Stuck In Loops

RunningLoopsLike a broken record… or an endless audio loop.  Those thoughts that just keep turning in your mind.  Okay, in MY mind.  But I bet it happens to you, too.

Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that I get up to 2 emails.  One is complimentary, thanking me for resources, books, podcasts… things like that.  Then there is another email, critical and harsh, telling me how useless my info was.

I read them both and head off to walk my dog.

Do you think I ponder that kind one?  Or keep looping back to that unkind one?

Yep, you guessed it.  And I bet you guessed it because it happens to you, too.

And that thought… it isn’t just a passing thought.  No.  I find my body tense up, the anger/hurt churning in my gut.

The other day, I was out for my morning walk with my sidekick, Ziggy (our silver lab).  We were about half-way through and I realized my palms were sweaty, tightly gripping the leash (which is a waist leash, so I don’t even need to be holding it!).  My chest is tight, my stomach is tight.  I ask myself, “why am I ready for a fight?”  Nothing had happened.

Nothing.

Except a thought I was having… not just having… looping.  It was about an experience that happened 3 decades ago.  One I don’t typically think about.  But today, it popped in my head and I was stuck in a loop.  Looping on an old thought that was making me feel a certain way in the present.

I dropped back and followed my own little routine when I find myself looping.

You can’t stop the loops from starting.  But you can decide how long you run the loops.

Let’s talk about how to stop those pesky loops.  Podcast below.

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Giving Thanks: Gratitude and the Season

Thanksgiving, the holiday, is often lost in food and family.  What is lost?  Our opportunity to experience gratitude.  The chance to really give thanks.

Many times, it can feel like an obligation.  Instead, I suggest we see it as an opportunity.  Even in tough moments (actually, especially in tough moments), we can make a shift from fear to thanks, from lack to sufficiency.

Over the years of my podcast, I have repeated this theme, both on Thanksgiving episodes and elsewhere.  Below is a list of the various episodes around thanksgiving and gratitude.  Just click each one to listen to the episodes.

Why Thankful?


Why Being Thankful Matters


Giving Thanks: Thriving Through Gratitude


What Thriving People Know About Gratitude And Appreciation


Living Your Engagement



And if you want to find my books on thriving, CLICK HERE.

Stressed Out? Here’s Why…

WhyWeStressThese days are filled with stress. The pandemic, politics, relationships, work, pay, weather. You name it, these are stressful times.

But what IS stress?

As much as we toss that term around, sometimes almost as a badge of honor, you may not think about what that term is REALLY about.

When we talk about “stress,” in everyday life, we are more talking about psychological stress.  Which is really just a term for something else.  Something we’d rather not claim.

But once we recognize what it really is, we can do something about it.  So, let’s figure out why we stress… and what we can do about it.

Listen below to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast to discover what stress really is… and what we can do about it.

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Find Hope or Build Hope

Do you find hope or do you build hope?  We discuss it on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.Where does hope come from?  Does it come upon us?  Do we discover it?  Or do we build it?

I believe that hope is an important ingredient in thriving.  If you have no hope, it is tough to thrive. Finding hope often helps us find thriving.

Oh, and thriving is not about having an easy life, always exciting and happy.  A thriving life is built on taking on the challenges of life.  Not avoiding them, but taking them on, learning from them, and thriving because of them.

2020 has been the year of challenges.  So, it has also given us lots of opportunities to work on thriving.  How has it been for you?  Hopeful or hopeless?

What if hope is built?  What if all you have to do in order to find hope is follow a formula?

As is true for many things in life, the formula is pretty simple.  But that is not to be confused with easy.  Do remember that thriving is rarely built, though, on the easy.  Taking on the simple, but important, is often the path to thriving.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we take a look at hope.  Where it comes from, how you can find it, and how you can live it… both for yourself and the world.

Listen below.

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Stuck in Self-Splain

Have you noticed that story you are telling yourself (and others) that is running through your mind?  It is the one about why you did (or didn’t do) what you did (or didn’t do).  You are trying to explain yourself — to yourself and others.

You are Self-Splaining.

And it is a story.  Not necessarily a lie.  But also not necessarily the truth.

Humans are story tellers and meaning makers.  The stories we tell are to make meaning.  It helps the world to make sense, and helps us give reasons for what we did.

And it can keep you stuck.

Your self-splaining keeps you stuck because it “helps” you to make your actions/inactions reasonable (to yourself).  Reasonable, as in “Able to Reason.”  You can give a reason.  One that makes sense to you… even if not to anyone else.  You can just keep telling yourself “why” — self-splaining.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss how we self-splain, why that can get you stuck, and what to do to get un-stuck.

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Finding Calm in the Midst of Chaos

How to be calm and stay calm in the middle of chaotic times in a crazy world.These are some crazy times, aren’t they?  The world seems upside-down.  A pandemic, politics, conspiracy theories… news just seems to be crazier and crazier every day.

And that can catch up with each of us, stressing us out and leaving us afraid.  Which places your body and brain on constant alert.

That is exhausting.

And chaotic.

Why do those news stories and social media feeds keep us so amped up and stressed out?  And how can you stay calm(er) in the midst of chaos?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast,

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Is the Present Perfect?

Is the present perfect?  Yes.  Find out how in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.My client was telling me about lots of struggles, difficult times, and a few positive moments.  I noted, as I have many times with many clients, “It sounds like your present is perfect.”

She went silent.  I was silent.  But I could see her processing and struggling with my words.  I sat quietly.

She finally erupted: “Perfect?!? How can you say that?  After all the stuff I told you… how can you tell me that things are perfect?”

I told her, “I didn’t say great.  I didn’t say it was how you wanted them to be.  Only that the present is perfect.”

In that moment, I could see her gears turning… but she still couldn’t make sense of what I was saying.

How can things feel upside-down and inside-out, and be perfect?

“Perfect” does not mean preferred.  It means something is complete.  A perfectly cooked steak is complete. It is cooked to a certain level.  But also consider a “perfect storm,” the perfect combination of  circumstances that mean the storm is more powerful than when those circumstances don’t combine.

The idea of the Present Perfect, which sounds like grammar, comes from life coach, Thomas Leonard.  He noted that the Present Perfect is the fact that this moment perfectly reflects everthing that has come before, up until now.

Why does that matter?  We explore it in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below

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From Fear to Courage

FearVersusCourageI don’t know about you, but I don’t much enjoy feeling fear.  I’d rather it not be a part of my life.

And yet, it is.

Fear is part of our wiring, deep in our DNA and deep in the circuitry of our brains. It keeps us safe — sometimes super-safe.  Which is the problem.

There is a central life coaching question:  “Where do you want to be?”  (Few people seek out coaching because everything is great, they are happy, and life is where they want it to be.)

The next question is “What keeps you from getting there?”  When I dig in with clients, that question often hits against external barriers.  Things the client can’t change.

But dig long enough and dig deep enough, and you hit fear.  Fear is what often keeps us from getting what we want in life, from getting the life we most deeply dream about.

If fear is a fact of life (it is), then fear isn’t really as much in our way as we let it be.  After all, other people (who also have fears) have made it.

What breaks through the fear, to get us to the life we want?

It is not being “fearless.”  That won’t happen… although you can have LESS fear.

Nope.

It is COURAGE.  And courage is not the opposite of fear… it is action in the direction of fear.  Which is what dissipates fear.

Let’s talk about fear… and more important, courage… in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

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“I’m Feeling a Little Acedic”

What is acedia?  And why do you feel the way you do during this pandemic?  The antidote to acedia.Six months.  That is how far we are into the pandemic… at least in the US.  Yes, I  know.  There were cases before then.  But March marks the start of the social effects of pandemic.  Lock down.  Restrictions.  Social distance.  Six months.

And many people are feeling the effects!  I would go so far as to saying most, but plenty would contact me to tell me that they are not.

If you are feeling the effects, I am speaking to you.  Do you find yourself just… listless?  Out of sorts?  Lost in things to do, but not getting them done?

That feeling you are having is not a new one, just from the pandemic.  It dates back to the ancient Greeks.  It was an idea that Christian writers discussed as the distraction of monks and others.  In fact, it was a thought process Christian writers warned against, as it can spiral.

And here we sit, 1/2 of a year into feeling the effects of a pandemic.  And many people are feeling just a bit… acedic.  The term for this feeling was Acedia.  That listless, not caring, ought-to-be-doing-something restlessness, where nothing actually gets done.

Is that the feeling you have?

It is perfectly normal… which is different than saying it is helpful.  So while it is no surpirse you are feeling it, let’s talk about the acedia antidote.

Listen below.

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Is Your Mind Set?

Is your mind set?  Growth and fixed mindset, and how to change yours.I’m not an athlete, I told myself.  I was the last chosen for teams pretty much every time.  And more often than not, admittedly, I dropped the ball or didn’t run fast enough.  So I lived up to the low expectations of being a teammate.

That kept me believing that I was not an athlete.  And so, I never tried to be athletic.

Years later, when I was recovering from being sick, I decided I needed to get into shape.  I was motivated by a scuba class when I realized how out of shape I was.  I dragged myself into the weight room, so I wouldn’t embarrass myself in class.  I took to the pool for the same reason.

And I slowly got into shape.  Which led to a friend asking if I wanted to adventure race.  Why not?  I might as well, I reasoned.  Then, I trained and completed a trail marathon.  And ran quite a few 5k’s.  Not an athlete, though.

Then, at a conference, someone told me she wanted to write a book, but she “wasn’t a writer.”  I asked what she was doing.  She wrote every single day.  And she had lots of pieces put together for her future book.  But, she “wasn’t a writer.”

I noted to her that writers do one thing.  They write.  She was writing, ergo she was a writer!

Then I went for a run.  And thought about that discussion.  Runners are athletes.  Runners run.  I was running.  Ergo, I was a runner… and maybe an athlete?

My mindset had tripped me up.  I had myself in a fixed mindset.  And to get to a better place, I needed to shift to a growth mindset.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss Dr. Carol Dweck’s concept of growth and fixed mindsets from her book, Mindset.  A fixed mindset keeps us stuck.  But a growth mindset always gives room for growth and change.

Listen in to discover where your mindset is stuck… and how to shift it to growth.

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