Encouragementology
Adopting Healthy Routines and Breaking Bad Ones

Adopting Healthy Routines and Breaking Bad Ones

November 24, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...say goodbye to the stale, same ol’-same ol’ self-sabotaging, counterproductive, and unhealthy routines that keep us stuck. We are adopting good ones and breaking bad ones. Yep, it’s that simple. Well, simple to say it but every good plan is just a “good plan” without action. So get ready to take action! Gone are the days of endless excuses and pathetic procrastination. We are about to give ourselves a swift kick in the shoulda, woulda, coulda, and get busy. Tired of wanting to get somewhere but never feeling forward momentum?

Think about your day, week, month, or year. How much of your time is spent on autopilot. You know, just aimlessly going through the motions? Routines can be comforting because of their consistent nature but they can also be habitual rarely challenged. The scientific community suggests that we make about 35,000 decisions each day. Our brain can’t possibly take the time to consider every single thing we do. We probably need to explore this concept from a few angles, Not being present or intentional, living in denial, and resistant to change. I can already gather that there won’t be an easy dissection between them but some combo of all three.

Noelle Bloom puts things in perspective with 10 Signs You’re Living on Autopilot- from an article she wrote for success.com.

  1. You dread the day ahead.
  2. Your daily routine is predictable.
  3. You do things without thinking.
  4. You can’t seem to put your phone down.
  5. You stay deep in thought.
  6. You have a difficult time remembering.
  7. You can’t seem to let go.
  8. You’re not making meaningful progress.
  9. You say “yes” more than you say “no.”
  10. You know there’s a better life to be lived.

How much time do you spend visualizing your future? You might think it’s fantasizing and even heard “Get your head out of the clouds” at least at some point in your life. But how are you supposed to get “there” if you don’t see yourself there?  Start now - Imagine your life in the next 2 years. Where do you want to be, what are you doing, and what are you NOT doing. Be specific with the details. Just being in a better position, job, money,  or family is not a clear enough picture to create motivation.

Now, repeat this exercise for 5 years, 8, and even 10 - journal.  about it, create some vision boards like Pinterest to gather visual cues. Whatever helps put you clearly in the scenario.

10 years ago I started working on breaking bad habits. One by one - it was a personal competition between my reason and my desire. I have really strong will-power if I set my mind to something and really really want it. I saw these habits as stumbling blocks in the bigger picture. Until I was free and unencumbered, I couldn’t get to where I wanted to go, and at the pace, I wanted to get there. I had to get real with myself and stop hiding behind excuses and false justifications. I’m good at selling myself on almost anything. Bigger picture - does this help propel me further or keep me where I am. Ok, it has to go. 

Once a year there is a big push to let go of the past and move forward, adopting healthier routines. Eating right, exercising, cleaning out & purging clutter are some of the top ones that come to mind. But what about our day-to-day, mindless routines - are they creating more resistance than necessary?

Nick Wignall shares 6 Subtle Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Happiness

  1. Worrying about the future and other people’s opinions of you
  2. Isolating yourself when you’re feeling down
  3. Keeping quiet and “going with the flow”
  4. Talking trash to yourself in your head
  5. Trying to manage your stress
  6. Believing your own thoughts unconditionally

Oh if it were that easy just to let it go!! Like a monkey on our back, we can accept all the reason in the world but when it really comes down to shaking it off, we create yet another justification point that our mind accepts. What happens next, we put off doing anything waiting for a more acceptable time. Hogwash. YOU have the power to STOP doing anything you don’t want to do today or at least to redirect your energy in a positive new direction. 

HBR Patel shares some insight on Breaking Bad Routines, One Bad Habit at a Time in an article he wrote for Medium.

Our routine is aptly shaped by our habits. A perfectly planned day may fail to deliver the end result if procrastination is one of your vices. It takes dedication and patience to overcome those habits and for that Neuroplasticity will come in handy.

So, What is Neuroplasticity?

A term that refers to the ability of the brain to adapt itself or reorganize itself to the new changes in the behavior, environment, or other factors by two-fold action: Synaptic pruning, deleting the neural connections that are no longer necessary or useful, and strengthening the necessary ones that can help adapt to the change.

Consider these healthy routines in the place of bad habits:

  • Spend time by yourself exploring your own feelings
  • Read - take your mind on a journey of new places, times, and ideas
  • Create beauty in your space - make your home a safe and happy place
  • Make time for the special people in your life
  • Make space for new friends to become better friends
  • Challenge old and outdated beliefs in yourself and the world around you
  • Find ways to give back in a meaningful way - time, attention, resources

 

CHALLENGE: Be honest with yourself about mindless routines and bad habits that might be preventing you from reaching your goals. Visualize your life in five years and take action now removing the barriers from hitting that timeline. Replace bad habits with healthy routines that bring out the best in you!

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Organizing the Chaos Before it Becomes Chaotic

Organizing the Chaos Before it Becomes Chaotic

November 17, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show…we are cleaning out the junk draw of life and organizing the chaos before it becomes chaotic. What’s that? Too late you say? Never! Don’t throw in the towel and keep piling it up hoarder style take charge and admit to yourself, enough is enough. You deserve peace, joy, and happiness, and wading through emotional and psychological clutter is unnecessary and counterproductive. 

As you sit here today, let’s identify where the chaos is coming from. Everyone is different, in different situations, and at different stages of their life. Try to rise above gaining a new perspective of the bigger picture. I love to actually visualize this exercise. Feel yourself floating up over your life and looking down. Everything naturally gets smaller as the angle is wider and more of the pieces and parts come into one view. Nothing is as it has to be.

For many of us, we want our lives to settle down and for things to run smoothly. But week after week, month after month, year after year, while there may be different players and different facts, it’s always the same old story. Our lives are chaotic.

Here are seven reasons we might be creating chaos-filled lives from Boni for livealifeyoulove.com. See if one or more of them rings true for you. 

  1.   It’s your story 
  2.   It’s your identity
  3.   You (secretly) like it
  4.   You don’t really think you have a choice
  5.   You believe you deserve it
  6.   You have nothing to replace it with
  7.   Success scares the heck out of you

I talk about my experience...For me, chaos can come in the way of spreading myself too thin. I’m not a hoarder but more of a minimalist so I don’t struggle with physical clutter. I don’t obsess over the times I’ve been wronged or feel the same pull I once did to fix others so I don’t struggle with emotional clutter. Where I can overextend myself and create a bit of chaos, is in my commitments.

Let’s face it, life is busy in general so to avoid chaos at certain times is unrealistic. But….maybe finding ways to embrace the chaos and reorganize is a positive coping strategy. 

Bob Miglani is the author of The Washington Post Bestseller, Embrace the Chaos, which is about learning to move forward in times of change and uncertainty. Here are some of his ideas: 

  1. Accepting the Chaos of Life is Better Than Trying to Fight it
  2. You Cannot Predict the Future
  3. You, Will, Feel Better DOING Than NOT DOING
  4. One Thing Always Leads to Another
  5. You, Will, Become a Better Person…Faster, Stronger, Leaner and Sharper
  6. You are Resilient and Know How to Adapt
  7. You Are Meant for Bigger Things
  8. Chaos Forces us to Clarify What’s Really Important…and What’s Not
  9. It Will Make you GRATEFUL
  10. Chaos Can Be Transformative
  11. Things Have a Way of Working Out in the End

If you are drowning in chaos feeling overwhelmed and stuck - embracing more and leaning in may not be the right move at this time. For you, giving yourself time to identify and declutter your life might be the only place to start. Spend some time by yourself, unplugged, listening to your heart. So often we are looking for a quick way out so we grab a youtube video on how to organize or read a blog on letting go.

You have a responsibility to yourself to push-back. Just as you feed yourself when you are hungry, bath when you are dirty, and sleep when you are tired, consume info as needed. Want to know what the weather is - look it up. Need to know the weather patterns for the country….not sure you do. Have a lot invested in the market and need to check the pulse - fine, get alerts as things go up and down by the minute - not necessary. These are just two examples. Apply them to what you digest today and what you actually NEED to know. There might be some overconsumption issues. 

Joanna Kleinman gives us  4 STEPS TO CALM THE CHAOS IN YOUR MIND in an article she wrote for Virtu Health.

Every day, as soon as you wake up, ask yourself this question:  “What do I need to let go of right now to be calm?” In other words, what thoughts are causing chaos in your mind? 

Every thought you have creates a physical response in your nervous system, and an emotional feeling in your body. Yet, you often allow your mind to go wherever it wants to go, without taking control over the direction it goes. Pay attention to the emotional and physical responses in your body when your mind goes to that chaotic, negative place.

Ask yourself who or what are you trying to control that you really don’t have any control over? Focusing on producing specific outcomes in your life makes you fixate on controlling things that you really don’t have any control over. 

To create an immediate sense of inner calm and peace, start a daily practice of letting go of past regret and future worry, and consciously direct your mind to right here, right now.

 

CHALLENGE: Find the root of chaos in your life to treat the symptoms appropriately. Let go, lean in, or reroute to get time and space to include joy and peace. You have choices, choose wisely. 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Be Your Own Super Hero And Save Yourself

Be Your Own Super Hero And Save Yourself

November 10, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show…we are taking action, becoming our own superheroes, and saving ourselves. Now you might think, “yeah right, easier said than done!” and you would be right, words are not enough - it’s going to take action. Let’s not forget the famous credo of the infamous Spiderman, "With great power comes great responsibility." Saving the day is no easy task and who wants to do that over and over. After you swoop in and become the hero of your own life it’s time to be strategic. How can we harness this power for the good and make sure we spend our precious time wisely.

Have you ever been asked, “if you could be a superhero what would be your power?” Seeing through metal, leaping tall buildings, breathing underwater? 

Of course, it’s fun to fantasize about dressing up as an alter ego and fighting all the demons in our lives but the reality is, you do have power over your life. Even on the days your feel powerless, there is a phone booth just ready for you to change, empower yourself, and fly to your own rescue. 

For fun, you can go to https://www.whatsyourpower.com/ and take a short quiz to find out what your superpower might be. 

To get here or to be any help at all, I had to start with myself. I had things a little distorted, instead of helping to make the world a better place I wanted to FIX the people in my life to make my world a better place. Helpful? No, unproductive and frustrating. I had to grab my own oxygen mask first before I could assist anyone else. 

Why is it that We Put Ourselves Last & Why Self-Care Should Be a Priority - Jo Ritchie gives us her insight on this in an article she wrote for Tiny Buddha.

  1. We think self-care means being selfish. 
  2. We confuse “rescuing” with caring.
  3. We are accustomed to relationships based on neediness, not real love.
  4. We don’t realize we teach people how to treat us.
  5. We expect others to take care of us.
  6. We don’t realize our worth.

Finding a positive support system is paramount. Plugging into good people who want the best for you and guide you instead of hold you back is critical. Spending time connecting spiritually and listening, studying, and meditating is soul-nourishing. Saving yourself isn’t one act of bravery, it’s an ongoing meaningful mission. 

Just as a superhero has powers and props to help them through any struggle - so do you! 

Superheroes don’t wipe their problems away – they confront them. And they do so with very specific strengths of character. The physical powers are secondary, really, to their character traits. Being your own superhero means that you adopt those character traits, even if you don’t have X-ray vision.

Patrick Cole gives us 8-Steps to Personal Strength in an article he wrote for everydaypower.com

  1. Use Failure and Adversity to Propel You
  2. Assess Your Mental Strength
  3. Name Your Powers
  4. Identify the Detractors/Weaknesses
  5. Listen to Your Inner Self and Respond
  6. Embrace the Negativity – Then Knock it Out of the Park
  7. Gather Your Weapons
  8. Stay True to Your Principles

For too long I avoided me and my problems as I worked on saving everyone around me. I was convinced it was my purpose otherwise why did it feel like everyone needed me so much. My superhero mask must have been on backward because I was certainly in the dark. I had to take a good hard look at myself, my behavior, and start getting real. I had my own slew of problems that I wasn’t owning up to. Time to grow up and face the music instead of the firing squad.

Marelisa Fabrega gives us some Rules of Adulthood in an article she wrote for daringtolivefully.com

Persecutor: If you’re having a problem, or you’re facing an obstacle to achieving a goal that’s important to you, you’re likely to see that problem or obstacle as if it were a persecutor (the persecutor can be a person, an event, a situation, and so on).

Victim: You act like you’re being victimized by the persecutor, and you feel helpless to do anything to remedy the situation.

Rescuer: Since you feel like you can’t remedy the situation yourself, you wait passively for someone or something to come to your rescue.

A lot of our culture is made up of this drama triangle. For example, you can recognize the drama triangle in stories that involve a damsel in distress, a villain holding her captive, and a hero who sweeps in to rescue her. Of course, this dynamic doesn’t apply just to women; it applies to men as well. A lot of us are harboring rescue fantasies.

Be honest with yourself: is there an area of your life in which you’re passively waiting for a stroke of luck or for someone to come out of the blue and save you? Are you telling yourself, “Someday, when this or that happens, I’m finally going to be able to . . .” Stop waiting for a rescuer or for some chance event to take place, and begin taking steps to rescue yourself.

CHALLENGE: take a look in the mirror, explore your denial and your truth, abandon your belief that your powers are not to be used for your own rescuing, and take action today. Saving your world is a worthy cause. 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

V is for Victory Not Victim

V is for Victory Not Victim

November 3, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we are celebrating the victory of life! No one is in the partying mood every day, nor does every day feel like a party. We can see the obstacles ahead of us and feel defeated before we ever get started. We can carry the struggles and failures of our past with us making each step harder than the last. Or we can choose to step out, unencumbered, empowered with positivity, and believe “V” is for VICTORY not, victim. It’s a choice and you have it. Some days you’re naturally pumped because everything is going just as planned, fists in the air, the crowd chanting in your head, and other days, it’s all you can do to show up. What you tell yourself and how you attack your day directly affects your outcome.

Someone one time...ok actually people ask me all the time, “are you always this happy?”. Sometimes they phrase it as a statement; “You can’t NOT be this happy all the time!”  And they would be correct but “this happy” is relative. I realize that my mood is my choice and no one can make me feel anything I don’t want to feel. 

A follow-up question or statement I usually hear next is, “how do you let things roll off your back so easily?” Well the answer to that is, I don’t always. But again, I have to make a conscious effort to let go and move one. The primary reason I find that so doable is, I don’t like to be in a bad mood. I don’t like the feelings of stress, anxiety, or sadness. I don’t like to be melancholy or irritated. You know what I do like, problem-solving and diverting my attention to things that make me happy, feel creative, or that nourish my soul. It’s a bonus when I can pick up all three feelings in the same activity. 

We dig a little deeper into victimization and feeling victimized to understand how to achieve victory. 

Crystal Raypole walks us through this exercise in an article she wrote for Healthline.com: How to Identify and Deal with a Victim Mentality

The victim mentality rests on three key beliefs:

  • Bad things happen and will keep happening.
  • Other people or circumstances are to blame.
  • Any efforts to create change will fail, so there’s no point in trying.

People who feel trapped in a state of victimization often do express a lot of negativity, but it’s important to realize significant pain and distress often fuel this mindset.

  • Avoiding responsibility
  • Not seeking possible solutions
  • A sense of powerlessness
  • Negative self-talk and self-sabotage
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Frustration, anger, and resentment

Where does it come from?

Very few — if any — people adopt a victim mentality just because they can. It’s often rooted in a few things.

Past trauma

  • Betrayal
  • Codependency
  • Manipulation

We take a sideline because this is right up my alley. I am a codependent and it took me years to come to grips with that term. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with ME - it was everyone else around me! I was doing it all and I felt powerful...at first. Then taken for granted and eventually, powerless. Why couldn’t people just do what I was telling them to do and we would all be happier. Could I even hear myself? How insane is that? They would be happier if they just did as I said.

Detaching from the responsibility for others’ emotional happiness is quite possibly the most impactful lesson I’ve ever learned. I’m still a people pleaser to some degree. This is a deeply rooted compulsive behavior and for me a knee-jerk in every way but I’m aware and with awareness comes change. 

Remember, many people living with this mindset have faced difficult or painful life events. This doesn’t mean you have to take responsibility for them or accept accusations and blame. But try to let empathy guide your response.

  • Avoid labeling
  • Set boundaries
  • Offer help with finding solutions
  • Offer encouragement and validation
  • Consider where they’re coming from

Time to change the self-talk and become your own mentor. Being around positive people who speak life and love into your world is optimal but you can’t always rely on someone else to be there when you need a shoulder to cry or a joyful injection of good news. It may take you clearing out the dark corners of your mind and replacing the negative with positive.

We go through 15 mantras you can use daily...1.) All the strength you need to lead your life in the direction that feels good is within, you don’t need to acquire or learn anything; it is inside of you.

What happens when you’re feeling your zen and then that anxious feeling of dread and despair comes back….what do you do? Pity-parties are not a reason to celebrate so I guess we aren’t there yet. Remember, we are looking for victory, right?

Christina Star wrote,  Don’t Let Self-Pity Poison Your Life — Choose Self-Compassion Instead with some great tips on getting through these feelings with self-care. 

Self-pity reinforces the sense of being a victim bringing with it, hopelessness and inaction.

Self-compassion also acknowledges the difficulty you find yourself in. But it is not about feeling sorry for yourself, blaming others, or dwelling on misery. 

We discover some new mantras and powerful exercises to create self-awareness and self-compassion. 

This is a moment of suffering.

I am having a really hard time right now.

It’s painful for me to feel what I am feeling.

This is very difficult.

Exercise A:

Put your right hand under your armpit near your heart.

Put your left hand on your right shoulder.

Stay in this posture until you feel a shift.

Choosing to take responsibility for your inner state will help you heal and remember that you can recover, rebuild and thrive even after you have been stopped in your tracks by fate, other people, or even yourself.

 

CHALLENGE: Don’t accept your circumstances without activating your power to choose, your mood, your resolve, your outcome. Decide your desire for happiness is stronger than your need for control. Let go and move on. Claim victory and celebrate your journey!

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Plugging Into Your Source

Plugging Into Your Source

October 27, 2020

SHOW NOTES: 

On this show…we are identifying and plugging into your source. Your source of inspiration, support, motivation, accountability, and love. What makes you tick? It’s important to understand what lifts your up and gives you hope if you want to tap into a steady stream and just as important, what keeps you down if you want to make sure you avoid toxic negativity.  So often we just coast through life, consuming and regurgitating, not questioning why, how, or IF - if it’s healthy or harmful. Remember, you have the power to control what you consume and what takes root. Getting too close to the fire, step back or at least put on some protective gear. Don’t just stand there mesmerized by the intoxicating flames.

When you think of JOY, what comes to your mind? Who comes to mind? Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. If joy could be prescribed I would want a once a daily dose at least!

Donna Rockwell, Psy.D. digs into this question in her article: Desperately Seeking Happiness

Recently, a science of happiness has cropped up in the field of psychology. There are many studies on every aspect of happiness, the most acclaimed of all human pursuits. After much scientific discussion and review, researchers have come to define happiness as the ability to sustain an overall sense of well being over time. However, the capacity to generate and maintain well being while coping with daily challenges requires a certain amount of emotional flexibility.

Authentic happiness is never lost. Because it is burned into the very essence of our being, it remains a touchstone within us that can be accessed at any time, no matter what is going on around us. We need only conjure up images of happiness or remember an event or moment, and we are there, alive in the energy of our own awareness.

Think about your day today….when did you smile? When did you laugh?  What happened and what didn’t? Fill in the blanks with a recreation of your favorite day and notice the small things that would bring you joy. 

I love to sleep in - at least I think I do so to me, that brings me excitement. I rarely, in fact, sleep late but knowing I have a free Saturday morning that could lend itself to some extra Z’s is happiness.  I love hot coffee that stays hot to the last drop - delightful. I love to laugh so whether it’s a silly joke or a well-thought-out comedy, I’m there. I’m a sucker for warm dessert - doesn’t matter what it is but if it’s bubbling with a little cold ice cream - whoa! I love to hear "Mmmmm that’s good" after I’ve slaved over a hot stove. Nothing makes me smile more than a compliment for a job well done. I find joy in being there for someone who needs a little extra encouragement - that feeling makes my heart sing. 

What about motivation? What do you plug into to inspire you to want to do better, go farther, and try harder?  You might be motivated by fear, guilt, peer pressure, or more of an internal clock pushing you to push yourself. 

Brianna Steinhilber wrote about 3 times of motivation in her article for Better by Today.

  1. Extrinsic
    Doing an activity to attain or avoid a separate outcome
  2. Intrinsic
    An internal drive for success or sense of purpose
  3. Family
    Motivated by the desire to provide for your loved ones

What about fear as a motivator? So how can you let go of fear, unplug, and re-route your lines to joy?

First….why are we motivated by fear?  I found an article the explains why fear is a poor motivator at sevenhealth.com

As humans, we are hardwired to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. According to Freud, as children, this desire is the driving principle behind all choices and is about immediate gratification.

But as we enter adulthood, we learn to delay gratification, which is known as the reality principle. As part of this, one is able to rationalize the desire for long term pleasure and so in the short term is able to endure the pain of one type or another.

The problem with fear as a motivator is, it is limited in its ability to create motivation over the long term. It can be a helpful spark for some people, but if this is all they’ve got, it’s highly likely to lead to failure.

Does it all come back around to perception? So much of life does. How you see things directly affects how you react. What you hear and believe dictates how you respond. We should be held accountable but responsible for us and everyone around us? I don't think so!

For me, I had to start listening to myself. For too long I had modeled and shaped my life based on the thoughts and opinions of others. What to say, what to do, who to be, and how to feel. I couldn’t even hear myself if I was even trying to assert my own ideas at all.  I had to take a step back and sit with my own thoughts and feelings to be able to recognize them as my own. Once I was able to tap in and listen to myself I started gaining confidence and trusting what I heard. I’m looking out for me now and that’s ok, it’s not selfish or self-centered it’s responsible. 

Once I was attuned to myself, I started looking for sources of inspiration that were truly inspiring - out for my greater good and brought joy into my life. When I let go of fear, my obsession to be responsible for everyone around me, and my need to please - I found so much extra time and energy that I could channel into whatever source served me.

  • I need time by myself, time with God, and time with positive people who want also want to plug into the positive - so I plug into my connections
  • I need to encourage and serve in a healthy and constructive way.  - so I plug into volunteering
  • I need to create, design, and impact my surroundings with my art - so I plug into creativity
  • I need to explore and grow - books, languages, new ideas, hobbies - so I plug into education

 

Inspiredgoodvibes.com helps us with 10 ways to stay connected to good energy every day.

  1. HAVE A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  2. CONNECT TO YOUR BODY
  3. MONITOR YOUR THOUGHTS
  4. TRUST
  5. Be PRESENT
  6. LIVE IN LOVE (not fear, doubt, and worry.)
  7. ALLOW  - FOLLOW THE ENERGY
  8. HONOR YOURSELF AND YOUR CHOICES
  9. BE GRATEFUL
  10. GIVE

CHALLENGE: evaluate your current source of energy and unplug when you feel depleted. You have the power to choose a more positive source of inspiration - plugin and share your joyful current with others.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Finding Your Voice and Speaking Up

Finding Your Voice and Speaking Up

October 20, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we will be finding our voices and speaking up! Gone are the days of passively watching life unfold before your eyes. A silent bystander in your own story. It’s time to communicate in a kind but direct way, what you want, need, and desire. Whether you’re afraid to rock the boat or worried that you won’t be able to control the volume once you get started, there is a positive and healthy alternative for you. If Encouragementology has opened your eyes to anything it’s that you have the power to change what isn’t working. First, you have to understand it isn’t working, then you need to be willing to change your perspective and take action.

We’ve all heard things like “use your inside voice”, “speak up I can’t hear you” (well maybe not me lol) “do you know how to whisper”, “be direct”, “say what you mean” - There seem to be numerous ways and lots of rules when it comes to using your voice. You’re never going to get it 100% right and really? Who wrote the rules.  

What happens if you don’t communicate your wants, needs, and desires to those you love? You don’t get them. No one is a mind reader and some of it SHOULD be common sense but you can’t rely on everyone’s ability to do the kindest and most responsible thing. Sometimes it takes you leading the way. 

What about communicating fears, challenges, and boundaries? The same thing goes. It takes you, finding your voice, speaking up, and realizing people will treat you the way they want unless you show them how you want to be treated. 

Kit Stone wrote an article for Rewire called Communicating Your Needs Isn't Selfish, It's Selfless

Some people have more experience communicating their needs than others. To get into this type of conversation, Rose suggests a four-step process of “naming what you need and asking for how to remedy your emotions” that doesn’t attack or place blame and allows you room to speak from your heart.

  1. Describe your observations
  2. Name how the situation makes you feel
  3. State what you need
  4. Make a specific request

We explore boundaries as a way to feel free to speak your mind...Creating healthy boundaries can be hard enough. Knowing you need to make a change in your life and then being willing to let go, move on, distance, or eliminate can be life-changing. But when you don’t clearly communicate your wishes, it can be futile

I found a good evaluation in Boundary Setting and Healthy Communication from the Georgia Way

Here are some examples of Healthy Boundaries

  • Appropriate trust. Moving step by step into intimacy – emotionally and physically.
  • Staying focused on your own growth.
  • Maintaining personal values despite what others want.
  • Noticing and speaking up when someone invades your boundaries.
  • Trusting your own decisions.
  • Knowing who you are and what you want. 
  • Self-respect – not putting too much hope in someone else.
  • Recognizing that friends and family are not mindreaders.
  • Not allowing someone to take advantage of you and your generosity.
  • Saying “No” to food, gifts, touch, and sex that you do not want.  

And here are some examples of Unhealthy boundaries

  • Trusting no one or trusting everyone. 
  • Letting others define you, direct you, and/or describe your reality.
  • Going against personal values or rights to please another person. 
  • Allowing someone to take as much as they want from you.
  • Falling in love with someone who reaches out, or with a new acquaintance. 
  • Telling all and talking at an intimate level at the first meeting. 
  • Expecting others to fulfill your needs.
  • Believing others can anticipate your needs. 
  • Being sexual for your partner, not yourself.
  • Sexual and physical abuse.

We talk about the interruption technology is having on meaningful communication...We have multiple communication devices at our fingertips for the better part of a day but can’t seem to get our point across or our true feelings understood. We make quick judgments and move on to the next person. We shorten our response to just logistical responses and never get past a shallow intent. 

What is happening to us as a society from not being able to adequately communicate our feelings? It’s as if we’ve been given a global coloring book and asked to stay between the lines. There is article after article strongly communicating opinions and asking you to join their march or is a hunt. Social media has given a soapbox to anyone who can type a post and texting has replaced the need to look someone in the eye to get your point across. 

Melissa Nilles wrote and an article entitled: Technology is Destroying the Quality of Human Interaction  What I find interesting and a little sad is that this article was written in 2012 - here we are 8 years later and instead of moving in the right direction, we’ve created even more and faster avenues for the same behaviors. 

Finding your voice can look different for different people. Not everyone struggles with asserting themselves and communicating their ideas. Not everyone is in need of healthier boundaries, not everyone struggles with self-confidence, not everyone relies on social media or technology to keep them connected. 

But everyone can identify with a need to communicate your wants, needs, desires, challenges, and fears in a healthy and nurturing way. You can go with the flow not making waves or you can flap your arms and swim. It’s your choice. 

Kathy Caprino gives us 5 Steps To Speaking Up Powerfully When You Feel You Can't

#1: Examine what you learned in childhood.

#2:  Get very clear about what you need to say, and have that conversation.

#3: Be the highest version of yourself when you communicate.

#4: Understand the ecosystem and the individual you’re dealing with.

#5: Prepare for the consequences

Many people resist speaking up for themselves because they dislike angering others. If you're striving every minute to make everyone happy, then you're not making yourself happy, and you’re not saying and doing what needs to be done to live a successful, fulfilling life. 

 

CHALLENGE: Find the courage to speak up so you can honor your own boundaries, clarify what is not acceptable to you, and start living a happier, healthier, more empowered life.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Bloom Where You’re Planted

Bloom Where You’re Planted

October 13, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show…...we are talking about patience & resilience, the concept of Bloom Where You’re Planted. Are you ever exactly where you want to be in your life? It’s ok to be pointed toward the horizon but keeping your focus, hopes, and dreams there means you can’t prosper where you are. Today we are here. Why wait another moment to bloom. It may not be a perfect time but today has been given to you and each one should be preciously handled. There is opportunity all around you, here, and there.

Sometimes it takes hearing something over and over and over before it takes root and other times it’s a revelation. I just heard “Bloom Where You’re Planted” last week. BOOM it hit me!

Hearing it out of context, you could think it means just be happy with who you are and where you are and don’t strive for better. However, that isn’t where my mind went. I would have pruned those roots right out because I’m all about goal setting, action planning, and personal growth. What I heard is you have an opportunity today and every day. If you put off personal development until you reach your destination then you’ve missed some of the ripest opportunities for growth.

Today, you might not be able to change your logistical circumstance but you can change your mindset and find a new way to grow in ways you hadn’t thought of. When things are going perfectly you don’t have to be as creative, patient, or resilient. It’s when you hit a challenging time that it forces you to modify your approach and look for positive alternatives. 

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries helps us understand and deal with disappointment in an article he wrote for Harvard Business Review. 

We can’t avoid disappointment so we have to find ways to walk through it, understand it, and learn. I’ve heard it before - “I don’t have any expectations”. Which sounds good and super healthy but doesn’t it sound realistic? What happens when your expectations are for other people? Talk about disappointing. That was one of those ideas that didn’t immediately take root for me. “You can’t change other people.” I guess when I first heard it being a headstrong teenager, I took it as a challenge. A heart-breaking, overwhelmingly frustrating challenge. 

 I found this article that breaks it down a bit: Expectations are premeditated disappointments: Five ways to maintain a flexible mindset in an uncertain world

  1. Put your thoughts and feelings somewhere you can look at them. 
  2. Notice your time-traveling mind.  Your mind’s ability to travel in time is amazing.
  3. Intentionally take varied perspectives.
  4. Establish a “present-moment anchor”.
  5. Label expectations as to what they are: hopes and worries.

See you’ve always had the power, even when you’ve felt completely helpless. I love a change in perception, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. So just like my revelation of “Bloom Were You’re Planted”, I find new ways of seeing the same thing when I listen to others. 

Mallory Joy gives us 5 Ways to Bloom Where We're Planted in her article for Medium

  1. Embrace the challenge.
  2. Stop complaining.
  3. Focus on others.
  4. Celebrate the small things.
  5. Visualize the future.

Embrace the difficulty, knowing that these experiences make you who you are. There will be beauty from ashes, but it’s just the challenge at the moment to keep that end goal in mind.

CHALLENGE: take a moment and notice where you are. Be thankful for the gift of awareness and the power to make the most of every moment. Have patience as you dig in and bloom where you’re planted. Seize the day and shine!

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Feeling Guilty for Feeling Guilty?

Feeling Guilty for Feeling Guilty?

October 6, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show….we will be releasing guilt. Are you tired of feeling guilty for feeling guilty? You aren’t alone. We’ve all done something we aren’t very proud of, disappointed someone, and let ourselves down. Carrying shame and guilt can be a full-time job that prevents you from realizing your true potential. I wish we could just let go of what doesn’t serve us in a positive way but let’s be honest, it is not that easy. The first step is awareness, then understanding, and then if you are good and ready...the releasing.

When do you feel those guilty feelings creeping in? Sometimes they can grab you in the pit of your stomach and say “hey...are you forgetting something?” and you are back to square one. Reminded of everything you’ve done wrong instead of what you’re doing right. Catching yourself before you start to spiral means you can change direction. “Nooooo...I haven’t forgotten anything BUT I did forgive myself and today I’m working on myself and staying stuck in the past, where I don’t have the control to change anything, it’s helpful! So back off!”

MADISYN TAYLOR reminds us that ...There is freedom that comes with awareness, because with it comes the opportunity to make a choice.

Fatin Khan, gives some ways to work on self-awareness:

If we are concocting the right recipe for a change in behavior then we have to add a dash of willingness. No one can want the change more than you. Sure, your family can plead with you concerned about your well being. Your partner can beg you to let go and move one.  But all the self-help books, motivational blogs, and inspirational quotes won’t be enough to make it happen. You have to be open and willing and wanting something more. 

I found The Definitive Guide to Guile from Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne : 

Guilt Cause #1: Guilt for something you did. 

Guilt Cause #2: Guilt for something you didn’t do, but want to.

Guilt Cause #3: Guilt for something you think you did.

Guilt Cause #4: Guilt that you didn’t do enough to help someone.

Guilt Cause #5: Guilt that you’re doing better than someone else.

Our feelings are important and what directly impacts the quality of our lives. For too many of us, feelings have been cast off and or shoved done so we can maintain a normal appearance to everyone around us. But unlike Scarlett O’hara, not everyone can afford to push these feelings off for another day. It’s important to deal with your emotions today and understand where your power to change comes from. 

So is shame the cherry on top? As if guilty feelings weren’t enough, we have to add shame to the mix to tighten the chains and keep a positive future a little further from our reach.

Dr. Neel Burton sheds some light on Shame and Guilt in an article he wrote for Psychology Today.  

...Shame and guilt often go hand in hand, which is why they are so often confused. For instance, when we injure someone, we often feel bad about having done so (guilt), and, at the same time, feel bad about ourselves (shame).

So let’s add a little control or lack of to the pot. What can I do NOW to control the situation? Since we’ve established the obvious, I have no control over the past then the only place I do have control is in the present which will predict the future. 

Better butter up the forgiveness because that’s the only thing standing between me and the completion of this dish. I have to forgive to move forward. 

I love the perspective of Darlene Lancer in her article 18 Tips to Overcome Guilt and Forgive Yourself. 

Here are just a few of her suggested tips:

  1. If you’ve been rationalizing your actions, take responsibility. “Okay, I did (or said) it.”
  2. Write a story about what happened, including how you felt about yourself and others involved before, during, and after.
  3. Analyze what were your needs at that time, and were they being met. If not, why not?

Forgiving yourself is not forgetting. There is learning and growth in forgiveness. You have more chapters to explore and being encumbered with the past will just derail your journey. 

 

CHALLENGE: Don’t dismiss your emotions or allow negative feelings to rewrite your destiny. You have the power to walk through guilt and shame, understand your role and responsibility, evaluate your control, and let go so that you can move forward with the freedom to realize your true potential.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Instilling Hope - Connect, Understand, Encourage

Instilling Hope - Connect, Understand, Encourage

September 29, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show…..we are talking about hope and most importantly, instilling hope. Such a beautiful subject in the midst of what feels like hopeless times. I want you to know you have power! A real power to affect change. All we have to do is tap into it, activate it, nurture it, and spread it. Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: "expect with confidence" and "to cherish a desire with anticipation." The very act of being hopeful instills hope.

Encouragementology is the practice of instilling hope. A practice I created to make the act of encouraging others more intentional. Did you know that according to science and research, most of us live 95% to 97% of our lives on autopilot . . . we don t consciously think about many of the things we are doing each day.

I talk about the revelation that started my journey...What I found through that experience changed my world and uncovered my true purpose. I think your purpose was instilled in you at an early age and for some, it came to the surface naturally and for others, an exhaustive search just left them more confused. It may be because your “true purpose” sounds so grand and meaningful when it may be so blatant and simple. 

Encouragement. That’s what the world needs most. Love, yes, that is a given but encouragement makes things happen. Gives ideas flight. Lifts a person over an obstacle and propels them further and faster. Encouragement instills hope. 

But don’t just take it from me…..I found some good stuff on factgoods.com Words of Encouragement and Inspiration and the Science Behind How they Work

Let’s think about the ability to instill hope when your first thoughts are dejected. You wake up full of regret and anxiety about the day. You have work left undone, bills piling up, and a bank account that is shrinking. Where is the joy and how are you supposed to fake it.  You take that sour attitude with you into your first encounter. Someone else hit the snooze too many times and grumpy has some company. You both make matters worse by finding even more wrong with the world. Now you are searching for others to pull into your pit of despair. Not enough in your immediate vicinity….no worries, you have the whole Facebook network to inform. All the likes and loves just confirms this day sucks!  

Exhausting!! How about you climb back into bed and start this over by harness your power to affect change. The alarm goes off and you take a moment to listen, and ready your mind to find gratitude. Today I will have a positive outlook, no matter what or who crosses my path, I’m in charge of my mind. Thank you for a chance to share encouraging thoughts with another person today. I’m going to seize the opportunity to make a difference. You stay lifted as you head into work and encounter your first person. Ah, he seems down, let me remind him of all that is right with the world. “Good morning Stan, thank you for your help last week with those reports, I couldn’t have done it without you. Have a great day! Remember, you’re in charge”. You diverted Stan with a moment of positive reflection which just might have snapped him out of his mood. But here is the great thing about encouragement. It isn’t your job to make Stan see the positives in the day, it’s only to instill hope and let him uncover them himself. 

Continuing to build up our pro’s column, here are five more benefits of encouragement from Kevin Eikenberry.

  • Encouragement provides awareness 
  • Encouragement creates belief
  • Encouragement builds confidence
  • Encouragement improves attitude
  • Encouragement promotes action

Did you know that you can actually fake a smile as an ice-breaker? Today with so much communication being experienced through technology, even having direct eye contact can seem forward. But do it anyway and then smile. 

We dig a little deeper into the science of something so simple. Here is an article I found from Leo Wildridge: The Science of Smiling: A Guide to The World’s Most Powerful Gesture

We explore Here’s Your CUE... To give people an applicable take-away from my sessions I developed Here’s Your CUE. CUE stands for: connect, understand, and encourage. This idea is tangible and easier to identify. 

It starts with making a connection. Not on the phone or over the internet, but a real face-to-face connection with another human being.  Next is to understand….You don’t have to agree with someone to understand where they are coming from. Just listen to understand. And lastly...Encourage. “You Can Do It! I know you can, I have faith in you, I believe that you can succeed, I know you have what it takes, I’m confident you can do it!”

Maintaining strong human connections is not only your gift to humanity it is for your own well-being and survival. Donna Pisacano Brown wrote a piece for LiHerald.com called The Power of Human Connection:

 

CHALLENGE: Take control of your day and point your trajectory in a positive way. Use your encounters as a chance to instill hope by connecting, listening to understand, and offering words of encouragement. What are you waiting for? Here’s your CUE!

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Zoning Out and Finding Peace

Zoning Out and Finding Peace

September 22, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show….we will be zoning out to find some peace! Unplugging from the fear zone, the hate zone, the stress, zone, and of course, the negativity zone. It’s quite alright to bury your head in the sand every once in a while and find a little zen. Everything in moderation, even moderation. I can’t imagine there is a person out there today who wouldn’t echo that enough is enough and if given the opportunity, welcome peace with open arms. Well, guess what? We don’t have to wait for the clouds to part...we can make them separate and conjure the sun. You have the power to find and adopt a peaceful attitude.

We explore the fact that everyone wants your attention, to agree with their opinions, and ultimately, their agendas. You don’t have to seek “it” out - it’s all around you finding new ways to get in your face and capture your attention.

I found some interesting research that I haven’t even considered from the Pews Research Center on Psychological Stress and Social Media Use

BY KEITH HAMPTON, LEE RAINIE, WEIXU LU, INYOUNG SHIN AND KRISTEN PURCELL

This study explores the digital-age realities of a phenomenon that is well documented: Knowledge of undesirable events in other’s lives carries a cost — the cost of caring.

 

In the last 30 days, how often have you:

  • Been upset because of something that happened unexpectedly
  • Felt that you were unable to control the important things in your life
  • Felt nervous and “stressed”
  • Felt confident about your ability to handle any personal problems
  • Felt that things were going your way
  • Found that you could not cope with all the things that you had to do
  • Been able to control irritations in your life
  • Felt that you were on top of things
  • Been angered because of things that were outside of your control
  • Felt difficulties were piling up so high that you could not overcome them

Critics fear that these technologies take over people’s lives, creating time pressures that put people at risk for the negative physical and psychological health effects that can result from stress.

Since the competition for your attention is so fierce, the media has gotten much more clever in the way they deliver a headline. Everything has a “burning building” appeal to make you click. Click bait. And because there is an endless stream of updates it’s natural to just skim the headlines to try and keep up. But at what cost?

For my Father who suffered with Parkinsons and dementia, we had to eliminate his news consumption. The headlines were so sensational that he actually felt the danger was more eminent and stayed in a state of fear. My Mother would be classified as a news junky. She religiously reads the paper, watches the news, and checks the headlines on her phone for fun. I wondered what was really going on and how having access to news 24 hours a day was doing to us.

MARKHAM HEID covered this exact topic in his article for Time. He said...A recent survey from the American Psychological Association found that, for many Americans, “news consumption has a downside.”

More than half of Americans say the news causes them stress, and many report feeling anxiety, fatigue or sleep loss as a result, the survey shows. Yet one in 10 adults checks the news every hour, and fully 20% of Americans report “constantly” monitoring their social media feeds—which often exposes them to the latest news headlines, whether they like it or not.

“Try to be aware of how [the news] changes your mood or makes your thoughts more negative,” Davey advises. If you notice a news-induced surge of pessimism, taking a breather with mood-lifting activities like listening to music, exercising or watching something that makes you laugh may all help counteract those dark vibes.

You could also pare back your news habit. “Most of us these days have news alerts set on our smartphones, and 24-hour news on continuously in the background,” he says. “That’s probably far too much.”

I’m not guilty of overconsuming but I am guilty of overthinking. It’s difficult for me to shut it off. I might be thinking about 'to-dos', writing the list, remembering to check the list, obsessing over what I forgot to put on the list, the schedule I have for the week, what would make the schedule more efficient,.....endless I tell you. 

I sleep with a sleep machine-turned to white-noise mixed with heavy rain + two fans to drown it out.  I used to sit and fixate my eyes on something and get the stares. Have you ever had those? It’s almost like you’re in a trance and you can’t look away but what you notice is that your body and mind are perfectly still. With all the gadgets I have today I’ve forgotten that trick and instead, grab a device to eat up any extra time I find myself with.

We walk through these steps on how to unplug and not think -  Give Your Mind a Rest: Practice Not-Thinking - written for pyscologytoday.com 

  1. Open your five sense doors to whatever is happening around you.
  2. Open the hand of thought.
  3. Let the world speak for itself.

Two tips for successfully practicing not-thinking 

  1. Don’t let thoughts “stick.”
  2. Let go of opinions and judgments.

CHALLENGE: If you feel a media-intake overload take action and unplug, zone out, and find peace. It’s perfectly healthy to be empathetic but it’s not healthy to absorb all that you encounter. You are in control of your consumption so be responsible.

 

I Know YOU Can Do!

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