spend some time with yourself.

When you approach the holiday season with a positive outlook, you may even be inspired to reach out to someone you care about and spend some time with them—even if it’s someone you’ve had a disagreement with in the past. Open your heart and open your mind…

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU. Her new book Why Doesn’t He Love Me? is due for release in early 2015.

Women, If You Could Have 2 Questions Answered About Life…

I am in the process of writing a new book on the questions that we women torture ourselves with throughout our lives.

My question to you: if you could have 2 questions answered about your life (as a woman) what would those 2 questions be?

Submit your response below — your question may be featured in the book!

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful response.
Love Lynn

The Power of Touch

I watched a few episodes of the show My Cat From Hell a couple of weeks ago. I was amazed (and a bit amused) by the behavior of the cats on the show. They hissed and scratched at every human that dared come near them. I couldn’t believe that the owners managed to coexist in the same household with these angry and aggressive cats for so long!

But while the knee jerk reaction was to blame the cat for being “evil” the real problem was the owners. They were cold and lacked understanding of what the cats needed. The suggested solution in many of these cases was to simply touch the cat and show him love. It worked 100% of the time. My own cats are very mild-mannered and loving toward me and guests because I pay them a lot of attention with touch and affirmation.

Love Energy
A simple touch from someone can be so powerful. It can be even more powerful than words, which sometimes don’t come out quite right at crucial moments.

When a person is grieving, a mere grip of the shoulder can mean so much. It gives them the release they need.

If someone you love is going through a trial or difficult situation, sometimes simply touching or holding his or her hand is the perfect reaction. It’s soothing and meaningful.

When a child is frustrated or confused, a hug can make all of her cares go away, if only for the moment. It’s a bonding moment. It’s like an exchange of love energy.

Sometimes all you need is to be present and near another person to be effective. For instance, if someone you love is laying in their bed depressed, just sit near them or with them for a while. No need to tell them anything, no need to judge them for how they feel or advise them on what they should do.

So if you’re having a strained relationship with someone or you don’t know how to help someone you know who is in need, try a loving touch instead of words from time to time. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

 

This is one of the books that you want on your shelf if you are serious about self-development and personal growth.

The most useful advice I received from this book:

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

 

 

Love Lynn


Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive?and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

“Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History” – What Does That Really Mean?

Marilyn Monroe is credited with popularizing the saying “well-behaved women rarely make history.”

Unfortunately, a lot of young women take this quote to mean that they should live recklessly, flaunt their sexuality, try to be “bad b*****s” and treat people with disrespect in order to be “famous” and unforgettable. That’s what the reality stars and celebrities of today are doing to stay relevant, after all.

But it’s just not true. This is just what our popular media would like young women to believe so that they will continue to consume, consume, consume. It’s a way of keeping the minds of young women clouded with these images so that they will do (or pay) whatever possible to live up to them.

The truth is that the majority of the people we see everyday in the media who have adopted this approach to being “unforgettable” WILL be forgotten. No one will talk about them 25, 50 or 100 years from now.

Let’s look at a few women who weren’t “well-behaved” according to society’s standards for women, yet held themselves to a high regard and still made history, never to be forgotten. 1,000+ years from now, they’ll still be a part of history.

Queen Elizabeth I

They called her the “Virgin Queen” because she refused to take on a husband to rule by her side as society deemed “appropriate.” She knew that if she got married, her husband would take over and she would probably be pushed to the side or even overthrown. During her rule, she led her troops to an important victory when the Spanish Armada threatened her shores. Queen Elizabeth ruled for many decades during what many call the “Elizabethan” era. To this day, many historians try to sully her name–I believe it’s because they refuse to believe a woman was able to reign alone without a man for so long. She is a great example of a woman who went against the status quo, made her own way in this world and will always be remembered in history.

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston was and is one of the world’s most treasured woman writers in the history of the United States. She went to college at Howard University in D.C. She was one of the first initiates of Zeta Phi Beta sorority and joined Alaine Locke’s literary club. She studied anthropology at Barnard and Columbia University. After graduating she chose to travel the U.S. recording the stories of the interesting people she met. She took a record of African American history that few people understood at the time (and to this day) in her best-selling books Mules and Men and Their Eyes Were Watching God. Though her talent and treasures weren’t fully appreciated during her life, her legacy lives on to this day and will continue.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) is one of the most well-known and liked presidents in the history of the United States next to Abe Lincoln. His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt took an equally prominent role in politics as the nation’s First Lady during that time. She was a champion for human rights, an outspoken voice for women at a time when women barely had the right to vote. She became known as “one of the most esteemed women in the world” and is also famous for her quote: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Harriet Tubman

When I first heard the story of Harriet Tubman, it was hard to believe. She escaped slavery, but instead of enjoying her freedom as most people of those days did, she decided to make 13 dangerous trips back to the place where she experienced so much pain to save others. Harriet was definitely a woman who wasn’t “well-behaved” but she will always be remembered for her heroism.

There are so many more amazing women who can be added to this list, but I believe this to be a good start. So whenever you hear that saying “well-behaved women rarely make history” please keep it in the proper perspective.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.