There are three general places we’re likely to feel unappreciated: work, home, and within a relationship. If you’re feeling unappreciated, there’s a good chance it’s within one of these three areas of your life.
Children are notoriously unappreciative. Spouses and bosses are often blind to the contributions we make. Even friends and coworkers can fail to show the appreciation we believe we deserve.
Everyone suffers from feeling unappreciated at times. Consider these ideas if you’re struggling to pinpoint your emotion.
Signs that you’re feeling unappreciated:
You feel resentment towards someone in your life. If you’re feeling resentful toward someone, you might be feeling unappreciated. This is especially true if they haven’t recently done anything obvious to upset you.
If you’ve been feeling resentful lately, ask yourself why.
You feel like you’re doing all the work to maintain a relationship. Sometimes it feels like you’re doing all the work in a relationship, and the other person isn’t putting in nearly as much effort. This is a common reason for feeling unappreciated.
Relationships are never exactly equal, but the inequality should shift back and forth. Healthy relationships are equal over time, but not all the time.
You’re not being thanked for your efforts or contribution. We don’t have to receive a medal for every little thing we do, but it’s nice to be recognized for our efforts. This can happen at work or at home.
You aren’t asked for your opinion. When we aren’t asked for our opinion, we don’t feel valued. When others respect your opinion, they respect you.
The other person isn’t making time for you. If someone never seems to have time for you, you’re likely to feel unappreciated. This is especially true if they seem to be able to make time for other people and activities.
Does the list above resonate with you? If you’ve identified yourself as feeling unappreciated, it’s time to do something about it.
Follow these strategies and get the appreciation you deserve:
Determine what is happening that makes you feel unappreciated. Pin down the times you feel unappreciated. What exactly is happening? Who is involved? What is being said or not being said?
Determine what would have to happen for you to feel appreciated. What needs to change? What has to be done or said for you to feel better?
Try being more appreciative. This might sound odd, but a good strategy for receiving more appreciation is to give more appreciation. This can be hard to do when you feel that you’re not already receiving the appreciation you deserve. Try it and see if this strategy works for you.
Be open about your needs. It’s always better to communicate your needs than to just remain upset. Tell the other person how you’re feeling and why. Be sure to offer a solution and be willing to listen to the response.
Consider changing your behavior. If your actions aren’t appreciated, perhaps what you’re doing doesn’t matter to the other person. Your time might be better spent in other ways. There’s always the possibility that you could consider rearranging your life so you can feel more appreciated.
In some situations, you’re just going to have to accept that you’re not going to receive the appreciation you deserve. This often occurs in work situations. Focus on feeling proud of your contributions and be thankful for your paycheck!
However, you can often receive the appreciation you desire if you speak up for yourself. Most people are kind and will correct their behavior once they’re made aware. Avoid suffering in silence and get the appreciation you deserve!
Why are some people successful while others are not? How can you predict if you or someone else will be successful? Each goal requires different skills and actions, so it’s difficult to create a list of attributes that covers every type of goal. Completing a marathon requires a different set of steps than writing a novel.
However, the are some characteristics that help to make success more likely.
You can develop these characteristics and become much more successful:
You know what you want. Success is a narrow line. It’s almost impossible to hit it on accident. You have to know your target. The average person isn’t clear on what they want. Consequently, they get average results. Be clear on what you want and you’re one step closer to being successful.
You have predominantly positive feelings when you think about your goals. A great way to gauge the likelihood of achieving a goal is to think about it and see how you feel. If you’re excited and motivated, that’s a great sign. If you clench up, you’re going to struggle.
You take action daily. At the end of the day, you must take consistent action to be successful at anything. There’s no amount of hoping, praying, planning, or sending positive mental messages to the universe that’s going to remove those unwanted pounds or put a shiny, new Porsche in your garage.
You’re organized and reliable. Conscientiousness is strongly correlated with success. If you’re organized, complete tasks on time, and are less likely to procrastinate than the average person, there’s a great chance you’ll be successful.
Begin by making a list each day of what you want to accomplish and follow that list. If you can begin making plans and stick with them, you’ll be more conscientious than most.
You’re not afraid of failing. Most people are too afraid of failing to even try. Having the right attitude about failing makes it much easier to be successful. Fear of failure leads to excuses and avoidance. This isn’t the way to achieve success.
Expect to fail at least a few times. Get excited when you fail. Learn from your failure and you’ll get a little closer to success each time you fail.
You invest in yourself. It’s important to continue becoming a better version of yourself. Take the time to read books, learn new skills, attend courses, and become a more capable version of yourself. Investing time, money, and energy in yourself will pay off for the rest of your life.
You have self-awareness. This means you know your strengths and weaknesses. You know how to motivate yourself when your motivation is dwindling. You can deal with your emotional ups and downs. You know how to manage yourself.
You have a mentor. Why make all the same mistakes everyone else has made that has previously travelled the path you’re on? A mentor can greatly cut your learning curve and help you to avoid mistakes. The right mentor can save you a lot of time and pain.
It’s easy to see that these attributes and conditions will increase the odds of success. If you’re chasing after a goal, see how well your situation matches this list. It will give you a good idea if you can expect a positive outcome, or if some modifications need to be implemented to increase your odds of success.
Dr. Elaine Aron defines the highly sensitive person as someone who “has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment.”
It’s estimated that as many as 20% of the population could be classified as highly sensitive. So, you’re not alone if you believe that you’re highly sensitive. This might sound like a defect, but it can be very valuable to be highly sensitive.
Highly sensitive people tend to be very thoughtful, creative, and intelligent. They can also be great partners. You have a lot to offer if you’re highly sensitive.
There are several characteristics that suggest you might be a highly sensitive person:
Your feelings are easily hurt. Do your feelings seem to be hurt more easily than those of the average person? This is a common theme in those that are highly sensitive.
Negative thoughts and emotions consume a lot of your time. Do you spend a lot of time dealing with negative thoughts and emotions?
Difficulty accepting criticism even if it’s accurate and constructive. Criticism isn’t easy for most people to hear, but is it devastating for you? Are you greatly upset by any type of criticism? Does criticism make you want to quit?
Overreaction to perceived slights or mild insults. When someone fails to say “hello” to you, does it bother you a lot? Do you assume the worst when someone slights you or makes a questionable comment?
Easily overstimulated by crowds, too much activity, bright lights, loud noises, or strong odors. Do you avoid places with a lot of people or loud noise? Do strong odors bother you? Are you easily overstimulated in general?
Easily upset by negative news media. When you watch or read about negative news stories, are you bothered more than most others you know?
You enjoy spending time alone. Do you truly enjoy spending time by yourself? When you’re alone, do you like to keep things simple and quiet? Or, do you listen to loud music while playing video games?
Does it drive you crazy when you have something in your shoe? Do scratchy fabrics drive you nuts? This is another good indicator that you might be highly sensitive.
Consider these advantages of being highly sensitive:
More empathetic. If you’re highly sensitive, you can relate more easily to the emotions of others. It’s almost like you know what everyone is thinking and feeling.
More aware of social cues. Highly sensitive people are very aware of social cues like body language, facial expressions, and how to use and interpret personal space.
More alert to changes in environment. You know when something has changed, or items are out of place. You can feel when the mood of a room has changed.
Able to enjoy subtle things. You can notice small things and appreciate them. You’re more likely to enjoy looking at art, a butterfly, or the clouds than the average person. This is almost like a superpower. You can entertain yourself with simple things.
It’s easy to see how these characteristics would be useful in art, negotiating, or working in counseling. There are many ways to use these abilities to your advantage.
There are also fields that you should probably avoid if you want to feel happy and peaceful. Working on the bond trading floor in Manhattan probably isn’t your cup of tea. Selling door-to-door probably doesn’t appeal to you either.
Use your natural strengths and avoid your natural weaknesses. This is always good advice if you want to be happy and successful.
Big goals require commitment and focus. You don’t have time for the things that people with mediocre results spend their time on. There are things you have to be willing to give up. Fortunately, if you’re truly committed, these things are easy to avoid.
However, they can be great distractions if your commitment is lacking. Setting goals that excite you is tremendously helpful.
Be prepared to give up a few things if you want to accomplish big goals:
Worrying about things you can’t control. Ask yourself what you’re accomplishing by worrying about things outside of your control. You’ll find that worrying never solved anything.
Worrying about the opinions of others. People think about you less than you imagine. When you’re trying to accomplish something challenging, you just don’t have time to worry about what others think.
Wasting time in general. Big goals require time, and you simply don’t have time to waste on trivial things. Keep a record of how you spend your time for one day. You might not be spending your time the way you think you are!
Surfing the internet. This is a huge timewaster. The time seems to fly by while you’re watching a parakeet play the organ.
TV. Many highly successful people don’t even own a TV.
Playing on your smartphone. Spend one day without looking at your smartphone unless someone calls you. Notice how much time everyone around you spends looking at their phone.
Interacting with the noise of the world. This goes back to worrying about things you can’t control and wasting time. You can argue about Donald Trump all you like, but you’re not going to change anyone’s mind, and no one is going to change yours. Keep the majority of your attention on the things that matter in your life, like your relationships and your big goals.
Doing the easy thing. The easy thing is rarely the effective thing. When you’re hunting a big goal, doing the effective thing is critical.
Worrying about failure. You’re guaranteed to fail in the short-term, so don’t worry about it. Just learn, adjust your approach, and continue forward.
The opinions of those you wouldn’t switch places with. For example, if you want to be worth a billion dollars, it would be wise to listen to the ideas of other billionaires. That probably doesn’t include your mom, Uncle Jim, your best friend from high school, or your neighbor, Billy.
Trying to be liked by everyone. It’s never going to happen. Again, avoid worrying about things you can’t control. You could be the most perfect pianist in the world, but there are some people that hate the piano. That’s life.
Procrastination. There’s no time to wait. Putting things off suggests that there’s another issue lurking beneath the surface. Identify and rectify it.
Allowing your emotions to guide you when logic should prevail. We tend to make choices that serve to decrease our discomfort. Also, we often make decisions in the heat of the moment. Use your knowledge and experience to make choices that support you and your goals, instead.
Repeating mistakes. Repeating mistakes is a waste of time. It’s like trying to open a locked door over and over again.
Seeking pleasure versus seeking progress. Seeking pleasure doesn’t lead to a good place in the long term. Pleasure-seeking tends to make you overweight, lazy, and lost.
Achieving big goals isn’t just about what you do. It’s also about what you’re willing to give up. There will be things you simply don’t have time for if you want to reach higher levels of success.
Look at the ways the average person squanders their time and avoid those things. Look at how you tend to waste your time and avoid those things, too. You don’t have time for unsupportive behaviors when you’re aiming high!
Once you’ve gotten used to working at home, returning to the office requires more than trading in your bunny slippers for dress shoes. The sooner you start planning for the transition, the easier it will be to cope.
Maybe it’s your idea to go back because you want to build your network or increase your job security. Maybe your employer is changing their policies. IBM and Best Buy are just two examples of big companies that suddenly scaled back remote work, citing productivity reasons.
Adapting to a different work environment is a big transition. Use these suggestions to help you ease back into office life.
Reconfiguring Your Work Activities:
Optimize your commute. Depending on how far you live from work, traveling to and from the office may use up a significant part of your day. If relocating is out of the question, maybe you can use the time to read, walk, or bike part of the way.
Talk face to face. Having more opportunities to collaborate and socialize is a major benefit of having coworkers around. Volunteer for group projects. Invite someone in your department out to lunch or join a friendly table in the break room.
Provide updates. Maybe you’ve been diligent about reporting your progress or maybe you need to start letting others know what you’re doing. Either way, your boss and coworkers will appreciate information that lets them do their jobs more effectively too.
Deal with distractions. You may feel overwhelmed by background noise and colleagues dropping by. Consider noise cancelling headphones or limiting extended personal conversations to lunchtime and breaks.
Create quiet time. Do you have tasks that require silence and concentration? Designate certain hours to close your office doors and minimize interruptions.
Stick to routines. While you may have to change some things you did at home, there could be other daily habits that you can carry over into an office environment. Perform similar tasks in batches and designate specific times to check messages.
Decorate your space. If you’re feeling homesick, try to make your workspace feel cozier. Bring in your artwork or drawings by your kids. Display photos of family and pets.
Negotiate your hours. You may be able to hold onto some working time at home depending on the reasons behind this transition. If your company has a new CEO with a different philosophy, they’re unlikely to make an exception just for you. Otherwise, your boss may be open to letting you stay home at least part time.
Reconfiguring Your Personal Activities:
Enjoy more balance. Another upside to commuting to work is that you may achieve healthier boundaries between your professional and personal life. Work files will be less likely to creep into your bedroom and disrupt your sleep.
Rethink your mornings. On the other hand, you may miss your peaceful mornings or being able to sleep in. Find something that will motivate you to get out of bed with a smile, like a gourmet cup of coffee or taking a yoga class before work.
Revise your budget. Be prepared for extra expenses that may come along with office hours. You might need to supplement your professional wardrobe and pay more for transportation and eating out.
Divide chores. If you’ve been taking on more chores while you’re around the house, your family may need to adjust too. Talk with your partner or call a family meeting to redistribute responsibilities. Hiring outside help may be an option too.
Working at the office has its advantages, including building closer relationships and increasing your visibility. Maintaining a positive attitude will help you work out the details as you head back to the office.
College is expensive! Sixty percent of those who graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree also graduate with around $26,000 worth of student loans. For those who go on to pursue a postgraduate degree, the debt can be significantly higher.
Luckily, there are some ways to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, this debt.
Loan Forgiveness Programs
There are several programs you may want to consider that can eliminate part or all of those loans:
Volunteer for community service. If you apply to the AmeriCorps program, you can help people in your community while also reducing your debt. The program will repay part of your loans based on your service.
The Peace Corps and Volunteers in Service to America also offer loan forgiveness programs.
Military service can help you pay for school. If you enlist in the military before you start college, you can get help paying for your schooling.
There are some loan forgiveness programs available if you enlist after you’ve graduated.
Speak to a military recruiter about a plan that could work for you.
The profession you choose may help you pay down your debt. If you pursue a career in teaching or the healthcare field, speak to your employer or Human Resources Department about programs to reduce or pay off your debt from student loans.
Financial Hardship Programs
If you don’t have a job, earn very little, or your loans are a large percentage of your earnings, one of these plans may be able to help:
Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICRP). This program applies specifically to Federal Direct loans that aren’t PLUS loans.
ICRP bases the amount of your monthly loan payments on how much money you earn. The payments can be as little as a few dollars per month. Even better, once you’ve made these small payments for twenty-five years, any debt remaining on the loan is forgiven.
Income Sensitive Repayment Plan (ISRP) for your FFEL loan. The amount of the loan, your income, and size of your family all determine how much you will need to pay each month.
The payments you make have to be at least enough to cover any interest that accrues, and the loan must be paid off within 10 years.
Income Based Repayment Plan (IBRP). This plan is available on both FFELs and Federal Direct loans. IBRP offers flexible payment options for twenty-five years. After this time, the rest of the loan is forgiven.
In order to qualify for this plan, you can’t be in default on your loan payments.
Hardship Repayment Plan on Perkins Loans. This plan has a minimum payment of $40/month. There are also extensions under certain circumstances, such as if you’ve been without work for a while or if you have a long illness.
More Programs – No Financial Hardship
These options can also help you, even if you’re not having hard times financially:
Loan consolidation. Combine several high-interest loans into just one, lower-interest loan. This option allows you to get a lower interest rate and cut down on multiple payments.
Defer your student loans. If you’re experiencing economic hardship, a period of unemployment, or if you’re going back to school, you may be allowed to defer your student loan payments until a later time.
Get a loan forbearance to give yourself more time to pay off the loan. A forbearance is a temporary reduction in payments.
A lender may grant you a forbearance if you’re unable to pay off your loan after a certain number of years. They may also grant a forbearance if your payments on your student loan are greater than 20% of the money you earn each month or if you run into a number of other unforeseen problems.
These tips and payment plans can help you manage and pay off your student loans. Consulting with a financial expert can bring to light additional ideas that can help, too.
Finding a competent and compatible coach is only half the battle. It’s also important to develop your own coachability.
If you’re like most professionals, you probably want to succeed, but you may resist coaching for reasons that you’re not even aware of. However, you can develop skills and qualities that will prepare you to accept guidance and act on it.
Learn how to become more coachable. Use this checklist to find the areas you need to work on so you can have a successful relationship with your coach.
Listen closely. Pay attention to what your coach has to say. Look for the truth in any message instead of dismissing their perspective or trying to make excuses. Maintain eye contact and resist any urge to interrupt.
Ask questions. Ensure you understand what your coach is telling you. Paraphrase their statements in your own words. Clarify any points you’re unsure of and ask for concrete examples.
Take your time. Let yourself absorb information fully. Focus on responding thoughtfully rather than quickly. If a situation stirs up strong feelings, give yourself an opportunity to calm down so you can think clearly.
Welcome feedback. Ask others for input frequently and graciously. It helps to stay in practice and have multiple viewpoints while you’re working with your coach.
Watch your body language. Ensure that your gestures and expressions are friendly and consistent with your words. Coaches are human. It’s easier for them to fully engage with you when they feel respected and appreciated.
Open up. Recognize that there is more than one way to approach the same goals. Consider your coach’s suggestions even when they’re different from your usual methods.
Other Skills and Qualities:
Value learning. Are you excited about adding to your knowledge and stretching your skills? Learning is a mindset that helps you to make sounder decisions and adapt to change. It can also motivate you to persevere through the coaching process.
Set goals. While your coach can help you to reach your goals, you need to be sure that your targets are specific and meaningful for you. Write your goals out and tell others about them so you’ll feel more accountable.
Adjust your expectations. Do you understand the difference between coaching and consulting? A consultant is usually hired to fix a specific issue. A coach works with you to build your strengths so you can achieve the outcomes you desire.
Cultivate gratitude. Thank your coach for the positive impact they make in your life. Putting their insights into action is also an effective way to show them that they’re making a difference.
Be humble. Remember that your coach and anyone you meet has valuable things that they can teach you. Tame your ego so you can create productive relationships and take advantage of rewarding opportunities.
Practice consistently. How can you take what you learn from coaching and use it to make positive changes in your work life? Develop a strategy for enhancing your performance and set specific goals for areas where you want to grow. Deliberate practice requires discipline and effort, but it pays off.
Evaluate your progress. Self-examination is an important part of the coaching process. Reflect on the areas that you’ve already covered and what you want to do next. Enjoy discovering more about yourself and your abilities.
Being coachable is about being ready and willing to learn and grow. Unlockyour potential so you can achieve greater personal and professional success. Coaching can help you to clarify your vision and leverage your strengths if you know how to use the resources your coach provides.
Credit cards continue to be popular targets for hackers and thieves. However, companies are responding with new technology to keep your cards safe.
Take advantage of these innovations and take your power back from the criminals:
EMV chip technology. Named after the companies that helped develop the chips (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa), this technology is already the standard in Europe, and it’s spreading to other parts of the world. Eventually, all credit cards may have chip technology.
The chip inside the credit card is more secure than magnetic strips. It relies on tokenization, which means the card information changes each time you use it. Plus, your credit card number is hidden. This prevents thieves from being able to steal your card data.
The chip technology works best for live transactions at stores and other locations. It’s not as effective for credit card use over the phone or online. However, companies are working on ways to improve all transaction security.
Smart card technology. Smart cards are capable of putting all of your credit cards, debit cards, and other information into one card.
Smart cards have miniature computers inside of them that let users choose the card they want to use at any moment. However, there are limits on how many cards you can store on a smart card.
Smart card technology is still developing and evolving.
The smart cards have a variety of safety features, and tokenization technology is one of them.
In addition, smart cards get locked after each transaction. This means you have to reenter a password right into the card to make it work again. This is a useful way of protecting your information if you lose the smart card.
Mobile payment technology. Mobile payments provide several safety features for users who rely on their credit cards.
Mobile payment services often use tokenization technology.
In addition, cell phones provide a layer of protection of their own. If your phone is lost or stolen, a thief would need to know your password to get in. Hacking a phone doesn’t always work, and you can purchase apps that lock your phone from a distance.
Two-step verification technology. Retailers and other businesses are using two-step verification to add more security to transactions.
Two-step verification refers to the need to take multiple steps before you can pay with your credit card or use a service. First, you have to remember your password. Second, you have to enter a special, one-time code that is sent to your mobile device.
The one-time codes change every time you need to log in. Unless thieves have hacked your phone, they can’t request a new code.
Technology will continue to change as credit card companies work to fight hackers and thieves.
It’s important to pay attention to any notices you receive from a credit card company because it may be announcing new technology. You may need to take additional steps to take advantage of the new technology.
For example, the growth of EMV cards means your old credit cards will have to be replaced. You’ll soon receive new chip cards from your credit card companies, if you haven’t already.
Credit card companies continue to find new technology to battle data breaches. Taking advantage of these new advances will help you keep your credit cards out of the reach of criminals.
Are you always wishing you had more time available to you? The truth is, you probably have plenty of time. You’re just not focused, and you’re not using your time wisely.
Everyone receives 24 hours each day. There’s a reason why some people are accomplishing much more than you are and are still able to be on time for all of their commitments.
These reasons could be why you never have enough time:
You fail to prioritize. What’s the most important activity you must do in order for you to accomplish your objective? If you’re not asking yourself this question regularly, you’re not getting the most bang for your time and effort. It’s easy to stay very busy but fail to accomplish much.
Ask yourself, “What is the most important thing I need to accomplish?”
Then ask yourself, “What is the best way for me to accomplish that?”
You waste time. This could be due to procrastination. It could be due to inefficient work habits.
Make the choice to avoid wasting time, period.
You’re disorganized. When you’re not organized, everything takes longer than it should. You spend time looking for a pair of clean socks, your car keys, searching for files on your computer, and trying to pull off things at the last minute.
Disorganized people never seem to have enough time, and they’re frequently late with their work.
Make an effort to organize your life and yourself. There are many resources dedicated to organization. Use them.
You have too many distractions in your life. It could be low-quality social interactions, TV, needlepoint, your baseball card collection, noisy kids, clutter, or your prize-winning rose bushes. Having too many things in your life takes too much time.
Remove the things from your life that are unnecessary. Minimize the distractions you can’t remove, like your noisy children!
You don’t start your day early enough. Most of us do little in the evening. That time is largely wasted just lying around the house or staring at your phone. That’s why so many highly successful people skip the evening hours by going to bed and waking up extra early.
Your brain tends to shut down by the late afternoon, whether you started your day at 9:00AM or 5:00AM. Give yourself a few extra productive hours by getting up early and going to bed early.
You fail to track your time. Track how you spend your time each day. Switch tasks when appropriate so everything receives the time it requires.
Keep a simple journal and make a record each hour of how you spent the last 60 minutes.
You don’t have a plan for your day. Your day shouldn’t be random or determined on the fly. To get the most out of your time, it’s necessary to have a plan for the day.
Make a detailed plan for your day before you go to bed. Spend your day executing that plan as well as you can.
You’re not focused. You’ve been told to “focus” or “concentrate” since you started kindergarten. Too bad the education system never taught you how. If you sit down to work on something for an hour, how many minutes is your attention truly focused on that task?
You probably have plenty of time to accomplish everything you need to do each day, but you just need to focus at a higher level. Practice meditation. Practice focusing on whatever it is you’re doing. Focus is built through practice.
Make the most of your time by prioritizing, removing distractions, and learning how to focus. You have all the time you need, if you’re willing to make the necessary adjustments to yourself and your life.
You have 24 hours each day. Ensure that you’re using them wisely!