You Feel Your Focus

You feel your focus.What is your focus?

Do you focus on the threats and dangers, the “what’s wrong” of life?

It is seductive.  The “news” surrounds us with stories that can lead you to believe we are in danger at every turn.

The “self-help” world tells us all the things that are “wrong” with us.

And our brain latches on to those messages.  Our brain gets sucked into the fears and threats.

So why do we seem to miss all that is “right,” going well, and good?

The “Amygdala Hijack” is to blame.

Unless we choose our focus, we will become focused on the fearful, the dangerous, the threatening.

And we will miss the beautiful, the hopeful, the meaningful, and the inspirational.

Let’s talk about how you limit your exposure.  Let me tell you about 5 ways to take back your brain and your mind from the Amygdala Hijack.


3 Steps to Ending Fear of Failure

Don't let fear of failure stop you!Have you failed?

Did that failure stop you from moving forward?  Did it get you stuck?

Failure is a part of life.  Ever watched a child learn to walk?  Success only comes after repeated failures.  Yet that same child keeps on trying, until the child gets it right.

What happens in adulthood?  Why does a fear of failing keep us from acting?

When we don’t take action for fear of failing, we have pre-emptively failed.

We have already decided we would fail, so we never even start, guaranteeing we don’t get to where you want to go.

A decade ago, I started a business.  It failed miserably.  And it kept me stuck for awhile.  But one day, I realized there was something else to consider about that failure.  There were some lessons I learned.

Those are lessons I apply every single day.

Let me suggest 3 questions that will help you turn a failure around, and make the failure simply another opportunity.

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3 Things You Are NOT: #61 Thriveology Podcast

You are NOT your thoughts, your experiences, or other's opinions of you.We all have the same question:  “Who am I?”

Today, I want to suggest there are some things we are NOT:

  • We are NOT our thoughts.
  • We are NOT our experiences.
  • We are NOT others’ opinions of us.

Many times, we make the mistake and assume we are our thoughts, our experiences, or others’ opinions.

When that happens, we get stuck.  We limit ourselves.  We become uni-dimensional.

Much of this starts in our thoughts.  So, after I let you know why we are NOT our thoughts, our experiences, or the opinions of others, I focus on what to do with your thoughts.

Do you make the mistake, at least from time to time, with confusing a thought with reality?  Do you sometimes recognize a thought for what it is:  a thought?  How do we do less of the former and more of the latter?

Listen to discover how!

Not My Circus, Not My Monkey

Not my circus, not my monkey.One of my favorite sayings is “Not my circus, not my monkey.”

Evidently, this is a Polish proverb.

Maybe it is because I have an affinity to monkeys, but I love the meaning of that.

Am I caught up trying to deal with someone else’s circus or monkey?  Am I trying to deal with an issue over which I have no control, and maybe not even a stake?

We do that.

Friends are fighting, and we get in the middle.  Family members are angry with each other, and we intervene.  Office squabbles (in which we have no stake) pull us in.  We make the circus our own, try to take over that monkey.

I don't have a dog in that fight.When I was growing up, we had another saying:  “I don’t have a dog in that fight.”

Something is happening around us, and we involve ourselves.

But if we involve ourselves when it is not our issue, not our fight, and has little bearing on our own lives, we usually end up on the losing side.

Communication theorists talk about this as creating a triangle.  The reason for the triangle is an attempt to lower the level of conflict.  It is an attempt to stabilize the situation.  But instead of stabilizing, it only serves to destabilize, pull energy, and entrap bystanders.

We can thank our ancient ancestors for this tendency.  But it is up to us to not pretend we have a dog in the fight.  It is up to us to remember it is someone else’s circus, someone else’s monkey.

Learn how to distinguish your involvement in this podcast.  Listen below.

You’re Going To Be Alright

Everything will be okay in the end.  If it isn’t okay, it isn’t the end.
- John Lennon

You are going to be alright.I don’t know what is happening in your life.

Only this:  we can always continue to grow and thrive, no matter what is going on.

How do I know?  Life is that way.  We all have difficulties and struggles.  The illusion that we should not have difficulties — we have to give that up.

Sometimes, it takes awhile to get back to “normal.”  Sometimes, we have to learn a “new normal.”  Many times, it is a “wake up call.”  Time to change!

In today’s podcast, I offer 5 ways to be alright — a better alright — when life throws a curve.

Learn how to be alright, so you can be alright, no matter what life throws your way!

Take A Leap!

Take a leap!I thought we were doing well.  The conference was going well.  I thought the participants were happy.

But sometimes, you can tell by the expression. . . .

I saw her headed toward me, red-faced and determined.  I turned to face her, and with a big grin, asked, “How can I help you?”

She stuck her finger in my face and proclaimed, “YOU CAN GO TAKE A LEAP!”

With that, she turned and stormed out.

For a few moments, I was in shock, not quite sure what to do with that.

Then, I decided that maybe it was good advice.  I should take some leaps!  We should ALL take some leaps!  Take some risks,  push our comfort zones, grow, stretch.


We think fear is our friend.  We listen to fear.  Whenever we feel fear, we are tempted to believe we should stop, retreat, and be safe.

Too often, we believe fear is an Avoidance Detector.  I believe it is an Importance Detector.

Fear points out when something is important.  Maybe we need to be careful and avoid it.  But maybe we need to pursue it, because it is important.

Whenever we feel fear, it is telling us something is important.  What we do with that is up to us.

Today, I explore how to make fear your Importance Detector.


How To Beat Depression

How to beat depression.Disclaimer: The information I provide in this blog and podcast are not to be construed as medical advice. Before making any changes, you should consult with your doctor.

This material is my opinion, based in research and experience. It may or may not apply to you.

This week, we continue the Dealing With Depression series.

In the first week, we looked at myths and truths about depression. I discussed the truth about the “chemical imbalance theory,” and gave some information on the effectiveness of medications.

The second week, we looked at defining what depression is. I noted that depression is a systemic issue, and looked at the symptoms of depression.

But during the third week, I raised the issue of whether it really is depression. There are a number of other physical and psychological issues that mimic depression, but are not. Trying to treat another syndrome as if it is depression can be useless an frustrating.

This week, we turn our attention to how to beat depression. What can you do, immediately and long-term, to beat the depression trap?

I offer 8 strategies that are “depression first-aid,” and 4 strategies for dealing with depression in the long term. All of these strategies can be used to augment current treatment for you or a loved one struggling with depression.


**Special Note: If you find Thriveology Podcasts helpful, please consider supporting the podcast with a contribution! We have a Patreon page set up just for that. Please visit HERE and consider supporting us, so we can support you and others! Thank you for considering!**


Is It REALLY Depression?

Is this really depression?  Conditions that look like depression.“If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck.”  Or so the saying goes.

With symptoms of depression, it is not quite so clear.

Years ago, I had a client in my office who had been working to resolve her depression for years.  Medicine after medicine, doctor after doctor, therapist after therapist, all tried to resolve her depression.

There was little to no improvement.  In fact, it just seemed to be getting worse.

I asked a simple question:  “Have you had your bloodwork done?”

I sent her back to her doctor, and had her request one specific blood test.   My guess was right.  Her thyroid was not working correctly.  Many mental health professionals were so fixated on her depression that they missed the fact that it was an easily treated medical condition.

In this week’s podcast, I cover 8 other issues, medical and psychological, that look like depression — but are not depression and do not need to be treated like depression.

Here is why this is important:  before you treat “depression,” you want to make sure it is depression.  Medicine and psychotherapy do no good, if you are aiming at the wrong target.

Listen in as I discuss some “look alikes” that appear to be depression, but are not.

Other Podcasts in the Dealing With Depression Series:
Truths and Myths About DepressionWhat IS Depression?


What IS Depression?

What IS depression?Disclaimer:  The information I provide in this blog and podcast are not to be construed as medical advice.  Before making any changes, you should consult with your doctor.

This material is my opinion, based in research and experience.  It may or may not apply to you.

In the last podcast, I discussed some myths and truths about depression.

But what IS depression?

This is a simple question.  But the answer is complex.

Part of the reason for the complexity is because we are still unclear on what causes depression, what defines depression, and how depressive symptoms can be a part of life.

This week, I want to provide a multidimensional view of depression.  It is not simply a medical condition.  Nor is it a “moral failing.”  Nor is it “all in your head.”

Depression does have a medical impact, does affect one’s thoughts, and has symptoms throughout the body and mind.

Before we take a look at how to address depression, we want to be clear on what we are addressing.  Listen below for my understanding of depression.


Truths and Myths About Depression

Truths and Myths about Depression.Disclaimer:  The information I provide in this blog and podcast are not to be construed as medical advice.  Before making any changes, you should consult with your doctor.

This material is my opinion, based in research and experience.  It may or may not apply to you.

Now that I have THAT out of the way, this week begins a short series on dealing with depression.  If you or a loved on suffers from depression, I hope you will find this information useful.  If you do, please share it with others.

Depression is a major health issue.  According to the World Health Organization, it affects over 120 million people.  In the United States alone, in a recent year, there were over 30 million people using a prescription antidepressant.

There is no doubt, depression is very real.

After that, the information becomes murky and confusing.  Is it a disease?  Is it a moral defect?  Is it a thought problem?  Is it a chemical imbalance?

The answer is not so easy.

Nor is the treatment.

In this week’s podcast, I examine some of the truths and myths about depression.  Please listen.

**Links to information as discussed in the podcast:

The Chemical Imbalance Myth

Do Anti Depressants Work or Don’t They?

Why Antidepressants Are No Better Than Placebos