Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Limiting Belief Quagmire

Hi it’s Dave,

Greetings from Ilfracombe and welcome to the Under Blue Skies blog

I hope that you are creating a great life for yourself and that you are finding some of the tips contained in these posts useful in that process.  One of the things that people sometimes speak about is that they get stuck in a Limiting Belief process and so here is a post that may help reduce the effect of those pesky things. Welcome to

The Limiting Belief Quagmire


(photo - nhptv.org)
Limiting Beliefs are like a quagmire. They suck you in – but they don't spit you out. The more you struggle the more you're stuck. Limiting beliefs can quite literally sap you of energy.

It's often the small inconsequential ones that do most harm. The throw-away lines that you endlessly repeat in your head – these are the ones that leave you exhausted.

How do you work with a client's limiting beliefs?

Firstly, help your client notice them by listening acutely to their language. What kinds of assumptions and judgements is your client often making? What kind of commentary are they running in their heads?

Once you've started to notice them, then take time to verbalise and challenge. For example a client, let's call him Jack, was berating his boss for ignoring him that morning. "He obviously doesn’t like me," was the conclusion. As a result of this Jack felt anxious during the day wondering what he'd done wrong.

When a client makes such a sweeping assumption, it's time to get out the ABC guide.

ABC stands for the three simple steps in this model:-

A = Activating Event
B = Belief about the Event
C = Consequence

With Jack’s example the following had happened

Activating Event – His boss hadn't returned a 'good morning' greeting.

Belief about the event – Jack worries that he's done something wrong and assumes that his boss no longer likes him.

Consequence – Jack spends the whole day worrying about it and in return this has a negative impact on his work.

So you can see that this is all brought about by the limiting belief that Jack holds.

Clients often believe that the 'activating event' is the cause of their distress. In Jack's case he blamed his boss. If his boss had said good morning back then he wouldn't have become anxious.

The trouble with this kind of thinking is that the problem is always ‘out there.' Feelings of powerlessness and helplessness add to the client's distress.

Tremendous shifts can be made when you show them that it is not the Activating Event that causes the distress but that it is their Belief about the event that has such power.

The beauty of this is that clients often have the wonderful ‘aha’ moment when the penny drops. Rather than being powerless, they now hold the power. This is where the coaching begins.

Change the belief and you change the consequence

The role of the coach is to challenge and help the client to examine the belief. The belief is not based in reality, it is completely made up.

In Jack's case his 'belief' led him to think that his boss didn’t like him.

This and other beliefs are things that the client can change and such a change is completely within their power. Ask the client to start coming up with some alternative options for the belief.

Here is a selection of examples -

Maybe the boss didn’t hear him say good morning.

Maybe the boss has got other things on his mind.

Maybe the boss isn’t great at social interactions.

Maybe the boss had a row with his wife when he left home.

Maybe the boss thought Jack was talking to someone else.

Considering these examples Jack in now in a position to look at a range of  new possibilities

As soon as Jack realises that he could have responded in other ways, things open up. He can see his ‘Belief’ is just a belief and not a fact. Once the power returns to Jack he realises that the Consequence is entirely based on his ‘Belief’.

In other words a different Belief would have resulted in a different Consequence. Jack can then choose a different belief that opens up other possibilities. For example

A – The boss doesn’t respond to Jack's 'good morning'
B – Jack thinks, 'I wonder if he’s got other things on his mind'
C – Jack decides to go to see the boss to 'check he's ok'.

By switching his belief about the incident to a more supportive belief,  Jack finds that the there are many more options available to him.

So to summarise

Using the ABC guide is a quick way to address limiting beliefs and it is a great way to show a client how a ‘belief’ can be limiting or empowering. In my own work clients have found it very easy to follow and to understand.

The ABC guide is a great way to stop limiting beliefs from festering.

Limiting beliefs are like chains that keep us trapped. They often spill into our language without us even knowing. Take a look at this list and see how many you’re harbouring.

Limiting Beliefs

I have come across a large number of limiting beliefs during my time as a coach and believe me there are thousands of them out there.  So here is a list that I have compiled of the top 30.

Some of them are take from my own list limiting belief whilst some of them are from the clients that I have coached over the years. Do you recognise any of them as forming part of your own limiting belief system?

Limiting Beliefs 1-10

All people are out for themselves
I’m hopeless in social situations
When I talk people get bored
You have to trample your way to the top
All people are untrustworthy
Everyone is out to rip you off
I cannot change – it’s in my blood/family
I will never succeed
I always attract the wrong people
I always get it wrong

Limiting Beliefs 11-20

I’m a fraud at work
I am responsible for how other people feel
I am worthless
I am unlucky
I have no confidence
People wouldn’t like me if they really knew who I was
I must do everything perfectly (as opposed to “I want to pursue excellence”
If I don’t achieve X there’s no point in starting
I’m no good at ….
I’m helpless to change things

Limiting Beliefs 21-30

No one would be attracted to me
There’s no point in trying
It will never work
Why does this always happen to me
Things won’t last (only about good things)
This will never end (only about bad things)
My husband/wife should make me happy
This is a man’s world
Work is biased towards women
I must be happy all of the time
Moving forward

I hope that this brief snapshot on the subject of Limiting Beliefs proves to be a valuable tool that you too can use in your daily life.

So as we reach the end of this week’s post I would like to thank you sincerely for taking the time to read the words.  I hope that you will find them useful as you move forwards in your daily life.

If you have enjoyed the post then please click on the follow link and sign up so that you never miss another post from me.  Also please leave a comment in the box if you have enjoyed what you have read or found it useful

Additionally, if this post has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or to email me:- blueskycompany@europe.com

ooo000ooo

About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy

LINKS


The Fearless Life Guide is a new book written by teacher and practitioner M. J Robertson is available to buy via Amazon and clicking on the cover photo below provides a link to the page.  Molly is an amazing person and I am sure that you will also find her work of great interest.



And whilst on the subject of books, sbown below is the cover image plus a link to my first book of inspirational phrases “Inspirations”





Have a fantastic day, live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!

DAve x


PS. A daily email containing a new Inspirational Phrase is available by subscribing.  Simply send an email to moonshadowmedia@mail.com  with “add me” as the subject line.  When you subscribe the phrases are delivered to your mail box each day completely free of charge.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Forthcoming Posts (Updated 28th May)


Hi it’s Dave and greetings from Ilfracombe, N Devon, UK - today is Sunday the 28th May 2017

So here is the list of the topics for the next 5 weeks together with the posting dates for each one.

Wednesday 31st May – “The Limiting Belief Quagmire 22”

Wednesday 7th June – “A selection of tips for mindful living 23”

Wednesday 14th June – “So You Want To Try Meditation? 24”

Wednesday 21st June – “30 Top Tips For A Better Life 25”

Wednesday 28th June – “The Disease of Being Busy 26”


All of the above posts contain simple steps that anyone can follow to make significant changes and hopefully, improvements in their lives.

If you would like to ask any questions about the blog, my therapy word etc, then please feel free to email me at:- underblueskies@europe.com

If you are interested in becoming a member of our tribe then please go to Facebook and search for Under Blue Skies – “The Tribe” and I will look forward to seeing you there.

Whilst I am talking about the tribe it would be great if you would spread the word about the blog, the tribe, the work that we do etc. to your friends and family.

LINKS


If you would like to subscribe to this blog please go over to the right hand side of this page and click the BLUE button that says “Follow”.  Once you do that you will be added to the list of subscribers.

PS A daily email containing a new Inspirational Phrase is available by subscription

To subscribe- send an email to moonshadowmedia@mail.com  putting “please add me” as the subject line.  Once you subscribe the phrases are delivered to your mail box each day completely free of charge...

Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!


DAve x

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

15 Short Tips to motivate you to get things done.

Hi it’s Dave,

Greetings from Ilfracombe and welcome to the Under Blue Skies blog.  I am very excited with how everything is progressing. I find that sharing these pages with everyone goes a long way towards stimulating me to keep writing them.

For today’s piece I have looked long and hard at the way we “sometimes just don’t get the things done that we wanted to” and I have taken inspiration from some colleagues who all say things like “there are never enough hours in the day” or “I don’t know how I will get through the next day’s work”

So here are the

15 Short Tips to motivate you to get things done.



1)   “Just 5 Minutes” – a simple way to break through apathy and reluctance to do things is to say “I will spend just 5 minutes working on that”  and then miraculously you will find that you have either completed the task or made significant progress

2)   Get You Body To Trick Your Brain – simple things like moving, smiling, laughing, moving around the office will adjust your physiology and help you focus

3)   Find the “Sweet Spot” – when you are in the zone, your brain is buzzing and your fingers are darting around all over the keyboard, you have hit the “Sweet Spot”  The next thing is to be able to do it to order.  Don’t put off a task that is a challenge, use it to get in the flow and then you will “kick ass!”

4)   Plan for tomorrow, tonight – if you create your short simple list of to do items, you won’t have to spend time doing it tomorrow.  That means you will be “making a flying start in the morning” and then you can use that to carry you on through the rest of the day

5)   Make sure you have the “right tools” – if you don’t use the correct tools for the job you run the risk of becoming frustrated and / or overwhelmed.  Using the correct tool will enable you to complete the job without getting the “stress”  headache

6)   Inspirational Quotations – Motivational posters and phrases exist for a reason.  If you have a person you admire pop some of their quotes on a wall or a surface nearby and you can look to them for inspiration

7)   Use music – As a music therapist I firmly believe that music can help you block out distractions: lift your spirits and change you mood.  Get into the groove and get more done.

8)   Do not be a perfectionist. – Setting too high (or impossible) standards guarantee stress.  It is easier to improve on what you have than to magic perfection out of nothing.  Stop stressing about this and just get started.

9)   Refresh Review Remind yourself of your goals – what are you working towards?  A simple step is to set your desktop to show and image of what you are working to achieve…… a family holiday, a new car, an educational diploma, a new house.

10) Help others – this shows you what you are capable of.  It can benefit others and helps you build confidence because seeing what you CAN do is a powerful motivator

11) Don’t force things – the motivation state only lasts for so long so when it has reached its end, stop!  Take a walk, eat an ice cream etc.  Just take a break and let you other than conscious mind work on while you are resting.

12) Rethink your processes – Sometimes the problem is not a lack of motivation.  If there is a task that you repeatedly dread or a step where you always get stuck,  ask yourself does it really have to be done this way or can I find an easier or alternative solution.

13) Picture Success – think about something that you have recently won, or a task that you nailed big time.  “LIVE IT” the resultant dopamine rush in the brain will assist your motivation.

14) when you need an extra boost watch some motivational videos on “You Tube” or similar internet channels

15) Celebrate your Successes – every day review what you have done and give yourself a pat on the back.  Don’t concentrate on what you still have to do, just celebrate what you have done, how far you have come! 

Have fun using these, there may be a couple that you have not used so go on give them a try!!!!

However, on a serious note if you take a close look I am sure that you will find you have used de-motivators at some point in your life.  At the very worst what they really do is stop you from making progress and getting things done!

So as we reach the end of this week’s post I would like to thank you sincerely for taking the time to read the words.  I hope that you will find them useful as you move forwards in your daily life.

If you have enjoyed the post then please click on the follow link and sign up so that you never miss another post from me.  Also please leave a comment in the box if you have enjoyed what you have read or found it useful

Additionally, if this post has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or to email me:- blueskycompany@europe.com

ooo000ooo

About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy

LINKS



The Fearless Life Guide is a new book written by a lady called M. J Robertson is available to buy via Amazon and clicking on the cover photo below provides a link to the page.  Molly is an amazing person and I am sure that you will also find her work of great interest.



And whilst on the subject of books, sbown below is the cover image plus a link to my first book of inspirational phrases “Inspirations”





Have a fantastic day, live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!

DAve x


PS. A daily email containing a new Inspirational Phrase is available by subscribing.  Simply send an email to moonshadowmedia@mail.com  with “add me” as the subject line.  When you subscribe the phrases are delivered to your mail box each day completely free of charge.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Scheduled Posts

Scheduled Posts (Updated 21st May)

Hi it’s Dave and greetings from Ilfracombe, N Devon, UK - today is Sunday the 21st May 2017

Here is the list of the topics for the next 5 weeks together with the posting dates for each one.

Wednesday 24th May – “The Limiting Belief Quagmire”

Wednesday 31st May – “15 Short Steps to motivate you to get things done”

Wednesday 7th June – “A selection of tips for mindful living”

Wednesday 14th June – “So You Want To Try Mindfulness?”

Wednesday 21st June – “30 Top Tips For A Better Life”

 All of the above posts contain simple steps that anyone can follow to make significant changes and hopefully, improvements in their lives.

If you would like to ask any questions about the blog, my therapy word etc, then please feel free to email me at:- underblueskies@europe.com

If you are interested in becoming a member of our tribe then please go to Facebook and search for Under Blue Skies – “The Tribe” and I will look forward to seeing you there.

Whilst I am talking about the tribe it would be great if you would spread the word about the blog, the tribe, the work that we do etc. to your friends and family.

LINKS


So you don't miss a single post why not subscribe?  To do this and click the button that says “Follow” on the right of the page.  Once you do that you will be added to the list of subscribers.

PS A daily email containing a new Inspirational Phrase is available by subscription

To subscribe- send an email to moonshadowmedia@mail.com  putting “please add me” as the subject line.  Once you subscribe the phrases are delivered to your mail box each day completely free of charge.

Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!


DAve x

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Self Discipline

Hi it’s Dave

I hope that you are having a ball creating a great life for yourself.

As a result of some research and self evaluation I decided that this week would be a good time to look at the principle of Self Discipline and what it entails so here is the piece I prepared on the subject of 

Self Discipline 



What is self discipline? 

It is the ability to control your behaviour, to motivate yourself to do the things you should be doing and not do things you shouldn't be doing. Willpower may be considered a part of it, but sometimes trying to "force" yourself to do something is counter productive and simply makes things worse. If we learn to associate negative feelings with an activity, it becomes more difficult to do, and we become less likely to do it.

There are many ways that are possible routes into self discipline, I have added a few here but I am sure that if you think carefully you will be able to find even more.

Make a Start

Suppose you are delaying doing your tax return. Do you feel stressed when you think about completing those forms? Then don't think about it! Once sufficient thought has been given to any project, more thought just creates more stress. The negative feelings that develop make it harder and harder to force yourself to do what needs to be done. You feel like you have no self discipline

Action is the cure for this. Start by putting the forms where you can work on them later. Later, gather all the materials and put them with the forms. The next day, do just one form, and then another. 

Whatever the task is, you can find enough motivation for some small step. Train your mind to take that first step as soon as you think of it. The next steps, and so the whole project becomes easier once you start

Enjoy what you are doing. 

If you have ever stopped up all night talking about something interesting, you know what power the mind has over the body. It is very easy to put off sleep when we are motivated by a passionate discussion. It doesn't take much willpower to keep doing something when you are enjoying it, and that gives us another key to self discipline. 

When you enjoy what you are doing you are fired up and motivated. Willpower goes up and down with energy levels, so play energetic music, move around, laugh, and look for ways to enjoy whatever project you are working on. The more you associate good feelings with a task, the easier it is to discipline yourself to do it.

Reward yourself. 

Cut a task up into a few steps, and then give yourself a reward every time you complete each step. This could be a tub of ice cream, watching your favourite tv programme, or simply relaxing for a few minutes. Reward yourself with a pat on the back too. When you recognize your successes, large and small, the possibilities become more real to you, and more likely to be repeated.

Become more aware of how you work. 

Suppose that piece of cake calls to you, or that television takes your attention away from your more important work.

It can be hard to resist temptation! Stronger willpower is a nice theory, but there is a simpler solution: stop standing in front of the cake! Turn off the television!

This is an easy lesson to understand, but try to train yourself to apply it habitually. Don't keep beer in the house if you don't want to drink it. Don't go alone to single's bars if you want to maintain a faithful marriage. Stay away from people and things that have the potential to lead you into trouble!

Self discipline doesn't mean you have to become immune to temptation, but it does me that you must develop the willpower to say no, if you wish. 

But whilst doing that, why not have the wisdom to avoid temptation? If you learn where your resistance is low, then you can avoid those situations with relative ease.
Doesn't this make more sense than fighting useless battles with yourself?

Fighting with yourself is no way to develop self discipline. It is far better to learn about yourself; how are you energized; what motivates you and what are your strengths and weaknesses? 

Why not learn about yourself, and start using what you learn to make the behaviours you want to develop easier. That is smarter self discipline.

So as we reach the end of this week’s post I would like to thank you sincerely for taking the time to read the words.  I hope that you will find them useful as you move forwards in your daily life.

If you have enjoyed the post then please click on the follow link and sign up so that you never miss another post from me.  Also please leave a comment in the box if you have enjoyed what you have read or found it useful

Additionally, if this post has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or to email me:- blueskycompany@europe.com

ooo000ooo

About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy

LINKS


The Fearless Life Guide is a new book written by a lady called M. J Robertson is available to buy via Amazon and clicking on the cover photo below provides a link to the page.  Molly is an amazing person and I am sure that you will also find her work of great interest




And whilst on the subject of books, sbown below is the cover image plus a link to my first book of inspirational phrases “Inspirations”




Have a fantastic day, live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!

DAve x


PS. A daily email containing a new Inspirational Phrase is available by subscribing.  All you need to do to subscribe is simply send an email to moonshadowmedia@mail.com  with “please add me” as the subject line.  When you subscribe the phrases are delivered to your mail box each day completely free of charge.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Forthcoming Posts (Sunday 14th May)

Hi it’s Dave and greetings from Ilfracombe, N Devon, UK - today is Sunday the 14th May 2017

Here is the list of the topics for the next 5 weeks together with the posting dates for each one.

Wednesday 17th May – “Self Discipline”

Wednesday 24th May – “The Limiting Belief Quagmire”

Wednesday 31st May – “15 Short Steps to motivate you to get things done”

Wednesday 7th June – “A selection of tips for mindful living”

Wednesday 14th June – “So You Want To Try Mindfulness?”


All of the above posts contain simple steps that anyone can follow to make significant changes and hopefully, improvements in their lives.

If you would like to ask any questions about the blog, my therapy word etc, then please feel free to email me at:- underblueskies@europe.com

If you are interested in becoming a member of our tribe then please go to Facebook and search for Under Blue Skies – “The Tribe” and I will look forward to seeing you there.

Whilst I am talking about the tribe it would be great if you would spread the word about the blog, the tribe, the work that we do etc. to your friends and family.

LINKS


If you would like to subscribe to this blog please go over to the right hand side of this page and click the BLUE button that says “Follow”.  Once you do that you will be added to the list of subscribers.

PS A daily email containing a new Inspirational Phrase is available by subscription and to do this - send an email to moonshadowmedia@mail.com  putting “please add me” as the subject line.  When you subscribe the phrases are delivered to your mail box each day completely free of charge...

Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!


DAve x

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Let Checklists Take The Strain

Hi it’s Dave. 

I hope that you are having a fantastic week!  I am very much aware that people are starting to think about booking holidays if they have not already done so. With this in mind it felt like now was a good time to post this piece. 

It is a known fact that a lot of people don’t like the stress of packing at short notice, for example - if they need to be on a flight to Italy tomorrow.

If you have a busy schedule, it is often hard to recall from memory what you need to take. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pack on auto-pilot without having to remember?

So here is a way to do just that:-

Let Checklists Do The Thinking For You




Now here you may think we are digressing from the main topic but all will become clearer as you continue to read……..

On 30 October 1935, the new Boeing 299 had a test flight in Dayton, Ohio. It was bigger and faster than any other plane the US Army had seen and they had already planned to order some. It was piloted by the US Army’s Chief of Flight Testing, an experienced pilot, and yet it crashed. Two of the five crew members lost their lives and yet there was nothing wrong with the aircraft. The investigation concluded it was ‘pilot error’ and the plane was simply too complex to fly.

That was when a group of test pilots decided they needed a checklist. Checklists take away the need to have perfect recall, so they are great to simplify repetitive tasks. Pilots still use checklists in the cockpit today.

Now packing a suitcase is nowhere near as complicated as getting a plane off the ground, the concept is the same: when you are doing something that you do a lot, make it as easy as possible to do it consistently well, every time.

The Packing Checklist

This packing checklist freed up a lot of brainpower. It was great not having to remember what needed to go into the case.  

Because I don’t travel as much for work anymore life is simpler, but for those who do then adding a checklist to an iPad or other device is a great idea.

Busy mums could create a packing list for their babies (and this can be adapted as they get older) as when you are sleep deprived you can’t really trust your memory to make sure that you’ve got everything you need for a weekend at Grandma’s.

Here are a few of the items the checklists could cover

Adult packing list:

  • Clothes/Toiletries
  • Tickets/Travel documents
  • Work stuff (laptop, charger)
  • Leisure stuff (including teabags or coffee)
  • Things to do before leaving (put out recycling, water plants etc)
Baby packing list:
  • Feeding equipment
  • Sleeping equipment
  • Travelling equipment (car seat, rain covers etc)
  • Changing kit
  • Bath and play time things
  • Clothes and toiletries
Perhaps this seems really easy and basic, but I suspect that once you try it you would not want to go back to the old way of using your memory.

3 Steps For Making Your Own Checklist

It is very easy to take the stress out of the tasks that you do regularly. Here’s how to create your own checklists.

1. Find something you do that is repetitive (you don’t have to do it every week) but that requires you to remember multiple steps or items. For example -

Packing children’s bags for school
Your cleaning routine
Planning for work meetings/events
Tasks at work such as writing monthly reports
Organising an event for a club or a group.

2. Break it down. Either create one big list that you can organise by category or write down the steps you take in the order that they should be done.

3. Check the checklist. - This part is important, because the moment you create your checklist you’re going to remember every last thing?


You can add more to your checklist as you use it.

Arriving in a foreign country with the wrong currency would be a disaster but if “travel money” was added to the list to the list then the problem would not be created so make sure you check it in plenty of time.

Stress-Free Task Management

With the tasks written down, the Model 299 aeroplane flew more than 18 million miles without one accident. The plane wasn’t too complex to fly; it was just too complex to remember everything under pressure.

Even if you don’t face the pressure of an airline pilot, our modern lives could do with a little simplification now and then to free up our brainpower for use on other things.

Over time you will probably find that checklists take a lot of the stress out of life which makes for a more pleasant experience for everyone.

Checklists can help you decide what is right in each situation because obviously you are not going to pack snowsuits for the summer holidays, but at least you would not have to think about what is right for the weather anymore – you just pick the right clothing off the list.

Now you have seen how simple it is, what other tasks are you going to turn into checklists?

So as we reach the end of this week’s post; thank you sincerely for taking the time to read through it.  I hope that you will find them useful as you move forwards in your daily life.

If you have enjoyed the post then please click on the follow link and sign up so that you never miss another post from me.  Also please leave a comment in the box if you have enjoyed what you have read or found it useful

Additionally, if this post has prompted any questions, then please feel free to add them as a comment in the box below or send them by email to:- blueskycompany@europe.com

ooo000ooo

LINKS


The Fearless Life Guide is a new book written by a lady called M. J Robertson is available to buy via Amazon and clicking on the cover photo below provides a link to the page.  Molly is an amazing person and I am sure that you will also find her work of great interest




And whilst on the subject of books, sbown below is the cover image plus a link to my first book of inspirational phrases “Inspirations”




Have a fantastic day, live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!

DAve x


PS. A daily email containing a new Inspirational Phrase is available by subscription and to do this - send an email to moonshadowmedia@mail.com  putting “ please add me” as the subject line.  When you subscribe the phrases are delivered to your mail box each day completely free of charge...

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Forthcoming Posts (Updated 7th May)


Hi it’s Dave and greetings from Ilfracombe, N Devon, UK - today is Sunday the 7th May 2017.

So here is the list of the topics for the next 5 weeks together with the posting dates for each one.

Wednesday 10th May – “Let Checklists Take The Strain”

Wednesday 17th May – “Self Discipline”

Wednesday 24th May – “The Limiting Belief Quagmire”

Wednesday 31st May – “15 Short Steps to motivate you to get things done”

Wednesday 7th June – “A selection of tips for mindful living”


All of the above posts contain simple steps that anyone can follow to make significant changes and hopefully, improvements in their lives.

If you would like to ask any questions about the blog etc, then please feel free to email me at:- underblueskies@europe.com

If you are interested in becoming a member of our tribe then please go to Facebook and search for Under Blue Skies – “The Tribe” and I will look forward to seeing you there.

Whilst I am talking about the tribe it would be great if you would spread the word about the blog, the tribe, the work that we do etc. to your friends and family.

LINKS


If you would like to subscribe to this blog please go over to the right hand side of this page and click the BLUE button that says “Follow”.  Once you do that you will be added to my list of subscribers.

I also send out daily emails containing a new Inspirational Phrase.  To receive these emails then they are only available by subscribing via an email to moonshadowmedia@mail.com  quoting “add me” as the subject line.  Once you have subscribed the phrases are delivered to your mail box each day completely free of charge...

Have a fantastic day and live a life of Passion and Power.

And above all

Don't Predict The Future - CREATE IT!


DAve x

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

4 Ways To Train Your Mind to Work Better

Hi it’s Dave,

Greetings from Ilfracombe and welcome to the Under Blue Skies blog.

 I am very excited with how everything is progressing. I find that sharing these pages with everyone goes and long way to stimulating me to keep writing them.

I found today’s piece in an article that I discovered in a Mindfulness magazine and I acknowledge that the work is not of my own writing but that I adapted  it for my UK readership,

So that said let us look at

4 Ways To Train Your Mind to Work Better

Photo:wytchwynd photography
1) Check Your Lenses

Do we see what is really there, or is what we experience filtered through our own thoughts and preconceptions?  Maybe we should check how we’re seeing before we try to change what we’re seeing.  

Make sure your lens is clear.

Much of the suffering and discomfort we experience at work—and elsewhere—stems from our deeply held views, opinions, and ideas that become lenses through which we perceive the events of our lives.  No doubt the machinery of perception each of us has developed has served us well for the most part, guiding and supporting us at critical junctures. But the burden of adhering to set patterns of perceiving while we grapple with the drama and minutiae of everyday life can be limiting and, frankly, an invitation to misery.
When we’re convinced things ought to be a certain way and they’re not, we suffer. When someone refuses to act in the way we think they should, we suffer.  When we don’t get what we want, when we want it—or when we get what we don’t want, anytime—you guessed it: we suffer.
The workplace, a microcosm of life in its entirety, is rife with opportunities to march straight into suffering.  What we need to explore is whether our distress really derives from the workplace itself or instead from how we apply our default ways of perceiving to the challenges we face at work.
The mind will try to force any situation it meets into its favourite ways of perceiving and will react with distress when it meets resistance.  Many years ago I had a colleague who consistently got me on my nerves.  She had a way of doing things that just got under my skin.  I would think to myself, “If she would only act this way instead of that way, we would all be happier and more productive.”  This was pretty much a daily, and sometimes hourly, occurrence.

Of course, what I was really feeling was that if she acted differently,  I would be happier and more productive.  I was seeking the comfort of the familiar and the expected and yearned for my colleague to act in a way that precisely supported my needs.  However, as soon as I realized that I was caught up in a particular way of perceiving,  I found I could alter my perception and apply real choice to how I felt about her. And when choice entered the equation, I quickly realized I no longer needed her to change—because I had.
It can be difficult to be open-minded toward others, but it is even more difficult to be open-minded toward oneself.  That takes real training!  To discover the ways of perceiving you are apt to blindly apply, experiment with keeping yourself curious, attentive, and receptive.
Whenever you detect yourself falling into an old, familiar pattern, stop and examine what is actually going on.  Notice the physical sensations in your body; notice the emotions that have bloomed; notice what stories your mind is generating that make your body tense and inflame your emotions.  But it’s important not to disparage yourself for falling into an old and unhelpful pattern.  Recognize the potentially explosive negative charge generated by your body, thoughts, and emotions.  Accept that it has arisen, then make the decision to be in control of it instead of being controlled by it.

2) Put Some Space Between You and Your Reactions


Inflexible patterns of perceiving inevitably prove too small, too confining, for all that our minds need to encompass and accomplish. Inflexible patterns of reacting squeeze the life out of us.  Each of us has our own pet scenarios that chafe against our expectations.  When they pop up, they threaten to stir up jealousy, anger, defensiveness, mindless striving, and a stew of other possibilities.  We may end up saying or doing something hurtful, something we’ll regret later and may have to apologize for.  We leapt before we looked.
Conversely, when we stop to examine how we typically respond to situations, we create space for more creative and flexible responses.  Ultimately, as we build the habit of mindfully examining our responses in the moment, mindful awareness becomes our new default mode.
Let’s take an example that hopefully is not too familiar.  You’ve been working tirelessly with a colleguer on a project, but when it comes time to receive accolades for the project’s success, your partner manages to take all the credit.  You’re now entering that decisive moment when you have the chance to become the master of your reactions, or, to put it another way, to meet your experience.

Becoming aware of the impact the slight has had on you is the first step.  Separate yourself from yourself just enough to allow you to examine, free from rote reactions, how your body, emotions, and thoughts are combining to gear up for a response.

By decoupling what is happening from your reaction to what is happening, the chances are that you will prevent yourself from being carried along by the experience and instead will prove yourself capable of getting ahead of it.

By examining your thoughts, you will probably see a story forming, something along the lines of how you heroically brought the project to completion, only to have it stolen away at the last minute.
Once you can see this narrative open out before you like a book - once you have become the reader of the story instead of its protagonist - you have positioned yourself so as to let it evaporate.  You may notice how the pounding heart, sweaty palms, and tightened shoulders you just experienced slip away along with the storyline you just let go of.
You gently shift to a state that is more relaxed and, as a result, more confident.  States of being, that can seem so permanent and monumental, are not in fact static, they shift moment to moment, and they can change in response to our awareness of them.  
It’s amazing how easily a grimace can morph into a smile.
There’s no need to assume that mindful self-examination means you have to allow your colleague to take credit where credit is not due. Rather, its goal is to allow you to respond in a new way that frees you from old, ingrained, automatic patterns.

3) Pay Attention to the Small Stuff


Consciously, confidently meeting experiences, instead of being carried away by them, is a practice you can apply in all situations.  It is helpful not just in emotionally charged events like the one above, but also in situations that may seem insignificant, but which could become more significant if left unexamined.
Let’s say you’ve taken the attitude that the tasks assigned to you are unimportant or undervalued.  Ask yourself if you feel that way because it is true. Or, do you feel that way because you are so used to telling yourself it’s true that you can’t think of it in any other way?
Think even smaller.  Imagine something as routine as the way you lift the phone and put it to your ear when it rings.  By really examining this action—seemingly so inconsequential, so unworthy of examination—you feel like it’s something you’re doing for the very first time.
You may detect anxiety travelling down your arm and tension as you pick up the phone.  Experiencing everyday actions up close in this way is not about being self-conscious.  It’s about bringing choice, attention, and awareness back into things that you’ve allowed to become automatic.  By opening up to the tiniest habit, you make it possible to crack open the larger habits, which seem more resistant to change.  You can look at every action and interaction freshly.
The more you understand your own mind, the more you can understand the minds of others.  If you come to understand your own body language, you can read the body language of others better.
Mindfulness doesn’t give you a crystal ball, but it tends to increase your empathy, your ability to put yourself in someone’s shoes with greater understanding.  It enhances your connection with other people and supports you as you build relationships.
No action, reaction, interaction, or relationship ever feels uninteresting or unworkable if a curious mind is brought to bear on it.  You can actually transform that feeling of, “Oh man, here comes John, my supervisor - I bet he wants me to change my work, again” into “Here comes John again. How can I see and hear him, without judgment, as though we were interacting for the very first time—just dealing with what comes up in the moment?”

4) Make a Habit of It


For mindfulness to work at work, it helps to have both a formal practice of mindfulness and informal practices that extend mindfulness into everyday life.  Formal practice involves learning a basic mindfulness meditation such as following the breath and practicing it on a regular, preferably daily, schedule.  Informal practice, no less important, can literally take place any second of the day.  It involves nothing more than focusing the mind on whatever is happening in the present moment, outside of the shop worn patterns we have built up over a lifetime.
Mindfulness interrupts the conditioned responses that prevent us from exploring new avenues of thought, choking our creative potential.  Each time we stand up against a habit—whether it’s checking our smartphone during a conversation or reacting defensively to a co-worker’s passing remark—we weaken the grip of our conditioning.
We lay down new tracks in the brain and fashion new synaptic connections.  We become less likely in the future to default to patterns that can trap us into being satisfied with ineffective and outmoded strategies.  We take steps to improve not only how we are at work but the work environment itself.
In this way, mindfulness is not just personal.  It has a contagious quality that will change the culture in an organization—not necessarily in big, sweeping ways but gradually, incrementally.
The next section is devoted to training your mind to work smarter and is taken from an article written by Tara Healey of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
Office politics. Dictatorial bosses. Coworkers’ emotions bouncing up and down and sideways. Hi-tech tools that keep changing and updating. An uncertain economy and a volatile job market. Escalating levels of expectation. Loss of direction. Too much to do. Too little time. Not enough sleep.
Whether you work in a traditional or progressive environment, on your own or in a sea of cubicles, work life is full of challenges. Most of us are beholden to the income we receive from our jobs, and beyond that, we get up and go to work because we have a real desire to contribute to the greater good. Turning away from work is not an option for most of us, so we buck up and throw ourselves into the challenges of the workplace.
Some of us are doing well, successful and satisfied. But too many of us are not happy at work. We’re stressed out and quite possibly confused. We may appear to be effective, but gnawing issues like those above can make work secretly (or not so secretly) a drag. That isn’t great for us and it’s not great for the people we’re working with.
So where do we begin if we want to improve our work life for ourselves and those around us? I suggest starting with the mind. Ask yourself: what is the quality of my mind at work? What’s happening in my mind as the hours at work go by day in and day out? Is my mind working at its utmost?
The mind contains untold resources and possibilities—for creativity, kindness, compassion, insight, and wisdom. It’s a storehouse of tremendous energy and drive. And yet it can also be a nattering annoyance, an untamed animal, or a millstone that drags us down. Sometimes we would like to just shut it off so we can get some work done or have a moment’s peace. Yet our mind is the one thing we can’t shut off. So why not make the most of it instead? Why not put it to good use? Through mindfulness, we can train our minds to work better.
By training us to pay attention moment by moment to where we are and what we’re doing, mindfulness can help us choose how we will behave, nudging (or jolting) us out of autopilot mode. Here are a few suggestions for how to bring mindfulness into our workplace. This won’t just give us some relief from stress; it can actually change, even transform, how we work.
Acknowledgement; - This piece has been adapted for the UK readership from an article that appeared in the Mindfulness magazine  We also acknowledge Tara Healey as the author of the 2nd half of the article.   
So as we reach the end of this week’s post I would like to thank you sincerely for taking the time to read the words.  I hope that you will find them useful as you move forwards in your daily life.

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About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company.  I am also a therapist and co-own a virtual light centre called The Crystal Spring.  My therapy work includes music therapy; reiki; crystal therapy

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