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5 Things to Do to Level up your Credibility and Leadership During Times of Unemployment

Becoming unemployed and having to start over is a reality of our changing economic times. That was the case with me when I became unemployed only three years after graduating from university. I pondered how I might maintain my professional growth and development while I job hunted. Unfortunately, this topic is not often addressed.

If you are a driven, determined professional who doesn’t like taking no for an answer, you are purposeful and spare no effort in pursuing your vision, you too may be concerned about how to rebuild yourself if you were to suddenly become unemployed.

Having a side hobby that brings in income is a good way to take care of your financial needs, but how do you maintain, build, and even keep growing and leveling up as a professional? How to ensure you maintain momentum until you regain employment?

Over the nine years since that day I learned that I would be unemployed, I have mostly learned how to answer these questions for myself. I have arguably accomplished much more professionally during the first three years of unemployment than the three years prior. The journey sometimes required great courage and determination but the outcome was always sensible and practical actions that allowed me to achieve my professional goals.

I continue to be a student of life and because I am deeply concerned with practicality and persons who are unemployed with lots of time and little finances always are, here are 5 sensible, practical things you can do to level up professionally if you suddenly find yourself unemployed:

Implementing these tips require firstly that you take a graceful and powerful mindset toward yourself and the fact that you are unemployed. While you grieve the loss of your job, you must also ask yourself what this now makes possible.

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  1. Reach for the job that’s just beyond your comfort zone.  Here’s your opportunity. Applying for that position you’ve always dreamed of that is just outside of your reach increases your confidence and broadens your view of yourself. You just might get it.

 

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  1. Volunteer.It’s one of the fastest ways to build professional experience, social evidence and become a leader. I accidentally discovered this when in my unemployment, being passionate about living purposefully and utilising my gifts, I began seeking opportunities to volunteer with organisations. Between 2011 and present, I volunteered with several organisations. These include volunteering with United Nations online volunteers platform (UNV online) supporting the development work of agencies in India and Spain, and serving as the Director of Programmes on the board of the Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago (AFETT) NGO in 2015. These opportunities are not only aligned with my purpose but also give me credibility as a person who is aligned with such purpose.

 

  1. Feast on the stories of successful people. These people’s stories are often found as cowomen-1550121-unsplashcase studies in many valuable motivational self-help books. Be mentored through these stories. I cannot tell you how many times I have been mentored by Michelle Obama through the pages of her book. Embody the mindset of determination they possessed on their journeys and emulate them.

 

  1. Enrol in hotshot MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) from prestigious christin-hume-309876-unsplashuniversities and organisations. These are an excellent way to up level your qualifications at little to no cost. In some cases you are only required to pay a minimal fee for a verified certificate of completion. They are also convenient because many of them are self-paced and you now have more time on your hands, you can do as many of these as you desire. All you need is access to internet. Some of my favourite platforms are EdXYALI (Young African Leaders Initiative),  Coursera, and Humanitarian Leadership Academy

 

  1. kane-reinholdtsen-145944-unsplashCreate your own opportunities. If you have become an expert in an area, begin to offer your services by presenting community workshops and 1-on-1 consultancy services. These are more fulfilling than you realize.

 

 

How about you? Have you ever used any of these to great success? What other tips would you recommend?

 

 

Photo by Adeolu Eletu,  CoWomen , Christin Hume , Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

 

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What Do You Do When Life Hands You Lemons?

when-life-gives-you-lemons-freeze-them-and-throw-them-There are so many variations of the anecdote “when life hands you lemons…”.

I suppose they are designed to challenge us to shift our perspective, and in some cases to laugh at our problems. Because I am not so comedic, I will like to help you change your perspective on how you view “lemons” when life hands them to you.

Here are two (2) things I think you can do:

1. When life gives you lemons, dissect them from the right angle

By this I mean ask yourself the right questions. 

Everything begins with asking yourself the right question. Just 3 years out of university, I found myself unemployed. I was accepted to study a Masters in PR at Syracuse University, in New York but because of my financial situation, I couldn’t even afford to start. Realizing I really wasn’t going to be able to take the offer I asked myself the most powerful question of my life: what does this now make possible? I knew I always wanted to design my own watches. Blinded by the tears of my lemony bitter disillusionment, I threw caution to the wind and took my last (USD$15) bought supplies and made my first watch. When my family saw it, to my surprise they weren’t disappointed that I wasn’t being prudent with the little money I had, my sister was so excited that we immediately made plans and not too long after, I launched my own brand of bespoke ladies watches named after my sister and I (L&N).

 

2. When life gives you lemons, plant a whole field

minion-humor lemons

By this I create what you desire to see, lots of it.

Almost a year ago when I wanted to execute a major project in my community, to impart to younger people the skills I had learned from dealing with my own lemons, and what to do with theirs, a few persons challenged it. They said what I was planning to do was not possible. Their words stung like bitter lemon juice yet the lump in my throat for achieving my vision wouldn’t let me succumb. I challenged their opinions and proved them wrong.  Not only did I achieve a successful project but it would later be described as unprecedented. Now other people know how to deals with their life lemons.

Now, I know these two examples fall closer to the lighter more inspirational side of life. facing unemployment, death of a loved one, a terminal illness or other adverse life events requires great strength and grace.

-lemonade-medicine

I can’t help but wonder, what if life hands us lemons to cleanse us of mediocrity so we may realize our truly powerful we are. Or what if they are intended to fertilise our soil for exceptional growth?

Knowing what I know now, I’d probably make lemonade and use the seeds to plant an entire field.

What about you? What do you usually do with your lemons?

 

featured Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash 

Image 2 taken from: https://www.pinterest.com/myowncosmetics/when-life-gives-you-lemons/

Image 3 taken from: https://me.me/i/when-life-gives-you-lemons-freeze-them-and-throw-them-2e586ac4c3c64824ae55ae4304fafd86

Image 4 taken from https://www.pinterest.com/

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What is Emotional Attraction and Why We have it

A Simple Explanation

I believe that emotional attraction is our response to the perception that our emotional needs are being met by another. We develop it when there is a sense that our emotional needs are being satisfied, and we have it simply because we are created to be emotional beings and have the capacity for feeling and attraction.

When we perceive that someone of the opposite sex meets our emotional needs we become attracted to them. I think, one way we can understand this is simply through the framework of the 5 Love Languages (made popular by American pastor and social scientist Gary Chapman). We are not often conscious of our emotional needs or able to articulate them until we stumble upon someone who meets them and experience the sensation of having a previously unnameable emotional itch scratched. “Ahhhh! This is what I needed!”, we think to ourselves. Unfortunate, this is also one of the reasons why people stumble into affairs without being able to explain to you exactly how they ended up there without intending it.

The concept of the Five Love languages teaches that all our myriad acts of giving or receiving love fall under only 5 categories: Acts of Service, Physical touch, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, and Quality Time*[1].  Therefore, we form emotional attraction to those who’s main love language match ours.  The 5 five love languages look as follows:

Acts of Service– “Run errands for me and help me with my chores“.

Gifts– “I like flowers, surprise me with a bunch of roses“.                                                           

Physical Touch– “I like to receive touch and hugs at random spontaneous times“.     

Quality time– “Accompany me and stay with me while I work and play“.

Words of Affirmation– “Compliment me all the time and do not hold back in telling me what I mean to you“.

How It Plays Out

So how does the attraction form? Imagine a gentleman who prefers quality time is grieving the death of a relative and is surprised to find he has now become emotionally attracted to his neighbour of 20 years who has been visiting him daily and spending quality time with him as he grieves.

Or the woman whose main love language is words of affirmation happens to meet a stranger one night at a party who is generous in his compliments toward her and she now finds herself emotionally attracted to him.

If ordinarily a person’s main love need is not being met, the first person that appears to provide this will be the object of emotional attraction. While emotional attraction can exist apart from physical attraction, the latter will soon follow once the emotional attraction already exists.

This has implications for our bad relationship choices as well. It explains why people are with unhealthy persons despite the fact that that person is unhealthy for them. A person’s ability to speak someone’s love language is a matter of personality and not an indication of his or her character.

What are your thoughts on emotional attraction and how we develop it?

Think back on someone you’ve been emotionally attracted to, what caused it?

Also, have you ever taken the 5 love languages test linked below? The last time I checked, my main love language was Words of Affirmation. I also favour Physical Touch, Quality Time, and Giving Gifts. I am not an acts of service person at all. What’s your main love languages?

 

[1] you can take the 5 love languages test here–> http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ 

 

Photo by Ian dooley on Unsplash

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How to Deal with missing Someone You’ve Cut out of Your Life

“I plant a tree in my heart Where you used to be. While my heart rejoices at the good times, I remember the bad times too, And because of that I know you Were not good for me And so you had to go. So I, Plant a tree in my heart Where you used to be.”

It’s never only the people who have ghosted on us that we miss. If we’re doing it right, we’ll also miss some of the ones we’ve sent packing. The good news is- that’s totally normal! After all, there was a very good reason why that person was there in the first place, never mind it didn’t work out in the end. So with all the talk of how swiftly we need to cut people out, little consideration is often given to the fact that there is still a grieving and healing process that must take place. There should be no surprise that you miss some of the people you’ve given the boot. However, by the same token, you need to tend to the space where they used to be. How? by planting a tree there. A symbolic one.

Follow me here… Why am I saying this, and why plant a tree, especially if you must forget this person at all costs?

Because I need you to think in a particular framework for this to be effective and of value to you. A tree because of the following reasons:

1. Firstly, a tree is symbolic of NEW BEGINNINGS and new life. Forcing yourself to forget people you’ve cut out too soon is not going to help you heal any faster. Time must take its course.

AMZ Personal Growth Quotes (14)

2. This is a way of HONOURING, not them, but what you received from the friendship. It’s totally acceptable to honour and build a monument to the good that a person brought to your life. In this way you are signaling how grateful you are to have received the gift of that person in your life. Gratitude is one of the most healing and restorative emotions.

3. Finally, a tree is symbolic of CULTIVATING YOUR OWN SUPPLY so you’ll have it when you need it. If you miss a unique quality a person had, then you should seek to cultivate this quality so you have your own little supply. Because if you think about it, it’s not necessarily the person that you miss but the qualities they brought to the friendship. The act of beginning to cultivate your own supply makes a healthy distinction between a person and a quality, lessens the feeling of longing for the person, and breeds a deeper sense of internal satisfaction. You own supply, may never be a perfect as the one the person brought, but it will give you shade, it will produce fruit which you will enjoy in times to come, and its beauty will be therapeutic to you on many a day.

Image by Patryk Gauza on unsplash

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The Difference between Unhealthy, Passive Aggressive Manipulation, and Helpful Critique

It’s not about them, it is about the principles on which you found your life. 

I did an entire video on Trolling, which is the name given to online bullying, the three types I had observed online and how to deal with them. Some of the tactics employed in trolling and traditional bullying are the same.

One of main tactics of bullying and manipulative behaviour is trying to get the other person to feel as miserable as you feel. Bullies will do this by taking a jab at you. Usually throwing a negative assertion about yourself at you with a thinly veiled tone about it. This assertion is usually irrelevant to the conversation or context and is not supported by specific evidence. For example: “you’re… mean… arrogant… cold… lazy etc. [Fill in the blank] any thing the person perceives that you desire not be known as. Why do they do this? Because they have tried and cannot get their way with you.

Having a random person take a jab at you is hardly as hurtful. However, this is problematic when you receive it from those close to you whose opinions you trust and who speak into your life.

Usually, manipulative people will not be interested in supporting their negative claims with specific evidence because the gesture wasn’t meant to be a helpful critique in the first place.  So how to deal with manipulation or passive aggressive back handed comments disguised as critique or ‘just an observation’ from people close to you?

1. CLARIFY what it is they are actually saying to you since you are interested in the health of your relationship with them, and give them the benefit of the doubt.
The manipulative person will say something like “there is no need to give an example” or “it doesn’t make sense to give one” or “I don’t have one but I just know” or even “I wouldn’t be the one to tell you, but you will find it out from someone else”. This is really not true because they know that to be held accountable to support their claims is to operate in a healthy way. They’d really prefer you feel miserable and be preoccupied chasing your tail, self reflecting on what they have dumped on you, like you always do when they give good advice. The healthy communicator will proceed to give evidence to validate his or her point of view so you see things clearly from their perspective. You can both engage in dialogue and grow your healthy relationship.

2. DISMISS (privately). It’s important to immediately dismiss any unfounded claims even from “well meaning” people whose opinions you are accustomed seeking. As an emotionally healthy, growth-oriented person, you may be tempted to consider and internalize their words without filtering them. However, one of the critical marks of an emotionally intelligent person is being able to recognise when someone is using the knowledge they have of you to manipulate you. Make a note to yourself that you will not actively consider unfounded assertions about yourself even from the most trust worthy person you know. It’s not about them, it is about the principles on which you found your life.

3. DETACH. If you prove that someone is in fact attempting to manipulate you using unhealthy, passive aggressive communication, you NEED to begin to demote him or her. Their contempt of you will only get worst. Decrease the value of their input in your life and divest them of the opportunity to dump their misery on you.

When you address unhealthy behaviour, you make room for healthy ones.

 

Photo by Gabriel Matula on Unsplash

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How to Overcome Adult Bullying

for successconsciousness.com (reposted)

Emily Bazelon, Yale research fellow and journalist, defines bullying as “physical or verbal abuse that occurs repeatedly and involves a power imbalance. In other words, it’s one kid, using social power, or physical strength, to dominate another in a way that really makes the target miserable.”[1] But that’s in relation to childhood bullying.

In adult situations, bullying is psychological intimidation intended to invoke fear, conformity, and compliance in the chosen object or provoke a desired response. From an observer’s perspective, three things must be present for it to be bullying: intimidation, hostility/aggression, and manipulation.

From the perspective of the victim, however, the experience is characterized by feelings of fear, attack, powerlessness, psychological/ emotional pain, and loss of agency.

Why Does Bullying Happen

I have vivid memory of being bullied at various points throughout my life since my teenage years, so I know adult bullying is real.

In an article for Psychology Today, titled What Neuroscience and Emotion Theory Teach About Bullies, Hilary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW meticulously explains that “hardship and adversity… as a child, evoke hardwired, universal, and biological survival responses in the brain“[2] which usually express themselves in bullying behaviour.

Her client Richard, who bullied other children as a child used to be beaten by his own father and admitted that the only time he felt strong and powerful was when he was intimidating other children. On the inside, however, he felt weak and was secretly riddled with what Hendel calls the “tender emotions of fear, sadness, and…shame”.

Anyone can be a victim of bullying and conversely anyone can be a bully simply because…

 

Read the rest of this article over at successconsciousness.com  

 

Does this article give you value and resonate with you? Reply below and let me know.

 

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

 

Lleuella Morris is a Personal Growth Expert who successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

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What are the Benefits of Positive Thinking?

for upjourney.com (reposted)

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”.

Hope, a positive outlook and expectancy, and general positive belief have several benefits.

They improve your health and sense of well-being, enable you to make the best of every situation, give you power over your circumstances, encourage positive responses, improve your health and immune functions, keep things in proper perspective, and finally (my favorite) create possibilities where none existed before.

With the widespread practice of the principles of the law of attraction, people have a notion that all we have to do is think positively and things will happen for us, we will magically be able to manifest what we desire in life.

This encourages a blind and irrational positivity which says that we must not think or utter a negative thought.

From a psychological perspective, this is neither possible or reasonable.

It promotes polarizing (black and white thinking), and suppresses truth and reality. Consequently, this is a prime example of how not to do positive thinking.

It must be understood that positive thinking is not about shutting down any thought or idea that is remotely negative sounding and ignore reality.

Instead, it is thinking positively inspite of and in response to the negative possibilities that present themselves. This is why it is called positive thinking, it implies that it is in response to a negative.

In order to think more positively and live a more positive life, we must learn to think right.

Positive thinking is understanding that at any given moment positive alternatives exist for even the most negative situations.

First, be real with yourself, face all the possibilities of your specific situation, note the negative outcomes and potential negative reality.

Stay present with yourself and be aware of the feelings the negative prospect invokes in you. Then intentionally, consider the positive possibilities of outcomes.

This is an intentional practice that gets easier over time. When we think positively, our mind works the magic for us.

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

upjourney.com asked professionals to report on the benefits of positive thinking.  In addition to me, 24 professionals gave their juicy and uplifting perspective filled with so many jewels i just know you will love it. Go here to view the full article Positive Thinking at upjourney.com 

 

 

 

Lleuella Morris is a Personal Growth Expert who successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

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How to Deal with Controlling People (for Up Journey)

 

We all have to deal with controlling people, and maybe at some time you were described as a controlling person.

People perceive controlling behaviour in different ways. What is deemed controlling for one person, can be welcome by another.

Being in control of a situation, a group of people in crisis, your emotions, or your life would hardly be condemned as controlling behaviour would it? In fact, it is acceptable social behaviour.

To read what I and 5 other professionals have to say on Dealing with Controlling People go here:  https://upjourney.com/how-to-deal-with-controlling-people

 

image by raw pixel

 

Lleuella Morris is a Personal Growth Expert who successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

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The Human Design Systems (HDS)

The Theory of the 4 Human Designs and Why I Embrace My Design

When I first acknowledged that I was assertive and driven to initiate in life, I was bitterly disappointed that I was not less so. After all, a lady sits and waits, receives never initiates, doesn’t express too much brilliance or logic, and lives in wonder of the fact that all she needs comes to her. I cannot tell you the number of people I am surrounded by who need only sit and wait and the more they do the more they have reason to ward off unwanted attention, turn down opportunities, or simply hide. This has never been my truth. Yet trying to live this way created immense misery for me (depression, meaninglessness, and terrible frustration).

When I found myself caught between my drive to fulfill my most ambitious goals yet feeling stuck and trapped in the level I was in with no foreseeable solutions, I was hit by a monster depression and I swore if I had heard “just be patient and wait” one more time from close female relatives or anyone for that matter, I would have violently exploded and ceased to exist. I would soon come to know that this was simply because of my misguided belief about what I ought to be.

Posting my frustration in a group of which I am a pretty active member (thank God for facebook personality type groups), someone responded with what seemed like ‘yet another’ personality type theory. This one, however, turned out to be just as epic and game changing as when I first discovered I was of INFJ personality type (learn about the 16 personality types here). This new information pulled my life together on a whole different level. If the 16 Personality Types is the skeleton, this new theory brought the tendons and ligaments that attached the muscles to the bones and drew everything tightly together. This was the theory of the Human Design Systems (HDS).

What is the HDS?

The Human Design Systems is essentially an intuitive spiritual theory that posits two types of intelligence: cognitive (mind) and sensory (body) intelligence; and espouses using your body’s intelligence and genetics, rather than your mind, to live your life. It was reported to have been ‘revealed’ to mystic Ra Uru Hu in January 1987 by an intelligence he calls ‘the voice’  whom he also describes as being “far superior to anything he has ever known”.  Born Alan Robert Krakower in Montreal, Canada in 1948, Ra Uru Hu reported that the being taught him highly scientific and detailed knowledge about the mechanics of the universe and people. It wasn’t until 1992, after rigorous study of the knowledge he was given that he began packaging and teaching it to others. The system draws on genetics, personality theory, and astrology (a person’s time and place of birth based on the positions of the sun and moon, and planets) to determine the inner mechanics of each individual and point the way to the inner authority each person must live by. This is mapped on what is called the mandala of Human Designs.

Like other esoteric teachings of the “old sciences” of mysticism, the language used to explain the mechanics which characterize the HDS is technical and scientific yet nonetheless a great intellectual exercise if you love knowledge. The mandala chart itself is decorated with symbols and numbers and is highly technical to the lay person; and the theory is espoused as the “science” of self discovery.

Uru Hu pinpointed 4 major Human Designs. These are: Manifestor, Generator, Projector, and Reflector; though he further informs that we each have a unique energetic map and there are as many design combinations as there are human beings. To get a precise report of your type and the specific design that is unique to you, you must have a ‘reading’ done by a practitioner. However, you can deduce your general type and gain incredible insight just from reading the literature about each type (like I did since I do not subscribe to astrology). The key to harnessing the power of your type, however, is to first identify the inner authority under which your type operates and implementing the strategy that guides it.

Manifestors

Manifestors account for 8 to 9% of the population and operate under the authority of initiating. They are the rulers and law givers of the world and the only group designed to initiate, move, change, and make things happen. They carry an aura that is intimidating, they appear closed and repelling since they are designed to be independent and to influence without being influenced or impacted upon. The strategy that governs the Manifestor’s life is to inform. Manifestors were not designed for physical work but rather to influence and impact. If Manifestors honour their strategy and inform those around them of their intentions to initiate, they get less resistance and more cooperation, people yield to their authority. If they fail to inform, they meet with resistance which builds up anger within them. When they fail to honour their authority, life seems to present situations that call out their natural strengths and force them to initiate.

Generators

Unlike Manifestors, Generators account for 67 to 70% of the human race and are the workers of the world. They are designed not to initiate but to respond. They have an open aura that attracts people to them. They do not go out and get life, it must come to them and their authority is to wait and respond when it does. If they initiate an action without it having been a response (pure generators) or take action so quickly that they skip essential details and get stuck (manifesting generator), this can lead to a build up of frustration in their system.

Projectors

Projectors are designed to recognize others and guide them. They account for only 22% of the population. The authority of the Projector is to wait to be invited in the major areas of life. This type is unique in that it is defined as a non-energy type since it doesn’t initiate or respond but must be invited. They are life long learners and students of human systems. They are gifted in understanding others and are driven to learn as much as they can about how we operate. They usually see in other people what others cannot see. When projectors are invited, they excel in guiding others. However, they secretly fear that they may not be invited but will wait indefinitely. This is not true. If they rush in without being invited, they will meet with resistance and this leads to feelings of exhaustion and bitterness.

Reflectors

Like Projectors, Reflectors are also non-energy types who are even more difficult to define. Their aura is totally open to people and therefore it’s imperative that they only go to those places where they feel comfortable. They are said to be lunar being who are impacted by the moon and therefore must wait 29 days before they make major decisions as their position on a given subject may vary through the moon’s phases. Before deciding on anything they need to practice complete transparency, taking in as much perspective as possible listening to their own responses to determine what ‘is not’ them rather than what ‘is’ them. As such, Reflectors too have an innate drive to study human systems and designs to understand themselves. When Reflectors fail to live according to the authority of waiting and taking perspective, they can be overcome with disappointment over life.

Don't be delicatevitamin sea

By now you may have guessed that my problem arose because I am a Manifestor who was trying to operate under the authority of a Generator or Projector. Seeing myself from this new perspective, I quickly discarded the notion of “waiting” and embraced that I was created to initiate and manifest change in this world. The looming depression vanished as I relished the possibilities of what I could do with this new found permission to be a fearless initiator and never again to be unsure. When I thought about it, those times when I was most inspired and productive, I was also initiating. Now I see that my ability to initiate connection with others is an act of power rather than a fault of desperation, how could I have ever thought it was anything but.

How about you? Which design resonates most with you?

 

Further reading:

  1. http://humandesign.net/basic-concepts.html
  2. https://sites.google.com/site/humandesigngaya/basicstuff/fourtypes
  3. https://mortentolboll.weebly.com/a-critique-of-the-human-design-system.html

 

feature image from mortentolboll.weebly.com

 

 

Lleuella Morris is a Personal Growth Expert who successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

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5 Lessons Christian Women can learn from Meghan Markle’s Wedding to Prince Harry

I love fairy tale weddings.

Until now, in true introvert style, I’ve tried to stay away from the media storm around the recent royal wedding but shopping for fascinators recently brought back a flood of memories of exactly why I love fairy tale weddings and happy endings. Looking at the royal couple, we cannot help but admit that they are two lovely young people who are no doubt well suited for each other. They are as normal as any two 30 somethings we know, very in love with each other, carry big hearts for humanity and saving the world.

Many Christian women dream of having a handsome prince sweep them off their feet but what can Christian women learn from Meghan Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry. Here’s me in a red fascinator and 5 lessons Christian women can learn:

5 Lessons Christian Women can learn from Meghan Markel's engagement to Prince Harry

What lesson have you learned from this remarkable event?

 

 

 

Lleuella Morris successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

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Why I Rejected Myself and Why You Should Too!

5 Surprising Benefits of Writing Your Own Rejection Letter

“Fear is your friend”. In an interview, inspirational author Elizabeth Gilbert light-heartedly explained: “I am afraid…almost every minute of my life. So, I haven’t conquered it and I am not interested in conquering it. Actually, what my relationship with fear begins with is a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation because fear is the reason I am still alive today…every single one of us can point to a moment in our lives that we survived because we were afraid…that’s its job and it does its job beautifully”[1].

Rejection is a very common phenomenon among writers and academics. The truth is that fear of rejection is one of the greatest of human fears. Just when we get comfortable touting public speaking as our number one fear, Glenn Croston Ph.D. interrupts with the notion that fear of rejection, not public speaking, is the true menace here[2]. It’s not that we really fear public speaking itself as much as being rejected by the audience we stand before. Croston’s revelation has a ring of truth to it; this is why Gilbert’s assurance will do little to calm the nerves of the anxious neophyte, for example, on the verge of making the brave decision to bid out of league.

Why I Rejected Myself- Literally!

My memories of my courageous 6-year-old self writing vampire stories still amaze me. Fast forward to today though, and my stomach slightly cowers at the thought of stepping over the limits of what I can and cannot do as a person of my age and educational status. I drank the Kool-Aid of ‘nothing is out of limit for you’ too long ago and it’s beginning to take effect: While I initially accepted the challenge I now found myself vacillating between ‘send’ and debilitating ‘self-doubt’. When the very act of vacillating became more torturous than the potential rejection I feared, on a whim I stopped and did one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. I rejected myself, literally! I grabbed my phone, pulled up its notepad and penned the most eloquent rejection letter you’ve ever seen, and in that moment, I felt the most relieved and empowered I had felt since I first toyed with the idea of submitting the piece. Later, my sister would remark that maybe said publication should hire me to write rejection letters for them.

Having your work rejected is a common thing. In a 2012 article for The Scientist, Ruth Williams quoted Vincent Calcagno, an evolutionary biologist and ecologist at the Institute for Agricultural Research in France, as saying “I went through the frustration as a PhD student of having a nice piece of research that I really liked rejected by five, six, maybe seven journals in a row before it was accepted,”[3] When he shared his dilemma with colleagues he discovered that he was not the only one. He quickly set about collecting all the life science papers published between 2006 and 2008 from 16 different fields of research and contacted more than 200,000 corresponding authors. The results spoke for themselves. Of the 80,000 respondents, 75% admitted to having a first-time submission of theirs rejected. This does not of course take into account the number of life time rejections their submissions had received.

Transactional Writing

My Rejection letter is merely a form of what John F. Evans describes as Transactional Writing[4]. Even though, he does not know or list it as one, it fits the bill perfectly. Transactional Writing is what he calls “writing to heal”. Evans names 5 kinds of Transactional Letters people may write: compassion, gratitude, empathy, asking for and granting forgiveness. Each of these serves to “complete an exchange of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings with someone else” or yourself, Evans writes in Psychology Today. In other words, create closure. Transactional Writing is effective in taking care of your emotional life and treating with new or unfinished business of the psychological variety. While such a letter follows the convention of letter writing, it requires a shift in your perspective. For instance, in the case of our Rejection Letter, you are writing, neither to your 15-year-old self nor to a deceased parent you wish to forgive, but rather in the voice of the receiving editor to whom you submit. The letter is therefore the editor’s response to you.

 5 Surprising Benefits of the Self Rejection Letter

Rejection is a reality of the human experience and writing a rejection letter to yourself is majorly beneficial because it helps you practice coping with being rejected. The idea here, is to face your fears so that you become more confident and competent. When I wrote my eloquent rejection letter, it served as a vehicle for venting, ‘getting it out of my system’.

However, a Rejection Letter serves to do more than just blow off steam. Though counter intuitive, it may be one of the most productive things you can do for yourself next time you feel nervous about submitting a piece of writing for publication. Here are 5 concrete benefits to writing yourself one today:

  1. Resilience– It allows you to face the worst and cope with it. Very often you’ll find that ‘the worst’ you feared wasn’t so bad.
  2. Perspective– It provides an opportunity to take perspective. Face your style and voice and critically assess your writing.
  3. Inventory– It allows you to realistically and objectively take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of your work and strengthen it (since a real rejection letter usually includes a compliment or two however, subtle). On the other hand, if you feel your work sucks, then doing this exercise will force you to justify why. If you cannot, then you were probably just being too hard on yourself. Here is the opportunity to separate truth from error.
  4. Acceptance– This leads to acceptance (what your writing is and what it isn’t) and redefining the boundaries of your work (what it will and will not be).
  5. Confidence– Finally, you can appreciate the ‘enoughness’ of your unique voice and contribution and be validated in your perspective.

 

Featured image by Álvaro Serrano

 

 

 

Lleuella Morris successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

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The Art of Knowing Yourself: Identifying Your Unique Style of Influencing

(written for Leaders in Heels Magazine)

image by Edgar Castrejon

Everyone is an expert in something, or so we are taught.

Honestly, the amount of advising today about influencing, thought leadership and expertise is staggering. We are told that in order to succeed in business, make tons of money, take dream vacations several times a year, and live the luxury life of which you’ve always dreamed, you must be an expert in something. Within recent years it has been touted that if you are not an expert at anything you will never be successful.

Sadly, this has resulted in a herd mentality, a stampede. A mad rush to the finish where people trip over themselves and peck at each other for market share, all the while duplicating each other- buying into the ‘follow me’ lie. As people claw each other online to establish their expertise, many persons can find themselves lost, confused, empty, and dejected because they do not quite fit the mould their favourite coach may have set for them. Others struggle to gain success in the way they see others have succeeded, mistakenly thinking that this is the way they too must go. Many others waste time, money, and energy simply pursuing the wrong path because it is the most popular one.

This leads to burnout, bankruptcy, depression, and a general sense of meaninglessness which we are prone to overlook and dismiss as laziness or lack of effort. But this is a common human response, and if we are not careful we will doubt the reality that the situation has not worked out and push ourselves to work even harder. Especially when we believe that there is merely one path to success, the one that most online influencers rave about, and expect that we should have succeeded following it.

If you wrestle with the fact that the way of the beaten path just hasn’t worked for you and wonder if this might be the only way; if you have found that you didn’t receive the guaranteed success that was sold to you despite working twice as hard as your coach and following instructions to the letter; if you don’t enjoy the journey nearly as much as he or she does… then it’s time to quit the ‘follow me’ lie.

The truth is that everything is not for everyone, and certainly not for you. All paths were not created equal. It is time we acknowledge the toll this sort of societal pressure takes on us and employ a sensible approach to solving it. There are different paths to success. I’ve discovered that there are 3 major types of influencers. You may be surprised to learn that all of them are equally as successful. As we go through them, try to determine which you fit into.

The Entrepreneur3 types of Influencers (15)

These people show up as coaches and consultants online. They influence by teaching others how to achieve their goals in business, life, or a specific area, and earn their income from individual and group coaching programmes, of which they are constantly creating newer ones. They are gifted at connecting to the soul of the pain people feel, motivating them to achieve their goals, and effortlessly building community or tribe. They believe and live “the hustle” and indeed they enjoy it and naturally have tons of energy for it.

They represent the largest group of thought leaders in the market place; and because of the evangelistic charm of the entrepreneur type, many persons are influenced to believe they too must be entrepreneurs when they are not. While you may do some of the things the entrepreneur does, it doesn’t mean you are of the entrepreneur group. Not everyone has the energy to do what the entrepreneurs do. If you’ve hired an online business coach recently, it’s highly likely this person was of the entrepreneur group.

Famous Entrepreneur types include: Lisa Sasevich, Selena Soo, Denise Duffield Thomas, Melissa Hughes, Brendon Burchard, Jen Scalia

The Social Influencer3 types of Influencers (13)

These are your social-solution driven, highly tech savvy, influencers. They essentially create, design, and innovate systems for greater efficiency. These would have come to fame by creating apps, inventing products, or innovating social systems to solve a human social problems. They earn their income from their inventive genius and their public visibility and leadership. They are gifted at leadership, advocacy, identifying a cause, and springing into action to solve it.

This type is fairly well represented in the population and is a growing class because civil leadership and social entrepreneurship is fostered and rewarded by governments and other major global entities like the United Nations, via numerous initiatives which provide scholarships and funding for young solutions driven influencers and tech start-ups. Social influencers live for “the challenge”. They chase causes and live for the adventure and intellectual challenge of creating solutions.

You know you are a social influencer if you dream of saving the world, have been praised or rewarded for your academic brilliance, are touched with compassion for a particular social issue, and have the capacity to create a solution for it. Social influencers are not keen on creating community around what they do, however, they can be seen heard their voices and speaking up about trending social and political issues.

Famous Social Influencer types include: Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Leila Janah

The Expert3 types of Influencers (14)

These individuals rise to influence because they bring specific subject matter expertise. They are usually highly qualified specialists who bring new knowledge to the fore and shape modern dialogue on human existence. They earn their income from private practice, consulting, research, writing books, and lecturing. They are gifted at understanding, exploring, and explaining human phenomena.

Thought leaders in the truest sense, they believe in and live for “the truth” and are motivated to research and get to the bottom of things and will spend the rest of their time teaching and sharing what they’ve discovered. They are not motivated to create community or pursue a specific social cause and may find these draining as theirs is a more theoretical and incisive approach to the human experience.

You know you are of this group if you are fascinated with people, love to delve into how and why things work, have been complimented or rewarded for your insight or your writing, and would prefer not to be on social media except for the fact that it provides a way to share your knowledge – and those who may benefit are present there.

Famous Expert types include: Brene Brown, Dario Nardi, Esther Perel, Nadine Burke-Harris, Gary Chapman, Christiane Northrup

Now what

Now that you have identified the type that best fits you, and the unique value from which that type’s influence is derived, then you may want to be intentional about owning your unique influence online. Here are some things you can put into practice now!

  1. Connect with one of the important influencers in your category for mentorship. If you do not readily see any, purposely search for a few and begin following them on social media.
  2. Emulate the steps key players in your group are taking so that you show up like them in your own right. This is an efficient way to achieve your path.
  3. Hire someone from the Entrepreneur group to provide accountability for you now that you have a frame of reference for yourself.
  4. Put most of your energy into ONLY those events and activities that are consistent with where members of your group put their energy. For example, Entrepreneurs put energy toward building an online tribe (you may want to start a Facebook group around a problem you can help people with and begin supporting them). Social Influencers put energy toward advocacy (you may want to identify a worthy cause and lend your voice, volunteer, or begin building an app to solve it).  Experts put their energy toward sharing their knowledge (you may want to start a blog, write for publications, start a YouTube channel teaching on topics or begin publishing your knowledge in a self-help ‘how-to’ book).

Go here to read it in Leaders in Heels Magazine

 

 

Lleuella Morris successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

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Why God is NOT Telling You to Wait if you are a Visionary, Tactical, Systems thinker

Waiting is not the answer to discontent, action is!

photo by Braden Collum

Waiting is not the answer to discontent, action is! If you feel dissatisfied about something in your life, take action. I am a highly growth oriented person and I struggled with feelings of discontent in my life. I am not a perfectionist, I am an idealist. If there is an ideal way of being in this world, I want to attain it. In my period of discontent and anxiety many persons told me “Maybe God is telling you to wait” but this didn’t rest well with me. I continued to be restless and anxious trying to wear the garment of wait and having it not quite fit.

Wait for what?

Waiting is for when you have the vision and have begun to implement the actions. You must work and “wait” to see the results. What about when you don’t have the vision or it isn’t quite clear? Waiting is not for you! I am a big picture person, a tactical systems thinker and I cannot take action until I have ‘the plan’, the vision that I am working toward. It’s this vision that determines the actions that follow. This means that when the vision has become cloudy or lost it can create quite a bit of anxiety for me.

INFJs operate this way and quite a few other types can relate to some aspect of this operating system. In fact, we don’t even see waiting, patience is not in our vocabulary at all. Because we live in the future, our objective is to bring the future into the present. So we work assiduously toward our vision strictly to close the gap between vision and reality. We also look for confirmation along the way that we are on the right path. There is no middle ground to us. We understand that our vision is continuously BEING real rather than a static object we lift from the future and bring to the present. Where is the wait? This constitutes a type of all or nothing thinking INFJs are known for. If we receive negative feedback or none at all along the way, we may conclude we took the wrong vision or it wasn’t meant to be. When I faced this truth about myself and allowed myself the permission to “act” rather than “wait”, I began to appreciate with renewed admiration why God allows me to set the vision I must chase, and why I shouldn’t try to act under another type’s system because I was afraid of being ‘too idealistic’ in the eyes of more practical types. I revisited old visions I had inadvertently cast away, dusted them off and had their flags flying again, fueled by hope.

Our dilemma is that the INFJ personality type is severely outnumbered in the population, therefore how I function is not the norm. The challenge for every INFJ is to understand how you function and validate that. It will provide a framework, an owner’s manual which can give context to your life and help you find your way back when you are lost. Otherwise you will try to live according to someone else’s and lead a miserable, unhealthy, and unfulfilled life.

lopez-robin-576654-unsplashphoto by Lopez Robin

“Where there is no vision, the people perish”

This is why always having a vision they are working toward is critical to INFJs’ existence, their feelings of hope, well-being, and meaning in the world (Proverbs 29:18). While many times when God spoke He chided us to have patience and wait on Him (Psalm 27:14; Psalm 37:7; Micah 7:7), I am convinced this patience is always in relation to having done all that you were required to do. I am therefore thankful that “wait” is not the only thing God can say to us in our seasons of discontent. He also stands ready to move when we are ready to say like Caleb “Let us go up at once and take possession” (Numbers 13:30). 

Taking action, rather than waiting has tremendous benefit. It helps you achieve your dreams, it allows you to take ownership of your life and partner with God to achieve the desires of your heart. It wards off boredom and fosters creative and innovative thinking, and activates critical thinking and problem solving. Well known American Preacher, author and filmmaker T. D. Jakes is famous for saying that “God doesn’t make chairs, He makes trees” and He leaves it up to us to figure out the rest.

Knowing this, it is incumbent on us to determine when God is saying “have patience” or when he is saying “act”. What if your discontent is a call to take action instead of wait? What if God is making you discontented because He is trying to show you ‘a new thing’ (Isaiah 43:19)? What if you’re discontented because God is preparing to take you to a next level (1 Chronicle 4:10)? and What if you feel this way because He wants to teach you something about yourself (Psalm 90:12)? If you are a visionary, tactical, systems thinker like me, perhaps what He is saying to you is “If you are dissatisfied with where you are at right now, what are you going to do about it?”

Lleuella Morris successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.