F**ck Up at Work? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Hide Mistakes at Work

Have you made mistakes at work? We’ve all made mistakes, and often the first impulse is to try to hide them under the rug. Here’s why you should admit to mistakes and make amends.

We've all made mistakes at work, and often try to hide them under the rug. Here's why you should admit to mistakes and make amends.


Ah, the hot potato of mistakes! I’ve had more freedom to make mistakes than most people I know – so I have a lot of experience f**cking things up.

One of the blessings I’ve had in my life is the freedom to be the age I am (and at 73, I still feel a little immature). To mess up and live to see another day. To be around long enough to know that I’ve learned MORE from messing up than I ever would have from not messing up.


How can we live a successful life unless we embrace failure? How can we learn without being allowed to make mistakes along the way?


We live in a blame culture. We’re quick to point the finger at someone or something as “the problem,” falsely thinking that if we fix that one thing, everything else will fall into place and be just fine.

But pointing a finger IS the primary mistake we make instead of understanding that we are in a complex system. And hopefully, one we can learn from sooner rather than later.

Mistakes Can Break Us OR Make Us

Whatever the mistake is, we ALL have a part of it. We each have some degree of responsibility.

We had a pile-up of trucks on a hill on our campus last night. With a quarter-inch of ice on everything, the Amazon truck got almost to the top then slid back down into a tree. The pizza delivery guy came over the hill to go down while the Amazon guy was walking up the hill to keep anyone else from coming down. Unfortunately, the pizza guy was going too fast and slid down into the tree next to the Amazon truck. And the tow truck only had 50 feet of cable, and he needed 100 feet to pull them up the hill.

I’m grateful to the Amazon truck guy for bringing our stuff, but he wasn’t going fast enough to get up the hill, and he didn’t understand he could have gone over to the side to get his tires onto the grass for more traction. Instead, he stayed in the center of the road and slid down. So, was this his fault?

The pizza guy was going too fast, and he didn’t follow the sign at the top of the hill that said, “Keep Right.” It says “Keep Right” to guide you into a turnout so you can look down the hill to see if anyone’s coming BEFORE heading down yourself. So, was it the pizza guy’s fault?

Well, my sign did NOT say, “Keep Right so you’ll be guided into a turnout so you can look down the hill to see if anyone’s coming BEFORE heading down yourself.” My sign just said, “Keep Right.” So my sign wasn’t good enough. And I had an ice-covered hill! Was it my fault?

Yes, yes, and yes. We were all part of the mistake.

I then paid $400 to have the entire driveway salted. Why wasn’t it salted before last evening? Our salt machine wasn’t working, and our caretaker was having surgery. The truth is, I could make any number of excuses, but if we take a good hard look at it, we can see there’s any number of problem points that could have kept what happened last night from happening.

Mistakes are simply a symptom of how a system needs to function better. That’s it.

Instead of pointing a finger, what if we looked instead at what each of us could have done better?

Shifting from a Blame Culture to a Problem-Solving Culture

One of the greatest tools we have RIGHT NOW to help us shift from a blame mindset to a problem-solving mindset is social and emotional intelligence. Social and emotional intelligence invites conversation rather than encouraging blame. It allows us to be with what is, instead of what we think should be or could be or once was or may never be.


We all have acceptable aspects of ourselves and unacceptable aspects for ourselves—for me, fear and hurt are those zones.


As the one who carried the anger in our family, I was very comfortable being mad. I picked a lot of fights (some might say I do still!) But what I wasn’t comfortable with and failed to look at growing up was my fear, hurt, and sadness.

Ideally, we’re all like giant love sponges that get filled up with positive affirmations. Then, when we’re full, we spill over onto others, offering affirmations to them and, when needed, problem-solving.

But we all have dry parts of our sponge where the positive affirmation never gets into. Those dry parts are what Freud refers to as our false selves.

Our false selves are based on certain beliefs we take on to fit into our world better. For example, if we’re pretty, we’ll be more likable. If we have a lot of money, we’ll be successful. If I work hard/achieve more, we’ll have more value.

The blame culture needs our false selves to thrive.

At the Wright Foundation, we practice what we call the assignment way of living to help put cracks into our false selves. Each day our students embrace a new assignment to challenge their limiting beliefs and mistaken perceptions—for example, thinking we won’t be valuable/accepted/loved if we make a mistake.

The more we crack that façade, the more our sponge can get filled with love, and the more we can contribute to a world that works for everyone.

See the Flaws, SAY the Flaws, Be the Flaws

This post has gotten me more likes than most. Why? I imagine those pink socks give us all permission to take pleasure in who we are – the parts of ourselves we usually hide under our pant cuffs.

I also imagine those pink socks could easily have been a mistake—perhaps I didn’t pack enough dark ones? Maybe it was dark when I got dressed and grabbed the wrong ones? Who knows? But I owned them in that photograph. I let them lead me into pleasure instead of shame. They became my success instead of my mistake.

That’s why we should embrace our mistakes instead of hiding them or hiding from them. When we make excuses, we don’t learn and grow. AND we miss out on potential joy and connection.

Don’t let your false self run the show. Let the anxiety of making mistakes at work go. Put on a pair of pink socks and start looking for the solution instead of the culprit. Let your mistakes make you, not break you.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University. Follow Dr. Bob Wright on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more updates.


The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Here’s How to Ask Your Partner for More Intimacy

Got intimacy? If you’re wondering how to ask your partner for more intimacy and closeness, it’s important to explore what you’re really looking for.

Wondering how to ask your partner for more intimacy? Here’s how to connect with your partner to get the closeness you want and deserve.


Relationships are an adventure in intimacy and navigating our connections with others, but understanding how to get the intimacy we want can be confusing. What are we really looking for? Deeper conversations? More sex? A more attentive partner?

Here’s how to ask your partner for more intimacy and get the connection you crave.

Embark on An Adventure in Intimacy

Intimacy. It’s an often-misunderstood term. We may think intimacy refers to our physical connection. We may think of intimacy are romance, closeness, or sharing a deep conversation. Real intimacy is all these things and more.

Intimacy is about learning and growing together to fulfill our fullest potential. When we’re working on our best selves, relationships can be both a womb and a crucible. They form us and forge us into our best selves. So while it’s important that our relationships are nurturing, it’s also crucial to recognize that growth can also be a painful process.

When a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, it must go through the struggle to build up strength. If we “help” the butterfly before it is ready, the wings will fail to develop the proper strength, and the butterfly won’t be able to fly. Similarly, when we emerge and grow into our potential, we must go through difficult challenges to increase our strength. While our relationship can support us through the lessons, our partner can’t take away our difficulties or “fix” us. In fact, our partnership is strengthened when our partner is an ally—pushing us toward our best self.


If our relationship isn’t challenging us and pushing us to grow, then it’s just a pacifier. We need the conflict to continue to evolve. Conflict is where growth and change really happen.


In our book, The Heart of the Fight, we discuss the many ways that love and intimacy are messy. It’s about embracing our roles in the relationship and working on ourselves to live extraordinary lives together. One partner may be a great parent, and one might have a great career. Relationships and intimacy are about bringing those strengths together to become transformational agents, engaged fully and intimately together, bringing out our best selves and the best in others.

Great relationships are all about engaging in the adventure of life together as partners and allies.

Yearnings and Understanding the Nature of Conflict

Our yearnings drive us. As human beings, we constantly try to fulfill our yearnings and listen to them. At times, we may deny our yearnings, but that becomes painful. We find ourselves shifting blame and being dishonest about what we want. This can cause resentments to build as we disengage from the relationship.

The truth is that many of us fall out of touch with our yearnings. We aren’t sure how to get what we truly want because we don’t know what it is. Yearnings are the deeper longings of our heart—to be loved, to be connected, to feel respected. Many of us mistake wants for yearnings. We think that we want to lose weight. We want a bigger house. We want to have fashionable clothes.

We may think that we want our partner to clean up around the house more often. We want them to take us out on a date. We want them to buy us gifts. However, the underlying yearnings go deeper than that. We want our partner to pick up the house because we yearn for the security that comes from an orderly space. We want our partner to take us out on a date because we yearn for intimacy and connection. We want our partners to buy us gifts because we yearn for love or admiration and connection.

When we confuse our wants for yearnings, we fall into a pattern of miss-wanting. We get what we thought we wanted, only to find that we’re still left unfulfilled and unsatisfied. We still long for more. We may even feel resentful or disengaged because our partner isn’t fulfilling the fairytale notion of giving us “happily ever after.”


Conflict helps us reengage with each other. It’s impossible to work for something—even a fulfilling relationship—without at least a little struggle and fight.


Think of any goal. We have to train and sweat for months if we want to run a marathon. If we want to get a promotion at work, we have to learn new tasks and work hard to get there. When we want something big, hard work is required. It’s likely going to be painful and even unpleasant at times. We can’t skip out the door one day and win a gold medal.

Most of us don’t enjoy fighting (and if we do, that can be detrimental too). Maybe we were raised to believe fighting wasn’t beneficial or that fighting would push others away. We call these types of situations “conflict-avoidant.” If we grew up in a conflict-avoidant household, it could be hard to see the merits and productivity of conflict. It’s difficult to let go of our limiting beliefs about conflict. We might feel like we shouldn’t express our yearnings or ask for what we need in a relationship.

Feeling conflicted isn’t wrong or bad. Engaging in conflict doesn’t make us mean or negative people. On the contrary, it can actually bring us closer together by moving us toward what we really want and need in the situation.

The skill in conflict is taking responsibility for our own satisfaction and then working together toward that satisfaction with a partner. People become so skilled at avoiding conflict that they avoid themselves right out of their relationship. When we avoid confrontation and conflict, we disengage. We become distant and disconnected. We might even resent our partner for not reading our minds or understanding why we’re upset.

Instead, rock the boat! Ask for more intimacy! When couples learn the rules of engagement, they learn to express their desires responsibly. They realize that conflict arises because they’re working for, not against, their relationship. Conflict is a means to strengthen our relationships and make our yearnings known.

Intimacy is Engagement

Intimacy is synonymous with engagement. If we want more intimacy, it’s not just that we want to have more sex (although physical intimacy can be an added benefit of reconnecting with our partner). It’s not that we want our partner to be more affectionate. That may be part of it, but we really want more engagement. We want our partner to connect with us, to see us, hear us, and know us.

If we think we’re moving toward our yearnings but expect our partner to get us there, we aren’t taking 100% responsibility for our own satisfaction. We are each responsible for getting satisfaction, and no one else can hand it to us. We must be learning and growing on our own, AND together.


We can get there by expressing what we want to our partner. We can tell them our expectations and share our yearnings. What would happen if we just asked? What is it that we want from our partners?


Ultimately, intimacy is about connection—loving each other and being close. It’s about wanting to have more of each other and gain a deeper understanding of the other person. Over time couples can become like systems engineers—working through the daily tasks of running a home, going to work, raising the kids. But within this scenario, intimacy is lost. We become two people bumping into each other and existing together. It requires deliberate action to get on the same page with a vision and connection. If we want it, we have to stop going through the motions and start doing the work. (It’s worth it!)

How To Get Your Partner Engaged in Your Relationship

What happens when one partner is ready to engage and get more intimacy, and the other partner is on the fence? What do we do when we tell our partner we want to build a deeper connection, and we get an eye roll because they think it sounds like B.S.?

First of all, this happens quite often. Change can be difficult and frightening, especially when we haven’t had time to process it. Our partner might be perfectly comfortable with the status quo because we’ve made them very comfortable. We’ve allowed them to ignore our yearnings and to be oblivious to our feelings. We can’t expect them to read our minds—they need to be uncomfortable too.

Too often, we get bogged down in a state where we feel sorry for ourselves and use it as an excuse for inaction. We think, “I’d love to work on myself and grow, but my partner isn’t into it. So it’s their fault that I can’t.” In reality, this is a lie.


We are each 100% responsible for our own satisfaction. If we’re learning, growing, and working to bring out our best selves, our partner must rise to the occasion. If we’re expressing our yearnings and acknowledging the truth in what our partner says, being open and honest, we will be a force to be reckoned with.


When we’re following the rules of engagement and engaging in conflict responsibly and honestly, it becomes uncomfortable for our partner to ignore our personal power and energy. They will engage with you because they have to.

It’s all about using conflict to get to the heart of what we really want. Just because one time we threw out, “I’d like to work on this,” and got shot down, we shouldn’t give up. Go for a different approach. Learn the rules of engagement and start engaging. Follow along in the book. We can get our partner to read the book with us, and if they won’t, we can start using the skills and following the rules. Eventually, our partners get curious about what we’re doing, and they will want to know more (even if they don’t admit it at first).

Relationships are beautiful and messy platforms to help us grow and change. When we’re working on our personal power, a healthy relationship is a launchpad for bringing out our next best self.

To learn more about living your best life and enjoying stronger relationships, don’t miss our courses at Wright Now. We have resources to help you discover more about yourself, your partner, your career, and your world. Get MORE today!


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!


The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

The Joy of Truth: Express Your Likes and Dislikes to Get More of What You Want in Your Relationships

Do you ever wonder what likes and dislikes you should express in your relationship–or HOW you should express those feelings?


Are you ok? Do you need something to drink? How about a pillow? I want you to be comfortable while you’re reading this!

For most of my life, I’ve been so focused on OTHER people—what do they like? What do they need? I was so focused on what others like, I wasn’t aware of what I liked or needed. Even now, I want you to be comfortable while you’re reading this–and didn’t check in with myself to see that I am comfortable writing this!

But a lifetime of not being in touch with myself and not tending to my own needs eventually started taking a toll. I was feeling empty, unsatisfied, unhappy. I felt alone even when I was with someone–because I wasn’t with me. I wasn’t expressing my true thoughts, needs, or desires.

I went on dates and smiled at the right times and nodded my head at the right times, and said, Oh, that’s so interesting, but inside, it was SO not interesting to me. My real self was utterly bored and gagging.

The absurdity of that when I look back still blows me away. I wanted to be liked and loved for who I was, for someone to know ME, but I wasn’t even there. How could they know me, or know my likes and dislikes in a relationship? I was so focused on their experience, I wasn’t expressing my true thoughts, needs, ideas, opinions, or feelings.

Can you relate? Have you ever done something that felt completely NOT you just to fit in? To not make anyone else uncomfortable? I wanted to find true love, but how could I find that when I wasn’t true to myself?

Why Do We Lie?

Do you know that each of us experiences 200 lies a day? That’s seven lies an hour!

Do you also know that 100% of dating couples lie? 100%! And how about this? We’re more likely to lie to our co-workers than strangers.


Why are we so afraid to say what we like and don’t like? Because we want to look good, we’re afraid to be vulnerable, or we don’t want to make others uncomfortable.


Somewhere in our lives, most of us have been taught consciously or subconsciously that certain parts of ourselves were NOT ok. So, we created false selves–only presenting certain aspects of ourselves to the world around us and hiding the parts we thought were not ok. These false selves were formed by the time we were seven years old, and we continue to build on them throughout our lives.

But imagine how powerful we could be if we let ourselves be vulnerable and honest—if we showed up, and kept showing up, as our authentic selves.

“This above all, to thine own self be true.”
– William Shakespeare

Once we understand that our authentic selves are exactly who we need to be–and ultimately what the world wants and needs us to be–we can realize that we don’t have to hide behind our false selves anymore!

Tell the Truth and Deepen Relationships

My awakening came when I had my first blind date with Bob. I had decided I was going to tell the truth on dates. Finally, I was done smiling and nodding and pretending to like whatever the person sitting across from me was saying.

I was done being fake, and I decided to tell the truth. My likes and dislikes in relationships, what I agreed or disagreed with, to give my dates my true reactions to what they were saying and how they were being.

And dang if he didn’t respond in the same way!

It was kind of shocking at first. But it was also kind of electric. Something real was happening here. This wasn’t about two people trying to impress each other.

This was two people being exactly who they were and discovering exactly who the other person was. We were getting to know each other AS OURSELVES.

And that’s where the sparks are.

I wasn’t trying to please him, and I wasn’t trying to present myself in some false way. And neither was he.

It was scary to go against the grain. To say what I liked and didn’t like. But it was also fresh and alive, intimate, and real. And when that is the truth of the moment we’re living, we’re way more likely to get what we want!

You can apply this in a lot of ways (wink wink).

And this is not only true for romantic relationships, but for our relationships with our families, friends, and co-workers too.

Our Dislikes are as Powerful as Our Likes…

…And letting them both be known is crucial!

Of course, I’m not saying we should just dump all over people. But often in relationships, people expect us to be mind readers. Or we expect them to read our minds. We complain that this person doesn’t know what we want, but we never told them what we want to begin with!


Here’s the deeper truth: the real purpose of relationships is not to make us happy. The real purpose of relationships is to help us learn and grow and become MORE of who we are.


Yes, of course, relationships should have happy moments, but WE are 100% responsible for our happiness and satisfaction—in AND out of relationships.

And we are 100% responsible for our likes and dislikes in our relationships.

Early in our relationship, Bob and I decided we would have a “no secrets” contract. Was it challenging? Yes. Does it continue to be? Yes! There are many times I don’t want to divulge the truth. I don’t always want him to know even how much I’ve spent on a pair of shoes. But because of our commitment to no secrets, I must dig a little deeper and explore why I don’t want him to know. Is it because I don’t think I deserve to spend that money on myself? Is it because I’m afraid he might judge my decision? Am I worried that this purchase might somehow make me less loveable?

Now I’m getting somewhere. One of my deepest yearnings is to be loved. I’m risking that he will stop loving me by telling him this truth. Or at least that’s what my mind is telling me.

But our relationship is built on being real, sharing everything, telling the truth, letting each other know what we’re feeling and thinking. And also, being responsible in our communications­–cleaning things up when we’ve been out of line. We’ve built a foundation of trust that allows me to take that risk.

And if something does happen, I know we’ll handle that. And get to know ourselves and each other better because of it.

Conflict helps us grow. In the book Bob and I co-wrote, The Heart of the Fight, we identify that the common thread of most conflicts is unmet yearnings. Those longings we wish our relationship would satisfy for us. But when we accept that we are 100% responsible for our own happiness, that conflict shifts too.

Can you see how the ripples of being ourselves can so powerfully affect every part of all our relationships?

You Do You

The risk of being ourselves in our relationships is a big one. But it’s worth it.

After practicing it for so many years, I now WANT people to tell me what they like and don’t like. And I rarely (because we are all works in progress) try to fake my way through a conversation or a meeting just to make someone more comfortable. I value forthrightness—in others and myself.


“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
— James Baldwin


We don’t have to be anyone else.  Come on—let’s take off our masks and let our real selves shine! To discover more about living up to your full potential, don’t miss our resources on Wright Now. We have many different courses available to help you discover more about yourself, your relationships, and your career. Get MORE today!


 About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach.
She is a co-founder of The Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

4 Self-Empowerment Tips to Empower Yourself Today!

We all experience moments where we doubt ourselves, beat ourselves up over something we did or said, or hold back from going for what we really want.

Want to tap into your personal power? Follow these 4 crucial self-empowerment tips to help you discover your inner strength.

 

 


We might hear a lot about empowerment these days, but what does it really mean to be empowered?

Inside each of us is a vast reserve of personal power and influence. When we tap into these self-empowerment tips, we can greatly affect our path, attitude, and actions with a shift in our thoughts. Even better? We can influence and empower others in our lives as well.

Are you ready to tap into your reserve of power? Follow these self-empowerment tips to summon the strength and courage to go for what you want!

What Does it Mean to Empower Yourself?

Empowerment has become something of a buzzword of late. Many people talk about empowering themselves or empowering others, but what does it really mean? Power means to do work or have influence. So if we want to empower ourselves, we need to understand how we work and recognize the influence we hold over ourselves and those around us.

We may think we don’t have a big circle of influence, especially if we work from home or in a small office. After all, how do we empower and influence others when we only see a few people each day? Well, believe it or not, each of us has an extensive circle of influence—much broader than we may think.

We directly influence those we interact with each day, creating a ripple effect. This influence works with both positive and negative actions. For example, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that we’re 61% more likely to be a smoker if a friend smokes. Even more surprising? If a friend of a friend smokes, we’re still 11% more likely to smoke!

Amazingly enough, the same levels of influence hold true for our happiness and satisfaction too. If the friend of a friend OF A FRIEND is happy with their life, we’re 6% more likely to feel happy with our own life. Granted, 6% might not seem like a significant percentage, but if we surround ourselves directly with several happy friends, our chances of satisfaction continue to rise!


When we realize the scope of our influence, we’re likely to discover that we’re far more powerful than we initially thought.


We’ve all heard the theory that we’re separated by 6 degrees—meaning that we’re only six connections away from every person on the planet. Recent research has found that this may be even closer, and most of us average between 3.5-4.5 degrees of separation. With social media and an increasingly global society, this number continues to shrink.

Learning to empower ourselves means tapping into this reserve of personal power and influence—examining our relationship with that power. As we recognize, embrace, and grow in our personal power, we are likely to have even more impact on those in our world. In other words, the more we are ourselves, the more power we manifest into the world and the more influence we have on others. The more we’re guided by what matters to us, the more personal power—self-empowerment—we have.

So how do we tap into our power? When we discover our strengths, preferences, likes, and dislikes, it helps us find the path to self-empowerment. The better we know ourselves, the more attuned we will be to the things that empower us. Many people aren’t sure what they really want out of life. They’ve tried to go with the flow, allowing life to happen TO them rather than creating the life they want to live.

During our Year of More program, our students tackle weekly assignments where they challenge their worldviews. They examine different aspects of their personalities and explore new ways to elicit actions and reactions from those around them. We call the work “the assignment way of living.” Each day in life, we’re choosing to try something new, work on a new project, make a new discovery, and take steps to unearth our potential.

Students often find out that they didn’t know what they wanted before starting the Year of More. They may have believed that they wanted money, a bigger house, an attractive partner, or lots of friends, but those wants weren’t really meeting their underlying yearnings. Our yearnings are bigger, deeper spiritual wants and hungers that we each hold.


We may yearn to be loved, to love, to be needed, to be respected, or to feel safe. We may yearn to be seen by others, to be heard, to be valued. Yearnings are universal longings of the heart. Every person holds certain yearnings that must be met to feel fulfilled.


When we explore our yearnings, it also helps us explore our preferences—what do we like? What do we prefer? Most of us try to read and cater to the wants of the outside world. In the back of our minds, we may wonder, “What do they want me to be? How can I please them? I don’t want to make them upset. I want to fit in. I want to belong.”

These ideas and beliefs guide our behavior. We want to make others comfortable. We don’t want to make them upset. But we’re not asking, “What would please me? What would satisfy me? What are my preferences?” These questions can guide us toward our personal power.

4 Self-Empowerment Tips to Increase Your Personal Power

1. Ask, “What do I like? What do I agree with?”

One assignment we explore during the Year of More is to discover what we like. Each student spends time exploring the question, “What do I like?” It sounds simple, but the discoveries are often profound. They also explore, “what don’t I like? What do I agree with? What don’t I agree with?” and then take on the challenge to voice those feelings.

Most of us haven’t practiced awareness of what we really yearn for, what we care about, and what we need to feel satisfied. When we dive into these questions and start expressing our feelings, we may be surprised at how quickly we actually get what we want.

As we think about these questions, we can dig in deeper by adding “so that” to the end of the want. The “so that” technique helps us drill down beneath the want and uncover the underlying yearning. For example, “I want a promotion so that I earn more money. I want to earn more money so that I can pay my bills. I want to pay my bills so that I feel more secure about my finances….” In this case, the underlying yearning is to feel secure.

Once we identify our yearnings, we can start seeking multiple ways to get them met by asking for them and recognizing opportunities to address our needs. This self-empowerment begins by identifying what we like and don’t like; then, we can better empower ourselves to become the person we want to be.

2. Displease Others

Another tough assignment we tackle in the Year of More is to empower ourselves by learning to displease others willingly. Let me say this is a TOUGH assignment for many students. But as they start to explore the power of “displeasing,” they often realize that it doesn’t mean being a jerk. Letting ourselves displease others often means learning how to set appropriate boundaries and learning to say no.

For example, maybe we’ve received a really difficult work assignment with an unrealistic deadline. Rather than being a Yes Man or Yes Woman and then stressing out about the impending failure, we can find more self-empowerment by speaking up and setting parameters. We can say, “I don’t know if I can complete this project in the given timeframe. I’m willing to work on it, but I will need these resources,” or, “I’ll take this on, but I will need more time to give it my best—can I have until Friday afternoon instead of Wednesday morning?”

It may sound daunting at first, but we can ask ourselves, what’s the worst that could happen in the situation? Our boss could say, “No. It has to get done.” And yes, that’s a real possibility, but isn’t it far more likely that when we express our concerns calmly and realistically, our boss will respect our candor and facilitate our success? This is especially likely if we’ve built a trusting relationship with our boss.

When we learn to negotiate in a way that works best for us, it’s empowering. We can learn to negotiate in a conversation with our spouse—“I’ll pick up the dry cleaning, you pick up the groceries,” or, “I’ll do the dishes, you get the kids ready for school.” By learning to speak up rather than acquiesce, we’re empowered. Our time becomes our own.

3. Seek Satisfaction Over Avoiding Loss

It’s quite human to operate with loss aversion. Most people will go to greater lengths to avoid loss than to make gains. We’re often more afraid of what we’ll lose by taking a risk and trying something new than the joy we could gain from the experience.

So what do we do? We avoid asking for things. We think, “I don’t want my friend to feel upset with me, so I’d better not ask.” We skirt issues. We don’t express our feelings.

On the other hand, what if we empowered ourselves to go for what we wanted? When we worry about others’ reactions, we might lose sight of what really matters. We’re often making unfounded predictions about their feelings too. We forgo the possible satisfaction because we don’t want to disrupt a norm or rock the boat.

But instead of avoiding loss, what if we allowed ourselves to fire up the motor on the boat and move towards what we really wanted? Think of the reward—the pleasure and satisfaction of getting what we really need and what would please us in the situation. We can empower ourselves to move toward the reward rather than fearing and avoiding the possible risk of loss.

4. Explore Your Limiting Beliefs

We all hold mistaken or limiting beliefs. It’s part of being human. Since childhood, we’ve carried these ideas with us, and they’re often challenging to identify and let go.

Mistaken beliefs might include thoughts like:

  • I’m not worthy.
  • Other people are more important than me.
  • I won’t be loved unless I’m perfect.
  • People won’t like me unless I please them.
  • I’m not enough.
  • I’m too much.

These are all mistaken beliefs that can profoundly affect our sense of self. These come from a belief that we’re undeserving, less than others, or must earn love and support. If we felt worthy, we’d feel empowered to ask directly for the things that satisfy and nourish us.


By becoming aware of our mistaken beliefs and working to counter them, we will start increasing our self-empowerment.


First, we can recognize that these beliefs are totally normal. Everyone has them. But we can speak kindly and lovingly to ourselves, saying, “I might not feel worthy right now, but I am a gift to others,” or, “If I believed that I had value, what would I say? How would I speak up?” or, better still, “what would I tell a friend in this situation?”

We often empower our friends and help them feel better about themselves. Then when we speak to ourselves internally, we are critical and harsh. When we start to become our own friends, we will start to talk to ourselves with kindness and understanding. Our mistaken beliefs are often synonymous with disempowering ideas. But the truth is that each of us is worthy and valuable. We are a gift to the world with a vast amount of influence and potential. When we shift our focus to remind ourselves of our worth, we can tap into that essential personal power.

To discover more about living up to your full potential, don’t miss our resources on Wright Now. We have many different courses available to help you discover more about yourself, your relationships, and your career. Get MORE today!


 About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach.
She is a co-founder of The Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Yearnings: Follow Your Inner-GPS to Express Your Wants and Needs in a Relationship

Do you feel like you’ve been fighting over nothing lately? Does every little thing become a nitpicky fight between you and your partner?



Are you expressing your wants and needs in your relationship? It’s a tricky question, but one that most of us have pondered before.

We believe (or maybe expect) that a relationship should meet our wants and needs. We hope that our partner will “get” us and do those things that help us feel connected, happy, and fulfilled. But most of us have probably realized that our partners aren’t mind-readers. We have to express those feelings to get them on the radar—but how?

If we want to meet our wants and needs in a relationship, we need to dive in and discover our yearnings. Here’s how.

When the Thrill is Gone

It may sound harsh, but even the best relationships hit rough patches. As the old song goes, “The thrill is gone,” and some of us might be wondering where it went

When a relationship starts, we’re often energized, engaged, and ready to put our “best foot forward.” But after a few months or years, we shift out of the lavender haze and may start to feel a loss of connection. We may feel like we’ve been fighting over nothing lately. Every little thing becomes a nitpicky fight between our partner and us.

After we cool down and step away for a minute, we might think,

  • “If we could just get away for a few days, we’d probably get along better,” or…
  • “If we’d just have sex, I’m sure we would feel reconnected.”

We may feel dissatisfied, but we can’t pinpoint the actual problem. We know that neither partner is having an affair. No one has a substance abuse problem. We still genuinely love and care about each other, but we don’t get the same sense of excitement we once did. We may even find ourselves thinking about other people or remembering other relationships fondly.

Essentially—the thrill is gone. But is it really? And more importantly, can we get it back?The good news is that all of these common relationship feelings are rooted in our yearnings.


We long to have our wants and needs met in a relationship, but we might not know how to get there. These longings are what we call yearnings. They are feelings that we all have—hunger of the soul. They go deeper than “I want to look good naked” or “I want to go on vacation.”


Yearnings speak to the desires of our heart:

  • We yearn to be acknowledged and known.
  • We yearn to be seen, valued, and loved.
  • We year for respect, connection, intimacy.

For most couples, yearnings and unmet yearnings are at the root of dissatisfaction and at the heart of every fight. Our yearnings drive us. Like GPS, they steer us toward the direction of greater happiness and satisfaction. Our yearnings push us toward the things we want.

We often say that yearnings make couples tick, and unmet yearnings tick couples off.

We can imagine for a moment: what it is like when our yearnings are met in our relationship. Think of a time when we got home, and our partner’s eyes lit up when they saw us. They told us how much they missed us and couldn’t wait to hear about our day.

Imagine telling that partner about something extraordinary that happened during the day and knowing our partner is thrilled for us. Envision asking them for something that we really wanted—a dinner, a long walk, a conversation, physical contact—and having them enthusiastically agree. Or imagine telling them something we’re dissatisfied with, and they acknowledge our feelings and work together on a resolution. These would be examples of interactions that speak to our inner yearnings.

When our yearnings are ignored or unmet in our relationship, we may find ourselves drifting in opposite directions. Maybe we’re feeling distant from our partner, but we aren’t sure why. We might be afraid to bring up problems and discuss our feelings because we’re sensing a hidden middle finger (or giving one ourselves). We might withdraw from the relationship and feel a sense of disconnectedness.

Expressing Your Yearnings: It’s Not Actually About His Socks on the Floor

Our yearnings are extremely powerful. They go deeper than wishing that our spouses would stop putting their socks on the floor. But sometimes, something as simple as socks on the floor can make us feel like our yearnings are ignored and brushed aside. If having a clean, organized home is important to one partner but not the other, there might be an incongruency. That difference is underscored when the preference isn’t something that’s been clearly expressed. Often one partner doesn’t realize the importance of picking up the socks, while the other partner feels ignored and frustrated.

Years of socks on the floor pile up, and so do frustrations. Each night the irritation builds as we silently pick up our partner’s socks and seethe about it. Eventually, this can lead to resentment. We make a crack about our spouse’s sloppiness to friends. We make something he hates for dinner. We ignore his comments about his day. We’re silent and angry, and our spouse is confused about why we’re so cold and annoyed with them.

But at the root, we probably grew up in different households with differing standards of cleanliness. To one partner, socks are no big deal—a sign of feeling relaxed and comfortable. To the other partner, socks on the floor are an affront that says, “I don’t care about the work you put into our household. I don’t respect you or notice your efforts.”

We’re often engaged in these little power struggles in relationships, and we aren’t even aware that they’re happening. These little resentments and actions build up and can even cause explosive fights that seemingly go nowhere. Our partner might start picking up the socks, but it doesn’t resolve the underlying issue. At the root of the fight is often an unmet yearning.

Yearnings are significant wants and needs in a relationship. They may be:

  • Yearning to be respected,
  • Yearning to be cared for,
  • Yearning to be safe and secure,
  • Yearning to nurture and grow, and
  • Yearning to be appreciated.

Notice that nowhere on this list is “yearning for picked-up socks.” That’s because the true yearning isn’t really about the laundry pile. It’s something more poignant that runs much deeper. Yearnings are connected to the core of our humanity, existence, and identity.

Wants and Needs in a Relationship vs. Yearnings

It’s important to understand because there’s a difference between basic wants and needs in a relationship and yearnings. We often express what we think are our wants and needs, but when we get them met, we still feel unsatisfied, as though the larger issue still looms.

  • We can want our spouse to have sex with us more frequently.
  • We can want her to clean out the car when she uses it.
  • We can ask him to stop splashing toothpaste on the bathroom mirror.

When we express our wants, our partner often complies, but we may still feel annoyed. We feel like we’re nagging them or like we always have to tell them what we want. That’s a sure indication that we haven’t addressed the deeper yearnings behind our desires. A superficial action, like putting down the toilet seat or rinsing a dinner plate doesn’t really address the heart of the issue. We find ourselves running around mopping up water without fixing the broken pipe and addressing the source of the leak.


Real, true satisfaction and intimacy come from expressing our yearnings and understanding why they matter to us. This can happen in or out of a relationship. It’s about first doing the work to understand what’s going on inside our hearts and minds.


The great part is that when we identify our yearnings, we can find many different ways to get them met. It’s not just about relying on one person to do a specific action. We may yearn to connect with others, and we can do that by connecting with friends, coworkers, family, or our spouse.

If our partner simply complies with our expressed demand without understanding or learning our underlying yearning, the interaction might feel hollow or superficial. We aren’t getting those feelings of being acknowledged, appreciated, or loved. We’re simply training someone to pick up socks.

Our Yearnings Matter!

So, what about when we fight? We don’t really yearn to “win” the fight when it comes to fighting. Yes, we may want to express our point; we may think we want to win. But after we feel briefly superior and proud of our status as the “winner,” we might realize that we haven’t solved anything at all.

At the heart of many of our conflicts is fear (or the simple fact) that our yearnings aren’t being met and that we aren’t clearly expressing and requesting them from our partners. Yearning is at the core of our survival. Yearning to love and bond keeps mothers caring for their children. Yearning to be safe, sheltered, connected, and respected all have a biological imperative behind them. When our yearnings are met, we experience a rush of feel-good emotions and chemicals. When our yearnings are ignored, we experience a flood of fear, adrenalin, and stress hormones.

When we understand the neuroscience beneath our yearnings, we can quickly see why they’re so powerful and why they play such a strong role in our conflicts, especially with our partners—the people we rely on and trust.


When we feel frustrated about something our partner did, we can step back and ask ourselves, what is the underlying yearning? What do I really want from them? Is it that I want to be seen? Heard? Respected? Connected? When we identify those yearnings, we can try expressing them.


What would happen if we asked our partner for more physical contact? What if we explained why a clean house makes us feel more secure? What if we “went there” in conversation and brought our yearnings out into the light?

If we want to build stronger connections and get our yearnings met in our relationship, we must first identify them within ourselves. Then we can take steps to express our yearnings to our partner. Acknowledging our yearnings is the first battle, one we must wage within ourselves. As we come to a better understanding of what drives us, we can start expressing those wants and needs to our partners. Ultimately, when we say what we really want in our relationship, we’ll strengthen our bond and start getting closer.

For more ways to strengthen your relationships, visit Wright Now. We offer an array of courses to help you build stronger connections, discover more about yourself, and move towards the life you want—a life of more. Start getting what you want today!


About the Author

judith

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

What is Life Coaching?
Do I Need a Life Coach?

Maybe you’ve reached a crossroads in your life. Perhaps you’re at a stuck point in your career or relationship. Maybe you’re not sure what you want to do next. You find yourself asking, “Do I need a life coach?”


Before you decide to engage with a life coach, it’s important to understand what life coaches do (and what they don’t). Life coaches can be instrumental at certain points in life, especially when you’re in the right place to fully use their services.

So what is life coaching? What should you expect out of coaching?

What is Life Coaching?

What is life coaching? If you’re asking yourself, “do I need a life coach,” you may be looking in the wrong direction. Life coaching isn’t something that emerges from a need. You don’t NEED life coaching. It comes from desire—a desire to get MORE out of life and be your best.


If you think you need life coaching to fix your problems, chances are you may actually need a therapist or counselor.


Just like an athlete needs a physical therapist to work an injured area of their body, a therapist helps you work on the areas of your mind and emotions you need help with.

A coach, whether sports coach or life coach, helps you bring out your best, so you can perform at your optimum level. Coaches help you improve your life by focusing your efforts on what’s already working. Coaches help you get to what you want to accomplish and achieve. A career coach coaches you on your professional goals; a relationship coach or marital coach coaches you on your relationships, just like a basketball coach helps your team reach the championship.

As with any sport, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to coach yourself to the top. We’d laugh if a professional team showed up and said, “We’re just going to coach ourselves this year.” Yeah right!

If fans heard that, they’d sell their season tickets and expect the team to fall apart. Similarly, we can look at Olympic athletes. If they have an athletic talent or skill that they want to refine to make their way to a gold medal, they need a coach. In fact, when it comes to Olympic dreams, athletes need the very best coach that they can find.

If we want Olympic-level lives, we need the same level of coaching. Succeeding and getting the most out of life requires the mastery of many skills—social, emotional, and physical. For an Olympic quality life, we need a coach in our corner. Even the most talented athlete can’t coach themselves to a championship, so why would we expect to coach ourselves to a championship life? A good life coach will help us discover what we need to do to unlock the door to a win.

What Does a Life Coach Do?

So how does a life coach help us unlock those big wins? Is it accountability or something else? If we have strong relationships with our friends, do we still need an outside life coach too?


A professional life coach helps in many ways beyond simple goal setting, accountability, and achievement. Life coaching isn’t only about checking in regularly or receiving advice. A good life coach doesn’t give advice at all.


An excellent life coach helps clients explore how they feel about their world and how they feel about themselves. More importantly, a great life coach won’t simply tell clients the answer or solve their problems—instead, they help clients evolve and work through their problems, empowering them to find their own solutions. In life coaching, we understand that the best answer is one someone discovers for themselves.

A professional life coach will help clients build on their strengths and identify their paths. A life coach won’t lay out the path for their clients and hand them a map, but instead, they help them find their own road along their journey. A life coach isn’t someone who gives advice or tells people what to do. Instead, they help people examine what they want and where they want to go with their life. A great coach will help their clients engage and fully live their life.

Who Does Life Coaching Help?

While life coaching doesn’t replace therapy or counseling, life coaching is for everyone. Yes, it can be most effective at discovering and playing up strengths, but coaching can work at any time. Often when we try a new endeavor like taking a class or reading a book, we apply a few of the ideas for a while. Then, when we don’t get lasting transformation and change, we think to ourselves, “Well, I tried, and it didn’t work.”

Instead, it can be helpful for us to reframe the thought pattern of “it didn’t work” to look at what we can learn and take away from the experience. We can examine the results that the experience did bring about, and those results can help us extract more from our other life experiences. Everything we read, try, and work on gives us more knowledge and ultimately brings about a result. It may not always be the result we want, but we always get a result.

Perhaps we’ve been through some life changes or reached a make-or-break point in our career. Or maybe we need to resuscitate our social lives because we’ve become “all work and no play.” Perhaps we’re entering back into the dating game after a divorce or a breakup. Or maybe we want to work on our relationship with our spouse because we feel it’s become strained or lost the “spark.” A life coach can help us navigate through all these struggles.

A relationship coach guides us through conflict and helps us figure out the real heart of the fight. (Hint: conflict isn’t always a negative sign—it can actually mean engagement and growth!) A relationship coach can help us discover more intimacy and a greater connection with our partner to regain that magic and take it to the next level.

We might be the most successful person in our workplace. We might be at the top of our game. We might have a great marriage, a wonderful connection with our kids, and fulfilling social life, but we might still be nagged by the feeling that there could be MORE.

Life coaching can help us discover how to extract even MORE goodness out of the good things in our lives. It can help us level up and get even better.

How Does Life Coaching Work?

So, how does life coaching work? What should we expect when we engage with a life coach? Do we look up coaching online and go with it?

If we feel like we’re going through the motions—wondering if this really is all there is—it may be time to investigate work with a life coach. A coach helps us get more out of life. They can help us focus on our vision and work toward a path of greater meaning and purpose.


Getting started with a coach means finding someone who is professional, experienced, and who understands us. At the Wright Foundation, our students work with our Chicago-based life coaches one-on-one.


They also do peer-to-peer work in small groups. Our approach to life coaching is based on neuroscience. We explore how our brains process and experience different interactions and use that exploration to reframe and change our mindset. Through mindfulness—not just awareness, but deep, intentional engagement—we can all live life more fully. We can start engaging at the speed of life.

Our approach also offers a way for our students to engage with others at the top of their careers, trying to take it to the next level. Like a professional sports team plays together, relying on their individual strengths to help each other move towards a goal, our Chicago life coaches and peers help each other maximize their potential. Our students discover untapped resources and social and emotional strengths that help them find success in their career, sales, marriage, and life in general.

Working with a life coach can help us bring out the best in all areas of our lives. A great coach helps us reflect on past experiences and look beyond our current circumstances to find the next mountain to climb and the next beyond that. Working with a life coach helps us get better and better. Whether we work in sales, we’re an entrepreneur, work in tech, accounting, or education—anyone can benefit from transformational thinking. It’s all about learning to think beyond ourselves, transform ourselves, and reach out to transform and bring out the best in others.

If you’re ready to take the next steps toward living your best life, explore our coaching resources. You can learn about our Chicago-based life coaches and discover more about our workshops and educational offerings. We offer courses for download at Wright Now, so don’t miss the opportunity to get ahead in your career, relationships, and life.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.