At some point I began to wonder why I treat myself so badly - internally. If I sat down and documented the types of negativity that I used to regale myself with on a daily basis I would be appalled at myself. I realised that I would never say such statements to anyone of my friends and family - I began to question why I said such statements to myself.
Of course I turned to Dr Google. Dr Google began to present me with the concept that this negative self talk is a habit that I have developed over the years. And Dr Google began to present me with the concept that the negativity is not true and doesn't need to be heard!
Wow! What a great relief that was. I proceeded to spend time regularly working on changing this negative self talk which was leading to me limiting myself and stopping me from achieving my goals.
Psychology Today gave me four steps to follow and follow them I have:
1. Become aware of the negativity talk - I started listening to my negative inner voice. I became aware or patterns - when I am tired I start haranguing myself about taking on too much, making my goals too be, telling myself why I can't achieve the goal. I use that as behavioural guidance now - if this negativity starts up I stop and take some time out.
2. Name your negative inner voice - I named my voice Sally. This helps me separate my positive self from my negative self and put the negativity aside because that isn't the person that I want to be.
3. Respond to your negative inner voice - I address Sally these days. "Thank you Sally, however your comments aren't in my best interest and aren't true." Doing this helps stop the rumination process - going over and over, reinforcing the negativity. It stops that cycle.
4. Be your own best friend - I have turned into my own best friend, AND I verbalise much more positivism for my other best friends. I know how good I feel when someone - including myself - notices my efforts and gives me positive feedback. I practice that with my friends now too. We are all benefiting from this positive approach.
This approach has been critical for me while taking the leap of faith and starting up my new Digital Marketing Specialist / Life Coaching business leveraging the SFM/DEA Platform. Taking a big changing step in your life may fire up your "Sally". But I know how to manage her these days. I keep working on containing Sally so her beliefs can't limit my life anymore.
Resilience is one of those gems, isn't it? An attribute, a characteristic that we all have - some more than others. Is resilience a naturally occurring characteristic? Does it occur naturally in some more than others? Do we develop resilience through our lives as we face adversity?
Resilience is defined as "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness." by Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com provides synonyms for resilience to be "flexibility, pliancy, recoil and snap". This leans towards the ability to recover from a force - typically we consider the force to be a negative force.
Some years ago Hara Estroff Marano, Editor-at Large for Psychology Today wrote in her article The Art of Resilience - "at the heart of resilience is a belief in oneself - yet also a belief in something larger than oneself."
This article provides us with 10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient people which I apply to myself as I create my business and lifestyle. The SFM/DEA supports the concepts articulated in this article by the provision of a community - keep good company, they accept practice - fail forward and they enlist their team - the know how to reach out for help - to name but a few.
I am forever striving to be resilient and to build my resilience through my working life and my personal life.
Now that you have your new Digital Marketing business what are you going to do with your extra time? You are no longer caught up in the daily grind. You have time to plan and do the things that you enjoy. You have time to play and have fun.
"Having fun is non negotiable if you are serious about flourishing - that is, living a life that's high on mental health and wellbeing" says Dr Suzy Green, founder of The Positivity Institute. Having fun is good for us in 5 key ways:
Having fun with others builds and strengthens the emotional bonds with others and creates the sense of connectedness that we all need. Finding fun with your kids can be as simple as having the time to play a board game with them after dinner at night or having a pillow fight with them - not before bedtime cause we don't want to stir them up - maybe in the morning. Having fun with your girlfriends could be having a leisurly coffee and a walk on the beach - priceless.
Experiencing the emotion of joy and delight allow you to release the stress, to be completely absorbed in the moment - let's face it, it's hard to worry about the finances when you are laughing your head off. This gives no space for anxiety. Give yourself permission to laugh. Find the activities that make you laugh with your family - jump off the high board at the local pool and laugh with the joy of it. It's infectious.
Putting fun and play back on the agenda can improve your overall physical wellbeing - according to a study in the United States. The research found that taking part in an enjoyable leisure activity like a beach holiday is linked to lower blood pressure, reduces the stress hormone - cortisol - levels and lead to a better night sleep.
Adults who focus on playful activities and doing something for the sheet pleasure of it can teach teach us to go easier on ourselves and to accept failure and not being perfect.
When we do something for fun and in a child-like way we trigger a cascade of positive emotions - happiness, pleasure, amusement, delight and contentment. A US study concluded that these feelings "significantly predict longevity".
So there we have it. We need to take up this Digital Lifestyle to take back the time in our day, to allow us to play, and to lead a happier life.
I am the style of person who flies through life - sometimes missing the detail. I reach the end of an experience, or event and look back to realise that I missed the richness of the detail in the experience or event. I believe the richness of life lies in the detail.
Savouring the detail is where we find the connections to others that we are missing in the modern world. Being mindful brings my attention to the detail of the moment and enables me to savour the moment fully, minimising the risk of missing the moment and seeing life fly by.
This morning I brought my attention to refreshing my bed linen. I focus on my bed as being a metaphore of my life. If my bed is fresh, clear and organised then I feel fresh, clear and organised. I did a wholesale clean today - a BIG ONE. Not just the sheets and pillow cases, but the duvet cover and mattress protector too. They all went out to the laundry.
Back in came a colour scheme of linen that I haven't used in a little while. I started from the bottom. Ensuring the mattress protector was fully and completely tucked in all around. The fitted sheet went on with not a crease - you can bounce a coin on it. Top sheet and cotton blanket next. Correctly aligned and folded down across the top. (I momentarily wonder if I should plug in the iron and iron the cuff of the top sheet. I dismiss this ideas as being a little too close to perfectionism for me) Four pillows with two cases each. Arranged in alignment. And finally my ornate duvet cover which is adding aa splash of bling for this week.
I moved through these steps in a deliberately slow manner. Considering each element and how it will support me through this coming week.
At the end, I have a bed I feel proud of which I know will retain it's shape during the week and therefore required a minimum amount of time each morning to re-arrange. I have a fresh, clear and organised plan of action for the week and I am motivated and ready to roll.
Benefits of Mindfulness in Business
Hey! Well, I don't think I am particularly melodramatic - though like all of us I do have tendencies to be so in certain situations.
I have been experiencing a technical hiccup with my business which has kept me busy problem solving for the past three days. This has thrown up many emotions from which I choose to take the learnings. The learnings I found in a Deepak Chopra meditation - I'll attach it for you at the end of my message.
I could have choosen to treat my technical issue as a melodrama. I could have described it as a MAJOR ISSUE. I could have drawn lots of negativity towards it. We know that really gets me nowhere. Our brains shut down and fail to think effectively in melodrama mode.
For all three days I worked hard to contain my emotional response. Day 3 I took a whole day off from the problem. In reality, there are no life changing consequences of the fix not being found for 24 hours. Day 4 I sat down with a good night sleep, a clear mind and a coffee. I worked my way through the problem again. I researched and found a new source of knowledge. Before that source of knowledge had time to suggest a fix I stumbled across the fix myself.
Contain melodrama. We can choose to not respond that way. Focus on the positive - the fix - and the universe will send positivity and the fix. Celebrate the success. Accept the lesson.
Ca-ching! As Lightening McQueen would say.
My Dad is 83 years young. Pancreatic cancer survivor. Survivor of a cycling accident at age 73 that saw him with 7 broken ribs, a punctured lung and major head "trauma" - serious brusing. He is drug free and riding his bike three to four times a week for up to 50km. Physically he is great. Emotionally - his beloved 3rd wife (aka not my mother) passed away 12 months ago. He moved from their home into mine. Well away from any friends he had established at his previous location. So he is lonely. He's pretty deaf and making new friends is VERY challenging.
For the previous 2 years I either didn't work, or worked parttime/casual in child care. The flexibilty was great - the pay was not sustainable. But it gave me the time that I needed to give my Dear Old Dad some attention. Just a cup of coffee in the morning is enough for him. He is very self sufficient, but does need a chat - just like us all.
2 months ago I landed a great 40 hour a week job. In my old career. Something I have been trying to get away from for years. But there you go - the money always pulls me back in. Now all my time is gone. It affects not only me, but my Dad and my two teenage boys.
Another great motivator that is driving me to build my Digital Marketing Specialist niche business, combining Life Coaching and the provision of a Digital Marketing Skills service for business owners, and the promotion of the Academy and Platform that got me here.
In fact, I told Dear Od Dad about my business and my plans for the next 4 - 6 months. I was ready for some old person skepticism - the world is coming to an end. Global economic crisis and all that. But Dad was pleasantly supportive. Said he was all in favour of some personal initiative.
Go figure! Go Dad..