You’ll Be Fine

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Of course, to break with your tried-and-true-and-not-so-useful-anymore ways, you’ll have to be vulnerable. Yeah, I know; sorry about that.

Quick reminder, though: no matter what happens, you will be fine, really. Sure, you can scare yourself pretty badly as you consider everything. Maybe you will scare yourself enough to tempt you not to be vulnerable. And don’t fall for it. Just remember the trick: Feel good. Then act.

You’ll be fine.

In your corner,

Mike

Fear or Love

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There are two ways of thinking about anything.
You can look at it from the perspective of fear. Or you can look at it from the point of view of love. One feels bad and leaves you trying to figure out how to control things, make or prevent things from happening. The other feels good and leaves you quietly excited and curious about how it will all unfold.

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Yes, really. Anything.

How to Silence Your Inner Critic

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Our Inner Critic slows our success. It likes to distract us by arguing why something won’t work. It tells us lies about how ignorant, poor, unattractive, isolated, weak, or insane we are.

Here’s how to silence the Critic.

  1. Counter its opinions with thoughts and stories that say you are wise, abundant, attractive, connected, strong, and in charge. (Start small if you need to with thoughts that are only slightly more positive and that you can buy into.)
  2. Note how those improved thoughts feel, physically. Common sensations include relief, release, lightness, or warmth in your legs, back, arms, neck, belly, or chest.
  3. Chances are, the Critic will argue even more loudly, insisting it is right. Note how the Critic’s opinions as always feel bad.
  4. Remind your Critic that bad-feeling thoughts are always a lie. Good-feeling thoughts are always true.

Unable to argue the point, your Critic will back down and let you get on with your success.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: You may need to try this one to see how it works.

PPS: And if you want to hold your thumb and finger in the shape of an L on your forehead and say “Loser!” to the Critic, it might feel good, too. 😉

Who Ordered This Mess?

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Have you ever caught yourself in a foul or fearful mood and wondered, “Who ordered this mess?” Worse, have you gotten angry or worried about being in that mood? Yeah, me too.

We know there are thoughts that work for us and those that do not. We feel good when we think thoughts that work for us.

When you catch yourself thinking thoughts that feel bad, that are not working for you, remember:

  1. Your job is not to fight off the unhelpful thoughts or moods. That only makes them worse. (“Fire? This is fuel.”)
  2. Your job is to refocus on thoughts that feel good.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

 

The Keep or Toss

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How are you feeling today?

We have spoken about the improved effectiveness and other benefits of deliberately tuning your thinking towards thoughts that feel better and better. (See Effectiveness Habit #2: Feel Good. Then Act and here.)

Tools to help you feel good include The Flip, The Ladder, Telling Yourself a Different Lie, and Focusing on the Good Stuff. Let’s add another tool (inspired by an article from Ohio State University that demonstrates the usefulness of tools like these), The Keep or Toss:

  1. Grab any thought that you happen to be thinking a lot.
  2. Write that thought on apiece of paper.
  3. If that thought feels good and you believe it, fold the paper it’s on and slip it into your wallet or purse.
  4. If that thought feels bad or if you don’t believe it, shred (or crumple up) that sheet of paper and throw it away.
  5. Repeat as needed.

 

In your corner,

Mike

A Better Way and Why

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, Success, Will=Our inner game
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Why not to do anything :

  • To pay the bills
  • To avoid pain
  • To please another
  • To get the girl or guy
  • To stay safe
  • Because it’s what you have always done
  • Because someone says so

Why do anything?

  • To enjoy it
  • Because it is interesting, exciting, tasty, different
  • Because it feels better

The first list describes a difficult “way and why” full of resistance and wasted energy. The second list describes an easier, better way and why. I strongly advocate you shift more and more to the easier, better way and why.

Here are some practical tips to help:

  • Allow yourself all the time you need to make this shift. You may be able to do it all in an instant or in a lifetime. You will be carefully replacing old habits with new ones and that may take a bit of time.
  • Choice is your big helper here. Follow rules because you choose to. Fulfill commitments because you choose to. Follow my suggestion to make this shift only if you choose to.
  • Delegate smartly. If you have something that needs to be done and that you don’t enjoy, delegate it to someone who does enjoy it.
  • Address the apparent selfishness. Making this shift can seem selfish. Let’s call it enlightened selfishness instead. As you become more discerning about what you will do and why, you free up time, energy, and resources that had been wasted grinding through the resistance. And you will have more available to help others. It simply will come bubbling out of you.

Shift, ya?

 

In your corner,

Mike

Focus on the Good Stuff

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Will=Our inner game
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In the Effectiveness Habit #2: Feel good. Then Act. we see how useful it is to take some time and feel better about your situation before acting. In addition to tools like

listing things that you appreciate also does wonders. Make a list on paper or electronically of anything and everything that you appreciate. You can focus on things that you appreciate about the situation you are in or list things you appreciate in general. Appreciation focuses your thinking on the good stuff.

Give it a try.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: If needed, 10 Bonus Points for every “appreciation” about yourself! Whoooooohoooo!

The Flip

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Success, Will=Our inner game
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The Flip is an unexpectedly effective tool you can use to feel good before you act. (See Effectiveness Habit #2: Feel Good. Then Act.) When you notice that you are not feeling good (tension, weightiness, or exhaustion felt in chest, gut, limbs, back, neck etc.) follow these steps.

  1. Note it. “I am feeling________. I’m thinking about something I do not want.” Feeling bad is a signal that you are focusing on something you don’t want.
  2. Flip it. “So, what do I want?”
  3. Stay open. Be willing to be surprised by your answer to #2. It may take 20 seconds or so to get your answer.
  4. Enjoy. “Ahhhhhhh.” Odd as it may sound, your thought(s) about what you want will feel better that the thoughts about what you don’t want.
  5. Act. Now do what you are newly inspired to do from this better-feeling point of view.

Example: Worrying about an uncomfortable conversation with a peer. Note: The Flip tool works even though I may not know why I’m feeling bad when I start.

  1. “I am feeling tense in my gut. I must be thinking about something I do not want.”
  2. “So, what do I want?”
  3. “Hmmm.” And after a pause, “I want to feel calm and prepared for my upcoming conversation.”
  4. “Yes, that feels better.”
  5. “OK, I’m going to draft my opening sentence and remember that conversations like this always seem to work out well.”

Simple, isn’t it? Too simple? Give it a try and tell me how you do.

Effectiveness Habit #2: Feel good. Then act.

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Success, Will=Our inner game
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You can get more done with more ease by building seven effectiveness habits. Build them one at a time over the next several weeks and months. You need not, for the most part, build them in the order I present them.

Here’s today’s habit…

Effectiveness Habit #2: Feel good. Then act.

When we feel bad–stressed, worried, anxious, angry, etc.—about a situation, we usually respond in one of two ways: we push into action or try to avoid. These are such a natural responses that we might not recognize that we do them. Example: you decided a while back that you need to build a new marketing piece for your company. And you just remembered it again today, just before a big event where you could really use the new piece. You feel stressed. If you tend to push in situations like this, you may get angry and say, “I have to get this done today!” If you tend to avoid, you may say, “Oh, well. I’m too busy anyway.”

Pushing into action or avoiding limit our effectiveness for three reasons. First, the personal energy and resources we spend on pushing or avoiding take away from our abilities; we drain our batteries. Second, others pick up on our push or avoid attitude and react. Though they may not be aware of it, they really don’t like the feeling we put out and will pull back. Thus it’s harder to get stuff done without their full support. Third, it feels bad! Who wants to feel bad, really?

Solution: Stop and feel better. Then act.

The solution is to feel better. (NB: look for specific physical sensations to tell you how well or poorly you feel.) You don’t have to feel great, just a bit better. There are many ways to do this. Here are a few.

  • Catch yourself pushing or avoiding. If you can say to yourself, “Oh, this is me trying to push (or avoiding) to get something done,” you can often get enough awareness to relax just a bit an feel better.
  • Flip to an ever so slightly better feeling thought. Say to yourself, “This doesn’t feel good. What one thought can I think that will feel even the slightest bit better?”

When you can feel better–even getting just a bit of relief–you’ll have more personal resources available to act well and you’ll feel better! Once you feel better, act. In fact, you might notice that, by feeling better, your actions and the results you want come with much more ease. And that always feels great.