How To Be Your Best – Four Easy Steps

How to be your best - 4 Easy Steps

Are you tired of being less than you know you can be? Are you thinking about how to be your best? Well as you’re here reading this blog post I’m pretty sure it’s been on your mind.

Are you a bit of a self-development junkie like me or are you just feeling less than you know you can be at the moment?

Sometimes there are things we want to change about ourselves because we can see that they aren’t working. We might be hanging onto something, but we really know deep inside of ourselves that it needs to go. Other times we can’t see the wood for the trees, we know life isn’t working for us but we don’t know where to start.

Personal growth isn’t just about learning. We can devour every resource that we can lay our hands on but if we don’t implement, at least some of what we’ve learned, we may as well not have bothered.

The truth is you have probably already spent a lot of time absorbing information from a multitude of different sources: blog posts, books, podcasts, magazines and videos, but you haven’t taken those next steps to really implement what you’ve learned in a sustained way.

How To Be Your BestI said Four Easy Steps and I meant it. I’m not going to get you to look at your whole life and address each and every area. Just pick one. The most important one. The one that is keeping you awake at night or sending you to the refrigerator when you aren’t even hungry.

You take that one thing, where you know you can do better, where you’re motivated to be better, and you implement these four steps. You nail them. Then you simply rinse and repeat in whatever part of your life needs attention. Are you ready? Here we go: – WDEP

1 = What do you want?

2 = What are you Doing to get it?

3 = Evaluate

4 = Plan

1. What Do You Want?vacations

Write it down as clearly and succinctly as you can.

When you perceive that you aren’t being the best that you can be, it’s because you are making a comparison between how you see yourself, how you would like to see yourself, and how you think things should be. Therefore, the first thing you need to think about is how realistic is your picture?

This picture of how we want to be and how we think our life should be, in Choice Theory, is called our Quality World. Our Quality World is like an album of all the things that we believe are necessary for us to be happy. Sometimes this is not realistic. Changing or even tweaking some of our Quality World pictures can serve us well if it enables us to work towards things that are achievable.

This could be as simple as changing our dream of being a full time professional singer to accepting that we could probably be happy singing Saturday nights in a local bar and keep our nice secure job that pays the mortgage and keeps the kids in designer sports shoes.

When we are thinking about What we want it’s also important to consider Why we want it. The Why is important for motivation but it can also save us from charging down a rabbit hole to find that it wasn’t at all what we thought it would be, and that it doesn’t make us happy after all. I explain this in more detail in my download Four Days to Feeling  Better. You can get that here.

There is one more thing to consider in the What and that is perception. People see things differently all the time, in fact rarely do two people see things in the same way.

People leave relationships all the time because they perceive that their partner doesn’t love them, when actually it is only their perception because their partner might not deliver that love in the way that their Quality World picture and their love language,  thinks love should look like. This is just one example of how our perception may not be serving us. In this kind of situation we many only need to change our perception.

So look at your What very carefully and consider where  it is realistic and whether your perception of the situation is valid. If not you’ll create a lot of unnecessary unhappiness and stress for yourself.

  1. What are you Doing to get what you want?Mindset

Wanting without doing is dreaming so write down everything you are doing to get what you want.

  1. Evaluate the effectiveness of what you are doing to get what you want. Make sure that you are not trying to control someone else to get what you want because the only person that you can control, or that you should try to control is yourself.Mindset
  2. After you’ve evaluated the effectiveness of what you are trying to do to be the best you can be you can  make a Plan moving forward. This should include continuing what’s working and changing what’s not working.

If you would like a more in-depth framework of WDEP you can get our cheatsheet here, which gives you questions you can ask yourself under each heading, so that you can drill down further and come up with a rock solid plan  to be the best that you can be in the area of your life that you’ve chosen.

In the end everything boils down to the choices we make. We can’t control everything but we can control ourselves and that’s actually plenty. We can’t control everything but we get so many opportunities to make choices each and every day about what we do. Ask yourself next time you are reaching for a piece of cake or thinking about driving through MacDonalds: Is this being the best I can be?

Don’t expect perfection, no one is perfect, and your best is always a point on your own particular continuum. If you ate takeaways five days a week and you can cut it down to twice a week, that might be the best you can do right now. But making that choice not to drive through five days will strengthen your resolve and your resilience so that in the future you might be able to save takeaways for a once a month treat.

Please leave a comment below sharing what you are going to do to be your best.

If you would like the download a worksheet to walk you through  WDEP in your life click here to practically figure out How to Be Your  Best

Thanks for reading 🙂

Deb

 

 

 

Daily Quotes

Acceptance = Peace

We have a choice each day when we wake up about how we are going to show up  in our day. Sliding into our day unconsciously is a choice too, it’s a choice not to take charge,  but to let our mind have it’s way. Priming our positive mind pump wth a  daily quote is a great part of any morning routine  because it helps tune our mind to the right channel, the channel we have chosen to get us where we want to go.

Mental HealthMy mental health has challenged me throughout my life, but over the last five years Choice Theory has been the tool in my tool kit which has kept me largely balanced. Last year was a doozie and it became worse cause I didn’t implement what I know of Choice Theory when I needed to the most. I didn’t pay attention to my needs and I let my Fixed Mindset trap me in a horrible web of self doubt and fear.

Even when we know what we need we can become overwhelmed and forget what we should be doing to stay safe in our mental health. I did and that’s how I ended up hating my job and in a state of Situational Depression. Jeff has been creating his Choice Theory Quotes for years now and has put them together as a free daily email series so that we can set ourselves up in the right way each day remembering the principles of Choice Theory. You can sign up for a daily quote meme directly or leave your email in the the Hello box up above.

Last year when I was at my worst I stated emphatically, that CT doesn’t work. It wasn”t working for me because I wasn’t using it. I was a bit like a farmer not using a perfectly good spade and screaming that it wasn’t working to dig the holes I wanted. Having a tool  and knowing what to do with it  is only part of the equation, we have to use what we know and use the tools we have every day if we want to consistently move in the direction we want and keep our mental health in tip top condition.

MindsetChange

Reading a Daily Quote is a way of cementing in the way of thinking that we know will serve us well so that we are less likely to fall into old thought patterns and if we do relapse we can get ourself back where we want to be quicker. Sustained change is a long game and an understanding of our mindset helps us if we do slip up on occasion.

My mental health, or lack of it, had me back in hospital last year but that hadn’t happened for over twenty years. I was in for less than a week and cleared to go back to work pretty much straight away with no medication. I could have seen that as a huge backward slide and told myself a story about how I was born with compromised mental health and I was simply not able to handle large amounts of stress (Fixed MIndset). Instead  I chose to see it as a reasonably minor glitch brought about by not been paying enough attention to what was going on around me and how I was responding (Growth Mindset). It showed me that I needed to strengthen my ability to handle stress.

Reading a daily CT quote is one of the ways I am strengthening my ability to handle stress and maintain my mental health. The other things I’m doing are : –

  • working towards leaving my job and building a business with Jeff
  • showing up each day with the intention of being the best me I can be
  • accepting that all I can control is me, which is plenty, which is enough and which is CT 101.

Thanks for reading and please share below your strategies for maintaining your mental health, a Growth Mindset and a steady trajectory towards your best self.

Warmest regards

 

Deb

 

 

Fixed vs Growth Mindset

Mindset

What is a fixed Mindset and What is a Growth Mindset?

There are lots of definitions of a these concepts but here are mine. A fixed mindset  has decided how things are and interprets the world to confirm those beliefs, it views strengths and weakness as innate and static. A growth mindset believes that our capabilities are determined by learning, practice and dedication. Someone with a growth mindset is likely to view mistakes and failures as feedback or temporary setbacks that may require some sort of adjustment but not a reason to give up, as a person with a fixed mindset might view them.

The difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset is the idea that we are innately good at some things and innately bad at others. It is not uncommon to have a fixed mindset, in fact Carol Dweck who introduced the concept of fixed and growth mindsets, states that we are all on a continuum between a fixed and a growth mindset.

A Fixed Mindset is an Insidious Thing

I had never even heard of Fixed and Growth Mindsets until I was blogging about The Power of the Mind and a commenter suggested that mind power is very much influenced by mindset, so I started researching mindset and wham I realised that I am much further towards the fixed mindset side of the continuum than I would have ever thought.

While I may not care that I believe I’m bad at technology, spatially challenged and hopeless at maths, I care very much that I have an underlying limiting belief that I am basically not good enough.

Limiting BeliefsGrowth Mindset

Limiting beliefs are part of a fixed mindset and a fixed mindset invests a lot of time protecting us from our limiting beliefs. It does this by not allowing us to try things that are risky or difficult for us. It invests a lot of time in helping us to feel good (avoiding the limiting belief), rather than to actually get good by sticking with the hard stuff. Even now as I write this I find myself wanting to go and write a quick blog post on my Wealthy Affiliate profile because it will help my ranking there and I will get immediate reassuring responses from other members. Posting on Wealthy Affiliate is easier than trying to write a strong blog post in the real world but it probably won’t do anything to help me reach my goals.

Changing Limiting Beliefs

If we are all on a continuum between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset then moving from one to another is going to be an ongoing process. Addressing limiting beliefs is an important part of that process and below is  how I will be addressing one of my most annoying limiting beliefs.

1. Choose your Battle Change

We all have limiting beliefs and changing them requires an investment of time and effort. We only have so much time, energy and focus to invest so choosing our battles carefully is a sensible approach.

The idea I have about myself that I am hopeless at technology is a limiting belief but I don’t care enough about it to take action to change it. I can work around it. I belong to membership sites Wealthy Affiliate and Kajabi who support me well in all things technological. While having an, anyone can do anything attitude is part of a growth mindset, practicalities and enjoyment are also part of the effectiveness equation. Doing what we enjoy and making the most of our available time can’t be underestimated. Therefore I am choosing to take up arms against this treacherous, underlying idea that I am somehow not good enough to achieve what I want: to build a successful online business.

2. Challenge the Belief

There will be something in our life that has caused the underlying limiting beliefs to surface. If we are trying something new, chances are we will be moving through a phase of conscious incompetence. We may have gone into the new endeavour full of confidence and enthusiasm. This phase is known as unconscious incompetence because we didn’t know what we didn’t know.

conscious incompetenceActually learning what we need to know, implementing the new skills and doing the work, generally puts us into a an uncomfortable space of conscious incompetence. We now see the hurdles in front of us and boom, our fixed mindset rears it’s not so pretty head, and limited beliefs that may have been dormant for years suddenly come out. We find ourself operating outside of our comfort zone.

In order to move through conscious incompetence to conscious competence we must dredge up those limiting beliefs, look at them in the clear light of day and turn the most impacting one into a question. By turning a limiting belief into a question we are immediately destabilising it as a belief and accepting the possibility that it is just a perception and not a truth. Here’s mine: –

Millions of people have a go at setting up and running a successful online business, but only a fraction of those who try, succeed. Have I really got what it takes to be one of the few? Am I good enough?

Address the Points

If millions of people are trying something and only a fraction succeed that still means that many thousands of people are succeeding. This is simple logic and that’s enough for me but if your mindset needs statistical data, go for it. In this case I can’t see how accurate data could be compiled.

I can accept that it is possible but is it possible for me? What skill’s, traits, talents, opportunities and joys do I have?

It’s important to note these down so that we can keep feeding our mind with the new beliefs we are trying to create.

I’m not going to bore you with all of mine but here are examples of what I consider my traits, talents, opportunities and joys:

  • Traits: Hard working
  • Talents: Writing
  • Skills: Teaching
  • Opportunities: My husband’s offline business supporting our online business
  • Joys: I love connecting with an online community, sharing what is meaningful to me and learning new things.

Write as many examples under each heading as you can. If you can’t come up with very many ask people whose opinion you value and who you trust will be honest with you. Don’t ask them for their opinions on something you are trying to do because their own limiting beliefs and their own agendas will come into it. Explain that you are working through your fixed mindset or limiting beliefs and ask if they would mind sharing with you talents, skills and traits they see in you.

3. Create an Unlimited Belief

An unlimited belief should be at least as powerful as the limiting belief we are trying to change. It is also important that we believe it. Traits, talents, skills opportunities and joys are what stand behind the unlimited belief, providing the evidence for our mind.

Limiting Belief: I am not good enough to be successful at building an online business.

Unlimited Belief: Every day I am becoming more competent in consistently building my online business.

4. Implement

Creating an unlimited belief is a big step towards obliterating a limiting belief and moving ourself long the continuum  from a fixed mindset towards a growth mindset, but nothing locks that in like implementation. It’s important that we do something every day that will consistently move us towards that goal which caused our limiting belief to surface

Moving from a Fixed to a Growth Mindsetsuccess mindset

Accepting a fixed mindset might be less challenging than addressing our limiting beliefs in order to move us towards a growth mindset, but it also prevents us from developing our potential. Unless we take action to move through fear and uncomfortable feelings by doing the things that bring up those feelings, we will never be all that we can be. In fact we should be feeling uncomfortable to some extent most days because it means that we are not stagnating in the cushiness of our comfort zone.

Where do you sit on the continuum between having a fixed mindset and a growth mindset? Can you identify any of your limiting beliefs, if so what are they and what are you doing about them?

Thanks for reading and please share your ideas in the comments sections below. I get lots of ideas from readers commenting.

Warmly yours

 

Deb

What Is Situational Depression?

Situational depressionSituational depression, also known as adjustment disorder, is depression caused by our response to stress or loss. When a situation is particularly difficult to cope with, we can develop stress related responses: e.g. racing thoughts, insomnia, anxiety, etc. If we can adapt to the new situation, or adapt the situation to cause us less stress, we should be able to recover quite quickly, as I did when I hated my job.

Until I turned up at my doctor’s surgery asking for a week off work and anti-depressants, that I didn’t end up taking, I had never even heard of situational depression. Thirty years previous I had been diagnosed with Bi-polar Disorder, so I guess you would have to say I was improved. But given that I had suffered a manic episode just a few months prior to this recent diagnosis, maybe I should have been diagnosed with Situational Bi-Polar Disorder? But is that even a thing?

bipolar disorder

Apparently not. It seems Bi-polar disorder is listed as a Major Depressive Disorder. This is curious because I took no medication and experienced no bi-polar symptoms, for over ten years after I left my first marriage, which I found extremely stressful. Then I took on a stressful job which was fine for over a year until I was dealing with two very stressful clients and wham! – a manic episode, followed by supposed situational depression.

 

 

Educate Yourself

What do I take from all of this? Anyone dealing with mental health issues needs to educate themselves because while doctors can be useful, they generally don’t know that much about mental health, and we all seem to be so different.

If I hadn’t educated myself, I might still be trying to live on the lithium/Prozac cocktail that I was prescribed over twenty years ago. It hasn’t always been an easy road and I have had relapses, but I’ve learnt from them and I am not addicted to a medication.

What Have I learnt about my Mental Health?

I’ve learned that I have to pay attention to meeting my basic needs and if I don’t I develop stress responses which cluster into some form of depression. The quality of my wellbeing is directly related to how well I am  meeting my basic needs.

Basic Needs

So what are our basic needs?

We all have five needs: –

Survival

  • Health
  • Financial Security
  • Safety

Love and Belonging

  • Nourishing and supportive relationships
  • Sense of belonging
  • Intimacy

Freedom

  • Independence
  • Creativity
  • Mobility
  • Choice

Fun

  • Learning
  • Amusement
  • Joy
  • Laughter

Power

  • Internal control
  • Achievement
  • Acknowledgement
  • Influence

Dr William Glasserbasic needs buckets

According to William Glasser the importance of each need is unique to us all and remains constant throughout out life. It’s helpful to think of these needs as buckets, with the size of the bucket being the same for us throughout our life.

There is an important thing to remember about this bucket analogy however, and that is this: if our bucket is small but is also very empty the need will feel large. An example would look like this:  We have a low survival need but within a few weeks we lose our job, our home and our partner. Our bucket for survival might not be big but it is virtually empty, so we feel it and suddenly our need for security outweighs all our other needs. We would experience the same increased need for survival if we were diagnosed with a terminal illness, even though our normal need for survival was low.

My Situational Depression

My situational depression raised its head when I felt like I couldn’t be effective in meeting my clients’ needs because of all our organisational protocols. I made judgement calls that I thought were correct, but my manager and our policies had a different view. I lost my confidence, I started making silly mistakes and I lost more confidence and became more stressed because I felt incompetent.  I told myself that I hated my job, when what I really hated was my response to my job and that was something that I could control.

If you would like to feel better about some situation. Click here for free downloads: Four Days To Feeling Better. Four Days To Feeling Better

Then I’d love you to come back and let me know how you went.

Feel Great.

Deb

 

 

 

I Hate My Job

Acceptance = PeaseHating your job is not a great idea. The ultimate declaration, “I hate my Job” can feel soothing, especially after a period of denial. It’s like a baring of your soul ……I HATE MY JOB!!!!! GET ME OUT OF HERE ASAP. Unfortunately, no amount of baying at the moon will do you any good. Your resentment, unhappiness, disinterest and disconnection will just invite the toxicity around your job to expand. Your work quality and productivity will slip and you could end up losing the job that feeds your kids in a way that significantly reduces your options.

Change your LifeIf you can afford to quit, or if there’s another better job on the horizon by all means go for it, but staying, for a while at least has its advantages too. Being able to accept any tricky situation and find positives, is a valuable skill. You may no longer want your job but while you still have it you may be able to use it to your benefit, as well as the benefit of those you are servicing.

vacations can be valuableWrite a list of the positives for your job. I’ve started you off, but your list has to be unique to you, it has to make sense to you and it has to have meaning for you.

 

  • A regular paycheque is always going to be a positive thing
  • Your current job is giving you a clear indication of something you don’t want. You can use this to figure out what you do want.
  • Your job situation could be giving you the opportunity to learn how to manage a difficult relationship with someone. It could be showing you a pattern where you have always backed down. You could take this and from it learn how to stand in your own power.
  • If you’ve decided what you want to do instead of your job, having somewhere to go each day can actually be positive in that it helps prevent you from being overwhelmed by the newness of something. If you can cut your hours back a bit, or clear some other time in your schedule to work on the new project you will be building yourself a bridge to your new life and this can be a whole lot more comfortable than diving in to a swirling river of doubts and fears in order to get to the other side.
  • If you haven’t decided what you want to do instead of your job, remaining where you are for the time-being could work for you as a kind of placeholder so you can figure out your next step. Use your current job as a guide to your next step by looking at the parts of it you like and the parts of it you don’t like.
  • No matter what your job is it will give you some opportunity to contribute. Chances are that whatever you want to replace your job with will do that too. By focusing on the contribution you can make in your job you are expanding the vibration of contribution, which can help bring your new project closer to you.
  • Not enjoying your job could give you the motivation your need to work your butt off on a new business, study for a new career or investigate a new job and prepare yourself to be a strong candidate.
  • You can use vacation time and sick leave to work on creating the future you want

AcceptanceFinding joy, peace and satisfaction in life are ongoing challenges that we all face whatever our circumstances. Everything can become stale, boring and bothersome if we let it. That may seem like an easy thing to write and a difficult thing to believe but I am living proof of its truth. I have been surrounded by family, had beautiful homes, amazing travel experiences and not had to work outside of the home, but had a housekeeper and a gardener so I that didn’t have to work in it either. Yet I always managed to find reasons not to be joyful, peaceful, satisfied and present.

Having a job that we don’t relish is a perfect opportunity to intentionally practise positive mindsets. Cultivating a mindset of peace, joy and satisfaction is a big part of why we are here and life gives us the opportunity of experiencing those attributes everyday if we will just rise to it. Please share below in the comments section how you get up each day and go to a job that you would rather not be doing with a glad heart and a commitment to contribute.

Dealing With Anxiety and Depression

Sleep

sleeplessWhen I hate my job; when I’m dealing with anxiety and depression I don’t sleep well and sometimes I don’t sleep at all. The first night after seeing Doctor Dan I  had taken one of my elephant sleeping pills aka Zoplicone. I didn’t feel like I had a choice, the buffalo were running around my head and gaining momentum. I had to shut them down and there didn’t seem to be any other way. Previously  Zoplicone had given me a weird sleep and a dry mouth the next morning. I made a decision only to it very sparingly and to find alternative strategies asap.

The next night I managed to get to sleep without the pills but was wide awake within a few hours, my mind in another stampede of anxiety. Instead of swallowing a pill I got up, made myself a hot chocolate and opened up my lap top.

I’m not a good employee for any length of time, especially when I don’t feel appreciated or supported. I felt powerless and sad because I had so little  time to work on the business Hubby and I were creating. Every morning I was in a state of resistance about going to work, every morning I was dealing with anxiety and depression.  But I did have  time right then, It may have been 2:00 am, but I had nowhere to be the next day so I started creating a Lead Magnet. A Lead Magnet is a free resource you provide to help you collect emails and build a following of people interested in your work. You can check out the final product that started life that night by clicking the image I created.

Four Days to Feeling Better

I worked until 4:00 am, totally present in my creative zone. Totally without feeling depressed or anxious. By 4:00 am I was feeling sleepy. I went back to bed and went straight to sleep.

I woke still tired at 6:30, but no sleeping pills, no dry mouth, and after a few cups of coffee  I was going well. The biggest plus however, was that I had been creative, I had enjoyed it, and I had something to feel good about and look forward to getting into more during the day.

By the end of a lovely day, writing, gardening and helping Hubby with the soffits, I was feeling largely restored to my former self.

Acceptance = PeaseWe can only control ourselves and we cause ourselves a lot of unnecessary anxiety and depression by reacting to things we don’t like as a victim or as a fighter, instead of simply accepting what is. We can still seek to change what we’re doing, but it serves us better if we create change from a point of acceptance rather than resistance.

To this end I even applied for a part-time job that Hubby found in the local paper. It would mean a lot less money coming in but it would give me time to work on the joint business that Hubby and I had talked about since we met. I was a 7 on my wellbeing scale.

Is there anything in your life that your are resisting and which is causing you to suffer as a result? Please share it below in the comments section and then go and have the very best day you can.

Have a good day

Deb 🙂

I Hate My Job – Day 2

Day 2

I hate My JobMy mind might have been  screaming, I hate my job and that’s the reason I feel so bad, but at a deeper level I knew better. The reason I felt so bad was because I was not meeting my needs. I  had a diagnosis of situational depression, but I knew that continuing depressing behaviours was not going to help me feel better.

Choice Theory

I discovered Choice Theory when I met Hubby. It’s his big thing, the thing that saved his life really and he’s built a successful career around teaching it to others. I was amazed by it and embraced it fully when we first met but over the years I’ve challenged its simplicity. I guess it’s a case of not appreciating what you have on your own door step. It’s also very difficult to be counselled by your husband.

How To Feel Better

From the depths of my despair I realised that I could use Choice Theory, together with other tools that had worked for me in my mental health challenges over the years, to feel better.  I could also document it so that others could learn how to feel better quickly too. In essence I could use my own depression in the creation of the DIY mental health program we were creating .

The first step to feeling better was to accept where I was at that time. Choice Theory states that our behaviours are the direct cause of how we feel, which is a pretty hard pill to swallow when you’re feeling completely awful and it’s so much easier to blame someone or something else. The positive way to look at this however, is that if my behaviours got me here, then my behaviours can get me out of here. This is actually an excellent piece of news because our behaviours are all that we can really control anyway. Behaviours are thoughts as well as actions. Continue reading “I Hate My Job – Day 2”

I Hate My Job – Day 1

I hated my job so much that even in my discombobulated state I had the wherewithal to get a medical certificate for some time away from it. I had the sick leave sitting there and nothing important to do the following week so it seemed like a good opportunity to do a mini life re-set, or maybe I needed a major one.

Did I even want to go back there, especially as it meant I would probably need to be medicated to survive it? There were just seven months left of my two-year contract, would seven months of regular income be worth it? Before leaving on Thursday afternoon I had cleared out all the personal stuff from my office, just in case it turned out that it wasn’t.

happinessI resisted popping the little plastic casings that held the controversial little Escitalopram pills. I didn’t even open the box. In the midst of my research I discovered that SSRISs (selective serotonin re-uptake intake inhibitors)

would likely take away my creativity along with my despair. Continue reading “I Hate My Job – Day 1”