How to Fight Brain Fog

Brain fog can be an annoying and upsetting issue. Brain fog can be described as not being able to think clearly or not being able to do simple tasks. It can also affect memory or the ability to work.

Brain fog can be a sign of a health issue, so it’s important to see your doctor and determine if medical issues are causing your brain fog.

If you can, try to find a doctor who focuses on natural and holistic health. Ask your doctor for natural ways to help deal with brain fog. They may recommend lifestyle, diet, and exercise changes that help you.

Consider these strategies, as they may bring you the relief you seek:

1. Focus on nutrition. Poor diet can adversely affect the way your brain functions.

* Eating a high-fat diet or a lot of refined sugars and carbohydrates can make brain fog worse.

* Take a close look at your diet. Try to eliminate sugar, unhealthy fats, alcohol, and caffeine. Focus on eating more produce and a variety of healthy foods.

* Eliminate artificial sweeteners because they can cause headaches and other issues.

2. Learn to manage stress. Think about how you react to stress, and you’ll notice that you may have difficulty thinking during highly stressful situations. Chronic stress has become an epidemic for many adults.

* Coping mechanisms such as meditation, deep breathing, and other techniques can help you reduce your stress. Find ways to manage it at home and at work, so it doesn’t affect your brain.

* Get help, reach out to friends, and practice self-care.

3. Get enough sleep. Sleep is also important to alleviate brain fog. When you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel like you’re walking through a fog during the day. You’ll have trouble concentrating and thinking. You’ll miss things and doze off.

* Experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep each night for adults. However, you may need more or slightly less depending on your body and history.

4. Find out more about food allergies and sensitivities. Some food allergies and sensitivities can also cause brain fog.

* For example, celiac disease is often associated with brain fog. If you have celiac disease, your body can’t digest gluten found in wheat, barley, or rye.

* You can also have brain fog with lactose intolerances.

* Talk to your doctor about any possible food intolerances and sensitivities. They may be affecting you in multiple ways.

5. Try supplements. Some supplements are highly recommended for brain fog. Adaptogen herbs like holy basil may help. Other supplements you may want to try include fish oil, omega-3s, and B vitamins. All of these have been shown through research to help brain function.

* Be sure to talk to your doctor before adding supplements to your diet. Some supplements can interfere with medications and have side effects. You don’t want to assume they’re all safe to take for your situation.

* While you’re reviewing supplements with your doctor, ask about your current medications. Some drugs, such as antidepressants or sleep medications, can also cause brain fog.

Brain fog doesn’t have to control your life. Talk to a doctor and try these remedies to see what works best for you.

For most travelers, the only thing scary about going to the airport is the long security lines, and expensive fees for excess baggage. However, millions of adults experience more serious symptoms that can interfere with holiday plans and business trips.

In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about 25% of Americans are nervous about flying, and about 7% meet the diagnostic criteria for aviophobia. If you’re one of them, try these strategies that can help calm your nerves.

Practicing Self-help for Fear of Flying:

1. Breathe deep. Breathing from your diaphragm lowers stress and tells your brain that it’s okay to relax. Inhale through your nose, drawing air up from your lower abdomen to your chest and throat. Exhale through your nose, releasing air in the opposite direction.

2. Meditate. Meditation encourages positive thinking as well as slow breathing. Focus on a pleasant mental image or repeat a soothing mantra.

3. Look out the window. Fixing your gaze on the horizon can steady your nerves. You’ll see how level the plane is, even during turbulence.

4. Close your eyes. On the other hand, you might prefer to close your eyes. The lack of visual input fights nausea, and the darkness may help you sleep.

5. Change your seat. Upgrade to first class if your budget permits. You’ll be able to board and depart the plane faster. If money is tight, pick a seat as close to the center of the plane as possible for a smoother ride. The rear seats tend to be bumpiest.

6. Learn the facts. Research safety statistics about air travel compared to driving or other forms of transportation. It may put your mind to rest.

7. Avoid alcohol. Resist the temptation to drink whisky to boost your courage. Becoming dehydrated will just add to your discomfort.

8. Eat light. Be gentle with your queasy stomach. Consume small portions and pass on anything greasy and spicy.

9. Wear your seat belt. Follow the pilot’s instructions to keep your seat belt fastened whenever you’re sitting down. While injuries from turbulence are rare, it’s a sensible precaution.

10. Use distractions. Listen to music, solve word puzzles, or read a sensational thriller. Do anything that takes your mind off the altitude.

Seeking Outside Help for Fear of Flying:

1. Tell the flight crew. If you’re very anxious about flying, you may want to mention it to a flight attendant. Acknowledging your fears can sometimes make them less intense.

2. Ask your doctor. Your physician can advise you about over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs for motion sickness and anxiety. Some travelers also use natural remedies like ginger.

3. Download an app. There are many free or inexpensive apps designed to alleviate fear of flying. Browse online for a product that deals with your triggers, whether you dislike cramped spaces or worry about safety issues.

4. Take a course. A number of airlines offer courses to help their passengers learn to fly more comfortably, and they’re usually staffed by real pilots and flight attendants. Plus, the curriculum usually includes a test flight so you can practice what you learned.

5. See a therapist. If fear of flying is interfering with your life, you might benefit from talking with a therapist who specializes in anxiety issues and phobias. Many patients have found relief through treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Self-help techniques and professional assistance can help you minimize any anxiety or nausea you experience during air travel. As your fear of flying decreases, you’ll be able to enjoy your travels more and arrive at your final destination feeling cool and collected.

Meditation is a powerful tool, but it’s not the only way to calm your mind. Consider these tricks to find peace and inner calmness.

Try these ideas the next time you want to calm your mind and feel better:

1. Breathe. The simple act of breathing can help you calm down quickly and reduce anxiety. Breathing can help you focus on the moment and forget your worries. A few deep breaths help relax your muscles as your cells receive the extra oxygen.

* Learn simple breathing exercises or just breathe deeply.

2. Show gratitude. By showing gratitude, you can change your focus and find peace. Being thankful and saying it can help you see the positive things that are around you.

* Send an email, talk on the phone, or write a note to someone that you would like to thank.

* When stopping and giving thanks, you’re also living in the present moment. When your mind is on the present moment, there’s no room for worrying about the future or regretting your past.

3. Smile. How often do you smile during the day? Do you smile at strangers as well as friends?

* Smiling can instantly boost your mood. It can help relax the body and mind, help the immune system, and reduce stress.

* Research published in the journal Psychological Science shows that even a fake smile can have a positive effect on the body. The act of smiling positively affects the brain.

4. Go for a hike or enjoy nature. If meditation doesn’t appeal to you because it involves sitting, then go for a hike or find another way to enjoy nature. Explore a park, trail, or other natural area near you.

* Notice the sounds, smells, and visuals in front of you as you walk.

* Nature can have a soothing impact on the brain and body.

5. Turn off your phone and other devices. Constant communication and connection can make it hard to have a calm mind. Turn off your phones, tablets, computers, and other devices to find peace.

* By disconnecting from technology for brief periods of time, you’ll be able to relax.

6. Play with your pet. If you’re lucky to have a dog, cat, or other animal, play with them to find calmness. Research shows that pets can help people stay calm and relax.

* Try petting your dog or cat for an extended period of time. Only focus on them and don’t think about other issues.

* Consider taking your pet for a walk and getting exercise at the same time.

7. Do some type of manual labor. Sometimes, manual labor such as cleaning the house or mowing the lawn can help calm the mind. Exercise can boost brain chemicals that make you happy.

* Manual labor can help you forget issues by forcing you to focus on completing the tasks.

* Look for activities that need to be done at home or at work. Do the dishes, vacuum, clean out closets, or organize cabinets. Sort the garage or attic, try gardening, or pull weeds. If you’re finished with tasks at home, reach out to friends and neighbors to help them.

Although meditation can be important, it’s not the only way to stay calm. Consider trying other methods and experimenting until you find the ones that work best for you.

A recent Time Magazine story reported that Americans spend an average of 204 hours a year commuting, and for most workers, that means driving their car.

The same article cited numerous studies about the effects of so much time on the road, including increased levels of blood sugar and cholesterol, higher rates of depression and anxiety, and lower rates of cardiovascular fitness, life satisfaction, and happiness.

It’s no wonder that driving can put significant stress on your body and mind. You need to force yourself to stay alert. You wonder about what you’re missing while you’re stuck in traffic. You may even be fuming about another driver who cut you off or almost rear-ended you.

If you’re starting to think that the situation is out of your control, think again.

Take some of the stress out of your daily drive with these proven strategies:

Managing the Situation

1. Budget more time. Traffic jams are less frustrating when you’re not running late. Give yourself an extra 10 or 15 minutes for any trip.

2. Plan your route. Check online for construction work and accidents. On the other hand, ensure your alternate plans will really save you time and not take you too far out of your way.

3. Switch your hours. If your boss is cooperative, you may be able to avoid rush hour completely. Ask about telecommuting or coming in an hour earlier or later. Maybe you could do it part of the week or on a trial basis.

4. Bring entertainment. Stock up on audiobooks and podcasts. Listen to your favorite music. The time will pass more quickly and you may learn valuable lessons.

5. Turn off your phone. On the other hand, you might want to cut down on technology if your phone is distracting you. Turn the volume off until you reach your destination.

6. Sit up straight. Your posture could be creating aches and stiffness that make any irritation worse. Draw back your shoulders, open your chest, and lift your head if you have a tendency to hunch over the steering wheel.

7. Eat something. Is your stomach rumbling? Enjoy a small, balanced meal before you leave home. Pack a cooler with nutritious snacks like yogurt, nuts, and carrot sticks to keep in your car.

8. Sleep well. Driving when you’re exhausted is dangerous. Call a cab or pull over to avoid harming yourself or someone else.

9. Take breaks. On long road trips, stop and get out of your car at least every 2 hours. Walk around and stretch your arms and legs.

Managing Your Reaction

1. Breathe deep. Whether you’re dealing with backseat drivers or merging on a busy highway, use your breath to soothe yourself. Inhale and exhale fully and slowly.

2. Develop compassion. Instead of becoming angry with another driver who seems rude or aggressive, imagine the stress they might be under. Try to empathize.

3. Evaluate your role. Switch your attention from making judgments about other drivers to examining your own actions. Assess your emotions and question your assumptions. Be willing to forgive your fellow commuters when they make a mistake.

4. Lay off the horn. Remember that your horn is not a comment button. Use it gently and only when necessary to get another driver’s attention.

5. Play it safe. When you see driving that is clearly aggressive or erratic, keep your distance. Stay in your vehicle even if they pull over. If you want to do something constructive, report their license plate to the police.

Make driving more pleasant by thinking creatively about your transportation options and changing your attitude. You may be able to shorten your commute or at least make it more enjoyable.

Top 3 Brain-Boosting Spices

What do you think of when you’re considering which spices to add to your recipe? As you know, spices are tasty and easy to add to multiple dishes you cook at home, but it may come as a surprise to you to find out that some of them can also help your brain to work more effectively.

They have powerful chemicals in them that can enhance your brain function. From memory to strategic thinking, these spices can help!

Boost your brain with these spices:

1. Turmeric. Turmeric is one of the most popular spices around the world. It has a chemical known as curcumin that can help your mental function.

* Turmeric may help you fight depression, strengthen your memory, and have more positive moods. Turmeric may also help fight the plaque that can build up in your brain over time and lead to Alzheimer’s. Researchers are studying this powerful spice so it can be used to help Alzheimer’s patients.

2. Oregano. Oregano has multiple health benefits, and one of them is helping your brain. Oregano is a strong spice, but even a little bit in your cooking can make a difference in your brain.

* This spice has many antioxidants. It’s well-known for fighting free radicals that can damage your cells and tissues.

* In several studies, oregano has shown an ability to help people uplift their moods. It can reduce anxiety and depression. It may also help you concentrate and remember things better.

* The compounds in oregano have a direct impact on neurotransmitters in your body and brain. This is why it’s such a powerful way to strengthen your mental function.

3. Black pepper. You probably have this in your kitchen cupboard already, but you may want to use it more often. Black pepper has a chemical known as piperine, which can boost your brain power.

* The chemicals in this spice can help lighten your mood, strengthen concentration levels, and make you feel more relaxed.

* There’s another benefit to black pepper that researchers are focusing on right now. It’s related to Parkinson’s disease and the possibility of using concentrated black pepper to help people fight the negative brain effects of this condition.

How to Use These Spices

If you’re not used to cooking with turmeric, oregano, or black pepper, it may seem overwhelming. However, you can start off small and increase how much you use over time.

Follow these strategies:

1. Invest in fresh, high-quality herbs and spices. You may have these spices in your kitchen, but are they fresh? Spices lose their flavor and potency over time, so purchase new supplies if you’ve had them for a while.

2. Add these spices to your current recipes. Can you add one or more of them to your favorite soup or stew without hurting the classic? It’s sometimes easier to integrate spices into current dishes that you already make.

3. Discover new recipes. Consider learning to make new dishes that rely on turmeric, oregano, or black pepper for their flavor. This will help you expand your cooking skills and introduce you to new ideas.

Spices are an easy way to help your brain each day. You can add them to your meals throughout the week and watch the benefits increase over time. You may even notice a change right away. Spices are a powerful way to make your body stronger and healthier while making your cooking taste better.

Neuroscientists, educators, and psychologists sometimes call it cognitive shifting, but you may know it better as flexible thinking. However you describe it, it refers to your brain’s ability to shift gears from one subject to another.

Flexible thinking also plays a major role in your happiness and productivity.

Even if you know that flexible thinking is good for you, you may resist it because it feels uncomfortable or unfamiliar. However, you can overcome those obstacles with practice.

Take a look at the benefits of becoming more adaptable and strategies to help you loosen up.
Benefits of Flexible Thinking

Many studies have found that flexible thinking is associated with enhanced brain function. You’re likely to enjoy greater mental and physical health, higher levels of fluid intelligence, and many other advantages.

Consider these benefits:

1. Cope with change. Flexible thinking helps you to accept that change is natural. You’ll adapt to new circumstance faster and experience less stress.

2. Stay updated. Applying new information keeps you from becoming stuck in the past. You can master the latest technology or follow revised guidelines on nutrition.

3. Find solutions. Recognizing a wider range of options makes you more adept at resolving difficulties. You’ll see that there’s more than one way to repair your dishwasher or discipline your children.

4. Transform your relationships. You help others feel validated and respected when you look at a situation from their perspective. You’ll feel closer and encounter fewer conflicts.

5. Avoid frustration. Why miss out on life because you’re clinging to old expectations? Try a different coffee shop if your favorite hangout closes down.

Techniques to Increase Flexible Thinking

Would you believe that playing video games can strengthen your flexible thinking? Many effective exercises for your brain are simple and fun.

Try these techniques:

1. Practice mindfulness. Observing your thoughts without judgment and living in the present makes you more agile. Try meditating or just cutting back on distractions.

2. Play with words. Language affects how you think. For example, humor is often based on words having multiple meanings. Study jokes or invent your own. You could also read more poetry and drama, and work on expanding your vocabulary.

3. Invent games. Shake things up the next time you play cards. Create your own house rules.

4. Explore functional fixity. Take an ordinary object and imagine 3 alternative uses. For example, you could pick tennis balls or staple removers.

5. Talk to yourself. Stress interferes with creativity. Use your self-talk to provide reassurance and guidance when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Ask yourself questions that will clarify your priorities.

6. Alter your routine. Small steps add up when you’re trying to break out of a rut. Buy a different brand of shampoo or ride your bike to work instead of driving.

7. Exercise regularly. Physical and mental well being are interrelated. Work out at least 3 days a week and incorporate more activity into your daily life. Studies show that aerobic exercise is especially beneficial for stimulating creativity.

8. Sleep well. Rest and relaxation are also essential for keeping your brain in top condition. In addition to planning for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, focus on getting enough REM sleep, which is when most of your dreams take place.

9. Upgrade your diet. What you eat can strengthen or weaken flexible thinking. Cut back on processed foods, especially those high in sugar, while introducing more fermented foods into your diet. Also, omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fatty fish, enhance many cognitive functions.

Use flexible thinking to deal with life’s challenges. You’ll feel more confident and behave more skillfully, even when you’re faced with unexpected demands or last-minute changes.

If you struggle with anxiety, you understand how terrible it can make you feel. As you work on coping with your symptoms, it’s good to know that anxiety doesn’t have to hurt your relationship. You can learn to recognize and manage it so it doesn’t come between you and your partner.

Try these strategies to help keep your relationship strong, despite anxiety:

1. Share your feelings. If you suffer from anxiety, stress, or worry, you may be tempted to hide your feelings from your partner. But hiding your feelings can lead to confusion and frustration in your relationship.

* Your partner may sense something is wrong, but your decision to hide the anxiety and stress will prevent them from helping you.

* By hiding your emotions, you risk pushing your partner away. Your partner can feel hurt because they may think you don’t have enough trust in them or your relationship to share your thoughts.

2. Avoid guessing about your partner’s feelings. Anxiety can increase if you play guessing games and try to predict what your partner is feeling. Instead of guessing, communicate with your partner and ask sincere questions about their feelings.

* Guessing or assuming what your partner is thinking is dangerous because you might guess incorrectly and end up making decisions based on totally erroneous information. Open communication is the key to healthy relationships and reducing worry.

3. Work on resolutions together. Instead of letting fear and worry take over, confront your anxiety and work on resolutions. It’s not easy to face your fears, but the alternative can lead to a damaged relationship. Discuss the issues you’re concerned about with your partner.

4. Be mindful and live in the present. Anxiety can shift your focus from the present to worrying about the future. When you suffer from anxiety, it’s easy to think about the worst case scenarios and make inaccurate predictions about the future. This can hurt your relationship.

* Instead of getting lost in your worries, spend some time planning a bright future together.

5. Deal with your thoughts. Learn to manage your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Negative thoughts can create more anxiety and fear.

* If you manage your thoughts, you can reduce the anxiety. This will help you focus on the positive aspects of your relationship.

6. Learn to accept help. Although you may be able to deal with your anxiety on your own, a trained professional may be able to guide you to quicker resolutions. It’s not a sign of weakness if you decide to pursue therapy or medications to help you.

* By opening up about your issues, you can seek the help you need.

* Your partner, friends, family, and coworkers may be able to help you, too. Accept help from multiple sources as it becomes available. Avoid limiting your opportunities to alleviate the fear and worry.

* If you decide to pursue therapy or medical treatment, it’s important to stay on course. Avoid giving up after one session. You may need multiple sessions to eliminate the anxiety. You may also need to try more than one medication to see results.

Anxiety doesn’t have to control your life or relationships. You can recognize anxiety and make changes before it affects your relationships. Use these strategies and enjoy a positive difference in your relationship.

Have you been considering the prospect of learning a new language? It’s not an easy task, but there are many benefits to learning one. A new language can boost your brain power, open new cultures, propel your career, and even raise your self-confidence. There are so many free resources available, there’s no excuse not to become fluent in another language.

Learn a new language and enhance yourself and your life:

1. Make your travel experiences better. You can get a lot more out of your travels if you can speak the native language, even at a low level. The natives of that country are more willing and able to converse with you. They appreciate your efforts to learn their language.

* It’s also easier to get around and manage the day-to-day tasks if you can read street signs and menus. The ability to ask for directions and understand the responses is also helpful.

2. Challenge your brain. As we age, our brains get a little rusty. Part of this is from a lack of new experiences. The inevitable decline in brain performance and health can be slowed by the process of learning a new language. Learning new vocabulary and grammar is challenging to your memory and your ability to understand.

* Learning a new language is one of the best ways to challenge your brain and form new neural connections.

3. Enjoy new social activities. If you live in a medium or large city, there are native speakers of almost any language in your community. These folks would love to get together and share their language with you. Many cultures are much more social than that of the United States. You might have the time of your life.

* There are also plenty of opportunities online to learn a new language for free. You can be matched with a language partner. You help them with English while they help you learn their native language.

4. Impress others. How many born and bred Americans do you know that can speak more than one language with any reasonable level of skill? You’ll be the hit of parties and the dating scene with your bilingual skills.

5. Add to your resume. Knowledge of many languages is in high demand. Learning Swahili might not land you a job, but knowledge of Spanish, Chinese, or Arabic might. It opens up the possibility for a new career, including many jobs that require a lot of travel.

6. Speak better English. Research studies show that learning a foreign language increases the level of understanding of your own language. You’ll develop a better understanding of English grammar and sentence structure.

7. Develop a greater appreciation and tolerance for other cultures. When you understand a language, you gain an understanding of the people and culture of that language. You’ll be more open and less judgmental.

8. Gain confidence. Learning a new language will boost your confidence in yourself and in your ability to learn new things. This extra confidence can enhance your life in general.

Which language would you like to learn? Is it one that fascinates you or one that’s practical? Hopefully, you can find one language that does both. Much of the rest of the world is able to speak more than one language. You can join the global community by learning to speak another language. Your self-confidence will also receive a big boost.

10 Causes of Low Self-Esteem

Do you suffer from low self-esteem and wonder about the source of your feelings of inadequacy? There are many potential sources of low self-esteem. It has been said that we spend the last 60 years of life recovering from the first 18. In many cases, the first 18 years of life give our self-esteem a beating. Adults aren’t immune from self-esteem issues either.

Increasing your self-esteem will enrich your life in countless ways. Your social life, finances, and happiness can all grow.

Determine the cause of your self-esteem challenges:

1. Peers. This is especially true during the school-age years, but can apply to adults as well. It’s natural to want to be respected and liked by one’s peers. Bullying, teasing, and other social-related issues can result in a loss of self-esteem.

2. Family. Some parents just aren’t nice people. Unsupportive, critical parents or other family members can harm a child’s self-esteem. This can be then be carried into adulthood. If your parents were less than spectacular, remember that you’re not alone.

3. Previous mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, but some people forgive themselves more easily than others. The past is over. Look forward to new experiences.

4. Negative recurring thoughts. Negative thought patterns over years and decades can create a negative self-image. That’s why it’s so important to say positive things to yourself. Avoid underestimating the power of your thoughts.

5. Failure. Whether you failed to win the big game or land the big client, any perceived failure can result in a loss of confidence and self-esteem. Reframe how you view failure. Learn from your undesirable results. Only get upset with yourself if you continue to fail in the same manner. Change your approach if it isn’t working.

6. Unreasonable goals. Goals that are too big lead to failure. Ensure that your goals are challenging, but within reason for you. Getting too carried away increases the likelihood of a negative outcome and poor self-esteem.

7. Body Image. Society judges people based on appearances. You might be doing the same to yourself. Strive to move your body toward a healthy ideal, but accept that everyone is shaped differently and change can take time. Females are more likely to suffer from body image issues, but males can also face challenges.

8. Trauma. Trauma can take many forms: sexual, physical, or emotional. Any of these can result in low self-esteem. If you’re suffering from the results of traumatic experiences, getting professional help can be a wise decision.

9. Poor academic performance. School has a social component, but it’s supposed to be about the academics. Poor grades can be viewed as failing the purpose of attending school in the first place. Ensure that your child has the academic support they need to be successful.

10. Media. Media puts forth images of success and beauty that are out of reach for the average person. It doesn’t help that many of those images are manufactured and inaccurate. Holding yourself to an unreasonable standard causes you to feel bad about yourself. If you must compare yourself to someone, use a reasonable frame of reference.

Low self-esteem is a common issue. Understanding the cause of your low opinion of yourself can help to determine the solution. Everyone deals with low self-esteem days. But suffering from low self-esteem over a long period of time can lead to depression. Examine your past and find the source of your negative self-image.

Develop a plan for changing your feelings about yourself. Focus on the positive and let go of the past.

Great leaders share many common traits. Though criteria for leadership in the workplace can vary from company to company, the majority of effective leaders exemplify certain skills. By focusing on developing these same skills, you can take your leadership abilities to the next level.

Develop the important traits necessary to become a great leader:

1. Self-motivated. As a leader, it’s important to be able to motivate yourself to take action to move forward toward your goals – whether they’re personal or team goals. Leaders are driven to get things done and they lead their team to do the same.

2. The ability to delegate. You can’t do it all yourself. The most effective leaders surround themselves with skilled people, define their responsibilities, and then get out of the way. A single person is quite limited, but many hands can get a lot done. Learn how to share your workload.

3. Communicate effectively. You might have a clear picture in your mind of what you’d like to see happen. Unfortunately, no one can read your mind. A leader is responsible for sharing his vision and making his desires known.

* People can give you what you want when you can communicate clearly what needs to be done.

* Provide status updates and keep everyone on the same page. Employees lose motivation when they don’t understand the current situation fully.

4. Develop others. Being a leader isn’t just about utilizing others to reach your goals. It’s developing those around you. From a more selfish perspective, the more skilled your employees, the more they can assist you and the company.

* Share your expertise and help everyone around you to grow.

5. Be committed. You can’t expect greater commitment than you’re willing to provide. A leader sets the ceiling. Everyone else settles in somewhere below that point. Set the ceiling high and show them what true commitment looks like.

6. Inspire others. A great leader knows how to inspire others to do their best work. It’s not always easy to inspire those content to simply show up each day and collect a paycheck, but it’s possible. Show your motivation and commitment.

* Even if you’re only able to inspire a few people to do their best, it will make a positive difference.

7. Have a clear focus. If you don’t know what you want, you won’t get it. Leaders are clear on their vision and readily share it with others. A clear vision serves as a roadmap. Employees can easily ask themselves if their actions are contributing to the attainment of your vision. Know your focus and communicate it effectively.

8. Show respect. Strive to treat everyone fairly and avoid playing favorites. Everyone is worthy of a basic level of respect. Ensure that you’re giving it.

9. Confidence. It’s natural to be drawn to others with confidence. You are viewed as more capable and trustworthy when your confidence level is high. Be comfortable with your skills and your plan.

* A lack of self-confidence will limit the ability of others to trust your vision and judgment.

10. Decisiveness. Leaders make the tough decisions fearlessly and take responsibility for the outcome. It’s easy to make quick decisions when you’re clear on your values and those of the company. If you can’t make up your mind, your leadership skills will be called into question.

* Practice by making small decisions quickly and following through on them. It gets easier with practice. You’ll be surprised by how much more you accomplish when you’re able to make a clear decision.

Leaders are necessary in any organization. Great leaders share common characteristics that you can develop in yourself. Even if you don’t feel you currently possess these qualities, you can grow your capacity to be an effective leader.