This week Hugh Scarbrough, ASID, RID, owner and founder of Hugh Scarbrough Interior Design, LLC, is our guest blogger. Hugh realizes design dreams for his clients that reflect their lifestyles, building client relationships for a lifetime. Touting more than ten years in the industry, he seamlessly blends his exprertise, education as a registered interior designer, and retail/worldwide travel experiences that serve his clients well.
To learn more about Hugh and his work, visit www.hughinteriors.com.
Summertime. June has arrived and so have the “lazy, sunny, and hot days” of summer! It is time for picnics, water sports and relaxing vacations. It is also a perfect time to create a new look in your home or summer retreat.
This year colors abound in design for summer. As I walked through the new fabric showrooms recently, I noticed the bright and colorful prints and paint colors: Chartreuse green; magenta pink; sunny yellow; striking blue; powerful red. Truly colors of the season! Seeing these beautiful colors sparked my excitement about the fun it is to incorporate summer colors into a home.
With the beginning of summer and a transition in your life, perhaps this is an excellent time to create a new look for your home, make a fresh start, and build lasting memories. Whether your style is contemporary or traditional, the bright summer colors may be integrated into the design you choose.
You may have a reluctance to create a new look in your home due to painful memories, including items of certain colors. If one or more of the bright summer colors ignite uncomfortable and/or angry feelings, for example, you may want to look at the colors from a different perspective. As it is important to have the “right” balance of color in a room, using those colors differently may create a fun and uplifting environment.
If you seek guidance from a professional interior designer, express the style you would like to create and the challenges you may be having with certain feelings, such as anger or anxiety. Colors have enormous impact on our moods. Red, for example, increases physical energy and vitality; at the same, it may provoke anger. If red is negative for you, focusing on greens, blues, and even yellows may be the wise direction for re-doing the design in your home. The color green supports balance and harmony. Blue denotes calmness and peace. And yellow increases lightness and personal power. A true balance for our homes and our lives.
As you are making plans for the summer, it is the perfect time to take a look at your home or “escape” retreat. Perhaps a new and nurturing design look may just be the answer!
Your Functional Divorce Assignment:
How can you add a bit of summer to your home? I love glass sculpture and I’ve recently added some beautiful aqua vases to my office to make it more summery. You might want to add a throw pillow or a throw to your home to bring the sunshine inside.
© 2013 Karen Finn. All rights reserved under all copyright conventions.
Divorce is one of those life events that can cause you to question EVERYTHING.
At least that’s what happened for me. Somehow my change of marital status caused me to wonder if anything about my life was what I thought it was– was any of it real? How could I know what was real and what wasn’t? After all, I had thought I’d be married to my ex-husband for the rest of my life and that wasn’t true so what really was true about the rest of my life? I felt hopelessly lost.
Slowly, though, I began to understand that the only path out of a life of being hopelessly lost was to begin to trust myself again. I needed to believe that I could trust myself and that I was the only one who would know what was and wasn’t true for me. Knowing which path to take is different from actually walking down the path. The walk, for me, took a while because I was walking blind-folded.
When I look back at that time in my life, I know that it took me longer to walk the path to self-trust than it might have. I didn’t know where the path was headed or what was required of me to successfully walk it. But I know it now. I know the path now because of my own journey and because of the journeys I’ve been honored to watch my clients make too.
I’m going to share my knowledge with you so you will be able to walk your own path back to self-trust without a blindfold.
Before I start with the how-to’s of building self-trust, it’s important to define the term. Self-trust is the ability to make decisions, to know that your emotions and feelings are real, and to take care of yourself. It’s a fairly lengthy definition, isn’t it? Basically, self-trust involves trusting yourself on EVERY level – cognitively, emotionally, logically, intuitively and physically.
I’ll bet you’re wondering, “With a concept this big, where do I start?” You start with a decision to build your self-trust and then you roll up your sleeves and begin to work. It won’t be (at least not for most of us) a magical process that once you make the decision you’ll automatically have a wonderful sense of self-trust, but with consistent work you’ll definitely make significant progress in a fairly short period of time.
Here are 6 steps you can use to build your self-trust:
1. Eliminate victim mentality. Victim mentality is living in the belief that things happen to you and you have zero impact, influence or control over what happens to you. I’m not suggesting that you can’t be a victim. What I’m suggesting is that you don’t want to let that be your entire story. Yes, bad things do happen and you can choose how you move on from those things.
As an example, suppose you are divorcing because your spouse cheated on you. You can either live the rest of your life feeling like a victim of your spouse’s choice or you can come to accept that your spouse’s choice was hurtful and you can still move on with the rest of your life regardless of what your spouse has done.
2. Eliminate negative thoughts about yourself. Regardless of whether or not you’re going through divorce, most of us have negative self-talk – you know, those voices in your head that are constantly criticizing you in some way. A friend of mine calls them the shitty committee. Learning to quiet those voices and recognize them for what they are is an incredibly powerful skill.
Most of the time, those hyper-critical voices are that way because they’re trying to protect you from something. For years, my negative self-talk revolved around not liking myself. It took a while for me understand what was behind those messages, but I finally realized that it was because I wasn’t trusting myself to know what was best for me. I would often defer what I wanted to what my ex-husband wanted. Once I came to this realization, it was much easier for me to quiet those negative thoughts and pay more attention to what I wanted.
3. Recognize your strengths and successes. This has a lot to do with self-esteem and knowing that you are capable because you have innate strengths and because you’ve been successful in the past.
I’ve written a previous blog post about how to do this and instead of re-writing it here, I’ll just direct you to that post: https://drkarenfinn.com/divorce-blog/dealing-with-grief/118-a-quick-and-simple-way-to-dump-divorce-depression
4. Become aware of what you’re thinking and feeling. Now that you’ve eliminated a bunch of the stinking thinking in the first 3 steps, you’re ready to start being pro-active with building your self-trust and it all begins with paying attention to what you’re thinking and feeling (both physically and emotionally).
There are a couple of different ways to do this. The first is to ask yourself at least 3 times during each day just what you’re thinking and feeling at that particular moment. Once you have that answer you can then decide what if anything you want to do to improve how you’re thinking and feeling. The second way is to journal about your thoughts and feelings. Most people are more aware of their thoughts than their feelings. If this is you, you might want to journal by using the phrase “I feel…” as many times as you need to so you can get everything out.
5. Keep your word to yourself. Believe it or not we all make promises to ourselves every day: “I won’t eat any more sweets”, “I will start a daily exercise routine today”, “As soon as I finish this report, I’ll take a break to clear my head before starting my next task.” The thing is that despite our promises we wind up eating a fresh-baked cookie a friend brought over to share, we skip a day of exercise and soon we’ve stopped exercising all together, and we skip taking a break because we talk ourselves into believing we didn’t really need it after all. Breaking promises we make to ourselves, sets us up to have a poor level of self-trust.
I used to be especially bad at keeping my promises to myself involving rest, relaxation and fun. I’d usually feel guilty if I wasn’t working and pushing myself all the time and yet I’d hate myself for not taking care of me. It was really a vicious cycle. What I discovered by allowing myself to keep my word to myself about rest, relaxation and fun was that I had LOTS more energy for getting my work and workouts done.
6. Learn from your mistakes. This is the biggie when it comes to divorce. It takes two for a marriage to not work. (I know that might be an offensive statement to some, but it’s what I believe and if you’d like to discuss it with me, please do! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.) Learning what your part in the divorce was will go a long way toward helping you build your sense of self-trust because you’ll know that you can take care of yourself.
It took me a while to recognize that I played an active part in my divorce, that I wasn’t a victim, and that there were things I could learn from my failed marriage.
Yes, this is really the master’s level of self-trust. Being able to realize that you are going to make mistakes at times and still trust yourself because you are willing to learn from your mistakes will allow you to take appropriate risks and live a wonderful life.
Once you’ve conquered these 6 steps, you’ll be well on your way to trusting yourself again. So, the next time something happens in your life that changes everything, your ability to trust yourself will help prevent you from feeling hopelessly lost again. Even if you do wind up questioning EVERYTHING, you’ll be able to trust your answers because you’ve learned to trust yourself.
Your Functional Divorce Assignment:
Make the decision that you can trust yourself even if you aren’t sure you do right now. Making the decision is always the first step in making a change. Learning to trust yourself is critical to having a wonderful life. Emerson said “Self-trust is the first secret to success” and I agree completely!
Take the checklist above one step at a time. Start at the top of the list and work your way through each step. Some may be easier for you to do than others and you may want to re-do some steps along the way, but if you work through them in this order it will be easier for you to master each of them.
Know your limits. This is one of those extra bonus things about trusting yourself. As you trust yourself more you’ll know exactly when you need to ask for help and what kind of help you need.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach helping people just like you who are dealing with the stress and pain of divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice or schedule a confidential consultation with me.
If you’re looking for more help recovering from your divorce, read more articles in Healing After Divorce.
Most of us tend to be forward thinkers. We’re always looking at what’s next. As soon as we finish one thing, we rarely take the time to savor our success before we’re off to the next task or adventure.
This time of year, most Americans are gung-ho about their New Year’s resolutions before the struggling of achieving them sets in over the next few days.
One of the best ways to build the strength and determination to achieve your New Year’s resolutions is to build your belief in yourself by spending a little time reviewing all the good things that happened in 2012 – especially those things that help you know you can achieve your resolutions.
When you’re going through divorce, it’s especially important that you take time out to savor the good things. For most people, divorce has a way of coloring things with a more negative cast. The thing is there are usually good things that happened during the past year too. It’s worth the time to find and appreciate them so your world view can be a bit rosier and happier.
When I review all the things I’ve done, accomplished, and experienced in the previous year, I’m always amazed at how much good stuff I packed into the year! It takes me a couple hours to review my calendar, my business results, photos, my facebook wall posts, and my tweets for the previous year. Besides allowing me the time to appreciate my family, friends, business associates and clients, my year-end review helps me to prepare for the coming year and set more realistic resolutions for the New Year.
Your Functional Divorce Assignment:
Make your year-end review a priority and schedule a couple of hours for it. Once a year, it’s totally worth taking this time for yourself to review where you’ve been and see where you’d like to go.
Gather together your calendar, pictures and anything else that will help you remember all the good stuff from 2012. You may be like me and want to check out your facebook wall too!
Keep your appointment with yourself. Enjoy reviewing all the wonderful things that you got to do, see, and accomplish in 2012. Use the oomph you get from this to help you set and accomplish the resolutions you’ve made for yourself.
Schedule more time if you need it. I find that sometimes people need a bit more time to get through their year-end review when they’re going through divorce. Sometimes the review can trigger some other emotions that need to be worked through. If that happens to you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Allow yourself the time you need to process your thoughts and feelings and then get back to enjoying the good things.
If you’re ready for an outside perspective and ready to get the help you deserve to make 2013 your best yet, reach out to me by email at email@example.com or by phone at 817-993-0561. We can schedule a Complimentary Consultation to help you put your plans in place for making 2013 your best year yet!
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach and advisor helping people just like you who are dealing with the stress and pain of divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. If you’re interested in taking the first step toward working with me, you can schedule an introductory private coaching session.
Overwhelm is an expected consequence of divorce. I say that because WITHOUT EXCEPTION it’s something I work on with every single one of my clients. It’s also something I had to learn how to overcome when I went through my own divorce. What I’m going to share with you today is EXACTLY what I share with my clients as we pick through the pieces of what makes up their overwhelm. The result? They ALWAYS feel calmer and more in control of their situation. You will too, if you follow these 4 steps.
Step 1: Get really clear and specific about what you’re feeling overwhelmed by. It’s not unusual for this step to be difficult. Many of the people I work with have a general idea of what’s going on with them, but to be specific can take some digging. Be willing to dig! What you find during your excavation process might be thoughts, tasks, beliefs, or even more feelings.
What’s surprising to most people is that simply by getting clear about what’s going on they can start to alleviate some of their overwhelm. In fact, one of my clients recently told me at the end of our session that simply by specifically identifying all that was contributing to his sense of overwhelm, he was already beginning to feel a sense of relief.
Step 2: Put each of these things into one of 3 buckets. Anything that’s contributing to your sense of overwhelm can be placed into one of 3 categories:
- I am the only one who can do anything about it
- I can delegate it
- I can drop it
What’s interesting to me is how often people will incorrectly categorize the things that are contributing to their sense of overwhelm into the first category. They decide that they are the only one who can do anything about it. What my clients and I usually find when we work through Step 2 together is they have been assuming incorrectly that they are the only one who can do anything about every single one of the things contributing to their overwhelm. To be fair, this assumption is partially true; you do need to decide what to do about each item. However, most people make this assumption because it’s either what they’ve always done or because they don’t feel comfortable asking for help. The truth is that even if you truly are the only one who can do anything about any particular item, you can almost always find someone who can help.
Look at all the items in each of the buckets. Ideally, the list in each category will be shorter than the list you identified in Step 1. If you’ve got one bucket holding all of the items from Step 1, take a deep breath and go through your items one more time. See if you can move any of the items to another bucket.
Step 3: Prioritize. Prioritizing is vital to overcoming overwhelm. The highest priority items are those you identified as needing to be dropped. Place a #1 next to the items in the “I can drop it” bucket.
Next look are your “I can delegate it” bucket and identify which item will take you the least amount of effort and provide you the most relief. Place a #2 next to this item. Identify the next item which will take you the least amount of effort and provide you the most relief. Place a #3 next to this item. Continue this process with all the items in your “I can delegate it” bucket.
Finally, move on to your “I am the only one who can do anything about it” bucket. Figure out which of these items will take you the least amount of effort and provide you the greatest sense of accomplishment. Place an A next to this item. Figure out which of the remaining items will take you the least amount of effort and provide you the greatest sense of accomplishment. Place a B next to this item. Continue this process for each of the items remaining.
Step 4: JDI This is where the Nike spirit comes into action. It’s time to Just Do It.
Start with all the #1′s and drop every single one of those things contributing to your overwhelm. Take a deep breath and notice how much easier you feel now that you know you no longer need to worry about any of them.
Next, take care of #2. Do what needs to be done to delegate this item to the appropriate person. When you’ve completed this delegation, take a deep breath and notice that you’re feeling more in control.
Next, take care of A. Remember this should be the easiest thing that only you can take care of. Go ahead and just get it done! When you do, I hope you’ll take at least a few moments to bask in a sense of accomplishment and increased ease because there are even fewer things in your “I am the only one who can do anything about it” bucket.
Your Functional Divorce Assignment:
Step 1: Get really clear and specific about what you’re feeling overwhelmed by. Be sure and list everything. If something comes up after you’ve started one of the other steps, loop back here to Step 1 and continue back through all 4 steps.
Step 2: Put each of these things into one of 3 buckets. The 3 buckets are “I am the only one who can do anything about it”, “I can delegate it” and “I can drop it”.
Step 3: Prioritize. Remember that everything in the “I can drop it” bucket gets a #1. The items in the “I can delegate it” and the “I am the only one who can do anything about it” buckets get prioritized by asking yourself, “Which of these items will be easiest to get done and provide me with the greatest sense of relief?”. Everything in the “I can delegate bucket get a number starting with #2. Everything in the “I am the only one who can do anything about it” bucket gets a letter starting with A.
Step 4: JDI. Start with all the #1′s and drop them. Let them all go. Then go back and forth between the numbers and letters to get things done. For example, if you have 3 items in your “I can delegate it” bucket and 5 items in your “I am the only one who can do anything about it” bucket, you’d tackle the items in this order: #2, A, #3, B, #4, C, D, E.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and persona life coach. I help people just like you who are dealing with the stress and pain of divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice.