Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Learning, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Practical ways to be resilient…

When you wake up in the morning decide where you are on a scale, if pain was one end and power the other end – where would you want to be?

The answer is that most of us want to be the power end. Life events can drain our batteries, so keeping a metric of where you are and working out what it tells you can be a practical step to measuring your resilience levels. For a month keep a pain to power tracker and see what patterns emerge.

We can also think about what Mindset do we wish to adopt. Professor Carol S Dweck says that people either have a Fixed Mindset or Growth Mindset. The power of being able to say “not yet” is the Growth Mindset.

Growth Mindset Fixed Mindset
I can learn anything I wantI am either good at it, or I am not
I want to challenge myselfI don’t like to be challenged
When I fail, I learn When I fail, I am no good
Tell me I try hardTell me I am smart & have natural ability

By adopting a Growth Mindset we have the elasticity to be resilient and bounce back.

Recognising our sign symptoms of when we feel our resilience levels are low can also be a very practical tool. We can do this by using five main areas:-

  1. Sense of purpose – reason or focus for your work
  2. Mental toughness – the ability to make decisions
  3. Physical energy – tired constantly
  4. Emotional balance – the ability to regulate our emotions
  5. Social skills – make others feel comfortable

Ask yourself have you noticed any of these areas being harder than normal, these may be indications that your resilience levels are low.

Susan Kobasa a leading psychologist says that there are 3 key elements of a resilient individual:-

Challenge – view any difficulty as a challenge

Commitment – committed to their lives and goals

Personal Control – spend time and energy on stuff they have control over

The last statement aligns with Stephen Covey’s Circle of Concern/Circle of Influence. We should only focus on the concerns that we can influence if not we should let them sit outside our heads and make them a “no concern”.

Finally in summary what key things can you be doing to develop your resilience:-

1.Learn to relax

2.Practice thought awareness

3.Edit your outlook

4.Learn from mistakes and failures 

5.Choose your response

6.Maintain perspective

7.Set yourself some goals 

8.Build your self confidence 

9.Develop strong relationships 

10.Be flexible 

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Resilience – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, Problem solving, Stress management

The curse of overthinking…

Many of us have become over thinkers because it gives us the illusion that we’re doing something about the problem we’re overthinking about” – Nick Trenton

We all have moments where we have so much in our heads that our bandwidth is stretched to capacity. We then decide to focus on just one problem and overthink it so that it becomes a really huge problem. The bigger it gets the more you lose the ability to see any clarity, make any decisions or to feel calm.

Nick Trenton the author of Stop Overthinking says the first mistake is to think that you can think your way out of overthinking. Understanding that you can’t think and feel at the same time is liberating. When you are too emotional and in feelings you need to move away from whatever is triggering the anxiety and move into thinking, and likewise too much in your head you need to feel instead of think.

Trenton suggests the 5,4,3,2,1 approach, using all five senses to reset. Imagine sitting at your desk overthinking. Stop and take a moment to :-

5 – look at 5 things in your office – really stare and visualise them, lamp on your desk, tree outside, the sky, pen you have been using, a chair opposite you

4 – hear 4 things and really hear them – the fan on your computer, your breathing, car outside, ticking of a clock

3 – feel 3 sensations, your hands on the desk, the fabric of your shirt, warmth of mug on your desk

2 – smells you can detect in the room – your own perfume/aftershave, the aroma in the room

1 – taste sensation, the coffee, or just your own taste in your mouth

This method gives you the control back.

Behind every overthinking episode is a deliberating belief, Trenton describes this second method as “counter belief experiment”.

You are about to present to a large audience and you are overthinking and you believe you are not prepared enough. He says take the following steps to challenge that anxiety belief:-

  1. What must I believe about myself, or the future to justify my anxiety?
  2. Invert the belief to form a counter belief – if you believe you are not prepared for the presentation – the counter belief – I am fully prepared for the presentation
  3. Spend a least a minute in the counter belief – you are full prepared – what does that feel like?
  4. Look for evidence to support this new belief – you are fully prepared

Finding evidence to support your counter belief, helps you dispel the original belief, this will lower the anxiety and stop you overthinking.

The final method Trenton suggests is worry postponement. When the overthinking starts, book a worry appointment for later. The delay often takes away the anxiety. The worry just wants to be acknowledged and that maybe all it needs as often when you revisit the problem it is not a problem.

To book a workshop on “How to stop Overthinking…?” please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships

Empathy…

Empathy is an emotional skill and as with any skill you have to keep practising to gain mastery.

It is about our ability to understand what some-one is experiencing and to reflect back our understanding.

The attributes of empathy by Theresa Wiseman:-

  • Perspective taking – what is the experience like for you?
  • Staying out of judgment – just listen don’t evaluate
  • Recognising emotion
  • Communicating our understanding
  • Practising mindfulness – feeling the emotion and moving through it

Empathy is a tool of compassion, we only truly experience it if we are present for some-one else’s pain. If we are not willing to be fully present then it’s not real empathy.

BrenĂ© Brown writes in Atlas of the Heart “We need to dispel the myth that empathy is walking in someone else’s shoes. Rather than walking in your shoes, I need to learn how to listen to the story you tell about what it’s like in your shoes and believe you even when it doesn’t match my experiences”

Empathy misses:-

  • Sympathy – “I feel so sorry for you” – empathy is not feeling sorry for some-one
  • Judgement – The gasp from your friend is not empathy – over reaction will make the person feel shame
  • Disappointment – “You’ve let me down” – if they are looking for you to be exemplary all the time is not relating to you
  • Comparing/Competing – “If you think that’s bad” – not about you, must be their agenda
  • Problem solving – “I can fix it” – just listen don’t go into fixer mode
  • Avoid – “Let’s make this go away” – sit with the discomfort and connect in a meaningful way

We need to truly listen and be present for the person feeling what they are feeling to even begin to master empathy.

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships

Disappointment

It can range from mild discomfort to deep hurt. Disappointment is unmet expectations. The more significant the expectation the more significant the disappointment.

We feel disappointment as we have not examined or expressed our expectations, and yet we have a clear picture in our heads of what we want to see. The movie in our mind is perfect. Why don’t we share what is going on in our heads? It is often as the conversation will expose our vulnerability and that may well be tough and awkward. When we share what we want we our putting ourselves first which again is not something we do very often and it takes bravery to value our own expectations.

In Atlas of the Heart by BrenĂ© Brown uses the expression “Painting Done”. She fully briefs colleagues on her expectations and then says “Painting Done”.

We have to also manage how we handle unchecked and unexpressed expectation, as an example “She will love her gift?” – we don’t know whether she will love her gift this is an unchecked expectation. If you have no control over the response you will be disappointed and damage your self worth.

Even when we are intentional and thoughtful about expressing our expectations it can still lead to disappointment and we are left feeling vulnerable. However you cannot be vulnerable without being courageous, so better to have tried.

Some people don’t even enter the arena, by deciding to use a numbing technique to never experience disappointment “I am not going to get excited as I will only be disappointed”.

Go forward and be courageous and partner up with your expectations, “What do you want the weekend to look like…?” – “How do you see the project completed…” Be bold, brave and put your expectations out there.

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness

Less but better…

Do you find you are stretched to thinly, attending meetings back to back and often not remembering the content.

Greg McKeown’s book “Essentialism”gives advice on how to get disciplined in the pursuit of less. Simply put a value on what you are saying yes to and say no more. We often struggle to say no as we think we are saying no to a person but you are saying no to the request not the person.

Often when we say yes to the wrong things we have short term comfort that we have done the right thing, however this may well give us long term discomfort. Not all effort is equal, be careful what you are saying yes to.

The over used word of “busy” means a brain that is operating without clarity. You are never that helpless that you cannot make the right decisions. Think about the best yes, be discerning take time and have an awkward pause to think is this the best use of your time.

Time out refreshes us whether it be play or sleep. Escaping helps with concentration time away gives an expansion of our awareness. This then gives more elasticity in the brain, greater bandwidth and again more discernment about the right choices. Sleep is the best asset you have in resting and growing your mind. The antidote to stress and the best recharge ever.

Be a journalist of your own life. By adopting the discipline of journalling everyday, you begin to get perspective and notice patterns. You can understand what is important now.

In essence is it a “Hell Yeah or a No” this is the title of Derek Sivers book and arguably a good compass to follow.

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Learning, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

The Power of Journalling…

At the start or the end of the day record the days events in a journal.

According to mental health professionals, journaling is one of the most recommended tools to have a clearer mind and a happier life. Recording moments acknowledging what happened and not letting a day just drift by.

Identifying values we have in life is a great compass as to whether you are on course. By recording whether you lived by your values in your journal gives us identity and a moral compass. Brene Brown advocates us identifying two core values to live by. As an example my values are:-

  • Making a difference
  • Achievement

By journalling I can track my values, have I made a difference today and what are my list of achievements.

Journals can help you recognise how you have been thinking or feeling that day. One of the top tips is to name your emotions, giving them labels helps you to own them. Once you own an emotion you can then begin to process it, eg. if you were scared and you own it, you can then identify where the fear was coming from. A more positive example if you were happy, what triggered that emotion and how can you repeat it.

Logging your rituals or your habits, one source of tracking can be vital for your journalling. I have at the top of the page walk and nuggets. My ritual of walking everyday needs to be ticked and my nugget is the one thing that has the greatest impact that day (it can be a high or a low).

Why do they work?

Adam Grant talks about mindful, mattering and mastery in his TED Talk the follow up to his New York Times Article. Journalling hits all three areas there is the mindful activity of writing and the mattering of whether you have leaned into your values. The mastery of what you have achieved that day and whether you are learning some new skills or new behaviours.

By journalling we can clear some mental blocks, everything seems so much clearer on paper. A project you have been deliberating on for too long, once you journal what you have started on the project you appreciate that you are moving forward. Progress in any shape or form is motivation.

Being kind to yourself by documenting what is actually going on. There is a peace in the moment of writing and a closing ceremony of what has taken place.

Please do get in touch for a coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, mindfulness, motivation

Cast a vote for who you want to be…?

This a line from James Clear the author of Atomic Habits. He talks about establishing identity based habits, so if you want to run take on the identity of a runner. Every behaviour or action you then ask yourself does this support the identity you wish to adopt.

The runner identity is quite a clear role but what about the type of person you want to be, leaning into your values. If you want to be more caring what actions and behaviours support this person.

Clear talks about the two minute rule, so the identity you wish to adopt scale it down, and simply just start showing up.

He tells the story of Mitch who goes to the gym for 5 minutes, 4 days a week. Mitch knew that he had to master the art of showing up.

We often put off action as we think we need to learn more about the identity, however the best way to learn is to take action. Don’t buy all the equipment and just look at it. Keep the bar low and you will then step into the repetition as with Mitch’s visits to the gym. You gradually build momentum and you will progress which is directly correlated to motivation. (Teresa Amabile the progress principle)

The showing up is reinforcing your desired identity and a desire to repeat the behaviour.

To keep on track rewards are helpful when we were at school it was about getting a badge, now it might be tracking a good decision or casting votes and logging behaviours that compliment the identity. It is always good to make your progress visual. External rewards must be aligned with the internal identity you are driving to adopt. Simon Sinek calls this the “Celery Test”, if you want to be a healthy eater you are not going to have a reward of an unhealthy food, it must be aligned to your new identity.

True behaviour change is identity change eg. The goal is not to run a marathon the goal is to become a runner.

Reshape the way you think about yourself and be happy in yourself.

Every action or behaviour you are casting a vote – building a body of evidence that this is the person you want to be.

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, Relationships

Review of the year…

This will be the last post of this year and so a good time to take stock of the year. I send this to all coaching clients so they can see what has happened and begin to focus on the year ahead.

Review of 2021

Best 5 days of 2021 (think of your whole life, where were you and who were you with?)

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  

People who were important to you in 2021:-

Achievements x 3 (in or out of work)

1.

2.

3.

How are you feeling December 2021:- (start with an adjective and then explain why you have chosen that description)

Looking ahead to 2022

Big Goals (work or home)

1.

2.

3.

Days & Events in 2022  (significant Birthdays/events such as Weddings/Anniversaries etc…)

Have a lovely Christmas and please do ask others to follow my Blog and I look forward to connecting with you again in 2022. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Letting go…

Getting a sense of who you are does not have to be quite as dramatic as the route of Jay Shetty the author of “Think like a Monk”. Shetty spent three years living as a Monk to understand why they are so happy and centred, he discovered at the core of their life was their ability to master the art of letting go.

First step we can take is to let go of external expectations, which have evolved via our parents/friends and society at large. Shetty says we can take stock of what we value in life and then practice choice awareness against our values. Think daily do you want to spend that time or money doing what you are doing. You have the power of choice and if there is no value attached to the outcome is it the right choice. Attending a conference to learn, or alternatively attending as you have been told to, both give you different choices.

Letting go of negativity towards others, especially if you are holding onto them for a long time. You have a row with your partner which may take you 1% of your time to reach resolution and yet 99% of the time is left with negative thoughts swirling in your head. Shetty says that we should forgive without waiting for the person to apologise, and we should also get into the habit of well wishing, passing and sharing our own happiness. We should delight in other’s success be genuinely happy for them.

Letting go of attachment is possibly the one I found most poignant. If you think in life that everything is borrowed you will enjoy the moments you are in so much more. As an example, in the book he explains you rent a luxury car and you enjoy every moment of the experience as you know it will not last and you don’t own the car. Imagine taking on this mindset for everything. You are only borrowing your family for periods of time. Detaching from people and things makes you love them even more and then when you are attached to them in moments of time, they are all the sweeter.

In summary:-

  • Let go external expectations
  • Let go of negativity towards others
  • Let go of attachment

Please do get in touch to book nuggets for coaching or bite size workshops bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, motivation, Relationships

Finding flow in pure joy…

Adam Grant wrote the article on languishing which was such a life saver to so many people. He has now delivered a TED talk to explain his own journey from languishing to flow. The route out is not a productivity task it was as simple as playing Mario Kart with his family. Something that gave him and others pure joy.

Before the pandemic he had a list of all the things not to do: –

  • No phone in bed
  • No social media in the evening
  • Not more than two screens
  • Only put the TV on when you know what you want to watch

As we know during lockdown every rule went out the window. We watched box sets scrolled social media even though none of us were doing anything. We were muddling through with very foggy windscreens. This was not depression, there was still hope and energy but we felt a bit aimless, and Grant says this was languishing. Cory Keys first coined the expression and she explained that chronic languishing can lead to depression. In time it can dampen your enthusiasm and you become indifferent to your own indifference.

Teresa Amabile says that motivation hinges on progress, so there is tremendous pressure to be upbeat and busy. Grant demonstrates that optimism is not the solution, as to randomly assign too many blessings means your optimism may run out. In the TED talk he asks for one person to say 3 good things in their life and then another to say 42 things, as you would expect the latter becomes random and not meaningful.

So during the lockdown optimism was not the solution, flow was the answer. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the psychologist who explored why flows leads to happiness.

Flow is about total absorption in a task eg. gardening, cooking or the Netflix series. However the last one is only a temporary cure as you are passively engaging a fictional world. Peak flow is about participation in the real world.

Grant found Mario Kart which connected the three ingredients:-

  • Mastery
  • Mindfulness
  • Mattering

It all started when he and his sister reminisced about playing Mario Kart as kids. They decided to play with their own families online, and soon that led to Saturday night adult Mario Kart nights. The mastery connects with the principle of progress, the momentum of the game. Mindfulness you need to give the game your full attention no other distractions. The most beautiful component is the mattering, playing as a family knowing it matters for each other.

My own journey through lockdown was starting a nuggets book club. I set the challenge of a book review each week just for 30 mins. The format was a silly icebreaker that engaged the attendees. I had to master the book through the week and during that 30 minutes I was just there being mindful of the content and the people. I really felt it mattered to me as an individual to still be motivated but I also felt it mattered to others. The book club gave me flow and so much joy.

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk