The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. [Sounds like a great movie title!]

It has been a very interesting and at times challenging journey so far. There is so much to do and so little time to do it. I have chosen to become frustrated at times, but I’m ok with that as long as I am not doing it all the time.

The hardest part for me so far, is wading through the bureaucracy. A good example of when I chose to do some frustrating happened when I visited the hospital on Monday. I drove three hours to get there for my 1.00pm appointment. I had clear instructions re time, date and place of appointment, I followed these to the letter, parking in the underground carpark which serves both the hospital and the specialists rooms next door. So far so good!

👌 Covid restrictions meant I had to be temperature checked and get a little happy face sticker to put on my chest to show I was all clear🙂, I passed that hurdle ok too! When questioned about my destination, I was informed that despite my appointment being in the specialist rooms, the doctor I needed to see was in the hospital and I had to go there.

Despite my insistence that the appointment was in the specialist rooms, I was refused entry and had to go to the hospital😳. Needless to say, the doctor was not there, they had no record of an appointment for me and had no idea what I was doing there.

It took over half an hour for them to listen to me and accept that my appointment should be in the specialist centre and contact them to confirm that. By this time my appointment time was gone.

After telling me I’d need to come back another day and my informing them that was not an option, they managed to fit me in for a 15min appointment. After my blood pressure was taken [I wasn’t frustrating by then so it was ok😂]

I was asked questions that I had answered on a prior occasion and which could easily have been asked over the phone or Zoom. I left the building and drove the three hours back home. A full day taken for a task that could easily have been done in 15mins on the phone.

Another example is my health insurance. The surgery on its own, without anaesthetist, assistants or hospital room costs, comes in at the princely sum of $7000, apparently because of govt regulations the most I can get back from my health fund is the scheduled fee of around $800, then medicare chips in another $500, the rest is out of pocket.

What the….? 😳 I am now reconsidering the value of health insurance at all. At least the hospital room is covered. 👍So keeping ones cool is a very important part of the journey😀. My surgery will be on Monday the 30th in the afternoon. It is anticipated that I will be in the hospital for around three days, then home.

Apparently, I will have the pleasure of having a catheter inserted and accompanying me everywhere I go for two weeks after that🤭 lots of new experiences! Then over the next twelve months or so I retrain my bladder and relearn how I will be able to have erections and a sex life.

The only thing certain is that there will be some dysfunction, but how much is really down to me and my preparedness to do my Kegel exercises and work with the physios and others to regain the best function I can. Like so many things in life, attitude will play a huge part, and importantly so will great relationships, and my wife Deb’s continuing support and love go a huge way to helping me through this time, as does the support of those of you who are part of Team Jeff.

How to Deal Positively with Advanced Prostate Cancer

Jeff Steedman
Jeff Steedman
Jeff Steedman – Riviera Counselling

This is the first in a series of posts following our journey dealing with a diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer. We hope that they’ll be useful and reassuring to you, whether you’re dealing with cancer yourself or supporting someone close. These posts are based on a series of Facebook posts you can also follow on our Facebook page.

Jeff’s cancer was picked up after his annual PSA checkup showed enlargement in his prostate. Many doctors don’t recommend this test because an enlarged prostate is very common in men as they age. There are a number of reasons for an enlarged prostate and cancer is only one of them. It is currently, however, the only test to show that something might be wrong before symptoms start showing up.

Jeff had no symptoms that anything was wrong and is in great health. I was shocked at how advanced his cancer was. Jeff’s father had died from prostate cancer and this did put him at a higher risk.

The next stop on our journey was a prostate biopsy. Under general anesthetic, a needle is used to collect around fifteen core samples of tissue. This did not sound appealing, but Jeff approached it with his usual courage and good humour.

The drive to the closest hospital to do this procedure is nearly four hours away from where we live in regional Australia. Our specialist considered the biopsy urgent and Jeff was squeezed in at 6:00 am. There was no chance of overnighting anywhere closer because of a Covid-19 lockdown, which complicated this whole process.

Jeff might not have been experiencing any enlarged prostate symptoms before the biopsy but he certainly was afterwards. The biopsy causes blood in urine and semen that can last for six weeks. He was also visiting the bathroom four or five times a night.

The Diagnosis – by Jeff

 October 15 2020

I have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. It was categorised as a Gleason stage 9, which is advanced. Ten is the highest possible.

On Monday I will be having a PET scan to determine if it has advanced further into my body.

The outlook is pretty good if it hasn’t spread. I am choosing to have my prostate removed in the next few weeks. If it has spread, the extent of the spread will determine further treatment. This is an opportunity for me to practice what I preach.

I had Thyroid cancer several years ago and was able to navigate my way through that by using the principles of Choice Theory and what it teaches us about internal control psychology.

In the coming weeks, I will be focusing on what I can control and how I choose to be during the lead up to treatment, and in the period after it. Whilst I can’t directly control the cancer, I give myself the best chance of a good outcome by looking after what I can control… me! And how I choose to think and act.

Tomorrow I will undergo a PSMA-PET scan. This particular scan is super sensitive, it is now used in Australia where we are world leaders in the use of this scan. It can pick up prostate cancer in the body with 92% accuracy, far better than any other diagnostic tool currently available.

I am looking forward to getting the results of this scan…. no matter what they might be. You can’t fight what you don’t understand. The more accurate the information, the more targeted the treatment, with no unnecessary steps being undertaken, and less guesswork about the right course of action.

It might seem strange to some that I would welcome news that is less than optimal. Of course, I would prefer to hear that the cancer remains encapsulated in the prostate, but if it is not, I would rather hear this early and plan the best course of action with the advice and assistance of my urologist.

All evidence points to surviving, and indeed thriving, hinging upon early detection and swift informed action. The best results come from informed patients working as a team with talented medical personnel.

So am I nervous? No!

Am I worried? Nothing to be achieved by worrying, so no!

Am I feeling down? Certainly not, I won’t waste any energy on anxiousing, miserabling or depressing, they can’t help me and can only make things worse.

How am I feeling then? Confident!- that I will get the best outcome I can, once I know what I am dealing with!

The PET – PSMA Scan

PET- PSMA scan complete! I will get the results later this week. I learned a few things, about the process and myself!

– When they say the scan takes 30 to 40 mins, that is true.

– What they don’t tell you is to put two hours aside prior to your scan to be infused with the PSMA tracer.

– In a PSMA PET-CT, the tracer used for the PET scan includes a molecule that specifically binds to the PSMA protein, which is often found in large amounts on prostate cancer cells. That molecule is linked to a radioactive compound, or radioisotope.

-It’s smart to take some reading matter with you as you sit in a lined radioactive proof room while being infused.

– This room has “Warning Will Robinson” signs everywhere [apologies to those who don’t get the reference to Lost in Space].

– Grand Designs Australia is a great program to fill in the time when you have had enough reading.

– It is easy to fall asleep while you are having your scan.

– Don’t make appointments for later in the day because you believed the scan would only take 30 to 40 minutes!

– Rod Stewart is a good choice to listen to while you are undergoing your scan.

– By 2.00 pm in the afternoon you get very hungry after being immersed in the process for nearly three hours.

– It is too much to expect an already compromised bladder.

to cope while getting infused with a saline drip for over two hours.

GOOD NEWS!

The PET PSMA scan has shown no evidence of prostate cancer anywhere else in my body, other than that which is present in the prostate gland.

What does this mean? This test is accurate to around 92%, so while it isn’t guaranteed there are no rogue cells circulating it is strong evidence that I am clear.

Next Step, pelvic floor exercises and a strong focus on overall fitness prior to the operation. For me this means continuing my runs, walks and HIIT training every day, as well as looking after my mental wellbeing by focusing on the things I can control and enjoying what each day brings me… not too hard really because that has been my practice for a very long time.

I haven’t and won’t stop working, it brings me great enjoyment to continue sharing the wisdom of Choice Theory with those who are ready to learn it, and with the increased use of Zoom, I am talking to clients from around the world.

Deb and I continue to promote our online stress and anxiety management course. We are getting great feedback and I have the opportunity to practice what I preach on a daily basis and show that I am prepared to walk the talk.

I have decided not to join a support group, I know many people really like these, but I prefer to build a team around me who know me, practice and understand internal control psychology and use the connecting habits in their relationships with me. They certainly don’t need to be people who have the same diagnosis as me. My wife Deb is the number one ticket holder in my support group!

Why not join a support group as well? For me, I choose not to divert my energy by mixing with those who are miserabling, depressing or anxiousing. Experience has shown me that support groups can have a large number of sufferers or survivors who exhibit those traits. I don’t judge them, I just know that’s not what I need or want at the moment but if it is working for them I am delighted and encourage them to keep going. I know that statement may be challenging for some, but I am not trying to convince anyone that my way is right for anyone else, I’m just sharing what I believe to be right for me.

It has been heartening to have a number of men tell me that they will now have a regular PSA test as a result of my sharing what I have learned from my experience so far. All we can give anyone is information and if we do that in a non-judgmental manner, we have a greater chance that they will be open to it and choose a course that works for them. Everyone’s path is different, the right path is the one that works for you. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I’ll keep posting as events unwind.

How to Swap your Inner Critic for an Inner Coach

Swap your inner critic for an inner coach
Why would you be your biggest critic when you could be your biggest supporter

Are you considering change, or pushing yourself through something challenging? Maybe life is dishing you up challenges that you never expected? All of these situations mean one thing. You’re likely to be confronted by your inner critic.

So who is this critic? Your so-called inner critic is nothing more than your own critical and negative thoughts that you allow into your mind.

Fortunately because you put the thoughts into your mind you can also remove them. Unfortunately it isn’t an easy thing to do. Especially if the thoughts have developed over many years.

Some are the result of beliefs about yourself that you’ve adopted from apparent evidence. This evidence could be repeated judgements by other people, unwanted outcomes, perceived mistakes or even difficulties that keep popping up in your life.

When people repeat a judgment of you, you can start to believe it. You start thinking the same thought as if it’s an irreversible, irrefutable fact. You create stories around your perceived failures, limitations, and difficulties. This can all get carried forward as the thoughts of your inner critic, whose job it is to protect you from re-living past pain or experiencing imagined pain. Your inner critic often gets vocal when your needs aren’t being met, or are threatened.

Why you Need to Accept your Inner Critic

Your inner critic is a protective mechanism. The thoughts you’re putting into your mind are a tactic to prevent you from doing what you fear and what you perceive on one level threatens your needs. Of course, on another level the very thing you fear is what will also meet your needs.

Critical thoughts are a barrier to your growth and they’ll keep you stuck if you let them. They can also send you off course. The brilliant plan you have to fulfil your dreams can be derailed by an inner critic if you make choices based on those belittling thoughts.

Allowing negative thoughts to circulate means that you’ll probably look to others for reassurance. This is fine in the short term but it isn’t sustainable in the long term.

Instead of resisting your inner critic accept it as remnants of habitual thinking that have held you back in the past.

Of course all the things your critic is throwing at you could possibly happen. Get the fears out of your head and down onto paper. Look at them in a balanced way and do what you can to address them. Then “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.” Fear is a normal response to moving outside of your comfort zone. Unless you can learn to sit with it you won’t be able to achieve everything that you want to.

Getting Creative

Your Inner Coach

When you’re bombarding yourself with negative and critical thoughts it’s not fun. And it can seem like you have no control. But your brain is infinitely creative, so use it.

Some people do this by giving their inner critic a funny name or their inner coach superhero status.This helps to lighten things up. It takes power away from the thoughts you want to eradicate and strengthens the thoughts you want to use.

It’s hard to be deeply affected by a funny old internal critic called Walter who tries to protect you as if you’re a ten-year- old. Your inner coach could be a super-hero type character or the best vision of your future self you can imagine.

Developing your Inner Coach

Swap your Inner Critic for an Inner Coachyour Sel

The negative thoughts that you attribute to your inner critic are a sign that you’re being challenged. You don’t need an inner critic but you could do with an inner coach. When you’re in a challenging situation a coach is useful.

A coach looks out for you, but in a balanced and positively realistic way. A coach is supportive and a coach is skilled. An inner coach can protect you better than your inner critic.

Develop your inner coach as a voice of reason. When you start putting the negative thoughts into your mind bring out that voice. Use that voice to remind you of what you’ve written down to address your fears.

You want your inner coach to be gentle but strong because when your inner critic is active you’re vulnerable. You need the same compassion that you’d offer someone close to you going through challenges. But you also want your inner coach to be a voice of strength that you can rely on to support you. Your inner coach should be firm, friendly and fair just like you are with others when supporting them through difficulties.

Create your inner coach to be your personal cheer leader when things get hard. But also to acknowledge and appreciate your efforts so that you’re not always looking outside of yourself for affirmation. Give yourself balanced feedback on things that you can improve on. And when called for kick your own butt!

Gradually you’ll find that the thoughts in your head are more aligned with an inner coach than that old inner critic. You may never entirely get rid of fear when taking on new things but appropriate fear is something to be aware of. Not something to be afraid of.

How to Overcome Situational Depression

Overcome Situational Depression
How to overcome situational depression

Situational depression, also known as adjustment disorder, is depression caused by your response to stress or loss. When a situation is particularly difficult to cope with, you can develop stress-related responses: e.g. racing thoughts, insomnia, anxiety, etc. If you can adapt to the new situation, or adapt the situation to cause us less stress, we should be able to recover more quickly.

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 previously 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?

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 fifteen 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 can you take from this? If you’re  dealing with mental health issues you need to educate themselves. While doctors, especially GPs, can be useful, they generally don’t know that much about mental health. And mental health issues are very individual.

If I hadn’t educated myself, I might still be trying to live on the lithium/Prozac cocktail that I was prescribed after my initial diagnosis.  It hasn’t always been an easy road and I’ve had relapses. But I’ve learnt from them and I’m not addicted to a medication.

What Have I learned about my Mental Health?

I’ve learned that I have to pay attention to meeting my basic needs. 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 Glasser

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’s an important thing to remember about this bucket analogy however. If your bucket is small but also very empty the need will feel large. An example would look like this:  You a low survival need but within a few weeks you lose our job, your home and your partner. Your bucket for survival might not be big but it’s virtually empty. So it will feel huge and suddenly your need for security will outweigh all your other needs. You  would experience the same increased need for survival if you 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. 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’d like to understand your needs better fill out the form below and I’ll send you a Free Needs Profile Questionnaire.

Then I’d love you share your experiences with Situational Depression, or Bi-polar in the comments below.

Feel Great.

Deb 🌻

Don’t Let Fear Get In Your Way

Don't Let Fear Hold You Back

Fear is a powerful, primitive response that is supposed to alert you to a threat. That threat can be physical, psychological and even imagined. Unmanaged fear is an underlying cause of stress and anxiety, but the good news is that it can be addressed and used positively.

There is a huge range of fears. There are healthy fears of real dangers. It’s developmentally appropriate for example, for young children to have a certain level of fear around people they don’t know. It’s also realistic for you to feel a level of fear doing something new that’s potentially dangerous. At the other end of the scale, there is a multitude of mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorders, and phobias. These diagnosed disorders all have elements of fear at their core.

Don't Let Fear Get In Your WayFear responses are very individual. Some kinds of fear can be enjoyable and even seen as necessary to some people. Being scared by watching a scary movie or terrifying yourself on the Tower of Doom at an amusement park are sought after experiences for many people. Extreme sportspeople and adventurers even crave the adrenalin and excitement that comes with activities that create fear.

Other people seek to avoid fear wherever possible. This can be limiting because there is likely to be a level of fear whenever you move outside your comfort zone and try something new.

 

FEAR

An old acronym you may have heard of to describe fear is: False Evidence Appearing Real. This can be a useful way of looking at phobias and other conditions where fears are unrealistic. But it’s not an effective way of looking at legitimate fears.

If you’re fearful because you’re investing your life savings in a new business venture, that’s a realistic fear. Many new businesses don’t survive. If you’re fearful about an exam, that’s legitimate because if you fail you may have to repeat a unit of study or not be able to work in the field that you want to.

 

FEARAn effective way of dealing with this kind of fear is: Face it, Evaluate, Take Action, Re-evaluate.

Face it

Fears that aren’t faced don’t go aware they fester. It’s far better to face a fear. Acknowledge it as rationally and realistically as you can.

Evaluate

When Roosevelt said to the American people during the depression, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” he was talking about people rushing to the banks to withdraw their money. He went on to say: “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Before taking action it’s important to remember that when you’re feeling afraid you may not be thinking clearly. Evaluating your fears and options before taking action is a valuable investment of time. Get feedback from people you trust to make sure that your perceptions are logical.

Action

Action needs to be reasonable, realistic. Don’t make bad decisions just to ease your fear if what you’re doing is legitimately scary. Fears can be managed by thoughts and actions. Keep your thoughts optimistically realistic, make the best choices you can and take the best actions you can to achieve the result you want.

Re-Evaluate

Life is a constantly changing landscape. Decisions and actions need to be regularly reviewed to make sure that they’re still valid and meet the needs of all concerned.

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway is a book by the late Susan Jeffers. Jeffers claims that the underlying cause of fear is a lack of belief in your ability to cope with a certain situation or outcome. She says that only by doing the things you’re afraid of can you overcome your fears. In the process, you will build your capabilities and your confidence.

Are Your Fears Stressing You?

Free Stress QuizFind out by taking our quick Free Stress Quiz.

 

As always if you have any questions, comments or feedback we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Your comments help others by your sharing and they also help this post to rank in Google where people can find it amongst all the online noise. So if this is something you think is valuable please take the time to leave a comment below before you go.

Thanks again

Deb🌻

 

What You Can Do When You Hate Your Job?

Set Yourself Free

At the moment just having a job can be a relief. But what can you do if you hate your job?

Hating your job is not a great idea. The 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 make the toxicity at work worse. Your work quality and productivity will slip. You could lose the job that feeds your kids in a way that reduces your future options.

If 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. 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. If nothing else having a job that you don’t like is a perfect opportunity to practice a positive mindset.

Write 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.
• Hating your job is showing you what you don’t want. 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. It could be showing you a pattern where you’ve always backed down. You could take this and learn how to stand in your own power.
• Having something you have to do each day can be positive. It helps prevent you from being overwhelmed while you sort other things out.
• Keep your job but cut your hours back if you can. This gives you the chance to build a bridge to your new life. This is 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 next, staying where you are for the time-being can work as a placeholder. It lets you figure out your next step. Use your current job as a guide to your next step by understanding which of your needs it meets, and which of your needs it doesn’t.
• Whatever your job is it will give you some opportunity to contribute. That’s great for your Power Needs.
• Not enjoying your job could motivate you 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/holiday time and sick leave to work on creating the future you want.

The best way to create joy, peace and satisfaction in life is to properly understand and meet your needs. There will always be some way within your job for you to do that. Download our Free Needs Profile Questionnaire to better understand your needs. Use that information in deciding on where you go from here.

As always if you have any questions, comments or feedback we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Your comments help others by your sharing and they also help this post to rank in Google where people can find it amongst all the online noise. So if this is something you think is valuable please take the time to leave a comment below before you go.

Thanks again

Deb🌻

How Do You Deal With Anxiety and Depression?

You Can't Feel Good When You Think Bad

You Learn How to Deal Effectively With Stress

Yes, it’s actually that simple. Learn how to deal with stress effectively and you won’t have to deal with anxiety and depression.

But what if you’re already anxious and depressed?

It’s not too late! Learning how to deal with stress will hugely improve your depression and anxiety. Sign up now for our quick stress quiz to see how well you’re doing that right now. This gives you are starting point so you can see what you need to work on.

… Things That Will Help

Don’t Do Things You Hate If You Can Help It

In fact, don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Find another way, negotiate, teach yourself to enjoy whatever it is, compromise if you must, but don’t keep doing something that you really don’t want to do. It’s very stressful.

Get Some Decent Shut-Eye ….Preferably Without Pills

When I hated my job and I was dealing with anxiety and depression I didn’t sleep well. Sometimes I didn’t sleep at all. Not sleeping at all is dangerous. So is regularly not getting enough sleep. It can lead to all sorts of problems.

When you have buffalo running around in your head and you can’t shut them down.  Sometimes the only way to get any sleep is to take some meds. But there are downsides… they can give you a weird sleep, make you drowsy the next day and give you a dry mouth the next morning. They are also addictive. Use sleeping pills sparingly and learn some alternative strategies asap.

  • Keep your bedroom cool and as dark as possible
  • Don’t work late into the night. Put work away at least an hour before bedtime
  • Say goodbye to coffee after lunch
  • Reduce your alcohol use. It might help you crash at times but it also causes you to wake-up. Alcohol is a depressant so it just adds to depression and anxiety in the end
  • Set a routine for going to sleep and waking up
  • Stay away from computer screens before bed. If you must use screens at night use f.lux to adjust your screen for night use. It’s a free download
  • Relax your body, focus on your breathing and try to clear your head
  • … if that doesn’t work, get up and do something relaxing
  • If you have problems that are keeping you awake get up and write everything out. Including solutions

Learn to Manage Your Thoughts

You Can't Feel Good When You Think Bad

Your thoughts have a direct impact on the way you feel. You can’t feel good when you think bad.

Don’t allow thoughts that make you feel angry, sad, depressed or anxious.

Change negative thoughts to thoughts that are kinder and more positive. “I have no friends I’m a loser” can easily change to “I’m grateful for the people in my life. I’ll reach out and work on making new friends.” Ask someone you trust for their ideas. They will see you much more positively.

If the negative thoughts keep coming, distract yourself by doing something that you love and that needs your focus.

Some gentle exercise every day will give you lots of helpful hormones. No excuses …Do It!!

Don’t Sweat What You Can’t Control

You can only control yourself. You will cause yourself a lot of unnecessary anxiety and depression by resisting things you can’t control or aren’t ready to.  There is huge peace in accepting what is. You can still work to change what you’re doing. But you will be so much happier if you work towards change from a point of acceptance rather than resistance.

Is there anything in your life that you’re resisting and which is causing you to suffer as a result?

As always if you have any questions, comments, or feedback I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Your comments help others. They also help this post to rank in Google where people can find it amongst all the online noise. So if this is something you think is valuable please take the time to leave a comment below before you go.

Thanks again

Deb🌻

PS: If you haven’t already completed the Stress Quiz give it a go. It really will give you a great idea of where you need to start getting on top of your anxiety and depression.

Free Stress Test – Really Quick!

Free Stress Quiz

Free Stress QuizHow Well You Do You Handle Stress and Anxiety?

There is a wide variance in the way that people handle. At one end of the scale are people who thrive on stress and actively seek it out. Extreme sportspeople and people who work in high-stress environments are just a couple of examples.

At the other end of the scale, there are the people who will do everything they can to avoid stress in their lives. The rest of us fit somewhere in between.

So stress isn’t inherently bad. Even though when you’re feeling overstressed it can feel very bad.

What’s important is how you manage the stress in your life and why you are in fact creating it.

Why Is Managing Stress Well So Important?

How you manage stress and anxiety is an important key to unlocking your potential. Do it well and you can grow to the point where you operate in your “zone”.

This “zone” of perfect stress is also known as being in a state of “eustress” and is the state that top achievers aim for. In this state you optimise your productivity, your output feels effortless, everything just works.

If you don’t learn to manage stress properly you will soothe yourself with different behaviours. Some of these behaviours are positive; like mindfulness, gentle exercise and doing activities that bring you joy. We call this stress first aid, they are helpful, but they don’t address the underlying causes of stress and anxiety.

You may also choose destructive behaviours like drinking alcohol for stress relief, overeating, gambling etc. The video below shows how this works.

Make An Investment In Yourself Today!

You can learn everything you can about stress and anxiety but in the end, to change how you feel, to feel better, you will have to take some positive action. You have the chance right now to take a quick five-minute quiz and start a journey that could change your life!

As always if you have any questions, comments or feedback we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Your comments help others by your sharing and they also help this post to rank in Google where people can find it amongst all the online noise. So if this is something you think is valuable please take the time to leave a comment below before you go.

Thanks again

Deb🌻

Being Better – In 4 Easy Steps

Internal Stress

Internal Stress
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Are you tired of being less than you know you can be? Are you thinking about how you could be better? 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?

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.

We can spend a lot of time absorbing information from a multitude of different sources: blog posts, books, podcasts, magazines, and videos, but unless we take steps to really implement what you’ve learned in a sustained way, very little happens.

I said Four Easy Steps and I meant it. Don’t worry 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.

Take that one thing, where you know you can do better, where you’re motivated to be better, and implement these four steps. 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?

Write it down as clearly and succinctly as you can.

When you believe that you aren’t being the best that you can be, it’s because you are making a comparison between how you see yourself, and how you would like to see yourself. The first thing to ask yourself is how realistic your picture is?

This picture of how you want to be is part of what is called your Quality World in Choice Theory.  The Quality World is like an album of all the things that you believe are necessary for you to be happy. Sometimes these ideas are just not realistic and this can lead to a lot of stress. Changing or even tweaking some of your Quality World pictures can help you to work towards things that are achievable.

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

When you are thinking about What you want it’s also important to consider Why you want it. The Why is important for ongoing motivation. It also saves you from charging down a rabbit hole to find that it wasn’t at all what you thought it would be and that it doesn’t make you happy after all.

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 think that their partner doesn’t love them. It could just be their perception. Their partner might not demonstrate 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 your perception may not be serving you. In this kind of situation changing your perception can go a long way to being better.

So look at your What very carefully and consider whether 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.

2. What are you Doing?

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

3. Evaluate

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.

4. Plan

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.

Choices

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 have 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 life is not going the way you would like it to be going right now take our Stress Quiz. By understanding what you’re doing to make yourself feel better you can start unravelling what is it is that you actually need and how you might achieve what you want.

As always if you have any questions, comments, or feedback I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Your comments help others by your sharing and they also help this post to rank in Google where people can find it amongst all the online noise. So if this is something you think is valuable please take the time to leave a comment below before you go.

Thanks again

Deb🌻

How To Be Your Best Self

How T Be Your Best Self

Be Your Best SelfHave you ever asked yourself how you could  be your best self? I have, and I used to think that meant struggle but no more.

Now I believe that the first step to being the best you can be is to take words like struggle, hard, strive, work etc., out of the equation.

I was reading a blog post today by a couple of very popular bloggers and they have clearly come to a very different conclusion about this. They wrote, “YOU need to do HARD things to be HAPPY in life”. They go on to say this is because, “the hard things ultimately build you up and change your life.”

Is this true?

Is going hard the best way?

Why do you want to be your best self?

Because you believe it will bring you happiness.

Is struggle your idea of happiness?

Can the destination really be different to the journey?

Choices

HappinessThink of every choice you make as a decision to put your boat in the water and paddle either with the current or against the current. Going with the current is going to get you where we want to go a lot faster and a lot more easily than paddling against it.

Paddling with the current is working with your needs profile and is how you will most effectively meet your needs, because that’s what life is all about. Everything you do everyday is an attempt to meet a need.

But what if what you want is against the current? There are infinite ways to meet your needs and you will find plenty of options when you choose to go with the current. Go with the flow of your life, don’t try and go against it.

You can never be your best self while you are forcing your way against the flow of your life.

Paddling against the current can seem like the only option but you are chasing a want rather than a need.

A want is something that you think will make you happy or at least prevent pain, a need is something that will actually make you happy.

It might seem easier to hang on to destructive habits or a lack of healthy habits like exercise, but that’s paddling against the current. No one needs to be unhealthy and endure all the associated outcomes. What keeps you heading in that direction is all the stories you are telling yourself about why your choices are a good idea.

  • I don’t care about my weight
  • I’ve tried everything and nothing works
  • I can’t give up smoking
  • I need alcohol to wind down
  • I hate exercise

The Best Way to Make Change is as Comfortably as Possible

How T Be Your Best SelfThere’s a process of creating new habits and making new neural pathways which can seem uncomfortable but a lot of that discomfort comes down to how you think about it. If you tell yourself something is hard it will be hard. If you think what you’re doing is enjoyable it will be. Maybe not at once, but it will happen.

Unless you actively use your mind to be your biggest supporter, it will be your biggest challenger. Unless you turn your thoughts to supporting your actions you’re unlikely to be successful with them in the long term.

If you’re trying to lose weight and you keep telling yourself that you miss your treats, your food is boring, or it’s not fair that you can’t eat like your skinny sister, you probably won’t succeed. Change your thoughts to something that is true for you but supports your goal.

“I miss my treats,” ➡️ “I’m finding some really nice new snack food that keeps me losing weight (and follow up with action to do that)

“This food is boring,”  ➡️  “I’m finding some really interesting new food I can eat.” (and follow up with action to do that)

“It’s not fair that I can’t eat like my skinny sister.” ➡️  “I can have anything I want in small quantities.”

Building skills through practise, changes something from hard to easy and changing your MINDSET is the hardest thing you need to do!

Repetition is the way that your body, including your brain learns. Repeated thoughts and actions will become your reality.

Change requires commitment but it will only be as hard as you make it. By heading with the current towards your needs, rather than chasing what you think you want, you will become your best self and find happiness faster.

For clarity around your particular needs you can download a needs profile checklist in the sidebar.

If you are feeling stressed and anxious check out our online course here.

Thanks for reading 😊

As always if you have any questions, comments or feedback we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Your comments help others by your sharing and they also help this post to rank in Google where people can find it amongst all the online noise. So if this is something you think is valuable please take the time to leave a comment below before you go.

Thanks again

Deb🌻