Some are polar opposites of the typical cliche advice. Use them to unlock your high-performing future self.
The morning shapes your day in mysterious ways.
It shouldn’t as there are 24 hours in a day — but it does. Weird. I’m not one of those 4 A.M. cold shower peeps anymore.
I prefer a realistic start to the day. It’s even more important for me because I have no job or boss to report to. So if I stuff up the morning, over time, I can stuff up my life and end up warming an office chair in a skyscraper of broken dreams, dying to escape (again).
Do these things before 8 A.M. to crush your day.
Lessons from Rebekah Taussig on honoring and celebrating our bodies.
Self-acceptance is essential to self-care and our overall well-being. If we can’t accept ourselves, our well-being is going to suffer, regardless of how diligent we are about any other physical and mental health practices.
Still, even with all the progress we’ve made in recent years on body positivity and mental health, the radical act of accepting ourselves for who we are has never been more challenging. Our society surrounds us with images of what supposedly healthy and perfect bodies look like. And of course, much of that is fueled by social media, which, in study after study, has been shown to damage our body image and self-acceptance. So how can we learn to accept ourselves and show up for ourselves in a way that nurtures our well-being?
To begin to answer this question, I had the privilege of talking with Rebekah Taussig on a recent episode of Deloitte’s “WorkWell” podcast. Rebekah is a writer, teacher, and advocate, whose popular Instagram feed, @sitting_pretty, is filled with what she calls “Mini memoirs.” I was thrilled to talk to her about her new book, Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, in which she chronicles her journey to self-acceptance with her trademark candor, humor, vulnerability, and authenticity.
Rebekah has been disabled since she was 3, and got her first wheelchair at age 6. She had a fairly normal childhood, with her “resilience and scrappiness” keeping her from realizing how differently she was experiencing the world. When she got to graduate school, discovering disability studies gave her a way to begin to understand herself. “It felt like the physics of the universe were transforming in real time,” she told me. “It just changed everything for me about how I saw myself and my story and gave me language to explain things I’d never been able to express before.”
You did it. You made it out — hopefully with some shred of sanity and sense of personal self-worth. But even if those things feel unrecoverable, they aren’t. You can get them back.
Maybe you’ve moved on to greener pastures. If that’s the case, well done. You’ve taken an important step towards preserving (or gaining back) your emotional and physical health.
Maybe, although less likely, your boss either moved on or was fired. Most of the time, these situations don’t fix themselves, as for some reason senior leadership would rather keep a single toxic boss employed than the multiple high-quality employees who leave because of them.
In either case, there’s a residual emotional and physical toll that lasts well beyond the end of the boss-employee relationship. I know; I’ve been there.
In the span of just two years of reporting to a toxic boss, I went from being a high-performing, high-potential engineering leader to nearly leaving the company I’d spent 15 years at because of one single person. My boss. That’s how badly I needed to get away from her.
Mental resilience is the cornerstone of a successful life - but can you build it in yourself, your family and your team?
Crying every morning may sound like a terrible way to start the day, but for life coach Suzie Doscher, Class of 1974 (1970-74), tears are a vital safety valve – and a healthy response to a global pandemic. “When a friend asked me how I was coping with lockdown, I told her I regularly had a good cry,” she says. “I sometimes started the day feeling uneasy or unsure, but I know it’s important to deal with my emotions so I release them by having a cry. That is how I got myself to a place where both my feet were firmly on the ground, and then I knew that I could handle whatever came my way.”
Now, more than ever, our mental health matters. We live, work and study at breakneck speed, bombarded by choice. And with technology – and the recent lockdowns – creating an ‘always on’ environment, boundaries between life and work are increasingly blurred. Clearly, the ability to build our own mental resilience, in mentally healthy work and living spaces, is crucial.
None of this is news to Brigitte Eigenmann, Head of Human Resources at ZIS. “Our mental and physical health are connected,” she says. “That’s why we need to take mental health seriously.”
I was standing by the lake one windy morning watching the waves crash up against some rocks and the ripple effect that followed. The wave hit one area and cascaded long the others closer to where I was standing. It was beautiful, full of energy and at the same time made me realize that this can be translated into how one negative thought tends to release a series of more negative ones. This seems to happen to ‘feed’ or confirm the first one. I have found that negative thoughts hate being alone ... they look for company.
In my own personal experience as well working professionally in the arena of personal growth and development, I all too often witness how this unfolds.
I am not a therapist or neuroscientist so cannot speak scientifically. Having said that I have enough evidence after 16 years of working in this area to be able to say the patterns are there.
It strikes me that our minds do not like to give up the negative thoughts. Our brain looks for further thoughts to confirm this 'truth'. The thought might be far from true now in your actual present-day reality, yet we treat it as absolute truth in our thinking. From what I witness these beliefs come from emotions, more often than not emotions from the past, even recent past (last job, last relationship). Our behaviour follows our thinking, so our behaviour will act upon what we think and therefore believe.
For example: If you believe you are not very good at something chances are you will act this way. Instead of taking the approach to learn how to, or improve, you shy away from it.
Of course, the very first step must be being aware of this thought pattern and the resulting behaviour. To make any changes it is vital to be aware of a pattern. If it turns out to be limiting belief that is holding you back this belief is best challenged and reframed. If is is there due to lack of clarity you know to get more clarity.
In order to stay calm and grounded it requires certain behaviours that feed being calm.
Each person will have their own requirements. What you as an individual need to feel calm will most likely differ from someone else’s needs. Each has their own interpretation of success as well as what feeling calm and grounded means to them.
Based on my own personal experience this also changes depending on our age.
I know when I was 30 my focus was very different to 40. At 30 I was focused on creating my family and being a wife and mother. At 50 I noticed that feeling fulfilled was my new goal and turning 60 was fabulous as I had completely grown into my skin by then and was more than happy to focus on my core values and needs. The 'older age' goal is answering the question ‘how do I want this chapter of my life to look and feel’… This one is still work in progress so watch this space.
Tips for what comes next
If you find yourself lost in a negative thinking pattern regarding an issue, observe any common denominators that kick the first thought off. What sets those wheels in motion? What happens next? Observe yourself, raise your awareness to your patterns.
Is it a recurring situation, a recurring interaction, an issue left unresolved, a lack of clarity?
It could be a number of things. Get to know yourself to find out what exactly it is.
It is worthwhile to observe what comes next. Which thoughts follow, how do you act, react, behave, or deal with it?
Always remember to be patient and kind with yourself during any process of growth or change.
by Suzie Doscher:
Coaching for Personal Development: Life Coaching and Executive Coach, Self-Help Author
Photo credit: Pexels and Shutterstock
Many people grow up pretty confused about their emotions and how they work. So, understandably, they tend to simply avoid what feels bad and hold onto what feels good.
The problem is…
Making decisions based on how you feel is a recipe for both failure and unhappiness.
On the other hand, emotionally sophisticated people have a more nuanced understanding of how emotions work. And the better you understand your emotions, the easier it is to work with them in a healthy way.
Emotional sophistication means having a deep understanding of how your emotions actually work.
If you want to cultivate a healthier understanding of your emotions, these 6 habits are a good place to start.
1. They’re Curious About Their Own Mind
by Suzie Doscher
Photo by David Kennedy on Unsplash
Change is not easy or simple. If you have been told you should change but are not really convinced that this is true, you are more likely to fail at completing the process. You stand a better chance if want, and are motivated, to change something. This could be a behaviour pattern, how you react, a communication style or how you view the world to name a few examples.
Change can only really take place if you are ready to take action.
Research shows 90% of the strategies designed for change assume people are ready to take action. In reality only 20% of the people already involved in some process of change are actually ready to take action. This helps explain why so many attempts to keep New Year's resolutions, lose weight, change behaviour, etc. are doomed to failure.
by Suzie Doscher, Executive Coach, Life Coaching and Self-help Author
Knowing you have the skills to bounce back, not only on an intellectual and but also feeling this on an emotional level is true strength. Resilience in my opinion is knowing that no matter what comes your way - you can handle it. You know you have the strength and confidence to get up, dust yourself off and move forward. Your self-esteem is strengthened by this ability. You have the confidence to figure out and fix, or change whatever has set you back.
This might sound easy so it is important to remember that when emotions are present (have been triggered) I can handle this is not necessarily the first thought or feeling that might occur.
Neuroscience has proven when emotions are present the brain’s cognitive resources are the first to be disrupted. In other words emotions overpower thinking in that moment.
When a situation results with you feeling stressed, kicked down, frustrated, angry, unsupported, alone, confused, overwhelmed etc. - these feelings are the emotions triggered by whatever happened in that moment.
by Mayo Oshin, Juggling ideas at the intersection of science, art and philosophy.
We’d like to think that we can multitask — respond to emails, text messages, toggle between multiple tabs on a browser and scroll through social media feeds, whilst working on important tasks — but, our brains would say otherwise.
According to neuroscientists, our brains aren’t built to do more than one thing at a time. And when we try to multitask, we damage our brains in ways that negatively affect our well-being, mental performance and productivity.
Here are nine ways multitasking is killing your brain and productivity.
1. Multitasking can lead to permanent brain damage
A study from the University of Sussex (UK) compared the brain structure of participants with the amount of time they spent on media devices i.e. texting or watching TV.
The MRI scans of the participants, showed that the high multitaskers had less brain density in
FYI: this is a very long article.
by Benjamin P. Hardy, Author, husband, father
According to the British philosopher, Alain de Botton, “Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.” How different is your life, right now, from where you were 12 months ago? If it’s quite similar, then you haven’t been learning very much.
To learn, by nature, is to change and evolve. In order to change and evolve, you need to regularly create peak experiences — those moments which create deep awe, gratitude, and a shift in how you see yourself and the world. When was your last peak experience? What was the last time you flexed your courage muscles? When was the last time you tried something that might not work?
If you’re ready to make wild progress during 2019, you need to make some tweaks. This isn’t anything to be upset, distraught, or frustrated about. Life is, inherently, a learning experience. Life is beautiful. You get to have fun with it. One thing that is really beautiful about moving forward intensely in your future is that, simultaneously, you change your memory about the past. The past, regardless of what it has been — great or disappointing — will change in meaning as you make new decisions in your future. Your future is flexible. Your past is also flexible. What you have is now. You get to decide what you’re going to do. You get to decide how you’re going to live. Look around… No one is stopping you. Want to make a shift? Here are 30 behaviors to get you started:
1. Wake Up Earlier
“You’re more likely to act yourself into feeling, than feeling yourself into action.” —
by Marcel Schwantes
Nobody likes to fail. Yet failure is the secret to success. If you haven't been rejected a number of times, the current mantra goes, you just haven't experienced success.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, swears by this premise. At Virgin, they encourage and even celebrate failure. There's an underlying theme there that, without trying something new and failing, it's virtually impossible to innovate and grow.
Branson says, "Do not be embarrassed by your failures. Learn from them and start again. Making mistakes and experiencing setbacks is part of the DNA of every successful entrepreneur, and I am no exception."
Wherever you are on your career path, it's time to acknowledge that failing is common, no matter how hard you try to avoid it.
But here's the thing. There's one superhuman quality -- a mindset -- every person needs to master on their journey of failing forward. Without it, you may as well toss in the towel now and never try again.
I speak of resilience.
The BALANCE Handbook helps you with difficult moments
This book is about change and finding balance in life.
Read it when you feel vulnerable and unsure of yourself.
This book will help you find new opportunities, learn new behaviors and life skills to become the best version of yourself.
Handle everyday problems more effectively and improve the quality of your life and the life of those around you.
Take the time to invest in yourself before you find yourself off balance. Strengthen your weaknesses before they rule your life.
This 2nd Edition Handbook now includes the Interactive Workbook for Self-Coaching. With the journaling in the Workbook you explore your goals, where you stand now and the issues from the past holding you back.
Order your book today and start bringing more balance into your life.
Contact Suzie Doscher
Raise your self-awareness with this: