Encouragementology
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!

The Struggle is Real and Necessary

The Struggle is Real and Necessary

September 15, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we are talking about the struggle. The struggles we encounter in life, that we need to overcome, and the growth benefits from doing so. I’m not advocating looking for a good struggle or to purposely put yourself in the middle of a challenge but the fact is, they are inevitable, and the better you are equipped to handle them, the better the outcome. I would be remiss if we didn’t also talk about stepping back and letting those in our lives fight their own battles. Everyone needs to experience the process; challenge, fight, perseverance, success, or failure. Letting that happen naturally without your assistance maybe a whole other issue.

First things first, pick your battles! Have you ever been in the middle of a conflict when an enlightening thought enters your mind…”What are you doing?” “Why do you care and is this even your fight?” Drop the other end of that tug-o-war rope and get to a higher vantage point. Where do you want to exert your efforts?

Good for you for being passionate enough to want to help everyone around you but check your motives. Are you passionate about giving and seeing others succeed or do you want to be in control and right? We’ll come back to that to explore it deeper.

But before...let’s go a little deeper into this notion that great growth comes from adversity. Here are 7 ways from 7mindset.com

1-Stimulate your growth with a new perspective
2-See with greater clarity by letting the dust settle
3-Maintain composure through compartmentalizing
4-Give yourself a win by doing something productive
5-Exceed your individual potential by asking for help
6-Give yourself a fresh start with silence
7-Take the long view by elevating another perspective

I like to break out my life into sections, the years I bumped around like a rumba learning to go another direction from all the brick walls I smashed into and then years of enlightenment. You know when one more turn of the pick jar lid brought about a new and brilliant revelation. Why did it take so many years and so many failed attempts to realize something so simple?

Baby scientist, Dr. Vanessa LoBue gives us an idea of how children build resilience in her article; When the Going Gets Tough she wrote for pyscologytoday.com

So what happens when you are hell-bent on saving the world? Or at least it looks like that on the outside. For some reason, you are convinced that people (those in your family and those around you) can’t get through challenges without your assistance.

Even if we don’t dig too far into this deeply rooted compulsive behavior let’s establish this. It’s important for human growth and success that people be given time and space to figure things out. 

Helping others can become addictive. Annika Martins gives us her perspective on this idea in an article she wrote for tiny buddha.

Share your talents and resources. Generously give your time and attention. But you cannot pour a magical tonic on the wounds of every person walking the planet. It’s not your job. And if it were, it’d be a sucky job because you’d fail at it every single day.

Get back in your hula-hoop. A wise woman who was very influential in my own recovery gave me that visual and as a visual learner, it made sense. Imagine standing in the middle of a hula-hoop and having the space around you like your space to operate and a natural buffer to others, a healthy boundary. Snap your figure and you can be back to repeating old patterns, it’s a knee jerk and before you know it you are out of your hula-hoop and into someone else’s. Now it takes focus and consistency to keep your hula-hoop spinning so when you are hanging out in someone else’s - who’s manning yours? 

Ask yourself a couple of qualifying questions:

  • Is this my problem?
  • What am I forfeiting by redirecting my energy?
  • What is the worst that could happen if they fail?
  • How much could they gain by working this out on their own? 

 

CHALLENGE: Embrace a challenge with the confidence that you have the power to navigate your way through. Reach out when you need to consult expert advice and encouragement. Step back when your need to fix interrupts someone’s need to learn. 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork

Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork

September 8, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show….we are talking about teamwork and the power of connections. Even though being self-sufficient and independent might be A goal it’s not THE goal. We need each other to survive and thrive... and guess what, our soul craves each other. So before you strike out on your own, making your journey to self-discovery a solo mission, settle in as we talk about why creating a healthy network of friends, family, and acquaintances is the only way to travel!

Teamwork makes you think of business but we are talking about relationships with family and friends and the need for connection.

LEAH MANDEL interviewed a scientist to find out why we need friends in an article she wrote for thefader.com

Friends are important. So important, in fact, that it’s been proven that friendship can extend life expectancy and lower chances of heart disease. Friendship helps us survive. Part of why that is has to do with what happens in our brains when we interact with other humans: a 2011 study detailed the role of the neurobiological endogenous opioid system (the stuff in our brains that make us feel good) in positive social relationships; in 2016, researchers found evidence of the release of oxytocin in primate brains during social interactions; and later that year, psychologists conducted a study that suggested levels of pain tolerance can predict how many friends someone has.

At one point we needed each other to survive, really survive - it was the buddy system. You watch my back while I forage for food or you help me build this shelter and provide a different perspective to my ideas. Obviously today, the same threats and challenges don’t exist but our wiring still craves others. 

Leave it to Harvard in one of it’s longest studies to reveal that relationships is what makes us happier and more successful

“The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships have a powerful influence on our health,” Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist, and professor at Harvard Medical School told The Harvard Gazette in 2017. “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.”

“Our study has shown that the people who fared the best were the people who leaned into relationships, with family, with friends, with community,” Waldinger said in the TED Talk.

There has to be a healthy balance. Creating and maintaining healthy relationships shouldn’t feel like another thing on your to-do list, working out, eating healthy, and making friends. It should feel satisfying and rewarding which would motivate you to seek that kind of feeling on a regular basis. I love to blow young people’s minds by telling them about a time when people would “visit”. You know stop by, or pop in, or better yet, a scheduled get-together. I think first they are amazed that you would actually spend a whole afternoon talking with someone. When you can send 5 to 10k abbreviated messages a month, an afternoon with the same person seems like a waste of time! 

Let’s explore other ways to show love from Dr. Roni Beth Tower in an article she wrote for psychology today.

Sharing is so important, so let’s talk about it - What do we share?

  • Moments
  • Experiences and  Discoveries
  • Thoughts and Opinions
  • Feelings, concerns, reactions
  • Tasks
  • Allocating priorities, commitments
  • Dreams and Vision

How do we share:

  • By spending time together
  • By coordinating and organizing
  • Through allocating and doing the work, tasks
  • By discussing and communicating
  • By providing a reality check, another pair of ears
  • Through vision and visualization
  • Through defining problems and finding and testing solutions
  • Through unconscious mirroring

When you find trust, honest, support, and love from a spouse, a long-time friend, or a new acquaintance, nurture that relationship. Make it a priority within your life. If you’ve become complacent and closed off, take this time and an opportunity to open yourself up to the possibilities of a new relationship. Reach out and ask for inclusion and networking. You aren’t the only one with the craving.

CHALLENGE: reach out, in person and schedule some time to get caught up on the lives of those you love. Make room and a real effort to invite more people into your fold. Share, learn, and grow in the love of a strong and supportive network. There is no better investment.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Nipping Negativity in the Bud

Nipping Negativity in the Bud

September 1, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show…. We are set on nipping negativity in the Bud! Now you might think, yeah right, every failed attempt starts with good intentions but we aren’t accepting failure here. Instead, we are going to tap into the power we have to drown out, avoid, or bury negativity energy with positive thoughts and actions. Doesn’t every successful ending echo power? The power you have available to you to activate. This show is all about positive alternatives to some of life’s challenges. It’s not about denying that there are real challenges that you will face on a daily if not hourly basis. But instead of sinking in the bog of helplessness, we are searching for positive alternatives to cope and succeed. 

We cover the power to choose. What a wonderful sense of freedom that evokes. You have the power to choose what you allow into your mind and at least, what takes root.

Next, we dive into defining and fully understanding Empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. You can read into that definition a multitude of meanings. The first thing I heard is the ability to understand. How then,  do you develop the ability to understand? I’m not sure you can fully understand someone without the ability to listen to them. 

Here are some thoughts we are going to explore from Amy Morin, LCSW,  a psychotherapist and author of the bestselling book "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do,". 

Active listening refers to a pattern of listening that keeps you engaged with your conversation partner in a positive way. It is the process of listening attentively while someone else speaks, paraphrasing and reflecting back what is said, and withholding judgment and advice.

Here are some features of active listening:1

  • Neutral and nonjudgmental
  • Patient (periods of silence are not "filled")
  • Verbal and nonverbal feedback to show signs of listening (e.g., smiling, eye contact, leaning in, mirroring)
  • Asking questions
  • Reflecting back what is said
  • Asking for clarification
  • Summarizing

These tips will help you to become a better active listener:

  • Make eye contact while the other person speaks. In general, you should aim for eye contact about 60% to 70% of the time while you are listening. Lean toward the other person, and nod your head occasionally. Avoid folding your arms as this signals that you are not listening.
  • Paraphrase what has been said, rather than offering unsolicited advice or opinions. You might start this off by saying "In other words, what you are saying is...".
  • Don't interrupt while the other person is speaking. Do not prepare your reply while the other person speaks; the last thing that he or she says may change the meaning of what has already been said.
  • Watch nonverbal behavior to pick up on hidden meaning, in addition to listening to what is said. Facial expressions, tone of voice, and other behaviors can sometimes tell you more than words alone.
  • Shut down your internal dialogue while listening. Avoid daydreaming. It is impossible to attentively listen to someone else and your own internal voice at the same time.
  • Show interest by asking questions to clarify what is said. Ask open-ended questions to encourage the speaker. Avoid closed yes-or-no questions that tend to shut down the conversation.
  • Avoid abruptly changing the subject; it will appear that you were not listening to the other person.
  • Be open, neutral, and withhold judgment while listening.
  • Be patient while you listen. We are capable of listening much faster than others can speak.
  • Learn to recognize active listening. Watch television interviews and observe whether the interviewer is practicing active listening. Learn from the mistakes of others.

Somehow “sharing the feelings of another” has turned into a power struggle of who is right and who is wrong. Sharing the feelings of another doesn’t mean you have to stand in their shoes but it means that you are open to imagine how they must feel. 

To help us explore the different types of empathy, I found some ideas from the Mindtools.com team.

Whatever you focus on grows. Think about that. Imagine you have a watering can instead of a hose hooked up to an endless supply of water. With your watering can, you are going to water and give life and power to something or someone. Would that help you narrow your focus to concentrate on only the things that truly matter? Would you waste your water just to be right or to teach someone else a lesson?  Would you waste an ounce on growing suspicion, negative opinions, or gossip? 

With a limited supply of focus, we are looking for the most impact.  ANGELINA ZIMMERMAN describes 8 Sensational Ways to Create a Positive Impact Every Day for Ince.com

CHALLENGE: activate your power to choose positivity and eliminate negative feelings. Take the time to understand the thoughts and opinions of those around you and love them anyway. Even when you may not agree or fully understand, choose to love.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Grieving Loss & Embracing Happiness

Grieving Loss & Embracing Happiness

August 25, 2020

SHOW NOTES

On this show... we are going to complete the circle. Loss is inevitable and grieving happens whether we ask for it or not but happiness is a pursuit. Let’s talk about the many losses that trigger the grieving process whether it’s an insignificant disappointment or a loss that shakes us to our core. How we handle loss greatly impacts how we embrace life and our motivation or happiness. You wouldn’t want one without the other. Loss can be a cruel teacher but without loss, one can’t truly appreciate happiness & joy. 

Might as well start with dark and move to the light right? But why does the grieving process always conjure the idea of sadness, extended mourning, prolonged grief? In fact, the dictionary’s definition of grief is; deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone's death. What is sorrow? A feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune suffered by oneself or others.

So what is grief? I found some really helpful information from the helpguide.com or understanding dealing with grief.

The grieving process is not the same for everyone

Grieving is a highly individual experience; there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and how significant the loss was to you.

We cover some different myths about grieving like this on:

Myth: The pain will go away faster if you ignore it

Fact: Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing, it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it.

While grieving a loss is an inevitable part of life, there are ways to help cope with the pain:

  • Acknowledge your pain.
  • Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions.
  • Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you.
  • Seek out face-to-face support from people who care about you.
  • Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically.
  • Recognize the difference between grief and depression.

 

We cover the five stages of grief

  • Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
  • Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
  • Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
  • Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
  • Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”

I talk about the recent loss of my Father from a long-term illness and facility and how my grieving process started over more than once. 

We walk through the emotional symptoms of grief:

Shock and disbelief
Sadness
Guilt
Anger
Fear

And some of the physical symptoms:

Fatigue
Nausea
Lowered immunity
Weight loss or weight gain
Aches and pains
Insomnia

We explore complicated grief and the importance of reaching out and being willing to round the circle to seeking happiness. 

How do you remain optimistic in the face of severe challenges? Here are three quick tips that can make a big difference I found in an article BY JUSTIN BARISO for inc.com.  Try these in the morning to put you in on the path to seeking happiness.

  1. Find someone to thank
  2. Pick a time to stop working
  3. Plan to give

CHALLENGE: Notice and explore your emotions to determine what you need. Reach out and embrace help and the joy it brings. You have the power to nurture or push yourself as needed. It’s your choice.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Thriving Instead of Just Surviving

Thriving Instead of Just Surviving

August 18, 2020

SHOW NOTES

On this show….we’re gonna do better than just survive, we’re talking about thriving. Growing, developing, prospering, and flourishing! If you feel stuck in a cycle of barely getting by or through each day, turn up the dial. You don’t have to succumb to simply existing. There are tools, strategies, and connections that can help change your state of mind and put you back in control. 

Think back and try to pinpoint the moment you started losing your fight. If we are going to apply a new strategy we need to know at what point you switched from thriving to just surviving. I shared my own experience with co-dependency and how I was able to break free and focus my energy on healing myself.

I shared a story of Caleb that mirrors aspects of my own told by Christine Hammond a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over one million downloads of her popular podcast, “Understanding Today’s Narcissist,”. 

The following steps are only an outline of the process that Caleb began. However, the specifics need to be catered for each’s strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Acknowledge the obstacle within you. 
  2. Make a list of positive and negative characteristics.
  3. Choose one thing to change at a time.
  4. All change will be met with resistance.
  5. Recognize the need for help.
  6. Don’t expect immediate praise from others.
  7. Be patient with others.

We talked about using self-pity as a crutch. How many times have you wallowed in your own self-pity putting off change because of fear or defiance? Sometimes it’s just easier to stay where you are and lick your wounds shrouding yourself in your own disappointment.

Most people are well-intentioned; they have big dreams and ambitions they want to achieve. Yet day after day, they find themselves stuck in the same routines to the remark of, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow.’ You’ve been there. You know it can feel impossible to change your life when momentum is working against you.

We walked through some ideas from Reece Robertson who is a self-proclaimed freedom addict in an article for medium: Good Intentions Aren’t Good Enough.

Most of us can’t go it alone. Whether you are protecting your pride or a deep dark secret, keeping your true struggle to yourself has been your go-to default. But isolating these thoughts only gives them more power over you. Reach out to a trusted advisor, friend, or family member. Be open to positive and honest feedback. When you are protecting your pity, it’s hard to hear anything on the contrary. Include your willingness to participate in your own recovery in your commitment plan. 

Eric Ravenscraft examines this in an article he wrote for the NY Times on Why Talking About Our Problems Helps So Much (and How to Do It)

There is a fundamental difference between thriving and surviving. Surviving means, “to continue to live or exist,” while thrive can be defined as “to grow or develop well, to prosper or to flourish.”

We talked through some  thought-provoking ideas from Tamara Lechner for chopra.com

Signs You’re Living in Survival Mode

  • You choose the path of least resistance.
  • You are more reactive than proactive
  • You blame circumstances or others or find excuses when things go wrong.
  • You feel there is never enough to go around.
  • You don’t speak your mind because others might disagree.
  • You don’t listen to hear; you listen to answer.
  • You see failure as the end result of things gone wrong.
  • Change scares you.

Quick Fixes to Get You Started on a Thriving Path

  • Think about how you want to feel rather than what you want to have or do.
  • Remind yourself of times in the past when you have felt like you were thriving. Visualize these times and remember how it felt.
  • Make a vision board or get on Pinterest, where you’ll find inspirational quotes and ideas, and create a collage that reminds you of how you want to feel and what you want to do each day.
  • Spend time every day in nature.
  • Meditate
  • Take a class or attend a retreat.
  • Grab a book by someone who inspires you.
  • Listen to a podcast or webinar.
  • Do something that scares you.
  • Change a habit.

CHALLENGE: make a commitment to live your best life. Don’t accept the status quo of barely surviving but instead, remove the barriers that are preventing you from challenging yourself to thrive. The path to self-discovery and your pace is up to you.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Generating Joy - A Feeling You Can Create

Generating Joy - A Feeling You Can Create

August 11, 2020

SHOW NOTES

On this show….we talked about JOY, one of my favorite subjects. Now, you don’t have to be brimming with joy to participate. That’s just it, we are talking about generating joy. This is something you can actually take control of and make happen yourself. You have the power to be joyful. But harnessing your power and generating joy aren’t the only things we will be discussing, we are going to uncover the benefits of sharing this with others. Your joy and the secret to generating their own.

We talked about why it’s important to strive for a joyful feeling and what it can do to your body.

Carrie Murphy wrote an article on this for Healthline - How Joy Affects Your Body. 

On a scientific level, we feel joy in our neurotransmitters, which are tiny chemical “messenger” cells that transmit signals between neurons (nerves) and other bodily cells. Those neurotransmitters are responsible for processes and feelings in almost every aspect of the body, from blood flow to digestion.

Benefits of feeling more joy:

  • promotes a healthier lifestyle
  • boosts immune system
  • fights stress and pain
  • supports longevity

Here are all the ways happiness runs throughout your body.

  1. Your brain
  2. Your circulatory system
  3. Your autonomic nervous system

Did you know that you can even fake a smile to generate joy: “Smiling can trick your brain by elevating your mood, lowering your heart rate, and reducing your stress. The smile doesn’t have to be based on real emotion because faking it works as well.” — Dr. Samuel

You might believe happy people full of joy are people without any problems. They don’t suffer from health issues, financial issues, or relationship issues. They have it all together just running through a field of flowers chasing rainbows. But that isn’t true. Generating and activating joy in your life is a choice. Not being trapped by the negative pressures and the challenges of life is a choice. 

Have you heard of the “Happy Place”? Someone might say to you, “Go to your Happy Place”. This can be more than a metaphor and become an actual place for you, in your mind. A refuge where you are reminded of happy thoughts and feelings to transport you to a healthier state of mind. With a little practice, you can use this escape at will.  (We did a visualization exercise with journaling to conjure up your happy place and use it to transport yourself into an executive state of mind

We talked about rumination and how negative thoughts can prevent you from finding and using your “Happy Place”. Zawn Villines for Medical News Today - How to Stop Ruminating Thoughts

  • Here are some ways to stop these thoughts:
  • Avoid rumination triggers
  • Spend time in nature
  • Exercise
  • Find a Distraction
  • Push back with Interrogation
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Meditation

Consider collecting all these ideas for the ability to give yourself a “joy injection” whenever you need one. Feeling down today, don’t wait for someone to come along and pick up the pieces. YOU have the power to take control and generate joy. No longer should you succumb to sadness or a feeling of hopelessness. YOU have the power to generate joy.  Be a light, a city on a hill. We are all attracted to a beautiful spirit that gives us hope. Before you allow negativity to block your joy and dim your light, climb up to that higher vantage point and be a city on a hill. One without obstruction that guides others to joy. 

CHALLENGE: Don’t accept sadness as a stage of life. Push back and harness your power to generate joy. Create guides to help you find your Happy Place and share that feeling with others. Shine your light bright enough for others to follow. 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Finding Long-Term Strategies Instead of Short-Term Fixes

Finding Long-Term Strategies Instead of Short-Term Fixes

August 4, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

 

On this show….we discussed patience, now before you turn the show off thinking, “I don’t have time for this”, maybe you’re the exact person who should be listening. All good things come in time, right? Well, yes but we will also be talking about persistence and resilience because there is much to be done during the waiting. Most of us would probably vote quick fix over long-term strategy even though the later, just by title, sounds a little more solid. Quick and easy is what appeals to us most. Quick means I can have it now and even if it is short-term, the problem is solved and I can worry about it again when the time comes.

 

We talked about life in quadrants: learning your way, establishing your roots, growing in your awareness, passing on your knowledge. In each of these sections of life, there is a general plan. You need to learn and grow in multiple areas to get to the next stage of life. In many cases, you have help, family members, teachers, and mentors and in other cases, you are doing research and adjusting your plan based on your experiences, both good and bad.

 

Thomas Oppong writes about The Japanese philosophy of Kaizen as a way to manage long-term goals.

Stop aiming for radical personal change, a magic bullet cannot save you; you’ve got to embrace the process and enjoy it. If you want to achieve your goal every time, create a system that works. Instead of a goal, design a great system or process. That way, you will always win.

 

The Kaizen approach was developed by Depression-era American business management theorists in order to build the arsenal of democracy that helped the US win World War II. The Japanese took to the idea of small, continual improvement right away and gave it a name: Kaizen.

 

The idea here is to focus on consistent, everyday improvements in your life—ones that make you better than you were yesterday—rather than how small the step you take is. Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you’re trying to improve. That’s it. Just 1%.

 

We revisited the idea of 100%: Remember the idea of giving 100% of what you have every day? The idea is not to deplete yourself but to give what you have. Today you may have just a little, bogged down by the weight of what’s going on around you but still, give all of it. I love visualization and to me, this image is something to strive for. 

 

Jack Canfield puts it a little differently in his idea that 99% is a B*@#&  and 100% is a Breeze listed on meaninfulhq.com

 

Successful people adhere to the “no exceptions rule” when it comes to their daily disciplines. Once you make a 100% commitment to something, there are no exceptions. It’s a done deal. Nonnegotiable. Case closed!

 

  • What’s ONE thing in your life that you’re currently just partially committed to, but know you should be totally committed to? Write it down.
  • What’s ONE thing you can do RIGHT NOW to help yourself get totally committed to it? Write it down.
  • Go take action on what you wrote down above right now, or get committed to doing it within the next 24 hours.

 

We also talked about the importance of planning for the lulls: With any plan, you want to consider, timing and commitment level and at the same time foresee potential threats. No well-executed plan comes without a strategy and part of a successful strategy is to plan for the unconsidered. This is where resilience comes in.

 

Let’s explore resilience with some information I found from the American Psychological Association 

Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.

We explored ways to:

  • Build Connections
  • Foster Wellness
  • Find Purpose
  • Embrace Healthy Thoughts

 

Maintain a hopeful outlook. It’s hard to be positive when life isn’t going your way. An optimistic outlook empowers you to expect that good things will happen to you. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear. Along the way, note any subtle ways in which you start to feel better as you deal with difficult situations.

 

CHALLENGE: Don’t be quick to embrace quick & easy. You deserve success and the time it takes to execute a well thought out plan. What you have today is enough and will get your through to tomorrow. Reach out and let those you trust guide the way when it might feel easier to call it quits.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

 

Rebounding When Life Keeps Delivering Blow After Blow

Rebounding When Life Keeps Delivering Blow After Blow

July 28, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

On this show….we discussed disappointment, and not just being let down but facing serious challenges and coming up short time and time again. Regardless of your situation, we can all identify with being challenged, facing adversity, falling short, and harboring fear and resentment. 

 

We talked about handling an accumulation of disappointments. How do you handle life when it seems like nothing is going your way?

 

I shared a little help from Laura Sue Brockway in 11 Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Overcome Disappointment - this includes her professional opinion and some of the professionals she follows.

 

  1. Take a moment to…wallow.
  2. Do a reality check—is it really that bad?
  3. Go high when hit with a low blow.
  4. Don't stew in negativity.
  5. Avoid anxious reactions by lowering stress.
  6. Put things in perspective.
  7. Try not to take other people's reactions and opinions to heart.
  8. Limit others from dumping their disappointments.
  9. Write down your distress.
  10. Develop positive thinking muscles.
  11. Breathe your way to a clear mind.

Life is full of challenges and as strong as you are or as strong as you become, they are unavoidable. What can change is your reaction to any situation. In the midst of a fight on the ground, it’s easy to cast blame, avoid responsibility, and walk away defeated leaving so many life lessons on the table. The advantage only comes from changing your perspective. On the ground, you only see what’s in front of you and only a few feet ahead. You can’t predict future trials but you can arm yourself with the knowledge to help you deal with them more effectively.

 

We talked about unhooking all the disappoint and lay it out to get a good look at each event. Sometimes we lump everything together making it overwhelming to deal with. I used the visualization of being Ebenezer Scrogg and try visiting each event as a third party onlooker. 

 

Sometimes we need this vantage point to walk through the various stations of our life. Keeping events private, never dealing with emotional trauma, or uncovering the lesson means we harden, limiting our true potential. 

 

We discussed the importance of reaching out and not trying to rebound on your own. I shared some insightful thoughts from Debbie Jorde - she struggles with insecurities and self-doubt. She is raising two children with special needs, battling bulimia & multiple sclerosis. She thought she was alone….until she reached out. Now the author of 8 fingers and 8 toes - Accepting Life’s Challenges. 

 

  1. Ask for Help
  2. Set Personal Boundaries
  3. Make Conscious Choices
  4. Accepting Challenges Creates Better Health
  5. Listen to Your Body
  6. Build Healthy Habits
  7. Get Regular Exercise, and Eat Healthily
  8. Take Control of One Area of Your Life

Listen to the podcast to gain perspective on Debbie’s walk and how she came to this advice.  Take control of one area of your life - When life keeps delivering blow after blow and you are overwhelmed feeling completely out of control. Take ONE back. Start small and find one thing you can own. For Debbie, it was her diet and exercise. Even struggling with health problems of her own, she could own this area of her life. 

Instead of focusing on how to avoid the blow’s that life will inevitably deliver we’ve been focusing on rebounding. How to face the challenge, embrace the lesson, find support from others, and fuel your journey with knowledge. Ready to start moving forward again more empowered than before?

 

CHALLENGE: When the pressure gets too great, instead of taking a dive, reach out, and embrace the wisdom of human connections. Empower your self with the knowledge to fuel your resilience. You have what it takes to rebound and lead the charge!

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Exploring Opportunities in the Face of Uncertainty

Exploring Opportunities in the Face of Uncertainty

July 21, 2020

SHOW NOTES:

 

On this show…. we explored some of our options. Don’t you just love the word exploring? It gives us movement and freedom to research, consider, and try out almost anything. It’s an actionable word but it doesn’t force us to move at a predetermined pace or make any commitments we aren’t ready for. We are simply exploring and understanding. There are opportunities all around us. Some land in our lap whether we are conscious of it or not and others we have to uncover and bring to life. Exploring is about searching our hearts and our minds for what we want to happen next and then sifting through ideas and experiences until we find something that might fit.

 

We talked about uncertainty and why we succumb to its promise of “someday”. How can you embrace it now and find comfort?

 

Adam Sicinski -FINDING COMFORT IN UNCERTAINTY WHEN YOUR GOALS ARE ON THE LINE

  • The Benefits of Uncertainty
  • Preparing for Uncertainty
  • Embracing Uncertainty
  • Accepting uncertainty
  • Building a Strong Support Network
  • Investing in Yourself
  • Managing Stress Levels
  • Living for Today

Murphy’s law states that anything that could go wrong, will go wrong, at the worst possible time, all at once when you least expect it. If you don’t keep this law in mind as you are stepping onto the path of uncertainty, then, of course, unexpected things are likely to pop up and you might not be prepared to handle them.

  • What’s the worst that could happen if I take action?
  • What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t take action?
  • What will I do about it?
  • What could prevent me from taking action?
  • How will I overcome these obstacles?

 

Create a Plan of Action

Replace any expectations that you may have with a written and tangible plan of action. A plan of action will help you to iron out all the details and will allow you to fit everything together into a concrete actionable structure. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want?
  • How will I pursue it?
  • What will I do first?
  • What will I do next?

We talked about vantage point and perspective...I use this idea often because it’s a reminder that your perspective plays a key role in success and failure. Stepping back and looking at the situation with a broader view will help you see all the moving parts. I like to think of it as climbing up on a mountain top and looking down. Here, from this vantage point, you can see potential roadblocks or new clear avenues. Anytime you feel rushed, uncertain, or overwhelmed. Take a pause, then a step back to consider the bigger picture. 

 

What you really need is a change—a change of perspective. I found 7 ideas from Jeff Miller on theincrementallife.com

  • Ask for help
  • Walk away
  • Start over
  • Overhaul your routine
  • Broaden you horizons
  • Break out of your two-dimensional view
  • Ask someone else to take the lead

In a quiet space, with time to yourself, start writing down all the things you are passionate about. This can include big broad strokes like; children, the elderly, gardening, entertaining, health & wellness….and so on.

 

Now, start exploring these ideas by taking each one and digging deeper: 

  • What feels like a hobby vs a job? 
  • How much time do you want to invest? 
  • Will there be a financial investment you will need to make? 
  • How does this idea algin with your goals, and current lifestyle?

 

Preparation is an important key to success. Every moment unknown is uncertain. Don’t use this undetermined time as a reason to go idle in the pursuit of your goals. Every step forward is a step in the right direction and you can start today. Climb up to that higher vantage point and spend some time exploring all your options. 

 

CHALLENGE: see the challenge in uncertainty and harness your power to change your perspective. Explore opportunities while searching your heart for guidance. Plan, prepare, and procure - you will be happy you did!

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

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