Dealing with Distractions

brettw7We engage in a lot of activities, and not all of them are ultimately good for us, or serve our goals and desired outcomes. Creating awareness around the things we engage in for safety, comfort and distraction is great step towards enjoying greater freedom and living the life we truly desire to live. These habits, practices and behaviors are not necessarily always bad, unless they are stopping us from being who we want to be and create the outcomes we truly want.

Comfort distractions are the things we do, telling ourselves they are good for us, when in fact they drain and entangle us. They feel good in the moment, but leave us feeling empty and withdrawn, and can often lead to a sense of shame. They give us something in the moment, usually comfort or safety. It isn’t so much what it is, it’s the why behind the what that is critical. It could be any self indulgence from eating, drinking, watching TV, excessive social media or even exercise. What is critical is asking, “why am I engaging in this when it’s not serving my well-being or my goals”. We are usually trying to mask, medicate or ignore emotions that we need to deal with and work through. Often the result of engaging in a comfort illusion, is more guilt, shame and disappointment in ourselves. Creating awareness around this is not always easy, but always beautifully empowering.

Time distractions are activities we engage in that provide a diversion from things we need to be doing. Again it’s not what I am doing but the why am I doing it that’s important to create awareness around. Generally it’s an avoidance strategy, when we don’t want to do something we know deep down we need to do. It could be because we feel overwhelmed, or that it’s boring, or that it’s unfamiliar to us, so we engage in something that’s distracts us. In doing so we ignore the very things we need to do to achieve our goals and desired outcomes in life. We can get very busy doing tasks and activities that are not serving us and helping us achieve our goals.

The journey is this: to get the results and rewards we desire in life, means we need to engage in activity that at first may not feel good, even though it is good for us and good for others. Time and comfort distractiions can feel good, but are not good for us and not good for others. Ultimately, when we are disciplined to walk in the activities that don’t feel good, after time they are not only good for us and are good for others, they begin to feel good too. This requires a sense of commitment and determination, but when we don’t create awareness and therefore change unhealthy behaviours, it can lead to a life that doesn’t feel good and isn’t good for us, and none of us want that.

So what are your comfort and time distractions? What provokes or activates you to engage in these unproductive activities? What are some resourceful ways you can behave, respond and take action on these moments that will serve you better?

Have a great day friends. Brett

Adapted from the concept of “shadow comforts and time monsters” by Jennifer Louden

Dare to Be

DTB2Introducing DARE TO BE. Courageously being you. Understand your behaviour, nature and stage of life.

Develop the courage and confidence to be YOU. Embrace, love and live out of who YOU are.

Tuesday 9th May 7.30pm. Kingsway Cafe.

BOOKINGS: brett.shift@gmail.com

the Contentment Delusion

contentSo many of the clients I work with have a desire to be content with life, yet struggle to experience it at any significant level. To live a content life would be amazing wouldn’t it? To not feel anxious about tomorrow, to feel satisfied and at peace with today and to be free from any guilt or shame from yesterday. Sounds brilliant.

To be content would be comforting, tranquil, peaceful, satisfying, fulfilling, delightful and empowering. So why is living a content life so elusive for so many people? The dictionary says that contentment is “a state of happiness and satisfaction.”

The first idea that’s critical to understand is that many people confuse contentment with settling for mediocre or less. Being content is not about settling for where you are at in life, with what you have in life or with who you currently are. It’s not resigning from effort, change, growth, development and transformation. It’s not settling for good, when you can experience great. It’s not giving up on your hopes, it’s not staying in your comfort zone and it’s certainly not an idealistic fantasy of living with no regrets, ambitions, desires and dreams. In fact I believe that true contentment is a powerful motivator for excellence, achievement, development and success.

The second idea that’s critical to grasp is that contentment is actually possible, but it does require us to go against the flow of our cultural rapids. To be content would mean you are not as influenced by the media and society onslaught on all our senses of comparison, acquisition, perfection and winning. Contentment needs to be framed around the ideas of gratefulness, learning, generosity and progress. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, practice gratitude. Instead of being driven by the need to acquire, practice generosity. Instead of being beaten up by the need to win, practice learning. Instead of striving for perfection, practice progress.

You will never experience true contentment unless you become grateful for your journey, for what you already have and for who you are. Stop comparing and start declaring your gratitude. Affirm the value of generosity, learning and progress by living it out every day. You want more joy, more fun, more peace, more freedom and more success, then live a grateful and generous life, acknowledging and valuing your learning and progress.

Stand against a culture that is robbing you of experiencing contentment. Have a brilliant week, Brett.

http://www.beleadership.net

the FOMO epidemic

raMag6-fomoHeader (1)_0The Fear Of Missing Out is an increasing fear for people in our social media driven culture. You may or may not have heard of FOMO but I’m sure you’ve experienced it, at some level. It is primarily driven by three thoughts: “I made a bad decision or choice”, “they’re having fun without me” or “I wasn’t invited or included”.

These thoughts are common, and are increasingly producing feelings of missing out, not being good enough, loneliness and insecurity. It can lead to heightened levels of anxiety, low self-esteem, disappointment and isolation. It leads us into unhealthy questions like, “why me”, “what if”, “why not” and “if only”. We can start double guessing our decisions, our connections and ultimately our life choices. It can become demoralising, debilitating and depressing. So what can we do?

There are four primary needs that we all have that I believe FOMO connects to: the need for connection (being loved and accepted by others), the need for significance (being good enough and appreciated), the need for variety (new adventures and challenge) and the need for certainty (particularly in this case around making healthy good decisions). When these needs are challenged and we don’t have the resources or healthy thinking skills to work them through, it can create FOMO that then leads to feelings of despair, disappointment and even sadness. One of the challenges is that FOMO can produce the result we are fearing in the first place, (missing out) because we end up really missing out on experiencing the moment we are in.

One of the keys in addressing FOMO is to back yourself, trust your choices, build your confidence and look for healthy and resourceful ways to meet the four needs. 

Three things I believe can help us with the FOMO experience:

1/ Don’t focus on what you don’t have, or what you are missing out on, or what you aren’t experiencing, focus on the moment you are in. Choose to enjoy it, appreciate it and value it. You can’t do everything or be everywhere, and valuing the moment you’re in is really important. Even if your home alone, enjoying some quiet, restful alone time, while you think everyone else is out “having fun”, recognise the value of your moment. Acknowledge the good, the beneficial and the value of being where you are, with the people your with (even if it’s just yourself) and your own journey you are on.

2/ Practice gratitude in every way and every moment. Similar to the above, this is about finding the things you can be grateful for in every situation. If we can’t be grateful, then we can’t be content, and contentment is key to overcoming the FOMO. There are always things to be grateful for, always. For example: Be grateful for the extra sleep you will get by not going out because that will give you the energy and rest you need to do other things the next day. Be grateful for money you will save by not going out because that will give you the resources to do something else that will be even more meaningful and important to your journey.

3/ Let go of comparison. Mark Twain said that “comparison is the death of joy.” Research has found that comparing breeds feelings of envy, low self-confidence, and depression, as well as compromises our ability to trust others. The thing with comparison is that we mostly compare our behind-the-scenes struggles and negatives with everyone else’s highlight reel. We compare our weaknesses to other people’s strengths. Part of what makes life brilliant and interesting is learning from others, not comparing ourselves to them. Then we can focus on being the very best version of ourselves we can be, which is the greatest gift we can give to our world. Using someone else as a benchmark for your own worth and value is an ineffective and dis-empowering strategy for life in every way. Yes, be inspired by others and learn from them but remember who you are, and who you are becoming.

 

Levels of Awareness

_MG_1471Awareness is not just knowing about yourself. It is having the desire, commitment and strategy to transform what you know.

There is a massive difference between information and transformation. A lot of the self-awareness programs that are rising up in popularity are very information based. Learning about yourself. Personality profiles. Self-discovery. Self-help. This stuff is great and can be very helpful in the journey of transformation. The reality is though, it’s only the first step in the awareness journey. Without the desire, commitment and strategy to transform what you know, the information will just remain that, information. You can have a lot of knowledge about yourself without creating genuine self-awareness, because genuine self-awareness will always lead to transformation.

4levels_explained_arenas CLICK HERE to download the 4 levels of awareness

DESIRE: Generally, people desire knowledge without pain, confrontation or hard work. The reality is, personal transformation isn’t always comfortable, easy and painless. It is ultimately beautiful, rewarding and life-changing. You not only need to be aware of your unhealthy behaviours, un-resourceful thinking patterns or dis-empowering decision making, you have to have a desire to change them. Without a desire to become the best you can be, experiencing the highest levels of personal freedom, the deepest levels of self-confidence and the greatest levels of rewards in your life, you will just settle for where you are. Desire is critical to transformation. Desire takes information and turns it into to motivation.

COMMITMENT: The most feared C word of all. Ha ha! well maybe not, but it is a strong word that requires stick-ability, endurance and courage. Transformation is a journey nit a destination and it needs consistent focus, grunt and commitment. Often we have some knowledge, some desire and we jump into growing ourselves, only to find that being vulnerable, honest and raw, is too confronting, unfamiliar and painful. So we jump back into where we feel safe, our old non-transformed world. We have to stick at it friends, be fully committed to the journey of becoming. Commitment takes motivation and turns into expectation.

STRATEGY: You won’t create sustainable transformation without a plan and strategy of action, mindsets and thinking. Desire will get you started, but commitment to your strategy will take you to where you truly desire to be. We all need a strategy for change, because generally change doesn’t happen accidentally, it happens deliberately. What are the steps you need to do daily and weekly; what thinking do you need to shift, what behaviour are not getting the results you need from, what mindsets need adjusting, what beliefs are limiting you, and so on. What is the strategy for growth and transformation? Develop a personal “becoming” action plan, designed around who you want to becomeStrategy will take your expectation and motivation and create the transformation you are desiring.

Don’t settle for just information and knowledge about yourself, when you can experience the freedom, joy and power of transformation. Genuine self-awareness. Have a great day. Brett

Voices

brettw7“Be careful of how you are talking to yourself, because you are listening”, Lisa M Hayes. Self-talk is an incredible resource to tap into. One of the most powerful ways to create change. They say that the average person engages in self-talk about 3,000 to 10,000 times a day, and most of that talk is about ourselves. Researches have also discovered that about 80% of it is negative.

That means that the average person says about 1000 negative things about themselves every day. That’s almost too much to even comprehend. Can you begin to imagine the power these words have over our lives.

Thousands upon thousands of little negative self-talks attacking our worth, value, identity and success every day. WOW again. Things like “I will never get this right”, “I always fail”, “I will never be good enough, smart enough, fit enough, attractive enough or whatever enough”. “I can’t do this”, “they don’t like me”, “I shouldn’t have said that”, “I am an idiot”, “I don’t belong”, “bad things always happen to me” … And so the list goes on a thousand times over every day.

These words of negative self-talk have incredible power over our behaviour, decision making, interaction with others, our self-worth and our outcomes in every area of our life. So what can we do? Well as you read this next statement, your whole world is about to shift.

self-talk-2Listen and become aware of your self-talk and notice what it is you are saying to yourself.

Firstly become aware of the language, then begin to challenge it. Argue back. Tell your little negative self-talk to politely leave you alone. Then begin to reframe the thoughts.

Deliberately changing your internal language. This may seem a little forced or awkward at first, but like riding a bike, you will soon be speaking a new language effortlessly. Brilliant isn’t it. It will change your world.

Here are some re-frame examples to get you started: Change “I can’t” to “I won’t” … This is a simple but powerful way of taking ownership and moving yourself into taking responsibility for your life. Change “what if” to “I wonder what it will be like when … “. So instead of saying what if I fail, or what if I get rejected or what if it doesn’t work, re-frame it by saying, I wonder what it will be like when … Insert positive outcome.

Listen to and change the negative generalizations like; always and never for example. I always fail. Re-frame: “I haven’t always failed, in fact I have been successful numerous times. When I have failed I have learnt great lessons, so let’s have another go and see what I can learn. There is no such thing as failure anyway, only feedback.”

Hope this is a helpful start to a new language that will empower you. If you want more great ideas and re-frames, feel free to email me and I will send you a stack more.

Cheers and have a brilliant day! Brett

Bridging the Gap

unnamed (1)My last post outlined the big idea around the “disillusionment gap” and I promised to unpack four keys to bridging the gap. So here they are.

 1/ self acknowledgment – often we walk through life without acknowledging ourselves in the journey. Acknowledging how much we’ve grown, learnt and been strengthened internally. The disillusionment gap may have widened but so has our capacity to deal with life. We need to constantly acknowledge ourselves, even if and when others don’t. You are stronger, wiser and more resilient because of all your have experienced in your journey. Acknowledge it. Own it. Utilize it to move forward with grace, empathy and action.

 2/ gratitude – I often talk about the power of gratitude and that’s because I believe gratitude leads to contentment, peace and enjoyment. When we compare, focus on lack or the widening gap, it will lead to feeling unsettled, bitterness and entitlement. None of these are helpful. When we focus on gratitude we can look at the gap and be grateful that we are aware of it, acknowledge it and learn from it. I am grateful that I can see and feel the gap, because I can now be proactive in changing myself, my outcomes and my response to life. The gap may always be there, but it doesn’t have to dictate your future.

3/ perspective – perspective is always critical in the power of how our minds work for us. We can both look at the same disillusionment gap and see it totally differently. One can see failure, missed opportunity, lost dreams and disappointment, whilst another can see opportunity, learning, maturity and feedback. One can lead to emotional bondage and the other to emotional awakening. It’s often how we look at things, the meaning we give those experiences and events that determine our outcomes and results.

4/ action – lastly, use the disillusionment gap to inspire you into action. Action to serve and help others, grow in empathy towards a hurting world and take charge of the next season of your life. The disillusionment gap can become your best friend in motivating you to create change, develop capacity, grow resilience and make your next season of life the best yet. The value that a person who has chosen to use their life lessons, including their disillusionment, to serve and empower others, will bring incredible strength and wisdom to their friends, family, work colleagues and even to total strangers.

So friends, as the gap widens, utilize it to create change in your world, inspire others and live out your next season of life with greater purpose, empathy and resilience.

The disillusionment gap

I recently read an article about how many people become increasingly disillusioned with their life the older they get. Dealing with disillusionment is something we all walk through to varying degrees, but I do believe the “disillusionment gap” can widen as the years go by. The “disillusionment gap” is the distance between what we once thought life would be like, and the current reality of the life we are experiencing.

Once upon a time we believed most people were kind and friendly, and then as life went by we realized that some people are just cruel and mean. The gap widened. We thought the love would last for ever and then woke up one morning alone, and the gap widened. We believed we could do anything we wanted in life, I mean that’s what we were once told, but over time we realized that we have limitations, and the gap widened a little more. We thought we be successful, we stepped out, took a risk and started that business (or new job, or career, or relationship) and then it failed and the gap widened. We believed we would make it to the top, be a standout and make our mark on the world, and then after years of investment, working for hard, training tirelessly and giving it 100%, we found ourselves back at the bottom. An injury, a setback, a tragedy, a missed opportunity, a rejection or just simply life had another story, and the gap widened some more.

I have met people in their 40s and 50s that are so completely disillusioned with their life that depression, disappointment and bitterness have taken over. I have even seen it with people in their late teens to varying degrees. Disillusioned with life, their outcomes and results they find themselves getting and living with.

I read this recently in a blog by Celestine Chua, “How do I deal with disillusionment as I grow older? Disillusionment in the sense that I now perceive the world to be a rather cold and harsh place, filled with people who only mind their own interests. This is in stark contrast with what I used to see the world as: a place with immense potential for good, lots of opportunities, negligible discrimination, etc. People used to be warm but now human interactions are diminishing. The hope and happiness that I used to have just by thinking about the world have turned to cynicism and depression.”

As I have thought about this in my own journey, I can see how this “disillusionment gap” can widen over the years, and can leave us feeling hopeless, bitter and cynical, but it’s not where I want to live. Even though the feelings are real, as we learn and discover that life will have it’s fair share of pain, suffering, setbacks and loss, it doesn’t have to define our reality. Feel it by all means, we need to feel it and process it, not ignore it, but then determine how you can use it to strengthen you, focus you and create you. They say ignorance is bliss, but ultimately genuine awareness is absolutely critical for change, freedom and transformation.

Four key thoughts to bridging the “disillusionment gap” coming very soon, so stay tuned friends.

Embracing the Chaos

11391366_10152938141886342_3650681319756614523_nWhen I first began going to Cambodia, a lot of what was happening around me was a little scary. Chaos, mess and uncertainty. I remember the first trip from the airport 10 years ago totally freaking me out. The traffic absolutely crazy. No rules. People driving on any side of the road they like, pushing in and out of traffic, on the wrong side of the road, politely beeping to let you know they are there. It is chaotic and incredible crazy. No written rules but it seems to work, mostly. Rarely do I see road rage, even in the midst of the weirdest traffic jams I have ever seen. The thing is, 10 years later, I ride a moto through the streets of Phnom Penh, going with the flow of chaos and rule less traffic, almost oblivious to the insanity. I never dreamed I would be one of the chaos creators on the streets of Phnom Penh, but there I am. It’s actually quite liberating for me, particularly as a person who seeks order in chaos, calm in crisis and stability in uncertainty. I have learnt to embrace the chaotic nature of the streets of Cambodia, and to be honest, I have learnt to love it.

We desperately want peace, calm, stillness, order and that settled feeling of contentment. The thing is though, we continue to create … we can’t not. It’s who we are. We therefore create and enter into chaos, storms, brokenness, failures, uncertainty, victories, the spectacular and deep satisfaction and joy. Constant movement and creative change. It’s the world and the life we have been assigned. Stop fighting it, and start embracing it. We walk through both chaos and order, light and dark, suffering and joy, dull and spectacular, simple and complex, ups and downs … the list goes on. It’s all in our journey, and there is no escaping it. The key is discovering the power of being content, satisfied and courageous in the complexity of it all. Embracing uncertainty, and even delighting in it. It is what grows us, shapes us and actually gives us life. Without it we would be bored, stagnant and merely existing. Life is more than just plodding your way through it, like treading water to keep your head above water, but going no where.

I wish I had learnt the power of this in my life earlier.

How can you be a content creator of chaos, where the magic happens in the messiness of life. Embrace the journey, learn from it, grow through it and leave your mark in history. Even if that history is impacting one life, that’s playing your part. Go for it.

Brett

Sports Mind Shift (free download)

img_7908“Sports Mind Shift is a brilliant book that makes you realise and understand how powerful your mindset can be when you use it the right way. I would recommend it to not only aspiring young athletes but also sports coaches.” Petr Sestak, Football Goalkeeping Coach. (www.247gk.com.au)

FREE COPY CLICK HEREsports_mind_shift_book

I am excited to offer you a copy of my latest book, Sports Mind Shift, which explores 9 principles to help young people embrace an empowering, focused and growth mindset in sport. Sports Mind Shift explores the often underutilised areas of what it takes to be a champion athlete. It focuses on the heart, character and mindset of champion, not how to win games, but how to win at life.

I trust you enjoy the learning and challenges in the pages of this great little resource and feel free to pass it on to anyone you feel could benefit from Sports Mind Shift. It is also available through Amazon Australia as a Kindle download. www.amazon.com.au

“Sport has the potential to provide many positive influences on one’s life. This book provides a road map which will help readers find those benefits. This is an important resource which I recommend to anyone seeking to be the best they can be.” Peter Burgess, President Bonnet Bay FC.

Have a great day

Brett White