Stop Being So Sensitive

“You need to grow a thicker skin, Nayla.” I heard this often growing up from well-intentioned adults who wanted me to change because they knew that the harsh world out there wouldn’t. I can remember holding my arms out determinedly, thinking, “Yes, I will do it!” I’d squeeze my eyes shut tight and try myContinue reading “Stop Being So Sensitive”

The Art of Slowing Down

Today was one of those blazing hot pre-summer days in Ottawa. I decided to brave the sun and run some errands, thinking I could get a jump-start on my to-do list. As I was driving home, however, I got stuck behind one of those incredibly slow street sweeper trucks. The person behind startled me withContinue reading “The Art of Slowing Down”

Your Personalized Emotional ER

The holiday season is upon us and this can be both a joyful and / or challenging time for various reasons. One of my favourite exercises during any stressful period is to map out strategies that can help, using the Emotional ER metaphor. These are strategies that you can use when you’re feeling completely overwhelmedContinue reading “Your Personalized Emotional ER”

Internal Checks and Balances

When I feel overwhelmed by situations or decisions, I do a little self-coaching to help me tap into the wisdom of my head, heart, and gut: Head: What are the facts? What cognitive biases may be at play for me? Heart: What feelings does this situation evoke within me? What are those feelings trying toContinue reading “Internal Checks and Balances”

Balancing Polarities in Difficult Conversations

We balance a lot of different polarities when we have difficult conversations. Sometimes we need to focus on dialing up assertiveness, risk, and speaking up… but this doesn’t mean that we need to totally let go of empathy, safety and deep listening. We can do both. These polarities may each be balanced differently at anyContinue reading “Balancing Polarities in Difficult Conversations”