adhd strategies

Stop Spinning: How to Take Action That Moves You Forward

Day 17: Spinning

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Have you ever felt like you’re spinning?

Spinning in indecision.

It is a common action that I see happening with my clients.

They will feel an emotion like worry, confusion, doubt or overwhelm, and when we look at the actions that they’re taking from that place, spinning is often one of them.

It’s the feeling like you’re going in circles, ruminating, not really clear on which way to go next.

This word spinning got me to thinking about other actions (actually inactions) that are similar to this.

Actions like worrying, pondering, wondering, waiting, self-sabotaging, avoiding, postponing and hoping.

When I look at all of these actions through the same lens, they have one thing in common.

They are indulgent in that they feel like you’re doing something, yet you’re really not.

They feel very active. When in fact they are all passive. And, they don’t get you any closer to your goal.

When you think of a washing machine on the spin cycle, you can see the drum spinning around and around.

The clothes stay in the same spot, they just keep goin’ ‘round.

Don’t get stuck in a spin cycle.

When you set a goal and have a destination in mind for yourself, notice when you feel like you’re taking action or really busy, but getting nowhere.

It could be that you’re indulging in action that isn’t actually helpful. It could be that you’re taking action that delays having to do something that will be super uncomfortable.

Actions like worrying, pondering, wondering, waiting, self-sabotaging, avoiding, postponing and hoping.

They’re not helpful.

If you’re going to move, you may as well move towards something you want or away from something you don’t want, rather than in circles getting nowhere.

Do you have some big lofty goals for yourself that you’re having trouble reaching? Set up a free 45 minute consultation with me and we can take a look at what may be keeping you stuck. I can teach you how to get unstuck. I’d love to talk with you. ~Shaun

The Magic Art of Managing Your Mind

Day 15: Mind Management

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Which comes first the chicken or the egg?

Do feelings happen to us or do we create how we feel by what we think?

For a minute, pretend with me that we have complete control over how we think.

What I mean is, there are situations or scenarios that happen in life, we then have thoughts about them (based on our unique life experiences), and our thoughts generate feelings in our body.

Now let’s take it a step further and really play this out.

Imagine you are in Vegas at a magic show. The magician (me) is 100% convinced that how you feel and act is 100% controlled by your brain (not by outer circumstances).

I’m going to prove it to you during my show, by hypnotizing you and “talking” to the part of your brain that regulates emotions, feelings and thoughts.

I tell you that after snapping my fingers and counting backwards from 5, you will be hypnotized. Able to hear my voice, but only one part of your brain will be actively engaged. The part that regulates emotions, feelings and thoughts.

I then tell you that I am going to describe 3 different scenarios and each time I do, I will hold up various “feeling” signs, and you are going to scan for that feeling in your body. If you feel it, you’ll raise your hand, and I’ll then ask you what you’re thinking and for you to share your thoughts with us.

Ok, here we go. Pretend with me that you’re now hypnotized and a part of the show.

Scenario one:

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1… I want you to imagine we’re nearing the end of our show, when suddenly a fire breaks out backstage. You’re all firefighters. ”

I hold up a card that says Brave and some of you raise your hands and share thoughts like “I’m trained for this. Don’t worry, I’ll save us. I’ve rescued someone from a fire before.”

Next I hold up a card that says Confident and some of you share thoughts like “I’ve got this. I’m the right person for this job. Nobody works better under pressure than me.”

Finally, I hold up a card that says Terrified and a few of you share the thoughts “What am I even doing here? This is bad. We’re going to die!”

Scenario two:

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1…next scenario. We’re all at a Broadway musical together and the lead singer injures themselves during scene 3. We’ll all be stuck in this theater together forever unless the entire show is complete.”

I hold up a card that says Capable and some of you share thoughts like “The show must go on! I’ll do my best to take their place and finish the show. This could be fun.”

Next I hold up the card that says Distracted and a few of you share the thought “This show was boring anyway. I wonder what’s happening outside of the theater? When are we going to eat?”

Finally, I hold up the card that says Excited and a couple of you share the thoughts “I’ve always wanted to act on the big stage! This may be my big break! I wonder who might discover me!”

Scenario three:

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1…next scenario. The fire is under control and the show is over. You are all detectives and are tasked with figuring out what happened. Who set the fire and how did the lead actress get injured?”

I hold up the card that says Curious and some of you raise your hands and share thoughts like “I wonder where the fire started and who was backstage at that time. Could there be a connection between the actress getting injured and the fire?”

Next I hold up the card that says Determined and some of you share that you’re thinking “I’m going to ask questions until I get to the bottom of this. I’ll figure this out no matter what.”

Finally, I hold up the card that says Exhausted and a few of you think “Just what I need, another open case. I’ve got too many that I’m working on already. I’m so tired.”

“Now I’m going to count backwards from 10 and you’re all going to slowly come back to the present, using all parts of your brain. You’ll hold on to the belief that you can create your feelings with your mind.

Wait, what if you really can create feelings with your mind?

What if what you chose to think determines how you feel?

What if setting down feelings of distraction, boredom, overwhelm, worry, confusion becomes easier when we notice what we’re thinking when we feel those things?

What if rather than make it mean our brains are broken, or doing their own things and running the show, we just made it mean our brain was normal and just needed a baby sitter. Someone in charge.

As humans, we have the ability to think about what we think about. We can decide if a thought is serving us. If it’s making us feel the way we want to feel.

If a particular feeling isn’t working for us, we can change it. By thinking something different.

We often think we need to DO something different to feel better. It starts with THINKING something different.

Once we think differently, we’ll feel differently and can DO differently from there.

If you have any interest in learning how this is done, join me for my next free lunch and learn webinar on May 29th at 12 Noon PST.

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Magnifying Pain With Our Minds

Day 9: Suffering

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A few years ago I began having headaches fairly regularly.

My eyes were constantly dry and itchy.

I’d catch myself rubbing my temples in the middle of the day.

This persisted for a number of months.

I’d think - maybe I have allergies.

Maybe I have dry eye sydrome (it’s a thing)

Then it morphed into…

Maybe I have a brain tumor.

Maybe it’s cancer.

Something’s terribly wrong.

I’m not sharing all of this because I’m proud of where my brain went.

In the moment I was terrified. Scared to go to the Dr. Too busy to get to the Dr.

My brain invented all of these stories about what my headaches and symptoms meant.

My brain filled in the blanks where I didn’t know any better.

The unknown is scary and our brains ultimate dream is to become the best horror film writer of all time.

It’s default setting is doom and gloom.

Because it wants to protect us and prepare for the worst.

When I finally went to the Dr., he congratulated me on “officially joining the older and wiser club".

What was wrong?

I needed reading glasses.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve joined this club too.

My brain took it to an extreme because I have a constant low level of “trying to be protective” anxiety at all times.

The pain was literal. My head hurt. My eyes hurt. My eyes were tired.

The suffering was optional. All of the worry I brought on by my unhelpful thoughts.

We do this all the time.

With our kids, our businesses, our spouses, our money, our parent, our siblings, our bosses.

We worry ahead of time about what may be ahead.

We have whatever is going on in the moment that feels like a painful experience, and then we amplify it by thinking things like:

“This shouldn’t be happening.”

“If they loved me this would be different.”

“Why do things like this happen to me?”

All of that is optional.

Look, life is painful. For everyone. In one way or another. It really is. Nobody gets out unscathed.

We don’t have to suffer through the pain. We get to choose how we want to feel about it.

Not sure if you believe me? Let’s talk.