SECRETS OF A SOCIAL WORKER

Find peace. Find happiness. Find yourself.

Month: May 2015

Inspiration is Motivation

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I want to share with you something I have been guilty of in the past, and something which may be beneficial to you in your relationships with those you care about.

Have you ever tried really hard to listen and be there for a friend when they are in a time of need? How nice of you! Friends like you are hard to come by- the ones who listen, can be trusted, and give their advice.

Have you ever told a friend,” I know exactly what you’re going through” to help ease the pain and help them to feel supported? I bet you have , and so have I…Many times. However, something I have learned through social work is to never say those words.

Why you ask?… Because it’s not true!!!!

Here’s an example- Let’s say both of us were dumped by our significant other, Johnny, unexpectedly. How great that we can be there for one another. However, we truly do not know what each other is going through. For starters, we process emotions and situations differently. I, for instance, like to stay in denial and distract myself from thinking about it (stupid, I know). But you may not be able to stop talking about it to the point of exhausting all of your friendships; people do not want to hear again that Johnny wrote on Sarah’s Facebook wall and you don’t know what to do about it! For the tenth time….Nothing, there is nothing you can do.

This one aspect alone makes a huge difference in what we are going through.

Also, what happened in the situation is different. Johnny did not dump you and I the same way or for the same reason. So saying “I know exactly what you’re going through” really isn’t the case. Telling someone “I am so sorry for what you are going through, it must make you feel ________” (fill in the blank) is much more comforting and supportive.

This whole concept may not seem like a big deal, and often times it isn’t. However, in my line of work the way you word things is crucial to your relationships with clients. Sometimes I only get one chance, if that, to connect with people. And yes, sometimes by saying something that minuscule can be a deal breaker. Talk about pressure, huh?!

Think about how many times the people I may work with have felt rejected, unheard, not understood in numerous situations they’ve been in. Constantly! Sometimes it’s more important just to listen and be there for them, not provide our words of encouragement, as sometimes that isn’t what they want. Ask the people you work with or are supporting what it is they want from you. Early on, they may deny wanting the help or truly don’t know what they want from you yet. That’s okay! Just be there. Sometimes being consistently in someone’s life and able to listen to them is enough. We don’t always need to think of something to say to make it all better- that doesn’t always work. It is up to that person to make changes to better themselves, and by you being there to help and support them is a bonus!

What helps me in these situations is to think about the word inspire. I want to help inspire that person, not solve their problem for them. The word inspire is really powerful. It means to encourage someone to a greater effort, to use enthusiasm in your interactions with others, and to be creative. To inspire someone is to help awaken a feeling in someone, and help them to become more insightful and aware of their own emotions and their own possibilities. People want to be inspired, some of them just don’t know it yet 🙂 And that is what you’re there for!

How can you inspire others?

-keeping shining

People vs. Behavior

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Never be mad at the person, but instead mad at their behavior.

Really think about that….This is something I literally remind myself every day, and I can tell you it has changed my life both personally and professionally. 

Behaviors do not have to form people. Behaviors are things that people do- sometimes unnecessary, or inappropriate. But do not let the behavior interfere with the relationship you have with that person. Do not let the behavior interfere with the way you feel about that person, because behaviors and people are two different things.

Ever say or do something really embarrassing or rude, and wish you didn’t because people will think of you differently? Of course you have, and so have I. That is where this little trick comes into play. Make sense?

Remember that friend who blew you off for lunch the other day? That doesn’t define them as a person. You do not know what led to that behavior, and you know that person is your friend. But their behavior confused you, inconvenienced you, and honestly just pissed you off. However, their behavior and the emotions you feel twirling around because of that behavior do not have to reflect on who they truly are. People behave poorly, it happens. Not everyone can be as perfect as you are 😉

Find out what led to their behavior. Find out why they inconvenienced you or hurt your feelings, because with communication comes clarification.

To gain this kind of mindset is not easy. As I said earlier, I remind myself of this every day when I am hurt or upset by others. It will truly make a difference in how you perceive people, how you treat them, and your relationship with them. You can be the bigger person, I know you can!

The next time you’re hurt or upset by someone- ask yourself why. Is it because of who they are as a person, or because of their behavior?

-keep shining

I Am A Mother…But I Have No Children.

A special shout out to all moms today on this WONDERFUL holiday. Where would we be without all the fabulous mothers in this world? Thank YOU, moms, for all that you do. Please know that you are appreciated every single day.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I am a Mother…But I have no Children.

The word “mom”…What does it mean to you?

What does it mean specifically to a child?

“Mom” took on a whole new meaning for me once I began working more closely with children. I am not a mother, but have a wonderful one who I would argue is the best mom out there (I might be a little biased).
I  have had the opportunity to work with some wonderful children in my career. And to my surprise, some of them call me “mom” early on working with them. I cannot tell you how rewarding, yet heartbreaking, yet disturbing it is to hear those words from children who I feel are still practically strangers to me. There were even times children have referred to me as “mom” in front of their biological mother- that will always take the cake for most awkward moment ever!
Since having the privilege to work more closely with children over the past 2 years, I have come to understand the word “mom” as this; someone who is consistently in your life, and who will be there when they say they will. Mothers care about you, they show you how it feels to be loved. They teach you right from wrong. They take you to appointments to ensure you’re healthy. They sing with you and play games.
I am not these children’s mother, but I do for them all the things the typical “mom” would do.
How fantastic is it that children who may have been neglected or lost a parent during any time of their lives still feel they have a mother? Because to a child, a mother does not have to just be the person who births you. Their innocent little brains don’t even understand that concept yet. To a child, mothers are simply the nurturing people in your lives that teach you about love. And it’s great that I can do that for them. (Not to take away from the importance of any biological mothers- they will always be the women who brought these wonderful children into this world).
 Spending time with these children has given them the experience that every child should get to have; simply being loved.
So we can all be mothers to somebody, even if we biologically do not have any children. I have become a mother in my career, and even for how intimidating that may be at times it is SO rewarding. I have learned about what kind of mother I will be some day, and that having a mother is something every child deserves.
puppy-love
*For the sake of the holiday and my blog I have used the term “mom”, although this description of a mom pertains just as equally to any dads out there as well. We love you, dads, we didn’t forget about you!

There’s Always A Beginning

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Me…. Write a blog?! Who ever would of guessed that? I can assure you I never would have. But that is the beauty of life, isn’t it? The unpredictability of it all.
Unpredictable doesn’t even begin to explain my life. Well, more so my career. I am a social worker after all, and I would argue it is one of the most unpredictable fields today. That is why I fell in love with the idea of social work; the idea that every day is different. I definitely got what I was asking for and I wouldn’t change it for anything! How I got around to the idea of starting a blog is a story I’ll tell another day. For right now I want to explain to you what my goal in all of this is….
I want to help. I want to change lives and feel I can make a difference. But most importantly, I want to help all of you realize that you too are capable of these things- whether for yourself or others. My goal is to share with you my experiences and stories, my opinions, my advice, my positive and uplifting thoughts, and my encouragement. So much of these things sit and swirl in my brain all day long, so why not put them to good use and help motivate others?! How wonderful that I can do that 🙂
When attempting to decide what to write about first my mind would not turn off. Ever have those nights when you’re exhausted and keep dreaming about the moment when you can lay your head on your pillow and glide effortlessly into your sleep? But the second the opportunity presents itself every possible thought and memory goes through your mind like a hurricane? I know you have, we all do. And that is what happened when I began to start this blog.
So, I’ll leave you with this first thought….
You are the only you in this world. Sounds simple, but really think about that. Whenever you have a moment of self doubt, lack of confidence, or lack of respect for yourself, please remember that you are the only you in this world. That is really incredible! Not one other person is exactly like you, which makes you very important to society. Own it! Use that to your advantage and know that the people you interact with, work for, spend time with, etc. are so lucky to have you present in their lives because you are unique. You are special.

Some of you are probably thinking “well duh, I obviously know I’m the only me”. Yes, true, it does feel like common sense. However, in moments where a boost of confidence is needed try telling yourself this thought. It really helps me in times of self doubt (interviews, important meetings, times in the past when I’ve been dumped).

I challenge you to see if it makes a difference for you as it has for me. You are the only you, and you bring something special to this world.

So, here it is. My beginning as a “blogger”. Beginnings are fun! And I’m excited to spend this journey with you.

-keep shining