Have you ever been so excited to communicate with someone via text or Instagram and as you wait in anticipation you see…. And then wha wha wha no response… Does that leave you feeling anxious, disappointed or do you just let it go! I’m not sure if you are aware or not, but the “...” is a visual signal that the messenger is working on a response. We spend about 70-80% of our time communicating with others. Prior to Covid about 45% of that time was spent listening which in communicating via text message so much gets lost in translation without the voice inflections or non verbal cues. There is so much “dot dot dot” can stand for so many aspects of the human experience. What it all boils down to is communication. You know what they always say, “communication is key.”
The anticipation often leaves us with feelings of disappointment and inadequacy. It is so easy for our mind to go to the negative self-talk, but what if we replaced those over-bearing thoughts with positives or things we can do vs. can’t. New York Times reports that “For some time, sociologists have studied the way that new technology affects the brain; the way that constant updates prime us to fear we’re missing out, or the way we crave the adrenaline rush brought on by a constant stream of digital micro-communications.” This constant flow of media and communication has its benefits, but it also has some drawbacks.
Effective communication seems to be a hot-button topic this year for a variety of reasons, whether that be the lack of in-person connection, post covid distress, or our constant technological barriers or benefits, meaning our phones, etc. These tools conversely help us stay connected, but they also hurt us from the genuine connection as well. In effect, they sometimes encourage us to run or avoid tough conversations or ones we simply don’t feel like addressing. I know that communication has been something that I prioritize in my life, no matter how hard the topic is to discuss. In fact, it's one of my favorite workshops I facilitate. To me, communication can make or break any relationship. In the professional world, communication can have a huge impact on the success of an individual or team. I work very closely with my coaching clients on not only active listening but on how they choose to respond in a kind manner. In our personal lives, we use our communication skills to let our partners know how we feel. Every day we are faced with communicating in a variety of settings, from our homes to the grocery store and beyond.
We have a choice how we show up in all relationships, but especially when we communicate. I made a commitment long ago to always choose to look at life positively even on my worst days. Just last week I found myself so frustrated by the lack of direct communication with a team member, that when given the chance to chat with her directly I used it as an opportunity to not only ask her for clarity, but be clear on her deliverables, actively listen, be respectful and ultimately educate her around deadlines and the meaning of them.
More importantly to allow her to understand how her action impacts not only the entire team, but the company's outcomes.
In this case, I always stop, breathe, smile, reframe my outlook and look for the opportunity to learn and grow. I also took a quite funny video around integrity and what it means to show up. That can be especially difficult when being an entrepreneur when all things start and end with you. The Opportunity Knocks podcast allows us to grow through the shared experiences of other female entrepreneurs, as every idea, action, mistake, and even opportunity ends with key learnings. One of the reasons I love being a part of Wendy Diamond, Founder, and CEO of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and organization, which takes place on Saturday, November 19th, at the United Nations, is that I am surrounded by female entrepreneurs who know that a positive growth mindset is one of the things that set you apart on your success journey.
What happens when our sense of communication falls short? There’s a phrase out there that you’ve probably heard a million times by now; Ghosting. When you get ghosted by someone, that means the person completely stops all forms of communication with you. In those instances, all ties of communication are cut off. When I first started using text messaging as a key form of communication, I was rather nervous that with the short-form writing that things might get confusing. While some people will say, “wow, you can text quickly…”, I do make sure as in email writing to slow down, proofread my text, use my niceties with please, thank you, cordial introductions, etc. They make a difference. Cause God knows we have all sent a text to someone else by accident. I know that for certain. People like to feel seen, heard, and acknowledged, making them feel more confident ultimately.
When you are confused, my suggestion is to always ask for clarity and hope that the other person does not get threatened by your inquiry or request. This is one way for you to gain a clearer understanding of what the person is actually trying to convey. You can ask clarifying questions like, I want to take the time to recognize our minds' power. In the time I’ve spent studying wellness and working on bettering myself from a holistic mindset, I’ve realized our minds' deeply rooted power.
When I am overwhelmed and can’t help but overthink everything, I have a few healthy reminders that I like to practice. I think we all experience moments of uncertainty when our stomach churns with nervousness. That “Oh Sh*t!” moment. It’s important not to overthink and remember mindset matters.
THREE TIPS TO BE IN FLOW AND LET IT GO -
1. Let it Come - Manage expectations - Most of the time, when we’re overthinking, we’re probably being at least a little irrational. Our minds can get so caught up in the situation that we lose touch with reality. In moments like these, it’s important to split your thoughts into two categories; real and fake. Sometimes our concerns are valid and should be dealt with. Other times, these concerns are so far from reality that they are in another dimension!
2. Let it Flow - Take a step back - When it comes to communication (or lack thereof), we can find ourselves being so caught up in the conversation or situation that we don’t have time to think. When we’re overthinking, the angsty feeling can magnify. I encourage all of us to give ourselves the time to take a step back. Practice self-care by going on a walk, chatting with a trusted friend, or even taking some time to soak in the sun!
3. Let it go - Accept the things you cannot change - This is often easier said than done. I am a problem solver so this can be especially hard for me. I love to outline a plan and discover mutual solutions for myself or my coaching clients. Sometimes there are obstacles we cannot solve or won’t be resolved. It’s important to get into the practice of learning to accept that all things are not in our control to change, but rather learn to let go of any outcome or expectation.
- Mindset, mindset. “We should want to improve our habits, skills, and, therefore, our lives based on our previous greatest accomplishments.”
Communication is vital to our human experience! I know without the communication with and from my family, friends, colleagues, and the fantastic EmpowHer community, I would not be where I am today. At times communication can be confusing and murky, and we can step into feelings of anxiousness. However, suppose we learn to take risks, be honest and reflective, and take responsibility for our actions. In that case, we can embody healthier, happier relationships where love and mutual respect are at the core. As we enter the holiday season, Ask yourself this question? How will you show up? To improve the outcome for all people without obligation, but with a boundary. On that note, remove your expectations, and there will be no disappointments - don’t overthink it. I love you. Dot. Dot. Dot.
Be well. Do well. All my best,
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