Tag Archive | romance

Fight Battles You Can Win

A big mistake, dear reader, that many women (and men, for that matter) make in their lives, is that they waste copious amounts of time and energy in fighting battles that they can’t win, either because they haven’t really prepared themselves properly to win, or because what they are in is simply a no-win situation.

Sharon Stone photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair US March 2007:

“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” – Sun Tzu

“Thus it is in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.” – Sun Tzu

“Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.” – Sun Tzu

This is what is meant when it is said to go after realistic goals.  It doesn’t mean to dull down your ultimate vision and to settle, but in order to get to that ultimate finish line you can’t waste too much time in situations where you are guaranteed not to win.

One example is when people tend to over-reach and put themselves in positions for which they are unprepared, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  They simply are not ready.  They haven’t done the work, they haven’t trained.  It would be like Roger Bannister expecting he could break the 4 minute mile barrier simply sitting on his couch without countless hours on the track and in the gym and rehearsing the act over and over again in his mind.  It is of course absurd yet countless women (and men) engage in this sort of thinking all the time.

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“Average people seem to have a strategy of ‘Ready, fire, aim!’  In other words, most people fail to do the necessary preparation and planning it takes to succeed.  Middle-class performers have a fondness for winging it.  Amateur performers are always looking for the easy road, yet appear to be confounded by their lack of success.”

Another way people tend to put themselves in a no-win situation is out of fear – they simply use the situation as an excuse as to why they didn’t go after what they wanted or couldn’t face something difficult – they deplete their energy and capability in distraction.

“For some of us, fighting losing battles is a form of distraction or compulsion, like OCD or an irrational need to check your email and Twitter account every 30 seconds.  Others simply don’t know any better.”

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The Art of Transparent, Effective, Communication

The feminine woman of excellence, dear reader, has mastered the art of communication.  She doesn’t internalize and repress her feelings nor does she act out aggressively and angrily.

 

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The key to great communication is that you mustn’t be afraid to speak your truth, and to do it right away.  There is nothing to be ashamed about if someone does something hurtful to you.  Many women are afraid to speak up because they take such treatment personally and allow it to eat away at their self-confidence when more often than not it has absolutely nothing to do with them.  Sometimes, someone will treat you poorly because they truly and simply don’t care about how you feel, but most of the time the other person doesn’t even realize that what they were doing was hurtful and assumes that you aren’t bothered in the slightest!  Again, they magnify the meaning of the event and the consequences and this makes them too frozen and uncomfortable to act.  Either way, remaining silent sends the wrong message.

Because they attach so much significance to it, many women find themselves tongue-tied.  So then they never communicate that they were hurt, disappointed, angry, etc – or if they do, they won’t be able to do it in a mature and assertive way that the other person will actually pay attention to – and they end up being ignored and virtually guarantee that the offensive behavior will become a pattern.

 

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A crucial mistake many women make is that they wait far, far too long for the pattern to manifest before speaking up.  Small issues snowball into crucial battles of will.

“The first piece of advice I would have from my experience is that governments need to be vocal about human rights.  My advice to you is not only to be vocal and consistent, but also to be principled in communications about human rights.  Another suggestion I have is to be quick.”  – Amal Clooney

One of the reasons why Amal is able to maintain such a strong relationship with a man like George Clooney where so many other women have failed is undoubtedly because she fully understands this principle on an intuitive, not just intellectual, level and has the courage to put it into practice.  Most men, even those at George Clooney’s level, are used to women communicating and behaving in ways that they term to be “annoying,” “passive-aggressive,” or “nagging”, and this really does have the effect of pushing them away in a relationship.  Men don’t want a shy little girl who is a pushover and can’t speak up for herself, but they don’t want a “bitch” who rages at them either.  Open, clear, and authentic communication that shows a woman knows what she wants and will stand up for it is what will get her results.

 

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Another important point, as she says here, in politics, as well as in human relations it is also important to be consistent.

It’s going to be hard to get yourself taken seriously if you are constantly vacillating on what is and what is not okay.  Credibility is built by “sticking to your guns” and being honest and authentic about the way something makes you feel.  This doesn’t mean that you are never allowed to change your mind about key issues, but you must appear and be firm.

 

 

Handling Rejection, Becoming a Brand

Many women, dear reader, are generic imitations rather than their own brand.  This is the reason why so many have difficulty handling rejection emotionally, because they are unsure of themselves and who they are, and therefore will take rejection from someone else personally.

 

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The woman who has made herself her own unique brand, however, and has the courage to stand by it, will not have to place so much importance into what another thinks of her – she will be more centered and sure of herself.

“It takes guts to be a brand.  It takes guts to stand for what you believe in, even if it’s not popular.  You can’t be all things to all people if you want to be a brand.”

Women who have not yet developed themselves into a brand are the ones who are out trying too hard to fit into what others deem as cool, what a man wants in a relationship, and are slaves to outside opinion.

Not everyone likes Coca-Cola.  In fact, some despise everything it stands for.  However, because Coca-Cola developed itself into a centralized brand with clear distinctions that make it unmistakably what it is, virtually everyone knows what it is and is not, and it is the reason why it is currently a successful multi-billion dollar company.

 

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Coca-cola isn’t concerned over the fact that some dislike and won’t buy their product.  That rejection has no power over them and it isn’t taken personally because it is simply a fundamental truth that brands are not designed for universal consumption in the way that something generic is.

Companies, people, and especially women simply cannot be all things to all people and should never try to be!

Many bad relationships, dear reader, are the result of a woman not understanding her brand and standing by it.  Kris Humphries disliked Kim Kardashian’s materialism, extravagance, obsession with makeup, and other qualities that were simply part of who she was as a woman and as a brand.  Not understanding that those qualities were part of her brand and that whoever was going to be her life-partner needed to accept them rather than continuously neg them, she didn’t stand up for those aspects of herself and as a result ended up in an extremely unhappy, destructive, and unhealthy marriage.  This wasn’t some fundamental failing on either of their parts, it was simply a case of a die-hard health nut being forced to partner with McDonalds.

The woman who can turn herself into a brand is the woman who is above the emotional sting of taking rejection, in any form, personally.  Kim didn’t need to sit and beat herself up over the fact that she wasn’t everything Humphries wanted, she went out and found Kanye!  The woman who develops her unique brand and fully embraces it rejects those who reject her.  She doesn’t have to try so hard to be something she’s not, but instead she’s at ease and relaxed.  She has more control over who she is and what she does, and she is firmly in the driver’s seat of her own life and relationships.

 

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An Attitude of Expectancy

The feminine woman of excellence, dear reader, always lives with an attitude of expectancy.

 

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What is this exactly?  It the belief, the conviction that something wonderful, new, and exciting is about to happen.

No matter where she goes or what she is engaged in, dear reader, she has this belief, and because she does, it tends to fulfill itself. (:

“You must know that in any moment a decision you make can change the course of your life forever: the very next person you stand behind in line or sit next to on an airplane, the very next phone call you make or receive, the very next movie you see or book you read or page you turn could be the one single thing that causes the floodgates to open, and all of the things that you’ve been waiting for to fall into place. If you really want your life to be passionate, you need to live with this attitude of expectancy.”

 

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An attitude of expectancy infuses you with a sense of possibility that gives you the positivity, optimism, and energy to pursue the life you and and the goals that inspire you.

A woman with such an attitude sees challenges as opportunities and she continuously asks “why not” when presented with a new idea or proposition instead of thinking of the multitude of reasons why it can’t be done.  What’s more, her eyes are opened to the possibilities of life, and because of that she is able to recognize opportunities and resources that most can’t.

 

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She lives a richer, more fulfilled life, and is able to add color to the lives of those she comes into contact with as well.  (:

Stop Waiting to Be Rescued

The feminine woman of excellence, dear reader, has learned one important truth in life, and that is no one is going to come to her rescue.

What this means is that she understands that no one is going to come along and give her what she wants in life, whether that be her ideal job, ideal man, ideal home, or ideal car.

 

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She realizes and fully accepts the responsibility that she is going to have to go out and make those things happen, for herself.

For instance, if she is unhappy with her current job or social life, she doesn’t sit around and wait or pray or hope for it to miraculously get better.  She takes some time to figure out what it is that she does want, and then plans and takes actionable steps to move towards that.

Many women, dear reader, will complain about certain aspects of their job for example, and say things along the lines of “I deserve better”, “I deserve more money”, or “I am capable of much more than this”.

 

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A feminine woman of excellence has learned that this is in fact a form of dependency, and she eschews it.  She understands that dissatisfaction can be an important first step in any sort of change – after all if you don’t come to terms with your true feelings and be honest with yourself first, you won’t be empowered to do anything – however she doesn’t get stuck there.

She takes steps to change her situation even if those may be small at first.
She realizes that small actions taken or any sort of planning is better than doing nothing at all.  So she spends 10 minutes updating her resume.  And then the next week she looks at a few job posts and talks to several people in her network whom she trusts about what else she might do.

And gradually over time, these small actions will build up to larger ones and end up in her getting what it is she wants.

 

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The same applies in a relationship.  If she is unhappy with her current relationship, she doesn’t lie to herself and tell her that things are fine or will miraculously get better if she simply sits and waits patiently.

She figures out what specifically she doesn’t like and addresses those issues openly.  A grown woman in charge of her destiny does not sit back – she opens her mouth and verbalizes exactly how she feels and is prepared to handle the consequences whatever those may be.  This is often scary for many women, because to do this means that you are risking what you have – having an important discussion on this level can result in wonderful changes to your relationship for the better, but it also means you need to take that risk.

 

 

Limits

This topic, dear reader, is a powerful concept and it touches every single aspect of your life, from your relationships, to your financial status to your health.

We all grow up believing in some sort of limits.

 

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For some of us, those limits were more constricting than that of others, but they were still there.  And most women tend to unconsciously carry the limits they grew up believing with them into adulthood, not understanding that most of that was simply taken on faith, without examining those beliefs or thinking through them critically.

Let’s take relationships with men, for example.

Many women come to truly believe any number of limiting concepts including that men only want them for sex, men will use them, men will try to control them, men will only give them gifts on holidays, etc.

 

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Financially, unless you are one of the few born to wealthy parents, you come to believe such concepts as “money doesn’t grow on trees”;  you come to believe that money is something difficult to come by, something that must be struggled for, something that is used as a tool of control over others.

The idea that none of this is even true, that they are simply self-imposed limits that serve to cause self-sabotage to success, happiness, and fulfillment is so foreign a concept that it most likely never crosses your mind.

To see the truth of this, begin with a young child you know.  Tell her with conviction (this is important – if there’s no conviction in your voice it will not work) that she’s beautiful, intelligent, and that one day she’s going to be very successful.  Watch how she changes her behavior in ways that fulfill your words (:

 

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How to Conduct Yourself with Class and Dignity During a Break-up

The death of a relationship, dear reader, is a trying time emotionally.

You are at your most fragile, feeling vulnerable, and perhaps even unloved or unlovable.  These feelings are all temporary, but in the moment that’s not how they feel – they can feel overwhelming and as if they’ll never go away.

Believe it or not, when emotions run that intensely, and your external world seems to be most in chaos is the exact moment when you need to get the most still and slow down internally.  You need to detach yourself from what is happening, in order to get perspective.

 

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That does not mean that you deny your emotions or dissociate from them – you are a human being, of course you are going to experience the trying emotions that go along with any kind of loss.

To detach in a health manner means to separate yourself from those emotions.  To become aware of what you are feeling and experiencing, but know that you, who you are is not any of those things.

Have you ever heard the saying that it is often easier to see an issue or a situation in a friend than it is in yourself?

This is because we often have a hard time distancing ourselves from our emotions and our situations enough that we can get the perspective we need.  To achieve this mental flexibility requires a certain frame of mind.

 

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Why is this important to put in the effort and energy to get still and try to see our own selves from a 3000 foot view when all we want to do is act out, release those emotions, and “vent”?

Because doing any of those things will simply make your situation worse.  Guaranteed.  “Blowing up” someone’s phone (or the more adult versions of this behavior) after a breakup will not bring them back to you.  It will not make them love and respect you more, and more importantly it will make it harder for you to love and respect yourself and feel good about the actions you are taking.

You must respond instead of reacting knowing that the long-term reward for doing so is going to make you feel a whole lot better and ultimately get you what you want.  Doing this requires a discipline as well – you need to give up that short-term release of emotion you get by lashing out or doing anything that shows a less than 100% acceptance of the way things are.

 

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You do not argue, you do not plead, and you certainly do not beg.  You accept the situation briefly and professionally – this is hugely important – you are no longer personally or emotionally invested (you will of course still feel invested on that level, but you will not act that way).  You are a woman with grace, class, and dignity!  You take ownership of your emotions and you are able to act in this mature and impressive way because you know that the correct response in these sorts of situations is to simply make a commitment to yourself to do better.  As the saying goes, you do not get bitter, you get better.

Think back to a boyfriend you had in grammar or high-school – you can look back on the experience without any pain even though at the time it probably felt like your world was coming to an end.  This is because you have distance, perspective and because you are no longer the person you were at that time – you have matured and expanded your world-view.  It seems like a brief event hardly worthy of thought.  The exact same thing will happen here, if you make the commitment to act in this way.

“Whenever I feel bad, I use that feeling to motivate me to work harder.  I only allow myself one day to feel sorry for myself.” – Beyonce

If you act in this way, it is guaranteed that you will be seen in a new light and your ex will want you back.  However, that is not the point.  You do not do any of this because you are desperate to be taken back – you do it because you can see past this critical moment and into the future where you do better.  And that better version of you makes whatever has happened seem petty, irrelevant, and like simply a footnote or a stepping stone in the larger story of your life.  That better version of yourself, and the joy and fulfillment you will feel in doing what it takes to become her is the real reward.

 

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