“A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love.” – Pearl S. Buck
When two people marry, it means they have entered into a big commitment. They vow that they should stay with each other through sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, till death do them part. Getting into a marriage relationship is the sign of the fullness of their deep romantic love for each other. Yet, their love for each other is tested in the course of time. First, there would be the adjustment period. All couples go through that. There is a saying that you only really get to know the person if both of you are living under one roof.
The routine of everyday life brings unrealistic expectations. Marital discontent comes in and it is expressed shortly just after the honeymoon fever wears off. This is the time when imperfections are revealed. Shortcomings become magnified. Some eccentric behavior which you found “cute” before now becomes irritating. Aside from your own problems as a couple, you have to deal with in-law relationships, money matters, work schedules and other conflicts which have become the cause of stress and anxiety.
When negative emotions and behavior take over, it becomes the perfect recipe for marriage disconnect. Unless you are aware of your own hurtful attitudes or actions, chances are, you won’t do something about it. Marriage involves accepting who that person really is. We only need to practice self-control and learn to turn expectations into appreciation.
The following strategies will show you how to bring back that “zip” in your relationship and divorce-proof your marriage:
When you take responsibility for being in charge of keeping the romance alive, you allow your marriage to blossom the way it was meant to be.
For me, and eventually for my clients, one of the most challenging aspects of getting through a divorce is trying to pick up your trashed self-esteem off the floor and bring it back to life.
In my coaching career, this subject comes up a great deal. Here are some of my favorite strategies to counteract the very debilitating and damaging effects of divorce, whether you are in the early, mid or late stages:
Find one or two strategies that resonate with you and commit to it. Practice them over and over again. Soon you will find that you are thinking, feeling AND believing better things about yourself.
Shan White, a certified life coach, specializes in working with women in preventing or recovering from the heartache of divorce.
Sign up for a complimentary “Divorce Prevention or Divorce Recovery Strategy Session” at:
Happiness is based on external circumstances. When you get a raise, buy a new couch, or find a terrific outfit, you are happy. But joy is different. Joy comes from a place deep within. It exists regardless of external circumstances. Joy can co-exist with pain, suffering and times of difficulty. And self-esteem is essential to our ability to experience joy.
Once achieved, it grows from the inside out. But it is stunted from the outside in. A woman with low self-esteem does not feel good about herself because she has absorbed negative messages from the culture, media and poisonous relationships.
The propaganda of youth, beauty, and thinness in our society attempts to doom every woman to eventual failure. Women’s magazines, starting with the teenage market, program them to focus all their efforts on their appearance.
Many girls learn, by age 12, to give up formerly enjoyable activities in favor of the beauty treadmill leading to nowhere. They become fanatical about diets. They munch, like rabbits, on leaves without salad dressing, jog in ice storms, and swear they love it! Ads abound for cosmetic surgery, encouraging us to “repair” our aging bodies, as if the natural process of aging were a disease. Yet with all this ceaseless effort, they still never feel like they are good enough.
Yet, feeling good enough and worthy of love starts with accepting and loving yourself. And loving yourself starts with caring for yourself. Make a plan to do one thing that will help you excel physically, intellectually, emotionally, even spiritually. Making just one change for the better will boost your attitude from the inside out. You can actually choose what you want to change or improve. Things you do most are the ones you may choose to focus on. A simple task doesn’t take that long. Little things add up. It’s amazing, really.
The seemingly meaningless things you do for yourself may not have immediate results, but after just a short while, they’ll have you looking and feeling better. So add those bubbles to your bath, make sure you eat your vegetables, get enough sleep, think of doing something good for yourself when you have nothing to do, and the results will be worth it.
In the meantime, remember that the journey is just as important, maybe more, as the destination. To get that attitude going the right direction, you need to appreciate your face and body for what it is. It may be unrealistic to tell yourself to love it, but you certainly shouldn’t hate it, either.
If you take a look at any success story and grasp the one element of similarity between them, you’ll notice that virtually every self-made, successful person has this one super-important object of success in their mind- a burning desire to succeed. What counts is your mindset. Age, location, ethnic origin, gender, or any other perceived disadvantage have no part in your attitude to become what you desire. As a matter of fact, there are so many real life “underdog” stories out there. There are people who have been under-educated, considered too old, too fat, too ugly, discriminated against, abused, had little or no support, and left for dead that have found riches, fame and tremendous success. But most importantly, they found a deep inner joy that no one could steal from them.
To start you journey today, consider this: conduct a research project and find someone who has had similar struggles as you, has them in a big way, and make them your new role model. Find out everything you can about them, put their picture on your bathroom mirror, print a quote of theirs that inspires you and put it on the frig, read their biography or blog, flood your mind with where they’ve and where they are now and what you perceive it took to get there. Lastly, fill yourself with faith that if they can do it, so can you!
Shan White, a certified life coach, helps women heals themselves from the trauma of divorce by putting their lives back together piece by piece.
Sign up for a complimentary “Divorce Recovery Strategy Session” at:
Someone recently told me they are sick of the self-help gurus that perpetuate the need to grow, change, and constantly evolve into a higher version of themselves. Why do THEY always have to be the one to do the changing and adapting? Why can’t their ex’s do some soul-searching and examine their own destructive patterns?
If this resonates with you, I have good news. To close the books on the pressure for personal growth, there are two basic attitudes to consider.
How you deal with your attitude regarding DEMAND and DESIRE will shift your trajectory dramatically.
A attitude of demandingness can be likened to that of a requirement. You require a certain standard of behavior of others. When you cultivate an attitude of demandingness towards others, you can stop the need for growth and change within yourself by requiring (demanding) others to be responsible for your personal happiness and well-being. In doing so, this removes your own empowerment and instead empowers others to be responsible for your personal growth and fulfillment. A great example is, “If you weren’t so mean to me, I would be a much happier person.” When you develop the art of blaming others, you empower them to bear the responsibility for your inner happiness and lack of change. Consequently, your reason for not trying and giving up has now been legitimized. By not taking control and responsibility of your feelings, and allowing outside forces to control how you feel will give you a free pass to behave less than stellar.
In contrast, an attitude of desire can be likened to that of a request. You request a certain standard of behavior of yourself. When you cultivate an attitude of request towards yourself, you can stop the need for growth and change within yourself by merely desiring things be different. The way you present this to the world is, “I hope things will get better,” or “I wish things would be different.” This way you come off with all the good intentions without really having to do anything about it. And, the bonus is, that you get lots of sympathy and attention. The people around you say things like, “Oh that poor gal, she has such a good heart and has a desire for everything to be alright.” You get to portray yourself as the helpless victim and all the enablers will come out of the woodwork to do things for you.
I will warn you, some of the radicals will reverse the order and cultivate an attitude of demandingness and require more of themselves and who they are at a core level. On this flip side, they will cultivate an attitude of desire when it comes to the behavior of others. They desire or wish their ex or others would behave better, but they take on the mindset that they can’t control others; only themselves. They make a conscious choice to be happy and don’t allow the crazy behavior of others, whom they can’t control, to control their own behavior.
So stay away from these folks if you don’t want to grow, change and evolve into the best version of yourself. Or do you?
Shan specializes in helping women thrive after divorce, as opposed to merely surviving.
She is a certified life coach from the official Tony Robbins School: Robbins-Madanes Coaching Training.
Sign up for a complimentary “Divorce Recovery Strategy Session” at:
If you are a woman in leadership, or own your own business, I’m guessing you have heard something like this before:
“You have to be tough, aggressive, and rigorously competitive. Don’t show weakness or vulnerability. If you do, you’ll instantaneously lose respect. Emotions have no place in business!”
But, if you have ever seen a momma bear protecting her cubs, you know that the feminine force is in no way weak.
Natalie Peace Contributor at Forbes Magazine alludes to this metaphor in her article entitled, “The Awesome Power of Femininity in Business” and goes on to say:
“Visionary women have helped shift the landscape, showing us new models of leadership that include natural feminine qualities like softness, kindness, giving and emoting. Authentic relating has become the focus of many organizations committed to fostering team dynamics where people feel safe and supported in doing their best work.”
Things to Consider in Cultivating Your Authentic Feminine Self in the World of Business:
(These concepts, in great part, are inspired by my mentor and coach extraordinaire, Stacey Martino)
• You don’t have to be taught HOW to be feminine. The truth is, you know how instinctively. The learning process comes into play in learning how to drop your protective barrier that keeps you from being the natural you.
• Femininity isn’t about how you look. It’s not about your clothing, hairstyle, make-up or jewelry. Instead, it’s about you are ‘being’, which emanates from the inside.
• The core quality of femininity is openness. Feminine energy takes it all in, is vulnerable, nurturing, welcoming, energetic, seeks pleasure, able to feel everything and enjoys the ebb and flow of a wide range of emotions.
• It is a woman’s ultimate power; femininity is NOT a weakness. Just ask Super Woman! She is full of power, yet incredibly feminine.
• Consider cultivating your femininity in your personal life through dancing, taking bubble baths, listening to music, laughing, burning candles, using potpourri, incense and/or perfume, or putting on your favorite soft or silky outfit.
• Ask yourself questions like: How open am I on a regular basis on a scale of 1 to 10? In what ways do I shut down to protect myself? How do I pull away, care less and distance myself?
Shan White is a certified life coach specializing in guiding women through traumatic transitions and challenging changes. Contact her today to schedule a complimentary “Get Acquainted” session.
There are intrusions and unexpected events that take us off our course from moving toward what we want in life. Professionally, we may get a new boss or job, be dealing with declining budgets, go into business for ourselves, or retire. Personally, we may be struggling in marriage, with a blended family, dealing with divorce, being an “empty nester’ or grieving the loss of a loved one.
At certain pivotal points in life, the intensity and duration of change can sometimes cause us to react with increased anxiety, anger and fear. This is only natural.
We all get derailed. Depending on the impact of the event our ability to face what happened will vary. During these times, how can we align who we are with what we’re facing?
1. Acceptance: Tony Robbins says, “Change is inevitable. Progress is optional”.
Accepting the reality of change is the key to gracefully dealing with change.
Think of maneuvering through change like practicing the martial art of
Aikido. When you move with the flow of what is coming at you, rather than
retreat or fight, your resistance lessens and your ability to face it strengthens.
2. Choose a new mindset: A mindset is a defined as a way of thinking that determines one’s behavior, outlook, and mental attitude. What are some positive things that could come out of this difficult situation? One option is to view it as a wake-up call in order to cause us to ask ourselves if the course we have been on still has the same meaning for us. Consequently, does the unexpected change offer a new opportunity?
3. Annihilate your negative self-talk: Begin by challenging your thought life. Ask if what you are saying to yourself is even true. Suppose you tell yourself, “I never do anything right!” The truth is that you do lots of things right. What would your life be like if you no longer believed the lie?
4. Connect with others: The company and comfort of others who understand what you are going through can be a transforming experience. It is human nature to band together in times of crisis. Although it is natural to isolate and retreat, the best thing you can do for yourself is to reach out to another or join a group. When talking to those that have come through a challenging situation, they attribute a great deal of their success to the support of an individual or a group.
5. Focus on progress instead of perfection: Perfection does not exist; instead,
focus on your capacity for progress. Progress is a goal that can be achieved
each day. Work toward an outcome of progress, instead of a perfect one.
6. Practice Gratitude: EckhartTolle said, “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” In the presence of difficulty, what is the good that you can be grateful for today?
Contact Shan today to schedule a complimentary “Transition Challenge” session.
Masterful Mindsets While in Transition
Mindset is one of the most important aspects of your life. With a successful mindset, possibilities are endless. Without it, you will find yourself in perpetual frustration and a sense of never really moving forward. Think of your mindset as your rudder on the boat of your life. Used properly, it will guide you to your ultimate destination. Used improperly, it will cause you to go in circles.
After studying some masters on mindset, I have put together some vital principles of a strong and successful mindset, especially when you’re dealing with challenging changes and transitions:
1. Purpose: If you can’t answer the question of “why” you are doing what you’re doing, the
“how” will lack passion. Rick Warren, author of, “The Purpose Driven Life”, said “…without
purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope.” It is imperative to dig deep and understand why you are doing what you are doing. Once the root reasons are revealed, the “how” will flow naturally.
2. Prioritize: Everyday, do the thing that you don’t want to do the most. Brian Tracy, trainer & author,
has likened this habit to “eating the frog”. If you figuratively eat the frog first thing in the morning,
everything else tastes wonderful to you and will feel easy in comparison.
3. Persistence: The mindset of success doesn’t ask “IF”, instead it asks “HOW”. If you are
asking yourself, “IF I overcome this challenge in my life?”, then consider a shift in your
mindset. Instead ask, “HOW can I overcome this challenge in my life?”
Diana Nyad, the 60 year old swimmer, who swam from Cuba to Florida in 53 hours, said, “Find a way!” She said, “If it’s important to you, we can all get there…jelly-fish, sea-sickness, pain, cold…find a way.”
4. Perception (Self): Negative self-perception is the universal human condition of not feeling good enough or deserving. One of the best ways of discovering how you truly perceive yourself is to monitor your thought-life. Be brutally honest with yourself and audit how much negative
self-talk is occurring. Remember Henry Ford’s famous quote: “The unexamined life is not
5. Procrastination: This is my favorite! Steven Pressfield, in the “The War of Art”, said that in
reality, procrastination is an internal force called “Resistance”. He goes on to explain
that we feel resistance most strongly when we are about to dare greatly or grow
spiritually! The first time I fell into procrastination, after reading this, I tried it. I have to admit to you, I just got plain stubborn about it. So, I MADE myself do what I was avoiding, and I really did expand as a person. The next time you procrastinate, try pushing through, and see what comes out of it.
6. Perfection Paralysis: Tony Robbins, says it the best: “Perfectionism isn’t about healthy striving
for excellence… it is a way of thinking and feeling that says, ‘If I look perfect, do it perfect, work
perfect, and live perfect’, I can minimize shame, blame and judgment.” Perfection does not
exist. Instead, focus on your capacity for excellence. Excellence is a goal that can be achieved
each day. Consider working towards an excellent outcome, instead of a perfect one.
Remember, if you can train the rudder of your mindset in positive and forward-moving ways, the boat of your life will reach the destination of your dreams!
Shan is a certified life coach specializing in guiding women through challenging changes and transitions. Contact her today to schedule a complimentary “Get Acquainted” session.