Am I Really in Control?

In Control

Do you feel stressed and anxious because your life seems out of your control? Believing that you are ever really in control of your life is a fantasy. There’s only ever one thing in life that can you control, that’s you and that’s enough.

We often measure wellbeing against how “in control” we feel. That’s fine as long as we remember that the only thing we can really control is ourselves.

When life is peaceful, predictable, and going along nicely it’s relatively easy to be in control of your thoughts and emotions. But it doesn’t take much for that control to jump right out the window. The pandemic is one of those things that has thrown many people off course. The impact of other people, illness, or maybe even your own ambitions can throw your control of yourself off course.

Your Time is so Precious

Your time is the most precious thing you have. Without time you have nothing else. So why would you waste any of it stressing out about things that you have no control over?

The idea that your stress levels and emotions are the direct result of your thoughts, is relatively new. It’s easy to blame situations and other people for your emotions. You may even think it’s justified. But by taking responsibility for your thoughts and the emotional results of those thoughts, you’ll have so much more control over your life.

Knowing that upsetting yourself with things outside of your control is unwise, is one thing. Being able to manage your thoughts so that you aren’t upset is another.

Take Responsibility for your Thoughts

Taking responsibility for your thoughts is the first step to increasing the control you have over yourself. The next step is even more challenging because it requires consistent work. Work that ultimately only you can do.

Decide which thoughts serve you and will get you where you want to go. Hang onto those thoughts tightly. Put them up on post-it notes around your workspace or on your fridge. This is evidence that you can use to create more positive thoughts.

You may be surprised when you start observing your thoughts. They’re likely to be far more negative and critical than you expected. Sometimes you’ll want to give into them. But what will help you take control of your life is to challenge them. Challenge them with thoughts that are believable. You probably won’t be able to believe that you’re amazing at something. And there will always be people that are better than you. But you can believe that you’re good enough.

What if I’m Not Good Enough?

This is the underlying thought that undoes so many people. Don’t let it undo you. It’s a thought that won’t serve you. Keep reminding yourself that you are good enough. Keep reading your post-it notes, with all your evidence displayed right where you’ll see it. But if the thought persists, at some point, you’ll need to confront it if you want to have as much control over your life as you can.

Of course you’re good enough, everybody is. And good enough for what anyway? This thought is probably coming up for you in just one or two areas of your life. Take some time to evaluate the thought. Imagine an old-fashioned set of scales. Put this thought on one side and all the evidence you have to the contrary on the other side.

If your scales continue to tilt towards the side of “I’m not good enough,” then re-evaluate what you’re trying to do. Ask people who you trust what they think to make sure that your perception is valid. Maybe there are things you could do that would increase your confidence in yourself? Ultimately there’s no point pushing ahead with something that you have a strong underlying belief can’t work.

Pushing Forward with your Best Thoughts

The scales are a great visual reminder of what’s true for you. Maybe with more information it will no longer be true. That doesn’t matter. That’s something for the future.

Right now, if your scales tilt towards the positive evidence that you are good enough to do or have what you want, then align with your thoughts and get going. You can re-evaluate later and maybe change course if necessary. But right now, use your evidence to create more thoughts that put you in control of whatever you’re trying to achieve. If not consider one of our life-changing courses.

Life-Changing Courses from Choice Theory Online

Stress-Less Training

Deal with Stress & Anxiety Effectively
Online Stress and Anxiety Course

Feel More in Control in Just Four Days

If your feeling down and want need a pick-me-up try our new Mini-Course

Four Days to Feeling Better: Mini-Course

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If you have a curious mind and are serious about Self-Development sign up here and give yourself something meaning to think about each day.

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 🌻

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.

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🌻

Selfish, Selfless and Self Accepting

Self, Selfless, Self Accepting

Self, Selfless, Self AcceptingSelfish: Meeting your needs at the expense of another’s ability to meet their needs.

Selfless: Meeting another’s needs at the expense of your own needs

and then there is Self Accepting.

Self acceptance means different things to different people but it’s primarily seen as awareness and acceptance of your strengths, weaknesses and behaviours. Dr Glasser never really addressed self-acceptance. If he had it would probably have gone something like this:  Accepting your needs and the behaviours you choose to meet those needs, as being the best you can do with the information and abilities you have.

Jeff Developed a Slightly Different use of the Term – Self Accepting

This was to support clients who were having difficulty understanding where the boundaries between selfishness and selflessness might be. Often they were choosing selflessness and did not want to change their behaviour for fear they would become selfish. Jeff introduced the concept of self-accepting as a way of operating that is neither selfish or selfless, and is sustainable.

I’ve taken the work Jeff did on this straight from our Choice Practice Institute site because it explains the concept better than I could.

Over to Jeff…

Selfish

A Selfish person cares too much about their own needs and not enough about the needs of the other, this doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t care at all, just that they put their needs first at the expense of the other. They expect others will cooperate in meeting their needs and demand that they do so. As they demand more and more they tend to value what they get, less and less. They may become resentful and angry when they believe their needs are not being met, and usually become even more demanding. They often end up with selfless people in their lives, because they wont accept those who insist on their needs being met too!

Selfless

A Selfless person cares too much for the needs of the other and not enough about their own needs, this doesn’t mean they don’t care about their own needs at all, just that they prioritise the needs of the other above their own on most occasions. They hope that others will meet their needs and wait for them to do so. They wait…. and they wait,…. then become unhappy and maybe resentful or angry when their needs are not met over time. If they resort to doing something selfish to try to meet their needs, they will usually feel guilty and often try to make up for their selfish behaviour. They often end up with selfish people in their lives , because by giving too much, others begin to accept that they don’t have needs of their own and give up trying to be fair to them.

Self Accepting 

The Self Accepting person cares equally about their own needs and the needs of the other.  They accept responsibility for meeting their own needs and leave the responsibility for others needs with them. They know that if they are unhappy, it is their job to identify which needs are not being met and make changes to better meet them.

They also know if others are unhappy it is up to those others to take responsibility for meeting their own needs and change what they are doing. They co-operate with the other in creating an environment where both parties needs can be met fairly, but not at the expense of their own needs or the needs of the other.

Self accepting people will usually have other self accepting people in their lives, because they always insist on fairness in meeting their own needs and the needs of others, those who continue to be selfish or selfless will find that behaviour is not working with a self accepting person. (ref: Jeff Steedman)

But What about the Kids?

Parents can find navigating this course especially difficult. They may be able to apply the concept to their friends and adult family members but see themselves responsible for meeting the needs of their children.

Be Your Best Self

Obviously when children are very young this is true, especially in terms of physical needs. As children grow however, using this concept is an excellent way of making sure everyone in a family is able to meet their needs effectively. Being a selfless parent is not going to produce a child that is resilient and capable of meeting their own needs as an adult.

 

 

 

This is a big topic, far bigger than I could ever hope to cover in a blog post. We are in the process of creating a new course called Be Your Best Self With Choice Theory. I have already started an email list of interested people who will have an opportunity to input ideas about what is covered in the course and receive pre-launch information. If you would like to be part of that group leave your details here.

Thanks for reading, and as always please pay it forward by leaving  a comment to ask questions, help others, help us to provide relevant content and help Google to find us.

Kindest Regards

Deb 🌻

Online Stress Management – 50% SPECIAL BECAUSE YOU’RE SPECIAL

Deal with Stress & Anxiety Effectively

Deal with Stress & Anxiety EffectivelyI originally wrote this post for the solstice and because of the difficult times but it seems that there is a demand for this course at this price that has gone beyond the solstice. So I’m extending it as a special gift and thank you for taking the time to visit this blog. As a writer having an audience is important and I’m a writer, not a You Tuber or podcaster so if you will keep reading I’ll keep writing.

By all accounts, people continue to suffer from unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. We know the material that Jeff uses with his counselling clients works and so we know that our course How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety Effectively will work to put you into the healthy stress zone that we call Eustress.  This is the “zone” that top-performing athletes find when they are giving their very best.

This course is different from any other Stress and Anxiety Course we know of. It’s also different from most counselling therapy that you may have had. Here’s why: –

  • It goes further than simply advising you on how to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety, it gives you a solid plan for tackling the underlying causes of your specific stress and anxiety.
  • You will not have to dredge up your past. You are feeling anxious and stressed in the present and that’s where it’s most beneficial to deal with it.

This short video explains the difference between stress first aid and really getting to the bottom of your stress and anxiety once and for all.

Click here and let Jeff tell you all about it himself.

AND receive a 50% discount by entering the word SPECIAL into the coupon field.

This offer will give you 24/7 access to support material, videos and activities for less than half of the cost of just one counselling session.

PLUS you can contact Jeff via the course comments and he will reply asap (not 24/7 😊 )

PLUS a number of the modules deal with Choice Theory Basics. This is learning the basics of Choice Theory in a  nutshell, something most people spend days of face-to-face training doing. We have seen through Jeff’s offline work just how transformation applying this material is.

Give it a go, you will be very pleased that you did.

To your improved wellbeing 😊💐

Deb & Jeff

 

Deb and Jeff

 

How to Improve your Relationship

Good Relationships

RelationshipsJust a heads-up 😊 We made it into the top 100 Personal Development blogs on Feedspot this week👍 .

Chances are that over the past few months you have been spending more time with your significant other than ever before. How is that working for you? Has the closeness of contact brought you closer together, or has it driven you further apart? The answer to that question is likely to depend on whether your relationship is based on Internal or External Control Psychology.

Internal and External Control Psychology

What do these terms mean? In simple practical terms, external control is when you have a belief that, “if only he, she, it or they were the way I believe they should be, then I would be happy.” Your efforts are then primarily focused on trying to make them be the way you think they should be. Internal control differs in that when he, she, it or they are not the way you would like them to be, you self-evaluate your own behaviour and work out what you can do differently to get a better result.

The dominant psychology of external control is so endemic that really good people are caught up in it without understanding that what they are doing is destructive. It starts early in a relationship when one party begins to take a controlling position. “This is how things have to be…”, “Don’t do this or say that….” ,”This is how I want things to be..” and a myriad of similar statements.

On the surface it seems reasonable, they have probably been told somewhere that what they are doing is being assertive and believe that they are simply stating what they want from the relationship. However if it isn’t balanced with an effort to find out what the other wants and to negotiate something that works for both, then it is controlling and damaging to the relationship.

It may even seem to work for a while, as long as the other person is prepared to go along with it for the sake of the relationship. However this can’t last, as resentment builds up and the other starts to fight for what they want or may even withdraw from the relationship altogether. This fighting or withdrawal may last days, weeks, months, years or even decades, but eventually the relationship will fail.

Over the years Jeff has worked with numerous couples in counselling and has concluded that there are several things necessary if a relationship is to survive and ultimately to thrive.

Responsibility

  • Taking responsibility for your own actions is essential if your relationship is to survive. As long as you blame your partner for how you are feeling, thinking and doing, then little progress will be made.

Self EvaluationFeel Better

  • William Glasser’s quote, ” I have noticed that happy people are constantly evaluating themselves and unhappy people are constantly evaluating others” has great relevance here. Successful relationships are the result of the participants focusing on self evaluation and choosing more successful behaviours for themselves, rather than judging each other’s behaviours.

Let it Go if you Can

  • Pick your battles. Before you decide that something needs to be changed, think carefully about whether it actually does. Does it really matter if your partner doesn’t colour code the pegs when they hang out the washing? The simplest solutions to you feeling better about it might be your acceptance of it, or for you to do it yourself.
  • If it is a bigger problem which really does impact on your ability to meet your needs, not just your wants, then negotiate fairly. Come up with something that works for both of you. Remember, if it works for you but not your partner, the relationship will be damaged.
  • If you can’t negotiate over something that is important for you to be able to meet your needs, you will have to decide whether you can accept it for the survival of the relationship or not.
  • If you are the victim of domestic violence, whether emotional, financial or physical your should seek support. You can do this by searching online for domestic violence assistance in you area, or by connecting with a good counsellor or psychologist. If you believe you are in immediate danger you should call the police.

The Only Person You can Control is You

  • This is a critical thing to understand. The belief that if I just keep coming back to the issue often enough, long enough and hard enough, that eventually I will wear you down and win…. is the dry rot which destroys the foundation of any relationship. If your relationship is very strong to begin with, and while it is new, it may not seem to have a damaging effect. But that is the nature of dry rot, it quietly works away without you noticing……until the whole structure collapses.
  • If something is not working for you, you should focus on what you can do to make it better.

Perceptions

  • It’s important to understanding that how your partner sees things is as real to them as how you see things is to you. Respect and acceptance, even if you don’t agree with your partner, are connecting and will put you in a better position to negotiate fairly than nagging and ridiculing them.

Feelings and Motivation

  • None of us knows what another is thinking or what they are feeling. Resist telling your partner that you know better than them what they are thinking and feeling and what motivates their behaviour. Accept what they tell you and move on to what you are going to do so it works better for both of you.

Future Focus

  • No one can change the past. A willingness to focus on how you can improve your relationship ……..rather than on how it has been, is important in order to move forward. Acknowledge what each believes has happened, but shift quickly to jointly creating a picture of how you want it to be in the future.

Good Relationships
Photo by Văn Thắng from Pexels

Sexual Satisfaction

  • Typically sexual satisfaction is higher when everything else in a relationship is working well. Dissatisfaction over sex is still relatively common however, whether you’re with a new partner or have been partnered for many years. 
  • Jeff has designed an online quiz to help you better understand your own sexual needs and those of your partner. It’s free, anonymous and only you get to see your results.  Click here if you would like to complete the quiz

Couples in successful relationships put the health of the relationship before the wants of the individual. We all have needs that must be met, but our wants are only one of an infinite number of possible ways to meet those. A willingness to give up what you want so that you can better get what you need, is the hallmark of a healthy, creative and mature approach to a relationship.

If you would like further assistance with your relationship, please use the contact us page. We can answer any further questions or arrange online or face to face counselling and support.

Please also share a comment below, your engagement will help others and also give me ideas about what kinds of things I should write about in future posts.

Thanks for reading

Deb 🙂

 

Your One Elusive Thing

Your One Elusive Thing

Your One Elusive ThingIs there something in your life that you’d really like to achieve but has so far eluded you … Your One Elusive Thing? You may have your life pretty well sorted, but are one or two things where you just can’t seem to get the traction you really want?

When there is one big elusive thing you are serious about achieving, let the not so big things go. They can get in your way because when the going gets hard, and the going will get hard, it is tempting to shift your focus from Your One Elusive Thing to a not so big thing, simply because it’s easier.  Learn to conquer your One Elusive Thing and you can reload and repeat in any other areas of your life because you have mastered the art of real, sustainable change. You may find however, that your not so big things will no longer even be an issue.

When most people want to address something that has eluded them for some time, they seek support in the area of that change. People who want to lose weight go to weight loss programs; people who want to stop drinking join AA, read books on it, or join a Facebook group; people who want to start a business get their ducks in a row.

There is nothing wrong with any of those kinds of supports and they may be helpful. But what if there is something you need to know that is even more important than learning the nuts and bolts of the thing you want to change. What if learning HOW to make and sustain change is more important than the actual things you do when you are changing?

Brain Pathways

Neuroplasticity is the ability your brain has to create new neural pathways. Each time you  repeat a thought or an action you strengthen the neural networks that represent that behaviour. Old thoughts and behaviours are like well-worn paths that are habitual. Imagine your brain is like a National Park made up of  paths and wilderness. The paths are your habitual behaviours and the wilderness is where you can create new paths in order to arrive at a different place. 

Creating new neural pathways is challenging because it is like pushing out through the wilderness. The reason change is so hard to sustain is because it can be mentally exhausting and the more tired you get the stronger the lure of a well-worn path is.

The Compound Effect

There is a compound effect to path pushing.  When you push through the wilderness it will still feel like wilderness for longer than you think and each time you do it you are tiring. Maintaining your commitment to change is difficult until you start experiencing the benefits. When the benefits do start to flow and growth is rapid, it is not because you have achieved sudden success, but because of the compound effect of all the work you put in, even when you didn’t see any results.

Mind Power

Mind power, or thought power, is one of most important powers you possess in making and sustaining change. Your thoughts impact your actions, your feelings and your physiology so it is vital that: –

  • you  are aware of your thoughts and your mindset
  • you realise that your thoughts are subjective and are created out of your perceptions
  • you take responsibility for your thoughts 
  • you accept that you have the ability to change your thoughts
  • you consistently create thoughts that serve the accomplishment of Your One Elusive Thing 

Analyse your Needs

Everything you do everyday is an attempt to meet one or more of your needs. In fact your days are a carefully orchestrated and finely balanced symphony of meeting your needs. Any changes will impact that. Before you set out once again, to achieve your One Elusive Thing, do an analysis of your specific needs profile.  You can do that by popping your email address into the form in the sidebar. There could be a number of  reasons why the thing you have wanted for a very long time might has eluded you. The particular reason we are looking at here, is the effect of pushing those paths of change through the wilderness of your brain. During the period of  set-up and change, as you move towards your  One Elusive Thing, the ways in which you have been meeting your needs will be impacted.

Here’s an example of what this might look like in practice:

You have a successful business but you want to branch out into something that you are very passionate about. You have wanted this for a very long time and had several goes at it but have never managed to sustain the new business branch. The reason why this is the case continues to baffle you.

What will the new business branch give you ? (what needs will it meet?) :

  • Power: You have a quality world picture of yourself being successful in this area
  • Survival: It will provide you with a better bottom line to your business
  • Fun: You are passionate about this aspect of your business and like the process of learning something new
  • Freedom: This business branch will eventually allow you to have the freedom to do and be who you want
  • Love and Belonging: You will eventually have more time available to spend with your friends and family

Now look at what needs it is impacting while you are making the changes necessary to create this new business branch.

  • Power: While you are implementing the new things and learning the new skills your power needs may be impacted because the quality of the work in your new business is not as high as the work that you have experience in. You are nervous about what people will think and the time you are investing in the new branch may impact the success of your existing business.
  • Survival: In the building phase you are investing money and energy as you have to keep your existing business going while launching the new branch. You are not seeing any profits from the new branch.
  • Fun: While you are having fun building the new branch, the time you are investing is diminishing the time you have available for other recreational things you enjoy.
  • Freedom: While eventually you may have more freedom, in the creation phase you have a lot less freedom to do other things.
  • Love and Belonging: You probably have less time to spend with friends and family.

Go Easy on Yourself

Your One Elusive ThingDoes this explanation help you to see why making sustained change is so difficult? Pushing through the wilderness areas of your brain is hard enough, but continuing to meet all your needs while you do it is like juggling balls at the same time. Do not be discouraged!! People do manage to make changes in their lives, so you know it is possible to create the life you really want. Awareness of the things that have caused your One Elusive Thing to elude you is the first step and what we have discussed in this post is just one possibility. There are more.

Next week we will look at whether the thing that has eluded you all this time is what you really, really, want and how to make a good decision about it. If you haven’t done it already, don’t forget to sign up for  your Needs Profile in the sidebar, it means that you will also receive a notification when the next post goes live.

As always please leave a comment below, sharing any of your experiences with changes that have eluded you. Your input will help others. I am also thinking about starting a Face Book Group to address this issue of : Your One Elusive Thing. If this is something that you might be interested in joining, please contact me via the contact page.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Deb