Monday, November 24, 2014

Get Rejected

Get Rejected

Rejection is not easy. It’s scary, it’s frustrating, it’s embarrassing and is even a blow to our self-confidence at times. But rejection is actually a good thing. Rejection is great for two reasons. First, rejection demonstrates that you are willing to put yourself out there. You are willing to take leaps and take up opportunities. It is in these risks, leaps and opportunities that potential life fulfillment lies. If you have never been rejected before, or find that you have only been rejected a few times, it doesn’t mean that you are “that good” it means that you are not taking up as many opportunities as you potentially could.  

Now, the goal here is of course to not be rejected and have a life of success, but the reality is we all get rejected. And, if you have received a few “no’s” here and there, it should not be viewed as something that hinders you from trying again or that increases your fear about rejection. Rather let the rejection be seen and viewed by everyone, including yourself, as an attempt at taking a risk to grow your life. Then, see the rejection as a barrier, not a dead end.

Second, rejection teaches resilience. Resilience is something that you are going to need when you do land a major opportunity. By being rejected and then bouncing back through analyzing ways to seek out a “yes”, you are creating a strong foundation for what you are going to need when a rejection turns into a success. If we get rejected and then use negative self-talk and work effortlessly to decrease our confidence and increase our fears, we will soon find a lack of fulfillment in life. We will also discover a loss of self-control. We turn over our control to fear when we take no from someone or something as our final and permanent answer. Instead, when we see a rejection as a hurdle and find solutions to jump the hurdle, we are increasing our confidence, critical thinking skills, and abilities which in turn will land us a success in the near future.

This week your goal is to take one leap, small or big that you have wanted to take for some time. Let it be a leap that you not only have thought about but have calculated the risk to and that the primary factor that is holding you back is that you could be rejected.

 Dr. Jaime Kulaga is a Certified Life Coach, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Motivational Speaker. She is the author of the upcoming book "The SuperWoman's Guide to Super Fulfillment: Step-by-Step Strategies to Create Work-Life Balance," to be published in March 2015. She is the inspirational founder of the nationally known SuperWoman Workshops. Dr. Kulaga has been featured internationally for her expertise in Work-Life Balance.

Monday, November 17, 2014

How to Downsize Your Work Load, When you Can’t Downsize Your Workload

How to Downsize Your Work Load, When you Can’t Downsize Your Workload

So you have done all the math, created a dozen flow charts, and used all the research based tips out there, and you still find, that to minimize your life duties and all the work on your plate, you really just can’t do it. Maybe you could, but then bills wouldn’t get paid, children will starve or your life might be harder than it already is. The reality is, downsizing your life isn’t realistic at this point in time. So, what is a person to do?

Here are the 3 B’s on how to Downsize, when you can’t Downsize:


Set boundaries. Boundaries keep things as structured as possible for you in a chaotic mess. If you have work today, the kid and dog are both throwing up, you have a meeting after work and your roof is leaking, this is not the time to add on drama from negative Nancy or to promise your neighbor that you will watch his bird for the next week while he is on a cruise. I know this scenario seems extreme, but the reality is, we do take on too much unnecessary drama or tasks when we are already bogged down and just trying to tread water in our own lives.

If you can’t downsize right now, it might not be the time in your life that you can help out your neighbor and his bird, or give advice to the office drama queen. Setting boundaries with these people will make you stronger and more efficient so that you can downsize your own life in the future and then go ahead and give back. It is okay if you are drowning to not add more weight to your arms. And, saying no and setting boundaries doesn’t mean that you are never going to help people. Let these people know that you can help them but only at certain times. That is a boundary. So, if you actually like talking to the office drama queen, set a boundary with her that it is only on the drive home from work. If you feel guilty saying no to caregiving for a parent, go ahead and help them, but perhaps do so only on certain days or certain times. Setting boundaries creates structure, builds confidence, and makes the chaos of not being able to downsize seem a bit more seamless. 


When you are rushing through your day, whether you are changing hats multiple times or just stuck on one long, boring and tough project, take breaks. By walking away from the chaos you give your mind a moment to breathe.

You know that couple that fights all the time, but they can’t see why, and you can see the problem clear as day? Well, you see the problem clear as day because you are not stuck in that cycle of the same thing each and every day. You are an outsider peering in. When you are stuck doing a task or are stressed out from the hustle, take a step back and become an outsider. Stop affiliating yourself with the chaos, even if just for 10 minutes, and instead, play the role of the third party. Go for a walk, roam the bathroom at work, or take a power nap.

Taking a step back from chaos for even just 10 minutes helps you to change your perspective. This step away helps your mind to refocus and attend to a task with a fresh lens. When you take breaks to refocus your perspective, you are actually saving yourself time. Being overwhelmed leads your mind and body toward a shut down. Being overwhelmed also adds extra stress, and you quickly find yourself doing the same thing over and over again, wrong. When you can’t downsize, you need all the time you can get- you don’t have time to make repeated mistakes. Taking short breaks periodically actually saves you time in the long run.


Get bored. That’s right, be bored. Find time once time per month to be bored. Perhaps on a Sunday that it is raining, you might find yourself putzing around the house doing little chores, laying on the couch, doing much of nothing. This is a good thing.

I do not think that every weekend you should be bored and not go seize the day, but I also think that it is a good thing to be bored once a month. Sometimes, hanging out on the weekends is tiring. Sure it is a blast, but whether you are having a blast or having a tough day, you are expending some amount of energy. When you are bored, and don’t give in to doing anything, your body is storing up some energy. Energy is what you need when you can’t downsize your life. When you give in to being bored, your mind and body are ready to take on the tasks of life. Your mind is ready to focus and your body is ready for the physical day to day hustle. In fact, your mind and body are, in fact, bored, an actually want to do something. Even your mind and body need vacation time from work and life.

 Dr. Jaime Kulaga is a Certified Life Coach, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Motivational Speaker.  She is the author of the upcoming book “The SuperWoman's Guide to Super Fulfillment: Step-by-Step Strategies to Create Work-Life Balance,” to be published in March 2015. She is the inspirational founder of the nationally known SuperWoman Workshops. Dr. Kulaga has been featured internationally for her expertise in Work-Life Balance.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Letting Go, Today

                           Letting Go, Today

Unfortunately, as we continue on this journey in life, we have to leave the fairy tale endings to Disney. Sometimes the bad guy does win, the cheater ends up marrying his beautiful mistress and your worst fear does in fact happen. Since this is life and we can’t realistically turn to Disney for the happy endings, we need to let things go and take control over what we can control, our actions and reactions.

Letting go isn’t easy. Even in a brief moment of frustration with a partner, letting go can be tough if you are trying to prove a point. But, when we have to let things go that are fueled by a human’s strongest emotions, that is when marching on becomes one of the hardest things to do. Anger, love and fear are some of the most powerful emotions a person can have. If love can lead to an entire life of fulfillment (happiness, health, true partner), and anger could lead to death (violence and murders), with such extremes, how can we let things go in the midst of our emotions ruling us?

Here are 3 tips that you can implement to help you Let Go, Today:

1.       Challenge fear.

Often when we let go of the past we are actually letting go of comfort. I understand that anger, fear, pain, and a loss are not comfortable like your couch, but the body is used to acting, reacting and thinking in one certain way. It is easy to be the same way, it take energy and effort to change. Your mind wants to keep on in a direction that is familiar with, even though it knows it is not necessarily good.

Fear creeps up in your mind. Fear lets you know that if you let go of what is holding you to the past, you might not have a good future. We fill the unpredictable holes of our future with fear, not joy. I suppose the truth is, your future is not guaranteed and definitely could end up not in your favor. Fear tricks you into thinking that it is better to stay “as is” than move forward because of this unpredictability. But the reality also is if you are struggling to let go of something, you aren’t in a place you want to be anyway right now. So, take the leap and let go.

And, if one reason you are not letting go is for the fact that fear is telling you a “what if story” that is no excuse either. Often fear keeps you miserable because it convinces you “what if things get better?” “What if she/he changes?” “What if next go around, I get the promotion?” Instead, challenge fear and say “what if I leave and things go great for me?” “What if I let go and am finally happy?”

The outlook is much better for your future than your past because you can create the future, you can’t change the past. Living in consistent anger or fear destroys opportunities that come your way and ensures that your peace within is crushed. Prove fear wrong and challenge it. Try letting go and begin to embrace your future. Hold onto your future like you currently are holding on to your past. What you are currently doing is not working, so shift your actions elsewhere.


Make goals for what your body, mind and spirit needs and focus on that this week. If it makes you feel better to make a list of all your fears and pains and set it aside for the week to come back to next week, do that. Let it go for one week and next week decide whether or not you want to come back to the list of pains or continue on your new path.

2.       Don’t let anger control you.

Literally see anger as a person that you are arm wrestling. When anger is consuming your decisions and taking away your happiness, think of him as pushing down harder on your arm. Fight back. No one controls you, no emotions control you. Take back the power and slam anger to the table. If anger encourages you to seek revenge, feel jealousy or become greedy he is pushing your hand further toward the table. Play him back by hitting the gym, doing something good for you, or moving your life forward. Don’t lose this battle.   

3.       Rid of the physical pain.

If you have pain within you, chances are it might also be around you. This week begin ridding of the physical pain- and by this I mean items that are reminders of a negative past. It is not easy to rid of physical items that remind you of pain, but neither is waking up looking at everything that reminds you of this pain (which in turn consequently elicits rage, anger or torment within you).

It is not fair that you have to start each day or week being reminded of hurtful things. Stepping your foot into the week with anger, fears or frustration puts you behind from the get go. If you have managed to rid of a person who hurt you, don’t let them linger around in symbols all day. Finalize the last chapter and start a new one.  Will it be easy to physically let go of items? Absolutely not. Whether your mind tells you or not, you have the strength to move forward.

Got pictures? Toss them. If you can’t toss them for whatever reason, please don’t have them sitting in 8X10 frames over the fireplace mantel for God’s sake! Put them in a box and lock them away. If you have children, and they want certain photos out, explain to them your pain and allow them to put a couple photos in their room away from you. If there are certain clothes that remind you of painful events, donate them. You can buy more. If there are certain rooms that remind you of anger or pain, rearrange the room. Purchase new items for the room or hang up inspirational photos/paintings in that room. Whatever you do, this week, physically downsize your pain or anger.


When you ground yourself to the past, you are stuck there. This means that you are literally making your future, your past. Instead, this week, your goal is to select one of the tips from above and begin  “Letting it Go, Today” and start creating a future that is anything but your past.


Dr. Jaime Kulaga is a Certified Life Coach, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Motivational Speaker.  She is the author of the upcoming book “The SuperWoman's Guide to Super Fulfillment: Step-by-Step Strategies to Create Work-Life Balance,” to be published in March 2015. She is the inspirational founder of the nationally known SuperWoman Workshops. Dr. Kulaga has been featured internationally for her expertise in Work-Life Balance.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Keeping Boundaries at the Holidays

Keeping Boundaries at the Holidays

The Holidays are approaching as fast as a child opening a present from Santa. But just because the Season is approaching us quickly, doesn’t mean that your decision making needs to follow the same pace. One of the worst decisions we can make over the Holiday Season is to blur the boundaries that took us all year long to set.

Sometimes, the Holiday Cheer makes us all warm and fuzzy inside. And, soon after the “Cheer” and Egg Nog seeps into our veins we realize that Aunt Mary, Negative Nancy and our Ex-Boyfriend were not as bad as we made them out to be. We worked all year to set boundaries, take a step back, and say “No” to their endless commands, but now, the Holiday Cheer has somehow changed our perceptions about them.

Reality check, the reason that these people don’t seem so bad anymore is because you used your hard earned energy to set boundaries with them for the past 10 months. Life is better when you set boundaries with the takers or the people who suck you dry.

By setting boundaries with people who are toxic for you, you have freed up time. This extra time and energy allows you to give more to your priorities and passions, like your spouse, children, work, leisure activities, and, oh yeah, you, too.

Below are some common choices we make over the Holiday Season to blur boundaries:

1.       Throw Unnecessary Parties

Throwing parties just because you’re “supposed to” wastes time, money and can quickly turn you into the family “doormat.” With the limited time you already have, you may find yourself pulled in all directions as you become stressed out planning, shopping and cooking.


The Fix

Throwing a party always sounds fun in the beginning. But slow your Holiday Pace down and really take the time to review what will go into throwing this event. This year, go to Holiday Parties. You don’t have to host a party. You don’t have to plan. You don’t have to shop or cook. Plus, you can leave whenever you want and there is no clean up. Keep your priorities straight and your boundaries in line.


Guilt Alert: If you really feel guilty about not hosting a party or cooking, go to an event and bring something. And remember, it doesn’t have to be home cooked. Pick up a nice dish from your local supermarket.


2.       Throwing A Holiday Party and Inviting the Wrong People

So, maybe you have decided that you want to throw a Holiday Party this year. You have the time and the money, and you are excited about the process. Your excitement may quickly spiral if you invite the wrong people. Inviting toxic people like the Ex-Boyfriend, Negative Nancy and Aunt Mary might end up dropping your mood, sucking your energy reservoir dry, and may skew boundaries that last for days or months beyond the party.


The Fix

If you are throwing a party, hold the invite! This is YOUR party. And, sure you can cry if you want to, but why cry? This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Instead of dreading this Holiday Season, make it a truly Cheerful one. If you have set boundaries with certain people and think that inviting them to your party would skew those boundaries, don’t invite them. These people use you or treat you like a doormat 10 months per year, step away from feeling guilty about not inviting them to one party.


Guilt Alert:  If you feel really bad for not inviting a certain someone, send them a Holiday Card or even leave them a small present on their desk.



3.       Going Overboard with Gifts

Society has a great way of pressuring us to make the Holidays bigger and bigger each year. Society is also great at making us feel guilty if we don’t conform to this gift giving craze. Everyone is throwing out the words “the season of giving” but sometimes this feels like the season of everyone “taking.”


The Fix

There is nothing “Cheerful” about starting out 2015 in debt all because you bought gifts for long lost Uncles and the boss you can’t stand. This year, list out your priorities in life. Then, note the people that come up on that list. These are the people that deserve something special from you. And, if you can’t afford to get these people a gift, take your time to create something for them. Check out online sites to help you get some inspiration for fun and practical holiday gifts you can make.  Last, this Holiday Season, realize that you don’t have to participate in all the Secret Santa’s.


Guilt Alert: If you really feel the need to give this season but don’t want to give to people who are undeserving, create a list of charities or Universities that you would like to give to, and donate your time or money to them. Also, take a moment to reflect back on the year and who really helped you, encouraged you or mentored you. Send over some Cheer to these people. These are the people you want in your life today, and in 2015.



4.       Stop Exercising

We often find ourselves with a ton of excuses to stop working out during the Holidays. Have you ever said “it’s too cold out,” “I’m too busy shopping, planning or cooking,” “I ‘ll get back in the routine in January” or “I won’t eat seconds at Thanksgiving?”  Whatever the reasons is, we find an opportunity to not go exercise.

The Fix

Don’t stop exercising. Now, more than anytime during the year, your body needs you. Chances are, your eating is about to change. Your body isn’t going to be used to the extra sugars, carbs and fat. Plus, there is added stress for a variety of reasons. Your body needs a release. This Holiday Season don’t forget about you and your body in the midst of providing for others.  If it’s too cold outside, exercise in your home (you can download an app on your phone or pop in a DVD) or, just get gym. Find a way to make exercise happen. Exercise will help release your stress, keep you fit, and boost your mood.

Guilt Alert: If you feel guilty exercising because you “have” so many other things to do, acknowledge the reality that staying healthy and positive makes the people who you spend most of your time with, and who you care most about, happier and more fulfilled.



Dr. Jaime Kulaga is a Certified Life Coach, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Motivational Speaker.  She is the author of the upcoming book “The SuperWoman's Guide to Super Fulfillment: Step-by-Step Strategies to Create Work-Life Balance,” to be published in March 2015. She is the inspirational founder of the nationally known SuperWoman Workshops. Dr. Kulaga has been featured internationally for her expertise in Work-Life Balance.