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How to cope with the next few months…

How to cope with the next few months…

Cop next few months

Our weekly Team NLP blog where you’ll find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience, and connections in our unprecedented times.

How did you get on with last week’s blog?  Did you manage to shift those negative thoughts about yourself?  This week there has been much in the news about how to deal with the new few months especially with Covid-19 on the rise again.  This blog is my contribution and it adds to the ideas I gave you last week. This week we focus on how to adjust those negative thoughts and beliefs that you might have at the moment.  As a reminder think about the conditions or situations that seem to deflate your confidence, motivation, or self-esteem. Common triggers right now might include:

  • Not working for many months
  • Worrying about your ability to find another job
  • Issues with elderly relatives or children going back to school
  • Anxiety about children at university and away from home
  • Challenges with working remotely
  • Missing colleagues
  • Feeling alone
  • Issues with your partner
  • Over-eating and lack of exercise

As we explored last week, once you have identified troubling situations, pay attention to your thoughts about them. This includes what you tell yourself (self-talk) and your interpretation of what the situation means. Your thoughts and beliefs might be positive, negative, or neutral. They might be rational, based on reason or facts, or irrational, based on false ideas. Ask yourself what is your evidence for negative thoughts or feelings?

Now start to replace negative or inaccurate thoughts with more accurate and positive thoughts.  Try these strategies this week….

  • Use hopeful statements. Treat yourself with kindness and encouragement. Instead of thinking your job interview won’t go well, try telling yourself things such as, “Even though it’s tough, I can handle this situation.”
  • Forgive yourself. From time to time everyone wishes they had handled something differently.  Rather than giving yourself a hard time, ask yourself what you can learn from the situation that is for you and positive.  This will help and remember doing something that you are not proud of doesn’t make you a bad person.”
  • Avoid ‘should’ and ‘must’ statements. If you find that your thoughts are full of these words, you might be putting unreasonable demands on yourself — or on others. Removing these words from your thoughts can lead to more realistic expectations.
  • Focus on the positive. Think about the parts of your life that work well.  Consider the skills you’ve used to cope with challenging situations.
  • Relabel upsetting thoughts. You don’t need to react negatively to negative thoughts. Instead, think of negative thoughts as signals to try new, healthy patterns. Ask yourself, “What can I think and do to make this less stressful?”
  • Encourage yourself. Give yourself credit for making positive changes. For example, “Running that meeting remotely might not have been perfect, but my colleagues asked questions and remained engaged — which means that I accomplished my goal.”

To your success

 Lindsey and all at Team NLP

If you would enjoy reading our weekly email and blog, you may well be interested in joining our membership model where you become part of our Team NLP tribe. You get access to our private Facebook page where you receive support from our community, monthly development sessions run by a trainer of NLP, 5% of all Team NLP courses and access to our Team NLP online conference on the 5th  All for £55 per year. 

If you would like to know how NLP can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up to our next free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 28th October at 7pm.

Retaining Your Self Esteem and Confidence In Challenging Times

Retaining Your Self Esteem and Confidence In Challenging Times

self esteem

Our weekly Team NLP blog where you’ll find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience and connections in our unprecedented times.

I hope you found last week’s ideas about keeping motivated useful.  This week I have been reflecting on the latest Government news about potential further lockdowns and restrictions.  For many the six months we have spent dealing with covid-19 has chipped away at their level of self-confidence and self-esteem – especially if you haven’t worked as you are still on furlough, you have seen your business deteriorate or you have lost your job.  These major events chip away at our identity and what we believe we are capable of.  This week’s email and blog contains some ideas about how to stay positive and a useful practice for remembering how great you are! 

Pay attention to your thoughts about challenging situations. This includes what you tell yourself (self-talk) and your interpretation of what the situation means. Your thoughts and beliefs might be positive, negative or neutral. They might be rational, based on reason or facts, or irrational, based on false ideas.  Ask yourself if these beliefs are true. Would you say them to a friend? If you wouldn’t say them to someone else, don’t say them to yourself.

Your initial thoughts might not be the only way to view a situation — so test the accuracy of your thoughts. Ask yourself whether your view is consistent with facts and logic or whether other explanations for the situation might be plausible.  Be aware that it can be hard to recognise inaccuracies in thinking. Long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, even though many are just opinions or perceptions.

Also pay attention to thought patterns that erode self-esteem:

  • All-or-nothing thinking.You see things as either all good or all bad. For example, “If I don’t succeed in this task, I’m a total failure.”
  • Mental filtering.You see only negatives and dwell on them, distorting your view of a person or situation. For example, “I made a mistake on that report and now everyone will realise I’m not up to this job.”
  • Converting positives into negatives.You reject your achievements and other positive experiences by insisting that they don’t count. For example, “I only did well on that test because it was so easy.”
  • Jumping to negative conclusions.You reach a negative conclusion when little or no evidence supports it. For example, “My friend hasn’t replied to my email, so I must have done something to make her angry.”
  • Mistaking feelings for facts.You confuse feelings or beliefs with facts. For example, “I feel like a failure, so I must be a failure.”
  • Negative self-talk.You undervalue yourself, put yourself down or use self-deprecating humour. For example, “I don’t deserve anything better.”

Now replace negative or inaccurate thoughts with accurate, constructive thoughts. This process will help…

Self-esteem flourishes when it receives regular nourishment. This process teaches you how to feed your self-esteem to ensure that it continues to grow. It is important that you select only positive qualities as you go through the following steps.

Step 1: Remember a time in the past that you felt really good about yourself. What three qualities did you most admire about yourself back then?

1._________________________________________________________________________

2._________________________________________________________________________

3.________________________________________________________________________

Step 2: What three qualities do you most admire about yourself now?

1._________________________________________________________________________

2._________________________________________________________________________

3._________________________________________________________________________

Step 3: Imagine a time in the future when you have achieved your goals. What three things do you most admire about yourself at that point in time?

1._________________________________________________________________________

2._________________________________________________________________________

3._________________________________________________________________________

Step 4: Think about a person who loves you. What three qualities do they admire most about you?

1._________________________________________________________________________

2._________________________________________________________________________

3._________________________________________________________________________

Step 5: Think about a colleague at work who respects you. What three qualities do you think they admire most about you?

1._________________________________________________________________________

2._________________________________________________________________________

3._________________________________________________________________________

Step 6: Take the 15 words that comprise your answers, write them on a large piece of paper, and hang them somewhere where you can see them every day. Then write them on a smaller piece of paper for you to keep in your handbag or wallet. If you notice yourself drifting back into any negative thoughts about yourself, look back at the piece of paper and remind yourself of all your best qualities.

 

To your success…

Lindsey and Team NLP

If you would like to know how NLP can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up to our next free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 23rd September at 7pm.

Download your FREE copy:
Principles for success – This is all about the 8 Attitudes that form a growth mindset that will literally change your life.  What have you got to lose?  And, more importantly, what have you got to gain?

Cultivating Compassion for Yourself and Others

Cultivating Compassion for Yourself and Others

What neuro linguistic programming can do for you

Our weekly Team NLP blog where you’ll find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience and connections in our unprecedented times.

I hope you had time to experiment with the practical NLP exercises I gave you last week.  This week I have been working on helping leaders develop more compassion as they deal with many challenging situation with staff and it struck me that many of the learnings are transferable so I am sharing them here too.   First of all how can you help yourself to deal with your own feelings at this challenging time.  Maybe you are shielding or caring for someone who is, worried about the furlough scheme coming to an end, already out of work, not sure what the future holds…that is probably all of us!  Here are some activities you can do to help:

Journaling every day will give you some space to notice how you are feeling.  This will create time and space for self-refection and self-awareness.  You do not have to write very much; a few sentences will do.  Ask yourself regularly the following questions:

How am I feeling?  Many people have learned to suppress their emotions and maybe unaccustomed to noticing and articulating their feelings. However, we know from neuroscience that more fully experiencing what is going on lays a foundation for renewal and healing.   Notice the trends that start to emerge and the triggers for how you are feeling – positive and negative.   For example, maybe you feel more stressed if you haven’t had enough sleep or have drunk too much alcohol the night before or you haven’t made the time to stay in contact with your friends and family. 

How am I looking after my own needs?  Ask yourself what do I enjoy doing that helps me to manage my feelings?  And how much time do I spend satisfying those needs right now?  Here are some ideas about what you could do:

  • A daily walk or jog
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating nutritious food
  • Getting into a regular routine
  • Reading
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Taking an online exercise class

 

Ask yourself ‘What am I grateful for? Gratitude has been shown to improve well-being and mental health, renew energy and hope and encourage self-improvement.  You can start by adding to your personal journal three things you are grateful for in your life right now.

A simple practice is to engage in deep and intentional breathing.  Just a few deep breaths will help to re-align the Autonomic Nervous System when you feel stressed.  It will slow your heart rate and restores the body to a calmer state.  Take a moment for deep breathing when you notice rising fear, anxiety, or stress and before any important decisions.  Take a moment during the day to tune into yourself and use deep breathing to shift into a calmer state. 

Positive psychologists have shown that some people tend to frame the world optimistically, others pessimistically.  Optimists often have the edge as leaders who don’t naturally see opportunity in change and uncertainty can experience more stress.  When faced with too much stress the brain reacts with a modern version of the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response that wild animal inspired in early civilisations.  In organisations, this type of behaviour feeds on itself breeding fear and negativity that can spread and become the cultural norm. 

Show Your Vulnerability

Opening yourself up to other’s empathy and compassion takes courage and vulnerability.  This is all about sharing how you really feel rather than putting on an act.  This will help to maintain your emotional stability and build up a close support network that is essential especially during turbulent times.  If you are someone who experiences anxiety and emotional blockages you may find it useful to talk to others about your experiences.  Sharing deeper feelings with those you trust can help you to process and overcome blockages.  When you are willing to be vulnerable and authentic it is surprising how others are more likely to share their experiences as well which in turn makes it easier to establish a level of greater openness in day to day inter-actions.  For some of you this shift in your reactions may feel rather uncomfortable at first so some of these simple steps may help.  Start small and build up as you recognise the positive responses to your more open behaviour. 

Demonstrate Empathy

Really listen to others.  This is not about listening for you to be heard.  It is about listening for you to understand.  We call this active listening and it is more difficult to do well than you might think.  It is about being present for the other person without your focus on how you are going to respond or even defend your position.  Ask others how they are feeling on a regular basis.  Start a conversation with this and notice how they respond and start to open up over time.  When others exhibit negative emotions validate these feelings as normal.  Provide a safe space for them to express their feelings.  This will help them to move past the anxiety and re-focus faster on their work. 

Act with Compassion

Provide practical gestures when you can and check in on others if you haven’t heard from a neighbour or friend few days.  Rather than assume they are ok, actually check in on them.  It takes minutes to do and will really help. Finally, the compassionate people treat others as they themselves would want to be treated.  Take the opportunity to ask yourself what feedback would you give to you about your rating as a compassionate person? 

To your success…

Lindsey and Team NLP

If you would like to know how NLP can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up to our next free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 23rd September at 7pm.

Download your FREE copy:
Principles for success – This is all about the 8 Attitudes that form a growth mindset that will literally change your life.  What have you got to lose?  And, more importantly, what have you got to gain?

What can Neuro Linguistic Programming do for YOU?

What can Neuro Linguistic Programming do for YOU?

What neuro linguistic programming can do for you

Our weekly Team NLP blog where you’ll find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience and connections in our unprecedented times.

I thought this week I would remind us all how NLP can help during this challenge period.  It has helped me over the last 6 months to find my focus, build resilience and remain ever optimistic.  This has been despite major challenges in both of my businesses.  I don’t think I would have created the two online businesses that I have since the start of the lockdown period without my NLP mindset and toolkit, and of course, with the help of my team. 

Unlike other approaches that tell you what you need to do, NLP is a how-to technology. It tells and shows you how to be what you want to be, have what you want to have and do what you want to do. An intoxicating combination. This means it is possible to have the personal success you want right now. For most people things happen and they react. NLP offers a better way. It gives you tools to react differently by choice, to be more aware of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. You are then ready to take responsibility for your results in all areas of your life.

Here are a couple of quick exercises to help change how you feel in an instant.

Dealing with nerves

Do you have something coming up that you are nervous about? As you think about that situation now, looking through your own eyes, notice the pictures, sounds and feelings that are associated with that situation. Now step backwards out of your body so you can see yourself, in the picture. As you look at yourself, notice how your feelings have already changed. Increase the distance between you and the picture and you feel even calmer now.

How was that? Easy, wasn’t it?

Dealing with procrastination

Do you ever procrastinate about a particular task or situation? We all do from time to time. As you think about something that you procrastinate about do you have a picture? By picture, I don’t mean a picture as clear as a photograph. I mean a sensation of that thought located in some direction in relation to your body. So, if I were to ask you where the picture is, to what direction would you point? You may notice it in front of you, to one side or behind you. Any location is perfect. Clear the screen and the picture. Now think of something you are totally motivated about. As you think about it do you have a different picture? What is the location of that picture? Notice that it’s different from the first picture. Clear the screen and the picture. Now here goes. Get back the picture of the situation you procrastinate about and move it into the same position as the thing you are totally motivated about. Notice what happens. You immediately feel more motivated to do the task you used to procrastinate about. That was easy too, wasn’t it? I always use this technique to motivate myself when it’s time to spring clean my cupboards at home!

These exercises demonstrate that NLP is fun and gets fast results – it provides an instruction manual for our brain. Enjoy!

    To your success…

    Lindsey and Team NLP

    If you would like to know how NLP can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up to our next free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 26th August at 7pm.

    Download your FREE copy:
    Principles for success – This is all about the 8 Attitudes that form a growth mindset that will literally change your life.  What have you got to lose?  And, more importantly, what have you got to gain?

    Taking some personal downtime

    Taking some personal downtime

    personal down time

    Our weekly Team NLP blog where you’ll find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience and connections in our unprecedented times.

    What downtime have you taken for yourself recently?  I have just come back from a break in Scotland, hence the photo this week of my favourite Shetland cows!  We had a wonderful and magical time.  However, the reason for mentioning this is that it wasn’t until I arrived in Scotland that I realised how tired and fatigued I actually was.  Nearly five months of working long hours to recreate both my businesses and myself had really taken its toll.  I looked back on some of the tell-tale signs for me of feeling overwhelmed, lack of concentration and motivation, feeling more out of control than usual, waking up tired, not really enjoying life as much as usual and so on…..usually I am pretty good at recognising these but not so much this time.  So, what is different and what can you do about it?  

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about the covid ‘fuzzy brain’ which is a real phenomenon.  This is what INSEAD neuroscientist Hilke Plassmann has to say about it:

    ’In times like these, our brains tend to work differently…the brain scours its long-term memory systems for comparable experiences. Finding few precedents for this pandemic, it looks intently outward for guidance on what to do next.  The combination of impaired analytical thinking and heightened external sensitivity creates what can be called ‘Covid-19 brain’ – a fragile, frazzled state that keeps our thoughts simultaneously on edge and unfocused.

    So be nice to yourself. It’s important to take a time out and time off this summer, even if you cannot travel to get yourself energised, engaged and filled up. So that you are ready to solve all challenges our new normal will throw at us.

    Taking time off is one way — but an important way — to recharge, especially during challenging times. It’s a pathway to feeling more refreshed, rested, and even hopeful. Right now, I’m hearing from a lot of people that the idea of taking any time for themselves — whether it’s a day or a week — just feels weird

    However, maybe it’s time to reset our expectations around what taking time off really means, and what purpose it serves. Yes, most of us are feeling tired and experiencing emotional ups and downs. A lot of things are not in our control. But that only makes it more important to take time off — from our jobs as well as from our daily routines — to just allow ourselves to be. And to breathe. And perhaps even to process everything that’s going on in our lives right now. 

    Below are a few dilemmas I’ve heard recently, related to taking time off. Maybe some of these circumstances will resonate with you, or maybe you have different reasons for being reluctant to take time for yourself. Either way, try one or two of the strategies I mention, and see how you feel.

    • Because of COVID concerns, I’m reluctant to go anywhere. What should I do? This year, let yourself off the hook from the idea of a big travel moment, because the kind of “getaway” you can take — without actually going anywhere — might be even more restorative. Yes, we’ve been stuck in our homes for a long period of time, and it’s completely natural to want a change of scenery. But if you can’t go somewhere else, reframe your perspective on where you are. Remind yourself that you don’t necessarily have to go somewhere else to unwind. If you can’t wrap your head around taking a week off at once, opt for an extended weekend. Or even take a day or two off in the middle of the week. Think of it as an investment in self-care, minus the packing!

     

    • My finances are tight. How can I make the most use of my vacation time to recharge my batteries here at home? Plan your ultimate staycation — make time for the things you love and rarely get to do. I have made a commitment to myself to read more and I am going to enjoy the Susan Hill, Simon Serailler detective books on my kindle.  Giving myself time will sustain the benefits of my week away in Scotland.  That’s the plan anyway!

     

    • My children have been home schooled for months now. How can I make time to replenish myself?  With a busy schedule and lots of people to take care of, finding time for yourself comes down to being intentional about even the smallest chunk of time. What can you arrange for yourself?  And, then take that time for yourself without feeling guilty about it.

     

    • I’m self-employed, so there is no “time off” for me as I’m worried where my next client is coming from. How can I “get away”?  In this case, scheduling self-care like it’s your job is a great way to ensure it happens. Then, in those moments when you’ve planned to unplug, try to physically separate from your work to get the most out of your downtime. If you work out of a home office, for instance, shut the door and go to another room, or take a walk if that’s a possibility. One of my students has a great strategy…actually cover up the PC with a blanket, close the door (if you can) and walk away. 

    To your success…

    Lindsey and Team NLP

    If you would like to know how NLP can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up to our next free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 26th August at 7pm.

    Download your FREE copy:
    Principles for success – This is all about the 8 Attitudes that form a growth mindset that will literally change your life.  What have you got to lose?  And, more importantly, what have you got to gain?