Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’

Brain Coach: Optimism Squared–Span & Subtleties

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

For many years, I wasn’t aware of how “routinized” my ability to worry, catastrophize, and feel guilty had become! It was a habit that I hadn’t realized was part of my daily life. And with every worrisome thought, I caused a chemical release in my system that took me even further into a subtle but impactful state of unsettledness, second-guessing, and insecurity.

I wasn’t a basket case by any means, but I certainly didn’t live with the confidence, freedom, and fun that I live with today. And I can assure you, I am sooooo much happier with my increasing Optimism. It has greatly increased my ability to see options and take action.

And I know the same is true for my colleagues who are on a similar journey. @JamesBeeman @KarolTaylor @BeverlyHarvey @SusanChritton and other fellow Master Brain-Based Success Coaches!

Optimism—Span & Subtleties

I’ve talked about the Speed and Sustainability of Optimism. Here are two more dimensions:

Span: Are there some areas of your life where you’re naturally an Optimist while other areas (a challenging relationship, career success, finances) aren’t as strong?

Subtleties: Or, are there subtle areas of your life that you may not even realize you’re approaching from more of a Pessimistic perspective? Places where you’re 1) resigned, 2) restless, or 3) in a bit of a rut? For instance,

  • The ebbs and flows of business (do you assume “there are just busy times and down times in my business—it’s just part of the cycle, not something I can control”) or
  • Relationships (do you assume “there’s no way I could get business from that person—I’m too small potatoes to work with them”), or
  • Diet/weight loss (if weight loss has been a struggle in the past, do you assume “this is just the way it’s going to be”), or
  • Other everyday circumstances (do you assume, “there’s no way I’ll ever get my email under control”), etc.

Click here for a Coaching Tip to Increase Span & Subtleties of Optimism:

Insights? Actions?

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Brain Coach: Optimism Squared–Speed & Sustainability

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

I’ve been on a journey of becoming more Optimistic over the past few years. I’ll admit that, for many years, I lived with a tendency toward feeling “guilty” and even a bit “fearful” about getting everything done or having the business I needed to make ends meet—I was often the first to:

  • Wonder: “Whew, we made it through last month but I wonder if there will be enough to pay the bills once again next month,”
  • Think: “I must have done something wrong,”
  • Worry: “What will she think of me if I speak my true feelings or don’t agree with her way of thinking?”
  • Question: “Why is that other person having so much success—I’m just as talented! What’s wrong with me?!”

Anybody relating?! As a coach, I KNEW these thoughts were hobbling and not helping.

Neuroscience researcher Shawn Achor notes that when our brains are happy (positive, optimistic), they are 31% more productive than when negative, neutral, or stressed.

 

Optimism Squared

Optimism comes with varying levels and dimensions. Here are two worth considering:

Speed: How quickly can you get to Optimism when you encounter an unpleasant surprise or “bad” news? 5 minutes? 5 hours? 5 days? 5 weeks?

Sustainability: How long can you sustain your Optimism? Does it come in a 90-second wave and then die down, or is it something that is sustained hour in and hour out, day in and day out, regardless of the external circumstances in your life?

 

Coaching Tip for Speed and Sustainability:

1. To increase the Speed of Optimism: Link your optimism to an already-anchored habit in your life—a tip recommended by Stanford psychologist BJ Fogg, creator of www.tinyhabits.com. This anchored habit might be something like drinking coffee or brushing your teeth or using the restroom.

Train yourself to access optimism when you do your anchored habit. For example, “when I drink my morning cup of coffee, I will access my Emotive Optimism for 68 seconds.” (See Rational Optimism and Emotive Optimism tips).

Just as a pianist practices scales and arpeggios in private before performing cadenzas in concert, when we’ve practiced speeding to optimism during non-stressful circumstances, it will be easier to speed to optimism during stressful circumstances.

2. To increase the Sustainability of Optimism: Once you’ve increased your speed to optimism, turn your focus to sustainability. Because the brain loves specificity, give it a goal of being optimistic around an isolated situation for an extended period of time.

For example, “For the next 5 minutes, I’m going to expand my focus around the good things associated with this project (such as, the blog post I’m writing, the phone call I’m having, the bills I’m paying, the dinner I’m cooking).”

If you’ve found this information intriguing, you’ll love the Certified Brain-Based Success Coach Program. Through learning and growing with like-minds, the brain-based techniques are more easily routinized! We have a few spots left in the July 7th cohort!
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Does optimism mean you have to be happy all the time? As humans we experience a wide range of emotions. On the negative (“minus”) end of the spectrum, those emotions can include worry, fear, anxiety, hate, worry, frustration, bitterness, jealousy. On the positive (“plus”) end of the spectrum, we have love, joy, peace, gratitude, hope, […]

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For many years, I wasn’t aware of how “routinized” my ability to worry, catastrophize, and feel guilty had become! It was a habit that I hadn’t realized was part of my daily life. And with every worrisome thought, I caused a chemical release in my system that took me even further into a subtle but […]

Share
READ MORE...

I’ve been on a journey of becoming more Optimistic over the past few years. I’ll admit that, for many years, I lived with a tendency toward feeling “guilty” and even a bit “fearful” about getting everything done or having the business I needed to make ends meet—I was often the first to: Wonder: “Whew, we […]

Share
READ MORE...

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