Quote Of The Day 14/11/2019

THURSDAY, 14/11/2019:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/AZv6odh_ECPtuOxumnY1OBXVPO3VisamQETyQ6tYdKzVES6_U8sxGxsdIcVuKqardXwbgZvtj_7QP9u9GwirC-o/

‘Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.’

– Bruce Lee

Book Review: The Woman In The Window.

A review of: The Woman In The Window – By A. J. Finn.

Source: https://www.amazon.in/Woman-Window-J-Finn/dp/0008294372

TITLE:

The Woman In The Window

AUTHOR:

A. J. Finn

GENRE:

Mystery/ Thriller

PUBLISHED:

2018

PAGES:

449

GET IT HERE:

amazon.com.au

Overview:

‘The Woman In The Window’, by A. J. Finn tells the story of Anna Fox, a reclusive ex-psychologist who is afraid to leave her up-town, New York home. Diagnosed with Agoraphobia, Anna spends her days drinking wine and spying on her neighbours.

Anna’s only glimpse of the outside world is through her windows, where she keeps track of her neighbours movements. When the Russells family move in across the street, Anna becomes excited – but as she spirals into her depression and medicated delusions, she begins to question the strange things she sees from her upstairs-window.

With no-one to turn to, let alone believe her, Anna begins to investigate further.

My Thoughts:

‘The Woman In The Window’ is fast-paced and dripping with mystery from the get-go. The novel gives the reader a glimpse into the sufferings of someone so afraid of the outside world, they cannot leave their own home.

Anna is grasping at reality most of the time, struggling with loneliness, medicated sleep and a drinking habit she relies on to pass the time. The reader must decide if Anna is reliable and her account of the happenings in her street truly happened. Was she hallucinating? Dreaming? Drunk? Panic-stricken?

There are moments where the story takes dramatic turns, and the reader falls easily into the whirlwind of Anna’s confusion, fear and frustration, making the novel a true page-turner.

It is definitely worth the read, if you’re into fast-paced and page-turning, with a small dose of cliche to go along with it.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Quote Of The Day 11/10/2019

FRIDAY, 11/10/2019:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/376895062550391922/

‘One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.’

– Michael J. Fox

Editor’s Note: August.

I’m celebrating!

HELLO AGAIN!

I know it’s only been a month since the last time I wrote an Editor’s Note to you all, but so much has happened!!

You may notice I’ve decided to decorate this page with balloons, rather than the lovely leaves I usually use for my monthly Editor’s Note. The reason?

I’m celebrating!

Why? Well… where to start?!

I quit my office job, I’m finally seeing a psychologist who isn’t ridiculously uninterested, my baby brother was born in May and is the cutest little thing I’ve ever met and I start my new job next Monday!

Assorted-color Aired Balloons Under Blue Sky
Image may contain: one or more people, people sleeping and closeup
Look at his cute little face!

SO… WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

This month, I decided to start a new segment on the blog, named ‘Top Talks’. I really love watching talks, speeches and lectures from people who are creative, intelligent and inspiring… so I wanted to share my favourites with you. You can find the first one here.

I’ve also been reading quite a bit lately – I’m currently getting through ‘Daring Greatly’ by Brené Brown, ‘Mentors’ by Russel Brand and have just bought ’12 Rules for Life’ by Jordan B. Peterson.

I’ve also written a couple of really fun, empowering articles, including:

How Embracing Your Mental Illness Can Empower You

Turning Your Anger Into Action

Re-Humanizing The Workplace

NEW JOB, WHO DIS?

A lot of people have been asking about my new job. I’ll be working for Baptist Care SA, which is a nonprofit organization which helps a wide range of people in the community, including young people, the homeless/ displaced, people with disabilities, the elderly and indigenous people (to name a few).

I’m looking forward to this new chapter, which has meant quitting my permanent, full-time gig and taking on casual employment.

I am nervous, but excited for what the future holds.

Assorted-color Aired Balloons Under Blue Sky

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

Assorted-color Aired Balloons Under Blue Sky

This month is all about new beginnings.

For me. it’s also about embracing failure, taking risks and being my most authentic self. I’m hoping you can follow and join me on this exciting new path, learning and empowering each other to reach your full potential!

For my Australian friends, this is the start of the final month of winter – so here’s hoping for some sunshine by the end of the month. For my American friends, the leaves will fall and the weather will drop, and for all my friends in countries all around the world (I see you!) we are all coming into a season of generosity and friendship.

Let’s make it a good one!

I hope you all have an AMAZING August, and remember to reach out if you’re struggling, be a good neighbour and always check in on your friends! x

Re-Humanizing The Workplace

What is dehumanization and how do we combat the growing number of disenchanted employees?

Have you ever felt like you’re just a ‘number’ at your workplace?

You’re not alone.

We live in a time where there is a huge focus on figures, our budgets are being slashed and employees are constantly asked to work more, for less.

Although there are some companies who have recognized and adapted to this (LinkedIn, Google & Salesforce are some great examples), there are plenty of industries where stress, hours and restraints are increasing, and job satisfaction is decreasing.

When I go out with friends, I avoid talking about work at any cost.

Let’s not talk about work tonight’ is a phrase I find myself saying more and more. Sound familiar?

Woman Sitting in Front of Macbook
Man Working Using A Laptop

In an article by Rachel Druckenmiller, she identifies that 88% of Americans feel like they work for a company that doesn’t care about them as human beings.

For most, work is a necessary evil, rather than a pleasure. Workplaces are so caught up with numbers and figures, they forget that the people driving their companies are, in fact, human.

And salaries are no longer enough to keep employees motivated. In fact, the top two motivators for employees are recognition and a sense of achievement. Throwing money at employees will not fix the deep-rooted problems organisations can face – one of which is the dehumanization of the workplace.

So what is dehumanization?

Dehumanization is a social phenomenon, where in certain environments, people are perceived by others as not human, but rather an instrument, object or a number in a large organization.

In extreme cases, dehumanization can go as far as seeing people as not human at all – instead, indistinguishable from other animals. A perfect example of this social phenomenon is the persecution Jews and other minorities faced in the Holocaust. Another example would be extreme racism, or taking away someone’s basic human rights. This type of dehumanization is called ‘animalistic’ dehumanization.

However, in the workplace, people are more commonly victims of ‘mechanistic’ dehumanization – where they are likened to instruments used for another’s benefit. This is an incredibly diverse social issue, where workers are often denied basic things, such as empathy, emotion or the opportunity for expression of self.

Qualities of a ‘dehumanized’ workplace:

Many workplaces and leaders within them prioritize efficiency over empathy, competition over connection and power over purpose.

Dehumanization takes many forms, but in the workplace, it can be anything from subtle to severe – manifesting itself in ways that may not always be obvious as ‘dehumanizing’:

Lack of Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand, relate and share feelings with someone. It is something vital to building strong relationships with others. Yet many workplaces lack empathy.

Employees aren’t expecting a kiss and a cuddle every time something goes wrong. But they are expecting to be treated as human beings.

Many employees have reported being asked to work in the midst of family tragedies, work longer hours to make up for missed deadliness and many also report feeling as though their emotions are not valid in the workplace.

Group of People Holding Arms

Showing empathy can sometimes be seen as weakness or emotional vulnerability, which often creates a culture of ‘not my problem’. This is at odds with studies that prove that empathy actually promotes pro-social behaviour and builds trust and respect.

Condescension

Man Holding White Teacup in Front of Gray Laptop

Condescension, or condescending behaviour, involves patronizing attitudes and creates an air of superiority. It’s generally associated with snobbishness or disdain.

We’ve all had a boss like that at some point, haven’t we?

In the workplace, condescension usually comes in the form of snide remarks, offhand comments or in extreme cases, gas-lighting.

This behaviour is incredibly harmful, and can be emotionally draining, distracting and demeaning for a worker to have to deal with.

Sometimes emotions are hard, and it’s easier to dismiss them. We put an emphasis on efficiency, and things like emotions, connection and compassion can hinder this. But we can’t sacrifice our basic human needs for work performance.

Cliques, ‘Boy’s Clubs’ & Poor Company Culture

This is a particularly frustrating form of dehumanization within the workplace – and often the downfall of many organizations.

These types of workplaces can often seem more like high-school than a place where grown adults work. There is usually an obvious hierarchy, where ‘some’ people seem to progress far faster in the company than others.

This dehumanization manifests itself in behaviors such as forming clear ‘groups’ or ‘cliques’, rumor-mongering, giggling behind hands or a range of other obvious gestures, such as eye-brow raising.

Man Raising Right Hand

These are all signs of poor company culture, where people are not seen as equal or valid. Although this is not the only indication of poor company culture, it is a direct contributor.

Workplaces often dehumanize their workers in this type of way – socially ostracizing them, creating ‘minorities’ within the company, maintaining outdated ‘Boy’s Club’ cultures or otherwise finding ways to subtly discriminate based on sex, race, gender or even just by perceived ‘popularity’.

Dismissive Attitudes

Grayscale Photography of Man Holding Smartphone

We’re all guilty of not paying attention every now and then. But dismissive attitudes go further than a simple slip of focus.

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve come up with an idea, only to have it dismissed on the spot, ignored entirely or even worse, laughed at? This is the type of attitude many company leaders possess – dehumanizing and invalidating their workers in the process.

Body language also speaks volumes when it comes to being dismissive. Looking away, obvious disinterestedness, checking your watch or phone are all signs of a dismissive behaviour and attitude.

Although sometimes we are genuinely busy or our focus is elsewhere, the dismissive attitude that is often displayed by bosses or company leaders is invalidating and rude, and creates a feeling of not being respected or valued not only as an employee, but as a human.

So how do we ‘re-humanize’ our workplaces?

The first thing workplaces need to do is to recognize the behaviors and attitudes that might be dehumanizing their workers. Often, these attitudes come from senior levels and work their way down to middle and lower-management.

Having the right people leading our workplaces is incredibly important – people who are willing to recognize issues and realign them with the needs of their employers.

Dehumanization in the workplace is an extremely complex issue, which can affect individuals, the organisation and even society as a whole.

The main goal of re-humanizing the workplace is to help all workers be open, honest and feel confident to be an individual, while also thriving in the organisational environment. Re-humanization is integral to positive social interaction.

So what can we do to work towards making our workplaces more human?

Group Hand Fist Bump

Accept & Admit Shortcomings

Creative Story Book Near Black-framed Eyeglasses

The first step to re-humanizing your workplace is to remind the people around you that you aren’t perfect, and that’s perfectly okay.

Accepting and admitting (out-loud) your shortcomings creates an environment where others can too. In an article for Forbes, Dina Gerdeman outlines the importance of being a humble leader. She takes note from Professor Alison Wood Brooks, who says:

‘People find you more humble and likable when you not only reveal your successes and accomplishments, but your struggles and shortcomings, too… If we want to see positive workplace outcomes, we shouldn’t underestimate how important it is to be seen as humble, grounded and well-liked.’

This is also the same approach Brene Brown shares in her book ‘Daring Greatly‘, where she speaks on shame, and the importance of understanding ourselves in order to grow. She quotes Peter Sheahan, CEO of ChangeLabs, who says:

‘If you want a culture of creativity and innovation, where sensible risks are embraced on both a market and individual level, start by developing the ability of managers to cultivate an openness to vulnerability in their teams.  And this, paradoxically perhaps, requires first that they are vulnerable themselves.’

Owning our shortcomings provides a positive environment where personal and professional growth is encouraged and can flourish without fear or shame.

Ask Questions

This might seem simple, but it’s something that so many people in leadership positions fail to do.

They’re the bosses that walk past the same people every day, with their coffee in one hand and their phone in the other, and miss multiple opportunities to connect with the people they work right next to.

Some managers couldn’t tell you who their receptionists’ name is, what their co-worker’s kids names are, or who the person in the waiting room is. They often put this in the ‘trivial information’ basket and move on.

Woman in Blue Suit Jacket

But the thing is, this information is what makes people the way that they are – and without knowing anything about the people you work with day in and day out, you are setting yourself up for failure.

If you take the time to ask questions and build rapport, you instantly become more approachable. You are seen as someone who doesn’t just see their workers or colleagues as replaceable, disposable or ‘just another number’. Being interested and involved is all part of being ‘human’.

Be The Change You Want To See

If you want to re-humanize your workplace, the culture change needs to come from the top.

If workers can see leader that shows compassion and interest in the community, the employees and other managers, they are more likely to do the same. Not only that, but part of making a change is being the change.

You can’t expect others to care if you aren’t giving them an example to work with.

‘Practice what you preach’ comes to mind here.

Creating a workplace culture that cares about its employees is hard. There are many considerations and obstacles to take on board, including ingrained company culture, the attitudes of board members, the business’ current financial position and much, much more.

Sometimes, re-humanization starts from a place of transparency and honesty.

But at the end of the day, re-humanization is a process of accepting that every person is unique, and that we all play a part – and every person is entitled to feel that they are valued.

Woman in Brown Knit Top

Making sure employees feel validated and valued is not the same as making them feel useful. That difference comes from a place of genuine care for the people, not the company, profit or the numbers the computer spits out. CEO Barry Wehmiller said this about involving and honouring the people around us:

Everyone wants to do better. Trust them. Leaders are everywhere. Find them. People achieve good things, big and small, every day. Celebrate them. Some people wish things were different. Listen to them. Everybody matters. Show them.

Top Talks (#1): The Anatomy of Trust – Brené Brown

Discover a new ‘Top Talk’ weekly with The Art of Overthinking!

Hello there!

I’ve been listening to (and watching) a lot of Ted Talks, Podcasts and Lectures recently… And the one thing I realized was that I really wanted to share some of the key points some of these incredible people have to say!

So I decided to start a weekly section on my blog titled ‘Top Talks’, where I can share with you some of the great things I’ve heard and learned from an array of fascinating, intelligent and diverse people.

It is truly mind-boggling to me how incredibly talented our world is, so I thought doing a ‘show-and-tell’ of the speeches I come across would be a fun way to get more people thinking about issues they may not have thought about before, or see things from another’s perspective.

So without further ado:

WHO IS BRENE BROWN?

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston, with a PhD in Social Work.

Brené has spent her career studying courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy, as well as being an author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers and giving multiple talks on her research.

Today, I’m writing about Brené’s talk on ‘The Anatomy of Trust’.

source: https://www.google.com/search?q=brene+brown&rlz=1C1GCEA_enAU846AU847&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjHmMqTtMzjAhWCfysKHZ_BDM8Q_AUIEigC&biw=1745&bih=807#imgrc=-al8YnXqDvf_1M:

The Anatomy of Trust – Brené Brown

What I got out of this ‘Top Talk’:

This ‘Top Talk’ was all about trust. How it is gained, how it is lost, and what it is. The main ideas I got from listening to this talk were the ‘B.R.A.V.I.N.G’ acronym and her analogy that likened trust to a marble jar. I loved this talk and how true the concepts were to me!

THE MARBLE JAR:

Brené explained trust by comparing it to a marble jar from her daughter’s school. When the class is good, marbles go in the jar. When the class is bad, marbles come out.

In the same way, when people do little things to affirm their trustworthiness, marbles go into our ‘jar’. When they betray our trust, marbles come out.

Our ‘Marble Jar Friends’ are those that have filled our jar over time: people we know we can trust.

So how does Brené define trust?

THE B.R.A.V.I.N.G ACRONYM:

Below are the seven ‘elements’ of trust that Brené goes through (these are on her website, too!):

BOUNDARIES:

You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no.

Green Grass
Photo of Four Persons Uniting Hands

RELIABILITY:

You do what you say you’ll do.

At work, this means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t over promise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities.

ACCOUNTABILITY:

You own your mistakes, apologize, and make amends.

Close-up Photo of Tied Blue Box
Gold Padlock Locking Door

VAULT:

You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share.

I need to know that my confidences are kept, and that you’re not sharing with me any information about other people that should be confidential.

INTEGRITY:

You choose courage over comfort.

You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them.

Person Holding Hands
Red Corded Telephone on White Suraface

NON-JUDGMENT:

I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment.

GENEROSITY:

You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others.

Man's Hand in Shallow Focus and Grayscale Photography

And finally

Dr. Brown shares these ideas not only for trusting others, but for cultivating self-trust. Below are some questions she came up with to assess our level of self-trust:

B:

Did I respect my own boundaries?

Was I clear about what’s okay and what’s not okay?

R:

Was I reliable?

Did I do what I said I was going to do?

A:

Did I hold myself accountable?

V:

Did I respect the vault and share accordingly?

I:

Did I act from my integrity?

N:

Did I ask for what I needed?

Was I non-judgmental about needing help?

G:

Was I generous towards myself?

Turn Your Anger Into Action.

We’ve all had moments that make us see red. It’s about what we do next.

We’ve all had moments that make us see red.

Just last week, something happened to me at work that made me so angry I was blind with rage. I only just managed to make it to the HR Manager’s office before I burst into tears.

Someone had questioned my work, and by extension, my work ethic, and that made me angry.

Sometimes it only takes one misguided conversation, one person or one incident to send us reeling into a complete rage.

And that’s absolutely fine, and absolutely normal. In fact, over 65% of office workers admit to having experienced anger and rage at work, and 45% of staff regularly lose their temper in their workplace.

However, the trouble comes when we use this rage in unproductive ways – such as withdrawing, deciding not to do as much work, ignoring the person or issue or just storming around the office without venting.

Anger, when harnessed correctly, is a powerful emotional tool. When used productively, anger can help us move forward, forge new paths and better relationships and empower us to achieve our goals in new ways.

Anger Creates Determination.

Have you ever noticed that when someone does you wrong, the first thing that comes to mind is often revenge?

When we’re angry, we’re determined. We want to get back at the person or situation which has hurt us, and we want to prove ourselves.

When used in the right way, we can use our anger and determination to find ways to be better. We want vengeance, and we want it to be swift.

So what better way to become better, than channeling our will for vengeance into a positive force. Use that determination to get something done you’ve been pushing aside. Finish that project you’ve been working on. Apply for that new job you were thinking about. Get that pile of washing folded. Whatever it is, smash it!

Turn your anger into determination and use it to power through.

Empower Yourself.

When we are angry, we are often angry that someone has insulted or harmed us in some way. When someone does this, it is only natural that we want to prove them wrong.

Not only do we have thoughts of seeking revenge, and also of proving to ourselves and others, but we feel like we need to be redeemed. We need to prove to the world that we a worthy of better. Better treatment, better people and better situations.

When we are personally insulted in any way, it can spark anger in us – and that is completely valid and completely normal.

So what better way to use that angry energy, than to use it to show the world we are worthy? Just because one person tells us we aren’t good enough, doesn’t mean that we have to believe it. With the right attitude, we can empower ourselves and seek out our feelings of worthiness.

We can use our anger to show people who we truly are, what we stand for and what we won‘t put up with.

Anger Breeds Optimism.

When something bad happens to us, our mindset tends to change. Perhaps not straight away, but eventually, whatever happens to us shapes us.

If we’ve been through something before, we’re more likely to feel like we can get through it again. We can stare at our aggressor and say: ‘Hit me with your best shot.’

Because we know we can deal with it. Humans are designed to adapt and overcome the issues we are faced with. It’s in our genetic make-up.

We are constantly changing and evolving as we experience new things – and sometimes that means bad things too. The best part of going through something that makes us mad, is that we can laugh in its face the next time around.

Next time you’re angry…

Next time you’re angry, remember to breathe, and try not to do anything rash. While anger can be an obstacle to success, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to harness anger and turn it into something usable – it’s about what works for you. Channeling your anger and planning for your future are incredibly powerful tools when it comes to dealing with an issue that’s come to a head.

You are worthy, you are strong and you grow through what you go through. Don’t let anyone get in the way of your success, no matter how they make you feel!

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to check out more, at: www.theartofoverthinking.com/

Quote Of The Day 13/07/2019

SATURDAY, 13/07/2019:

Source: https://weheartit.com/entry/332620939?context_page=3&context_query=white+photography&context_type=search

‘No matter how bleak or menacing a situation may appear, it does not entirely own us. It can’t take away our freedom to respond, our power to take action.’

– Ryder Carroll

Quote Of The Day 12/07/2019

FRIDAY, 12/07/2019:

Source: https://weheartit.com/entry/310588705?context_query=boxing+gloves+photography&context_type=search

‘Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself – and be lenient to everybody else.’

– Henry Ward Beecher