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To Control or Not to Control?

Control is the most common source of anguish in our lives. Most of us secretly would like to control the actions and choices of those who impact us the most—our spouses, parents, children, ex-spouses, bosses, co-workers, etc. If we could just convince them that our way is the best way, our lives would be so much easier. If we could just get others to behave in ways that make sense to us, our problems would diminish. If we could live in a world where people accommodated our needs, life would be great. And then, there’s reality. I know you’re thinking, “I don’t want to control everything and everyone. I know that’s not possible.” I know you think you are the reasonable one. The one that understands what you have control over and what you don’t. I know you believe that it is those other people who are so controlling. But guess what? You are that person. We all are. Whether you are conscious of this or not, you spend a lot of time and energy trying to control people and things that are completely outside of your control. You leave notes for your husband in hopes that he will remember to complete your “to do” list today. You lie to your wife to avoid her anger. You threaten your kids so they will complete their chores and stay out of trouble. You spread gossip at the office about your co-worker so you will get more recognition and she will get less. And so on and so on. We are all busy squiring about trying to control our world. Sometimes we win but most of the time our strategies lack integrity and end in conflict, disappointment, frustration, or outright war. So what can we do instead? I’m certainly not suggesting you live your life in a way that relies on chance alone. You don’t want to be a victim of circumstance or someone who does not act to achieve your goals and create your life. You do have power. While you will never have control over what others think and do, you do can influence others and take actions that impact situations and interactions. Here are five golden rules to help you manage your need for control. Identify what is most important to you. What do you want to create or impact and why? Understand where you have control and where you do not. Be honest with yourself. Get your emotions under control first. While you are entitled to feel frustrated, worried or angry, good decisions always come from a place of balance. Remember, you do not live on an island. You will always need to consider and work with other people’s agendas and needs. Avoid power struggles whenever possible. Take time to consider your options. Look at the short-term and long-term risks, rewards, and unintended consequences. See what actions are in alignment with your intentions and goals. Make sure your personal integrity is intact. Consider where your motivations lie and course correct as needed. Focus on where you do have control and influence, and act accordingly. This may take the form of communicating with others, decision-making, accommodating, withdrawing, compromising, motivating, inspiring, and taking actions that move your life forward. So, the next time you struggle with wanting control, taking control and losing control, follow the five golden rules. In doing so, you will retain your personal power, be more effective in achieving your goals, and build positive relationships with those around you. If you or someone you know is struggling with the issue of control, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m here to help. I provide personalized counseling and coaching. Take advantage of the opportunity to receive the support and guidance you deserve. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Contact me at 310-379-5855 or email me to schedule an appointment and start creating the life you choose today. Be well, Julie The Pathway to Love at-home program: www.julieorlov.com/pathway-to-love Get your Free Relationship Assessment Quiz at www.julieorlov.com/quiz

The Secret to a Good Relationship is to Know Thyself

You may be asking yourself, “What is the secret to a good relationship?” Well, it all starts with you. The secret to a great relationship is knowing who you are and making new discoveries into how you interact with the world and those around you. And while I’m sure some of you are thinking you know who you are already, I am here to tell you that you don’t know yourself as well as you think. I’m referring to a phenomenon known as our blind spots. The more you become aware of your blind spots, the more you can take responsibility for your actions and reactions. In doing so, you create less destructive conflict with others and create the space for understanding, connection and problem-solving. Here are some tips to help you expand your self-awareness and shrink your blind spots. 1. Notice when you have a strong emotional reaction. Stop and reflect before you react. Take the time to assess if you need to set a limit and/or understand your emotional vulnerabilities. 2. Test out your assumptions. You may discover that you jump to similar conclusions that reflect more of your past and less of what is happening in the here and now. Practice making these distinctions. 3. Pay attention to what the world is showing you. Do your friends become defensive around you? Do you have trouble sustaining long-term relationships? Do you have financial problems? Before you choose to be the victim in these circumstances, first look at yourself and see how you might be creating or at least contributing to your life events and circumstances. 4. Be willing to consider what others tell you about how they experience you. If they say they find you angry, be willing to look at your anger. If they say you party too much, be willing to look at your lifestyle. If they say you don’t speak up enough or tolerate too much bad behavior from others, be willing to search for the “why this may be so.” 5. If you feel like you are stuck in one or more areas of your life, own what is stopping you—fear, lethargy, lack of knowledge, insecurities, ambivalence, etc. The most important aspect of creating strong and intimate relationships lies in knowing thyself. The more you understand who you are, the more you can manage your emotional reactions, share yourself authentically, and develop meaningful relationships. If you are someone you know is struggling around relationships, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help. I provide personalized counseling and coaching. Take advantage of the opportunity to receive the support and guidance you deserve. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Contact me at 310-379-5855 or email me to schedule an appointment and start creating the life you choose today. Be well, Julie

The Gift of Depression

Most people see depression as something painful, something to avoid. What we often miss, is the gift that depression offers us. Depression is a manifestation [...]

A Message of Love from My Daughter

In response to the extreme divisiveness that has been growing during this very long campaign season, I thought I would share a speech my daughter [...]

The Number One Myth My Clients Believe

I have worked with all kinds of clients with all kinds of issues over the years. The number one myth that people believe is that once [...]

5 Words That Will Ruin Your Marriage

Here's another article I published on YourTango a couple of months ago. It received thousands and thousands of hits and was syndicated on many other [...]

5 Tips to Help You Let Go of Your Anger

People get angry. Usually our anger passes. We get over it. We’ve either expressed our feelings, forgiven another, or thought it through and let it [...]

A Classic Relationship Issue that Stands the Test of Time

It’s a classic difference between men and women that inevitably causes friction. And if this issue is not acknowledged and worked out, it can and [...]