Updated: Sep 22, 2020
This is a particularly intense time. Change, challenges and uncertainty are coming at us from all directions. No need for me to list the topics here, you know. HERE’S THE GREAT NEWS: Life is full of beautiful paradoxes, and this stressful time is one of them!
You have the power to decide to put that intensity to work to create a life you love. Despite how it might feel to you right now, this is an incredibly fertile time of tremendous opportunity for you. Yes, opportunity. Pause and take that in.
Now, try this on: The intensity you are currently experiencing is like fuel. Locked within fuel is potential. The fuel/potential is neutral. How it’s used is what determines the outcome. Put another way: The intensity you are currently experiencing is powerful potential. Like fuel, it is available to you to use as you see fit. You are in control of what gets “powered up” in your life. I’m suggesting that you would be well served to be more conscious about this process.
FLIP THE SCRIPT ON YOUR PANDEMIC STRESS
The exercises below will support you in taking your life off of autopilot so you can consciously choose actions and a mindset that will help you achieve outcomes that align with the life you want to live.
Each of the three experts below approaches this from a slightly different perspective and style. Check them out to see which ones resonate most with you (which could change on any given day). These are simple practices that can help you retrain your auto response from “react,” to “pause and consciously act.” They will help you put your deeper wisdom in the driver’s seat on a more consistent basis – something that’s more important than ever since we’re dealing with rocket-fuel levels of intensity right now.
ENGAGE WITH FEAR AS A TEACHER, NOT THE TRUTH
Jessica Joines is a holistic executive coach, best-selling author of "Dare to Believe," and hosts of the show "Soul Purpose with Jessica Joines." Jessica's passion is empowering people to live their soul purpose. She helps leaders pursue their true desires. She supports them in letting go of the illusion of fear so they can align to love.
The journey of aligning your life to purpose is a journey THROUGH fear. It’s a journey of coming to understand where the energy of fear is guiding you versus where love is guiding you, then consciously choosing to allow your heart (rather than your mind) to serve as your primary guide.
When we stop believing the voice of fear in our head, we initiate the process of liberating ourselves. We open ourselves up to the unlimited field of possibility.
"Fear is merely revealing to us in every moment what needs to be healed within us." - Jessica Joines
As we come to KNOW this, we can begin to take profound steps towards our soul purpose.
EXERCISE IN CONSCIOUSNESS
In this short video, Jessica walks you through six simple action steps you can immediately begin using to deal with fear you are experiencing, so you can:
Honor what is coming up for you during this intense time and also move forward.
See that you have a choice about how you react to fear.
Shift into a practice of engaging with fear as a teacher, not as the truth.
In the comments below, let me know what resonated with you in Jessica's video guide. For me, I know I will be adding this “power question” to my self-care toolbox: Am I automatically believing a fear I’m experiencing is “the truth”? Or am I taking a moment to pause to see what the experience of fear is trying to teach me?
SCIENCE CAN BE YOUR BEST FRIEND, OR NOT
As a practicing psychotherapist and CEO and C-Suite consultant, Ruth Cochran is in the trenches every day with people facing challenges and pressure of immense proportion. She offers this practice for you to consider adding to your self-care toolkit:
2020 has been a veritable invitation to negative thinking, even for the sunniest optimists among us. What to do?
When you find yourself straying into negative thoughts – about yourself, about others, about the world in general – try this:
1. Make a list of your negative thoughts that come up throughout the day.
Ideally, make this a paper list, and not an electronic one.
Leave some space on the paper beneath each thought.
2. Set 15 minutes aside at the beginning of each day to consider your thoughts from the previous day. Lean in and ask yourself a few questions about these thoughts.
Is this thought true, or is it just the way I’m seeing things right now?
Who would I be without this thought?
What is a more positive way of understanding this situation/person/myself?
3. When you’ve gone through this exercise, take a crayon or marker and scribble through each thought. As you’re scribbling, repeat this phrase: “I release this thought; I release this thought.”
4. Take a fresh sheet of paper and write the positive alternative thoughts down.
Once you’ve finished scribbling through the negative thoughts and writing the positive thoughts down on a fresh sheet of paper (if you’re in a place where a small fire is feasible), burn the piece of paper with the scribbled out negative thoughts.
WHY DOES THIS WORK? IT'S GROUNDED IN SEVERAL POWERFUL PRINCIPLES.
The neural networks in our brain constantly change through growth and reorganization. These changes range from individual neurons making new connections, to systematic adjustments like cortical remapping – and we can influence these changes by teaching the brain to think in new ways about ourselves, the people around us, and our world. We can change our habits of thought. This can lead to different/better reasoning and different/better choices – and different/better outcomes!
Research shows that rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Despite the absence of a direct causal connection between the ritual and the desired outcome, performing rituals with the intention of producing a certain result appears to be sufficient for that result to come true… so crossing out and burning up your negative beliefs may really help you get rid of them!
This therapeutic technique (which involves imagining situations that lead to anxiety or self-defeating behavior and then repeating positive coping statements or mentally rehearsing more appropriate behavior) has been studied and shown to work – so go ahead and give it a try!
RESILIENCE BOOSTER: YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FEEL WHAT YOU NEED TO FEEL
Kim Becking is a change and leadership expert, motivational speaker, best-selling author and success coach whose mission is to help others build a Momentum Mindset® to conquer change, boost resilience and accelerate success no matter what life or work throws at them.
This year has brought all of us a level of change, uncertainty, overwhelm and stress like we’ve never seen before. We are on an emotional rollercoaster, not sure if we will make it up the next hill or go off the tracks.
A key to boosting your resilience and flipping the script on pandemic stress during this time is to feel what you need to feel. Emotions are complex. We are complex. And it's so important, now more than ever, to have self-awareness and be in touch with your emotions. To acknowledge and name your emotions and give yourself permission to feel what you need to without guilt, without shame, without judgment, without labeling an emotion good or bad. To make the time to pause, reflect and feel. To sit with those emotions and own them, not bury or hide them. To be willing to be honest with yourself and to be vulnerable – that’s where your real power is. To go through the hard, not around it. This is what will allow you to boost your resilience and come out of this stronger and better than before.
"You are allowed to feel it all." - Kim Becking
18 years ago when Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer, she received a two-sided, handwritten card from her friend and cancer survivor Patti. Kim still has the card in her desk and has used this card as a part of her resilience toolkit for the last 18 years during stressful and hard times. She’s used it almost daily for the last six months!
The card read:
Please remember you are allowed to feel whatever it is you need to feel. Give yourself permission. You may start out on one side of the card, and minutes later, you're on the other side. You may be on both sides of the card at the same time. It’s okay. It’s more than okay – it’s necessary to your mental and emotional health to feel it all.
Download a PDF of the card just for you.
Print it out.
Keep it handy, and use it when you need it.
Give yourself the permission to FEEL what you need to.
And try to understand where others may be on the card as well. Give them grace, because they may be on the opposite side of the card.
Give yourself the permission to feel what you need to feel and be where you need to be. This is what will allow you to continue to reduce your stress, boost your resilience and take back your life during times of uncertainty, change and adversity.
Wow. So much practical and important wisdom was just shared here by three women who definitely know their stuff.
Now it’s YOUR TURN. You were drawn to the post because something inside you knows you need to try something new. It’s time to take action on that inner guidance.
I challenge you to pick something here that resonates with you – trust your instincts as to which one - and try it TODAY. Yes, TODAY - as in before you accidentally fall asleep on the couch tonight because you’re so exhausted, TODAY. Trust me, it is doable – and worth it.
Commit to investing in your own fulfillment by doing this ONE thing today for yourself. By taking this one small but meaningful action step, you’ll be putting intention in motion. This begins the process of converting the intensity of these times into rocket fuel for the outcomes you truly desire.
The stakes are higher than ever. What new practice will you try today? Let me know your commitment in the comments – and how it went!!
Founder & CEO
Significance & the Significance Learning Center