When you make a mistake or don’t meet a goal, what do you tell yourself? When a close friend makes a mistake or misses a goal, what do you tell them?
We are our own worst enemies when it comes to expectations and most of our angst is brought on by our own doing and our self-fulling prophecies. The more we berate, argue, label, catastrophize, and victimize, the more we dig ourselves deeper into the roles we’ve chosen. Any time we label ourselves at all; “I’m broken” or even “I’m the best,” we’re illustrating our fixed mindset and setting ourselves up for future disappointment.
According to Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., there are two mindsets we operate from; a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Both of these are self-fulfilling. If you think you can improve, you will, and if you think you can’t, you won’t. The good news is that mindsets are learned and can be changed.
A person with a fixed mindset has a desire to look smart, believing success comes from being flawless, looking intelligent and looking good. People with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges and give up easily stating that the task was boring or uninteresting rather than putting on their thinking cap and trying new strategies. They find challenges stressful and anxiety provoking which causes them to set low goals, which they still may not reach because the anxiety of other’s judgement halts their tenacity. Fixed mindsets lead to a belief that negative feedback (criticism) is to be avoided and ignored, and they feel threatened by the success of others, as though it’s a personal threat. These people may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential and confirms a deterministic view of the world.
A person with a growth mindset, on the other hand, has a desire to learn and embraces challenges. They don’t feel that the end result is what matters, but trying different strategies is what defines success. These people persist in the face of setbacks and see effort as the path to mastery. They learn from criticism rather than avoiding it or giving up because of it and find inspiration (vicarious experience) in the success of others. As a result, people with a growth mindset reach ever higher levels of achievement and a greater sense of free will.
People with fixed mindsets believe that their abilities are established and can’t change much; “I’m broken.” People with growth mindsets on the other hand know that they can learn and grow if they invest enough effort; “I would like to pay more attention to my tendency to isolate,” they put more attention on the process instead of the person.
As Appreciate Inquiry says “What you focus on becomes your reality.” Your self talk is a self fulfilling prophecy and the great news is that you can change it, and your future, with a little more brain fitness!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Time for you to consider which mindset you want - growth or fixed? Changing and choice are both within reach. What will yours be? Pay attention to how you answer that…
Read more about mindsets in “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck
Thanks to my dad, who values education and supporting his daughter, I'll be heading to the University of North Florida in Jacksonville this September to begin the Wellcoaches Professional Coach Training Program!
This rigorous coaching program builds on the numerous coaching theories and techniques taught in the core coaching competencies class and certification I completed in 2012. The Professional Coach Training Program is also in the approval process for graduate credit through the American Council on Education.
Here's a snippet of the Wellcoaches training model and their mission of positive impact on both wellness coaches and their clients:
"We have built an innovative and robust coaching model we call the Onward & Upward™ model designed to enable professional health and wellness coaches to help clients optimize both mental and physical well-being. The need for coaching skills is compelling given that only 20% of adults are flourishing today by two independent and validated measures. More and more evidence is emerging to show that mental flourishing improves physical health which provides the basis for health and wellness coaches helping clients envision and achieve life goals that allow them to flourish and thrive physically and mentally."
My goals in taking this course are to expand my knowledge and abilities to better support my current coaching and training clients, to continue my own wellness journey (there's a lot of accountability, insight, and emotional growth invested while taking these courses), to receive exceptional training in the wellness coaching field thereby acquiring the highest possible credentials, and to reach more people through group coaching targeted at topics that promote achieving one's best self.
While daunting, I'm extremely excited and grateful for this opportunity! Thank you, Dad!
What are your strengths?
We live in a country that strives to fix what’s broken instead of building on what’s already working well. Just take a look at our health care system for proof of that! And you can often see it in business, too; consultants brought in to fix the weak links of profitability.
What about identifying the assets and leveraging them?! Do you know what your best character strengths are and how to utilize them to their full potential?
Through the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Program, I have taken their VIA (Values In Action) Survey of Character Strengths three times, once in 2011, 2012, and again last week (Go to: https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/ and create a free account to take the survey, which is under the questionnaires tab and on the bottom left column. You will not receive spam by signing up.) Keep in mind that there are no weaknesses, just a ranking of strengths from 1-24, with 1 being your top strength and 24 being your lowest strength.
While there have been slight changes in my 24 strengths, my top five haven’t varied much, really just rearranging a bit.
I’ve worked with these strengths long enough that I can see them in action and can recognize when a strength is also my achilles heel. And perhaps it’s my number three strength of optimism that enables me to call upon my strengths when I don’t feel like I have it in me to keep trying in the face of frustration. Or perhaps it’s my wellness coach training?
I’m going to share my top five strengths with you so you’ll have a better picture of who I am, and for those of you that know me, I’m interested to hear if you recognized these qualities in me (or perhaps not).
1. Industry, diligence, and perseverance
* You work hard to finish what you start. No matter the project, you "get it out the door" in timely fashion. You do not get distracted when you work, and you take satisfaction in completing tasks.
* You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.
3. Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness
* You expect the best in the future, and you work to achieve it. You believe that the future is something that you can control.
4. Bravery and valor
* You are a courageous person who does not shrink from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain. You speak up for what is right even if there is opposition. You act on your convictions.
5. Zest, enthusiasm, and energy
* Regardless of what you do, you approach it with excitement and energy. You never do anything halfway or halfheartedly. For you, life is an adventure.
Perseverance has been in the number 1 position in all three of my tests. Gratitude and Bravery have changed position but have always been in the top five. The other shifts are an increase in Hope and Zest (I’ll leave out the qualities that have moved to a lower position while these rose to the top…)
What does this tell you about me? And what’s that achilles heel I mentioned? First off, I very enthusiastically take on challenges and I don’t give up on them easily (perseverance, bravery, zest, and hope). Secondly, I don’t always know when the best thing to do is to give up - or better stated; move on to something more positive, lucrative, empowering, healthy. Or perhaps just slow down. You can also see that having a positive and appreciative outlook carries me through the trials and tribulations of the challenges I enthusiastically and emphatically take on.
So what do I do with this information? In everything I do; parenthood, career, exercise, relationships, etc., I draw on these top strengths to bring comfort, ease, authenticity, health, peace, and balance to what I put energy into (which I apparently have a plethora of). And I try to pay attention to when my strengths are not acting in my best interest - for instance; perhaps I would experience less injury if I did not always take on exercise with an overabundance of perseverance, zest, bravery, and optimism but instead utilized gratitude for the energy I posses to engage in exercise every day.
On the other hand, why not always forge ahead emphatically?!
So, what are your strengths and how are you capitalizing on them? Care to share?
Do mine fit? Write a comment! What are yours? I dare you to share here! If bravery isn’t up top for you, send me an email!
This is awesome!!!
Having strong abdominals (abs) is vital to everyone, whether you’re an athlete, recreational exerciser or just want to stay in shape and feel healthy. Strong abs leads to better balance, faster reaction times, better posture, and increased speed and power. Having a shield of muscle encompassing your trunk also assists with shock absorption and decreases the incidence of lower-back injuries. Power is both created and transferred in your midsection, allowing you to simultaneously apply your upper and lower body strengths into one coordinated burst of energy. Lower-back injuries plague many people, and the chances of experiencing lower back pain increases as you age. One of the best ways to prevent lower-back injuries is to strengthen the abdominal muscles. Strong abs will drastically help reduce some of the daily stress that is placed on your back muscles and lower lumbar vertebrae. Strengthening your trunk can also play a major role in injury rehabilitation; muscles that are well trained are more likely to recover faster from injuries.
Unlike other muscles in the body, the abdominals are uniquely capable of being trained on a daily basis without experiencing fatigue or overtraining. Your abs include the rectus abdominis, external oblique, internal oblique, and transversus abdominis. Each requires different exercises that target them specifically. Variety allows you to build, tone, and strengthen every part of your abdominals. Rotational movements are especially effective for strengthening the abs because it trains all regions of the abdominal area and simulates many sport specific movements, such as swimming, baseball, and golf.
The abdominals are primarily slow-twitch muscle fibers, which require them to be trained with slow movements for optimal results. Try to use a one-two count as you execute each half of a repetition. Your abs need to be trained for muscular endurance, not muscular strength, so take your time and don’t rush through your abdominal exercises.
Did you know that it’s impossible to have a negative and a positive feeling or thought simultaneously? The brain is unable to process opposing emotions concurrently.
Ten years ago, when I went through my divorce, there were days I thought I just couldn’t go to work and be “on” for my clients. I barely had enough energy for survival let alone my usual high energy, positive outlook demeanor. But, necessity outweighed want and I always went anyway. And every time I went and put on my best face, I wound up feeling 100% better than when I went in. I paid attention to that trend at the time and recognized that it was spending time with my clients and colleagues that pulled me out of my slumps.
At that same time, while I was noticing that being around people was my ticket to survival, I made it my mission to tell everyone that had impact on my life that I appreciated them. I didn’t have much to give other than words, but I could bake so I chose banana bread as my Gratitude Gift (I have no doubt that anyone reading this who has been a part of my life in the last ten years is snickering... see how much I appreciated you!) Nonetheless, acknowledging my gratitude (out loud) to those people that have had impact on my life has become a cornerstone for me.
I look back on that time and I know I could not have survived without the support of other people and I am forever grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned from so many amazing relationships. Some were not the healthiest, but still gave me opportunity to learn and grow. Thank you to those of you that have come and gone, I appreciate your presence in my life at just the right time. To those of you that are still a part of my life, I hope I tell you often enough how much I appreciate you!
What I would like you to consider is this: When your thoughts and/or emotions have you tied down in sadness; “When will this get better?” Anger; “If she would just stop doing that I wouldn’t get so mad.” Fear; “What if I they don't like me?” or any other heavy, negative emotions, stop and find something you feel grateful for. Even at your worst you can find something (the sun, your kids, your friends, your health, the birds singing, your dishes are washed, etc.)
A few years ago, one of my clients and I embarked on a goal to write down 3 things we were grateful for every single day. This is an assignment born out of studies done by Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Studies show that if you do this consistently, your mind will learn to see things to be grateful for automatically. This ties in with my last blog about neuroplacticity and creating new grooves in your brain for new thought patterns. This is exercise for the mind and it works just like the body; consistency brings permanent change. Just like exercise, at first your effort has to be frequent and mindful to be effective but once you’ve built a solid base, you can move into maintenance.
I’m currently encouraging someone close to me to find and share gratitude opportunities. So far, the outcome is far exceeding my hopes! With consistent reminders on my part to reframe negatives into positives and to share things they’re grateful for, there are changes in the language being used which means there’s a change in how they’re viewing the experiences! Success!
I am so fortunate to have the inner drive to learn, grow, and change even though it means facing difficult challenges (mainly my own ego) but I feel even more fortunate to support, teach, and experience the growth of those around me (yes, more gratitude).
Now it's your turn to go tell at least one person that you’re grateful for them!
Learner and sharer of all things healthy, active, esteem building, growth promoting, witty and Hawaiian