An IDIOTS Guide To Success!

Yes, you heard that!  I am and have been called on numerous occasions an idiot. 

Should I call them perceptions, judgments, or facts as evidenced by my actions?

Hmm… I don’t know.

What I know for sure is that as an established idiot, I can help you in many ways.

Ways to be highly successful in life.

Ways you would have never ever thought of or imagined.

Ways, if not guaranteeing success will surely help you avoid pitfalls which could come your way in life’s journey.

Hello there, this is your host Sree Kumar with #thecriticaldialogue series “An Idiots Guide To Success”, where I share with you my secrets to success which you could never possibly learn from successful people.

An IDIOTS Guide To Success! THE CRITICAL DIALOGUE – LIFE AT WORK

In this episode we explore how NOT taking responsibility and blaming is the IDIOTS way to Success!

Today, I tell you how? It is absolutely fine to NOT take any responsibility for your life!

I always believed that I was entitled to a great life – that there is someone, somewhere (certainly not me) who is responsible for guiding my life.  A higher power which already knows my story and has written about it in detail.  That no matter how much I try, I cannot change the script.  Mind you, it is copyrighted. 

It is that power which is completely responsible for the quality of life I lead.  It is responsible for my happiness, my career, my family and my personal relationships.  So much so that it also manages all my financial resources.

I trust that power very much and have been brought up and conditioned to believe in it.  It’s such a wonderful feeling to have believed in that power all my life you see.  I don’t have to lift a finger to get things accomplished in my life. 

All I need to do is to pray and believe in my destiny and let that power take care of me.

So today’s lesson from the ‘idiots guide’ is that in order to be successful, you don’t have to take any responsibility for everything you experience in your life. 

Remember, you are not responsible for your achievements as it is already preordained.

You are not responsible for the quality of relationships as no matter what you do, others have their script too.

You are not responsible for the results you produce as they have already been defined and delivered into your book called life.

You are not responsible for the state of your health and physical fitness as no matter what you do or how much you try – death is inevitable and that is the only truth.

You are not responsible for your income and debts as it is entirely dependent on those who pay or lend you the money.  I say that once again, they too have their script to follow.

And lastly you are not responsible for your feelings as they are always guided by the happenings around you.

It’s so easy! Isn’t it?

You have been given the power to blame!

Please use that for your own well-being. 

I have led all my life using this unique gift of blame which the supreme power has armed me with.  It was comforting to blame my parents for the lack of a comfortable upbringing;

Blame my bosses for not knowing my worth

Blame my friends for not being there when I needed them

Blame the media for all the negativity in this world

Blame my clients for not being intelligent enough to understand the utility of my products and services

Blame my spouse for not being understanding

Blame the weather for staying indoors

Blame the economy for my financial state

Blame the astrological chart for the way my life has turned out to be.

Go ahead and pin the blame on anything and everything which bothers you.

Externalize.

Remember, the script has already been written.

I hope you have by now got the first lesson from my “Idiots Guide To Success”?

In the next episode, we will explore this idiosyncrasy in a little more detail

By the way, if you didn’t like this first episode, I blame you for not getting the hang of what I am trying to tell you.

Ciao.

ARE YOU A VICTIM OF WORKPLACE HARRASSMENT?

The problem of consistently associating workplace harassment with sexual harassment at the workplace does not do justice to rid our workspaces of both. 

That most harassment has been linked to women at workspaces, ignores an important fact that workplace bullying and harassment is not gender-specific and encompasses the whole working class.  Bullying and harassment are often so underrated by most as the signs are very subtle and often look like you are dealing with work-related stress.

In fact, if you are feeling stressed at work and find it difficult to get yourself out of bed to go to work every day or the first day of every week, then it’s time you understood the underlying cause.  It could just be that your lack of motivation is an early warning signal.

Workplace harassment is real – it’s time for us to get real!

Most people want to believe that their workplace is free from bullying and harassment, but our own estimate is that at least one in five workers is dealing with workplace bullying.

To understand this in a bit more detail is to know for a fact that Workplace bullying and harassment is a pattern of persistent mistreatment that you experience in your workplace. It has its effects on emotional and/or physical well-being, and the mistreatment could range from physical abuse, verbal or nonverbal, and humiliation. This leaves a deep psychological scar on the people who are at the receiving end of such mistreatment.

The problem is that people do not realize that they are being mistreated or harassed.

WHAT THEN ARE THE SIGNS OF WORKPLACE BULLYING?

In a workplace, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to identify bullying as is often the case the boss is the perpetrator from which arose the cliché “people leave their bosses and not companies”.  This could be the case because of the authority they come to possess that at times even denies the managers themselves an opportunity to know when they are overstepping their boundaries with co-workers leading to bullying.  It does not mean that there are only bosses to worry about, even co-workers may turn into bullies usually when there exists an underlying conflict or some sort of jealousy or when they jostle for recognition and rewards.

How then can you identify that you are being bullied which is resulting in your anxiety and stress?

Given below are 9 signs that will be useful in identifying if you are a victim of workplace bullying.

EXCLUSION

When you find that you are consistently being excluded from crucial team meetings, discussions, conversations, decisions, or work-related activities. Or you find that your contributions are deliberately being ignored making you feel isolated or ignored.

RECEIVING UNDUE FLAK

When you are at the receiving end of unreasonable flak which imposes a feeling of guilt or shame then it is a sign that you are being bullied. You are made to feel that your output is not worthy enough despite you doing the best in your team. You will find this form of bullying is done by providing a low-performance appraisal rating in comparison to other members of the team.

NEVER GETTING CREDIT, ALWAYS RECEIVING BLAME

In the face of failure if you find that the blame is consistently falling in your lap, even when you are not directly responsible for the outcome, then it sure is time to take notice that you are being subtly bullied. It becomes more evident when the credit that you deserve is stolen from you and handed over on a platter to other members, right under your nose. If you always end up being a scapegoat during team failures, then you are bullied.

UNDERUTILIZATION

When you are constantly underutilized and end up getting the least favored responsibilities, tasks or jobs despite the fact that you have a high level of competency.

WITHHOLDING INFORMATION

When you are deliberately miss informed or information relevant to your work is being withheld or someone is providing you with false information then it is a sign that you are being bullied. Frequently being lied to is another indicator. Sometimes, providing false hope is also a form of deception or abuse of information to underplay your relevance to the team.

BLOCKING PROGRESS

When you find that your progress is being repeatedly and intentionally being blocked by providing flimsy reasons then it is definitely not a good sign. When promises made to you about your career path and growth are overlooked and promised roles and assignments are deliberately assigned to someone else.

CAUGHT IN CROSSFIRE

When you find yourselves being consistently caught in the crossfire of workplace conflict of which you have no idea. When rumors about you are circulated and you find yourselves being backstabbed by those who you trusted. When you become the victim of revenge just because you were found to be close to a colleague who was on the wrong side of your boss’s ire, or just that you were considered belonging to one of the warring factions.

UNREAL EXPECTATIONS

Bullying may also involve setting unrealistic expectations or hard-to-reach targets that at the outset are not possible to achieve. When it becomes far-fetched and much higher than your fellow co-workers and you are deceived into believing that you are being given such targets because of your competency.

FREQUENT CHANGE IN ROLES

When your roles and responsibilities are frequently changed without giving valid reasons or when you are not allowed to settle in any one role then you are a victim of workplace bullying. When you are also put in roles for which you do not have the necessary skill sets, you must beware!

If you are experiencing any of the above, get in touch with us for a FREE 30 min. assessment and consultation – Write to us 👇

5 reasons indecision kills your growth

Have you ever had an idea that truly excited you, but you waited to act on it, only to find that when you did eventually take action it wasn’t all it seemed cracked up to be?

Or worse, you never acted on it at all because you never got around to it?

Throughout your life, how many inspired and worthy ideas ended up in the trash heap of discarded possibility?

How many of those ideas would you really liked to have acted upon?

What stopped you from taking action the moment you felt the excitement of possibility and that tingling sensation through your body?

For most of us, we fail to act on an idea for one of three following reasons:

  1. The timing is “not so convenient,” so we postpone by telling ourselves we will do it later.
  2. We believe we don’t have enough resources.
  3. We want to test waters. We want to be sure of the feasibility, before we do anything about acting on the idea.

Often, people want certainty that the idea will work, and they seem to bind themselves with rules and ideas about what and how anything needs to happen in order for anything to be successful.

We believe we may suffer a loss or think ‘what if’ we end up in failure often leading to a paralysis and failing to execute the idea at all. But at what cost?

When it comes to executing an idea, it’s sometimes worth doing it than not doing it at all. Even if it’s done poorly.

Now if you are high on conscientiousness and are a perfectionist by nature, you may rubbish this idea. You may even cringe. “If anything is worth doing then it better be done well” is the idealism so many of us were brought up with or conditioned to. If you cannot to things properly it’s better to not do it at all.

Imagine, how many things in our life don’t get done at all because of our concern for perfection wins over the practice of “just doing it?”

5 reasons that make you indecisive!

  1. Overanalyzing: Paralysis by analysis though cliched is very real. Overthinking is the bane of potential high achievers. Overanalyzing and overthinking leads is the death-knell for ideas, opportunities and in many cases, even relationships.
  1. Self-doubt: Will I be able to do it well? Will I do it perfectly? Do I really have the ability? Am I dreaming? are some of the questions we ask in self-doubt.  Remember, when you wait for conditions to be right before you act, there is always a reason not to act.
  2. Self-criticism: When you lead life with the belief that anything that is done has to be not just done well, you have to get it right the first time, then you tend to focus more why anything you do is not good enough. What is success? Who defines what constitutes success? Most of the time it is you and you are your own worst critic.  It is a vicious cycle which leads to high level of stress, frustration and depression.
  3. Procrastination: Have you ever felt like you could have done somethings much earlier than today, maybe even a year back? As someone said wisely, “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” While postponing certain decisions can sometimes be productive, often it is more destructive when it turns into a habit. Imagine, how many times in your life have you said “I will see later,” and that “later” eventually ended up being never.
  4. Indecisiveness: Indecision creeps up on you slowly and silently, killing your self-confidence, focus and creativity. Often those who are indecisive end up with anxiety, lack of concentration, and limited growth. A decision taken is far more worth than not taking it at all.  At least you know if your idea works, learn lessons and move forward.  Indecisiveness kills progression and effects your mental wellness as well.

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7 TELL-TALE SIGNS THAT SHOW YOU ARE TURNING INTO AN ONLINE NARCISSIST!

While social media has connected the world and made it boundaryless, virtually to say, it has had its fair share of toxicity that it has introduced into the world. 

That it has completely taken over the mind-space of its users and has turned them into demonstrating narcissistic behaviors online is scary, to say the least.  It has the ability to take control of your life so much so that it has turned most people into narcissists without them even realize that they have become one.

It is sparing no one, leaders, families, young and old alike.  All are afflicted with this toxic behavior of narcissism.  There is a pattern that says it all.  If you observe the way people present themselves and interact on social media will provide you with tell-tale signs of how deep this malaise has set in.  A final nail in the coffin on this bitter reality is that the very same people are also talking about narcissism and narcissistic behaviors as they self-indulge.

Let’s look at 7 tell-tale signs that you are slowly or already turned yourself into an online narcissist. 

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  1. Hypocrisy – If you find yourself starting to talk or present yourself like a politician during an electoral campaign, then you are surely showing signs.  For example, how a politician says he/she cares so much about his/her people and the nation at large.  Do you truly believe?  Same is the case with so many who project themselves as the most ideal people in this world.  Only those who are close to them know they truly are.  I am sure you would have come across posts from your friends, colleagues, managers and others, proclaiming that they believe in somethings only for you to cringe at their hypocrisy.

  2. Playing the victim – narcissists are known to play the victim card wonderfully well to appeal to the compassion and sympathy of others.  They portray themselves as innocent victims of other misdeeds and post vague, sympathy soliciting posts when they are upset with someone or do not get the attention which they strongly desire to have.

  3. Hollow words of praise – if you find yourselves liking and commenting on posts without really meaning it; that is exactly what a person with narcissistic tendencies does.  For example, when you like a post and comment “This is absolutely fantastic share” and don’t follow it up by your action of engaging a little further as to why you found it to be a great post, then….”  Aren’t you hurting the prospects of the person by liking or commenting without meaning it? By doing so aren’t you depriving the person of some real feedback?  Are you not pushing the person into a world of self-deception or delusion?

  4. Self-promotion and bragging – Alarm bells should ring when you start seeing people proclaiming that they have crossed 1M followers and all you find them doing online is copying and pasting various quotes picked up online.  Blatant plagiarism.  Authentic people do not need to self-proclaim or hard-sell their popularity.  These are signs of deceitful behaviour which entrap the audience in their web.

  5. Being empty cans – narcissists are the biggest empty cans of all.  They make a lot of noise about things and lead their lives wearing their phony halos all the while betraying, deceiving, using and abusing people and shifting the blame away from themselves on to others.

  6. Double standards – online narcissists are those who propagate theories which they themselves do not follow or seen to be doing exactly the opposite.  One such example is about all those who propagate to others about how “Money is not everything in life and people need to spend time looking inwards”.  These are the very people who will be basking in all the luxuries – in your face.  I saw many social media posts of celebrities, so-called leaders who were talking about how people should remain safe and wear masks and keep social distancing, only to find the very next moment they are flouting all what they were propounding a while ago.

  7. Abusive, defensive or violent behaviour – They become extremely defensive, abusive or violent in their social media interactions when you do not agree or provide them with a contrarian view.  As with all narcissists, they also have a strong fan following who literally ‘FAN’ their toxic behaviour by defending them on social media and other platforms.  All this while the narcissist would just make the initial statement and then sit back and enjoy the fun.

There could be many more, but it is important for us to understand that the toxicity of narcissistic behavior is known not just when you learn or hear about a violent outcome, it comes in subtle forms.

You might have been already afflicted by it.

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How does isolation chip away at one’s health and mental wellness?

I was all 24 yrs. when I started my journey as an entrepreneur, and I felt so alone in facing the challenges in making my dreams become a reality.  I felt I had nowhere to go to share my struggles of which there were plenty.  No one to exchange ideas and to learn from those who had taken that path before I did and committed mistakes. 

I had no support from family or friends as they thought I was crazy to leave a well-paying job and risking everything to pursue something of which there were no guarantees. Well, I guess, that’s the case with anything in life, isn’t it?

With every misstep, self-doubt started to creep in and ate away at my confidence, my dreams, vision and eventually taking a toll on my health.

Well, they say entrepreneurship is a lonely profession and it felt like that to me at that time!

It was during one of my travels that I met a fellow traveler who had like me taken the leap of faith about 10 years ago.  He could relate to what I was going through and gave me a few tips on how he overcame the challenges which I was experiencing at the start.  I must confess they were pearls of wisdom that put me right back on track.  One suggestion he gave me was to be part of some peer group of like-minded entrepreneurs, which could be an effective antidote to my loneliness.

He quoted from the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, “No mind is complete by itself. It needs contact and association with other minds to grow and expand.”

He told me, “Sree don’t try to be like Atlas, carrying the burden of the whole world on your shoulders”, why don’t you find people who could share some of it and also support you in the process?  He referred me to a group he was part of, and that changed me completely.  It helped me readjust to my struggles and took a lot of weight off my shoulders.

I quickly realized that on my own, I could only have a limited amount of experience, education, and training. Being part of a Peer Advisory Group, I could tap into the experience, training, skills, knowledge, and resources of like-minded peers and mentors which could fast track my learning curve and provide me with the much-needed energy to pursue my goals.

I realized quickly and in the very first meeting that one could not separate personal and professional life in silos and how one’s personal life had a deep impact on our business decisions and how our decisions at work impacted our personal lives.

It’s now 26 years since I started this journey, and I can say with absolute confidence that being part of a Peer Advisory Group was the best thing that happened to me.  It helped me transcend the barriers of self-doubt, low confidence, anxiety, and poor health to being a more self-confident person.

Some benefits from a long list are worth a mention here;

  1. Helped improve mental wellness the peer group connect helped me to cope with the challenges of feeling isolated and lonely.
    1. Helped me leverage from the insights and experiences of people from diverse backgrounds.
    2. Learn critical skills of negotiating tough deals, having difficult conversations, managing finances and dealing with investors
    3. Broaden my knowledge to include aspects of entrepreneurship which you normally come to learn long after committing mistakes
    4. Diverse perspectives as I listened to the problems others shared and put my own challenges in context.
    5. Referral business as I always had someone who knew somebody else who could be my potential customer.  I must say, referrals to this date have kept my business engine growing by leaps and bounds.

Peer Advisory Groups enable not just learning about ourselves but is a good reminder of how far we have reached, what we overcame, and of our accomplishments.

So whether you are dreaming of starting something on your own, a startup entrepreneur, an aspiring ‘C’ Suite executive, being part of a Peer Advisory Group can definitely fast track you towards achieving your goals.  Not to forget contribute positively to your physical and mental wellness.

You don’t want to waste your precious time “Re-inventing the wheel” do you?

JOIN a Leadership Peer Advisory Group near you!  

10 compelling reasons to join a Peer Advisory Group

Being a business owner comes with so many wonderful things. However, it comes with its own set of challenges as well, such as a feeling that you cannot possibly share the challenges you are encountering with your friends, family, or team members lest you may come across as someone who is not up to the task of entrepreneurship.

You don’t want to be seen as someone who made the bad choice of starting your own business. You don’t want to be seen as vulnerable. It does at times become so lonely at the top.

It doesn’t have to be that way if you choose to join a peer advisory group which might be the perfect remedy for all the challenges that come with business ownership.

I want to list 10 compelling reasons for you to consider taking this most important leap.

  1. You deserve unique insights and support. As much as you as an individual is unique, so is your business. As a business owner the challenges and pressures you face may be unique as well. Having a well-established group of your peers to discuss problems with during a peer advisory group enabler meeting can truly be a game-changer for you and your business. The diversity of the group will provide you with a safe space for you to fully open up to possibilities. You can get unbiased advice from non-competing business owners, who would wish only the best for you.
  2. It offers more than just business value. While you may join a peer advisory group to bring more value to your company you get more than chasing just your business dreams. Like minded business owners can offer much needed support which then could have a positive rub-off on you personally, your family and bring with it a better work-life balance. It will be surely more than what you signed up for.
  3. The opportunity to share and care. Being part of a Peer Advisory Group is not just about getting advice, you will find opportunities to help other business owners in areas where you excel. It is reciprocal and goes a long way in building your personal brand and reputation as well.
  4. It helps you build your leadership capability. Learning and developing key business leadership skills is crucial for business owners. Your peer advisory group led by an experienced facilitator and your peers will push you to develop your leadership skills through peer-to-peer coaching and mentorship. It will act as a great resource pool of lived experiences, teaching leadership lessons which no training program can provide and is worth its weight in gold.
  5. Helps you avoid mistakes. As a business owner, learning by committing mistakes and failures may not always be ideal and can be demotivating as well. It could deplete you of energies which are much needed for you to focus on growing your business than learning costly lessons. Being part of a peer advisory group, you could well save yourself from the huge cost of such mistakes by learning from each other’s mistakes.
  6. Saves you the huge costs of hiring a personal group of advisors. Having your own personal board of advisors for business may cost you a lot and at times can be constraining giving you limited flexibility. Having joined a peer advisory group you not only save the costs of retainer fees but benefit from a diverse board which can help you upskill faster.
  7. Helps you harness the power of collective. The fact that you have other business owners and leaders, you already will have an existing resource pool, structure and tools to help you keep moving forward in your journey. The power of the collective helps you to be more proactive.
  8. You will overcome the tunnel vision effect. As business owners, unconsciously we surround ourselves with people who tend to agree with us more. Those who are willing to toe the line of our thoughts and ideas. It happens a lot with business owners.  Most small business owners will find teams who seem to show their agreement just so that they are in your good books. That however is not always productive. There is a need for us be open to alternative ideas, embrace different perspectives, be challenged, disagreed with and pushed to think outside our own little box. A peer advisory group can help with that as all in the group are there to learn and grow and have no other agenda. 
  9. Brings greater accountability. Peer pressure brings with it greater accountability. The fact that we will have to face up to our peer group regularly adds a positive peer pressure, pushing you into moving forward with your goals. It builds great ownership.
  10. Provides you with great opportunities and friendship. Being vulnerable and helping each other grow the business, peer advisory groups not just open up great opportunities for your business, but it also builds strong bonds with your peer group, who you can continue to rely upon in the long term. It builds friendship.

Peer Advisory Groups enable you to push yourself outside your comfort zones.  That’s where breakthroughs happen and you grow your business, take it to the next level.

Joining a Leadership Peer Advisory Group will be the smartest thing you did!

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In this episode we explore how NOT taking responsibility and blaming is the IDIOTS way to Success!

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HOW NOT BEING MINDFUL NEGATIVELY IMPACTS YOUR CHILD?

The negative consequences of parental communication

There is no denying the fact that we inherit most of our traits from our parents.  My strong conviction about how a bed should be made to how the icing should be on the cake.  Not to forget all my anxiety.

Though your parents didn’t intentionally gift you a worrisome nature, unwittingly how they spoke to you when you were young definitely had an impact on your anxiety and worry in adulthood.

It’s important to understand that most parents would have inadvertently said offending or paradoxical things to a child at least a few times in their lives.  They might not have had the time to think through the psychological implications of their words and action.

Words can be powerful and can generate intense feelings of anxiety in children, your actions can be even more powerful.  As a parent, your role is to provide a predictable and reliable environment.  As parents, your words can become problematic when you invalidate what your child is feeling.  Unpredictable behaviors make children anxious and create an emotional template that becomes problematic for the child in adulthood.  It is important to understand that your children rely on you to validate their confusing emotions and feelings and when as parents you deny or minimize those feelings, they tend to get anxious when those very emotions reappear.

Some words and phrases often used by parents which must be avoided are:

  1. Stop crying, don’t be a sissy, be strong! – statements like these can convey to the child that being sad and expressing those emotions are bad or unacceptable.  As a result when such feelings resurface in adulthood, it leads to anxiety as they wouldn’t know how to respond leading to suppressing those emotions.
  2. Relax, calm down! – Often when someone is going through an anxious situation, people end up making this statement which is counterproductive. Though the intent is to help and diffuse the situation, the person becomes even more anxious.  They would start to feel that they do not have the ability to deal with the situation as others which can erode their self-confidence.  It is like a quicksand, the more you repeat the more anxious the child becomes.
  3. Come on, hurry! – Almost every parent would have made this statement and almost on a daily basis when their children have to get ready for school.  “Now, you are irritating me, hurry up before I blow my top”, such statements have never really worked.  Those who have experienced would vouch for it.  The more you shout the more delayed the kids will be.  They get very anxious unable to deal with the situation, often leaving them confused and exasperated.  There are better ways to manage.
  4. There is nothing to worry about – This is another statement which can actually make the child even more worried.  They might perceive it as an attempt to diffuse a situation which they must actually be worried about.  By attempting to quickly put off the flame you end up having the opposite effect.
  5. Not a big deal – Is a statement that makes the child feel that you have not completely understood their emotional state and are brushing it aside.  This can lead to detachment, and they would stop sharing their feelings with you.  Over a period of time, they would learn how to suppress such feelings leading to anxiety.
  6. Don’t climb the tree, you are going to fall and break your bones! – Why do we have to exaggerate in an attempt to stop our kids from doing certain things which we don’t want them to?  Why don’t we look at conveying our concerns in a more realistic way and help them make the choices?  When you keep repeating such statements, they become fearful of action and tentative in their approach as adults.
  7. Come here, let me do that for you – communicates to the child that they are incapable of handling the situation on their own.  While your intent is to help your child, it has the opposite effect.  They become afraid of making choices as they grow up to be adults.
  8. You can do whatever you want and feel like, I am there for you! – this may sound like a very positive statement to make, however, has a devastating effect on the psyche of your child.  We wouldn’t realize that the child could perceive it as a compromise the parent is willing to make for his/her happiness.  Statements like “I have never stopped you from doing anything”; “I have always given you the permission to do what you feel” etc., still communicates a lack of intent to engage with the child or you are still the one calling the shots.  Ponder!

It is highly unlikely that you will never make any of the statements I have mentioned above.  However, being mindful of the deep impact it can have on your child and its consequence, when they grow up to be adults, will make a huge difference!

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