Do You Ever Feel ‘Foggy?’

Do you ever wake up and feel brain fog? The night before, you set for this day and the goals you want to achieve but, suddenly, you feel foggy as if you can’t move. You know you want to work on them but, for some reason, you don’t know what to do, lest have the desire.

I’ve been there more than I care to admit. So, why does this occur? There can be several explanations but the basic one is that an unconscious thought arose and thwarted you.  To understand some basic facts from neuroscience, the thought(s) that arose released some chemicals, particularly cortisol, which goes immediately to the prefrontal cortex or the executive function of the brain.

This, then, puts you into a threat state and we can almost feel paralyzed from taking any action. Because it feels threatening, it’s easier to stay right where you are – in the comfort of your daily actions and life.

Essentially, change is what is leading to the fog – moving from what you know to what you don’t know. So what is the answer? How do you move forward to your goals and this uncharted territory?

There are several steps that I have found that should help you, too:

  1. Be aware of your feelings, and then dig into your thoughts – feelings are going to be known but it all starts with the thoughts. When you feel that flutter in the stomach, irritability, anger, sadness, etc, that is when you want to stop, breathe, and then check into any thoughts you are having. Writing them down helps to identify and capture them.
  2. Take a pause – breathe, yawn, stretch, stand up; all of these will calm your mind and body so you can focus on the issue at hand.
  3. Self-talk – as strange as it sounds, self-talk can snap you out of the fog state. Reasoning with yourself and stating positives helps with motivation, as do positive affirmations. I have found this very helpful to dispute any negative thoughts I am having.
  4. Ensure your daily goals are written – it’s not enough to keep them in your head with all the millions of other thoughts you are having.  Writing them makes them real, so then you can identify specific actions to take. I find fulfillment in crossing off those steps as I get them done.
  5. Use the 5-Second Rule – if you haven’t heard of it, the 5-Second Rule was developed by Mel Robbins and is a way to circumvent  the pause so you take immediate action. I used it today to get up an hour earlier and walk before I started my day; it sounded so good last night but not so much this morning. However, I made the statement to get out of bed and counted 5-4-3-2-1 and immediately stood up. I did take that walk.

I hope these steps are useful for you. Our brains can be a hindrance or we can use them to their fullest. You can train your brain for more positivity and productivity. It all starts with the intention and then action.

Four Reasons to Be an Action-Taker

What’s stopping you from taking action? Is it fear? Perhaps you’re waiting for the right break instead of making your opportunities in life? Or maybe you believe you’re not smart or talented enough? These negative beliefs are holding you back.

There’s a reason why so many intelligent people fail. They tend to overthink everything and are often afraid to take risks. Negative experiences in the past can come flooding back in the present when one is not ready, or prepared for them. These beliefs result in procrastination and avoidance, which only lead to more negativity and inaction

If that’s your case, here are four powerful reasons to become an action-taker:

Get Rid of Doubts

If you don’t take action, you’ll keep wondering What if? You will struggle with self-doubt and question your decisions. The woulda- coulda- shoulda’s will eat you alive. Taking action builds experience and boosts your confidence. It also allows you to discover new resources and information that will contribute to your success.

Your Time Is Limited

Steve Jobs once said that remembering you’re going to die is the best way to stop thinking you have something to lose. Your time on this earth is limited. You never know what’s going to happen a month or a year from now on.

You might never get a second chance to rent that perfect office space in your area, go to that meeting you’ve been postponing for weeks, or apply for your dream job. Take action today! Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve!

One Thing Leads to Another

Getting started is often the hardest yet the most important step to success. No matter your plans, you must take action to bring them to life. Stop overthinking the decision as brain chemicals hit the executive function in the brain, stopping you in your tracks. Using principles such as Kaizen, where you start with the least threatening action and work your way to the next step and the next, will subvert those chemicals so your fears don’t arise.

Once you make that first step, everything else will fall into place. It may or may not work out as you hope, but it will lead to something new. Think of it as an opportunity to grow and learn.

Let’s say you want to apply for a job that sounds perfect for you, but you know you aren’t quite qualified enough. Yes, it’s scary to apply, but what’s really at stake? Even if you don’t get the job, you’ll get practice interviewing for your dream job. You’ll also get feedback on what you need to focus on to get a similar job in the future. When you start taking action, you get results.

Develop Your Skills

Whether your projects succeed or fail, there’s always a chance to learn new things. Taking action will help develop your skills, leading to greater confidence. Be sure to write down these new skills to capture them while celebrating this new learning.

The next time you want to take action on a dream, you’ll feel better prepared and have more experience. On top of that, you’ll approach things from a new perspective and confidence and won’t repeat the same mistakes in the future.

 

5 Smart, Effective Ways to Protect Yourself from Negativity

Negativity affects your life on every level. It has the power to ruin relationships, decrease work performance, and increase stress levels. Negativity in the workplace can be extremely toxic for the team and the culture of the organization. It can also spread throughout the organization, not taking long before it flows throughout; you might soon find yourself feeling negative about your work by just listening to negative comments day-after-day.

The good news is that you can fight it by changing your mindset. You do get the choice for where you place your thoughts. It’s important to understand that the longer you keep thinking them, the harder it can be to change them. But there are many techniques to do so.

Not sure where to start? Check out these smart, effective ways to protect yourself from negativity:

Don’t Take It Personally

Most people act in a certain way based on their previous experiences and current circumstances. Perhaps someone took credit for your colleague’s work in the past, so now he doesn’t trust his team anymore. That doesn’t mean he has something against you. He simply doesn’t trust people in general.

Stop taking things personally. If someone is misjudging you, prove to them that they are wrong. Be kind and authentic rather than stressing over it.

Set Boundaries

No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to please everyone. On the contrary – people will always come up with new demands and take advantage of your kindness. That can undermine your self-esteem and keep you from focusing on your priorities.

Learn to say No and set clear boundaries. If someone reacts negatively or tries to hurt you, move on. That person isn’t worth your time or attention.

A true friend will understand that you have other things to do and that you’re not available around the clock. I find that most people know they are crossing a boundary and don’t get as upset as we think they might. If you believe they will, ask the question “Do I know this to be absolutely true?” You can’t say yes to that question (or any, for that matter).

Adopt a Positive Mindset

Be grateful for what you have and then seek ways to achieve more. Start a gratitude journal and write a few things every day. That will reinforce positive thinking patterns and reduce negativity. Be sure to be grateful, and appreciate, not only things in your life, but for you – your strengths, skills, aptitudes, and the like, which will raise you esteem and you can focus on your needs and desires.

Your positive attitude will also inspire others and strengthen your relationships. The more you focus on the good in your life, the more opportunities will arise.

Find Solutions, Not Problems

Most people tend to focus on the problems they are facing instead of actively seeking solutions. That results in feelings of guilt and dissatisfaction. Our brains have this way of only focusing on the problem the more those thoughts are given.

Whenever you have a problem, take the steps needed to solve it. Sit down and write out possible solutions that would resolve any problems you have; the brain will work towards getting it. The longer you wait, the more obstacles you’ll face along the way.

Stay away from people who make a drama out of everything. They’re only wasting your time and energy. Their negativity will affect you sooner or later.

Surround yourself with positivity. Build relationships with people who encourage and support you. It is said that we are the product of our environment which includes those around us; expand your realm and put up boundaries on those who deplete you.

Remember that people don’t care that much about what you say or do. Focus on whatever makes you happy and stop feeding the negativity around you. Once you take these steps, you’ll be happier and see new opportunities that you’d otherwise have missed.