Jackie Kellso

Posts Tagged ‘thinking’

Why are You so Negative? I’ll Tell You Why, and it’s Not Your Fault.

In brain, brain-based, brain-based coach, brain-based coaching, coping with pressure at work, corporate life, cortisol, dealing with a difficult coworker, disagreements, emotional baggage, emotional brain, executive brain, fight, fight or flight, limbic system, manage stress at work, managing conflict, managing emotions at work, negativity, negativity at work, neural pathways, neuroscience, Norman Vincent Peale, office politics, passive-aggressive, pre-frontal cortex, problem-solve, profesional boundaries, professional behavior, Professional Reputation, self-defensiveness, self-improvement, stress and worry, stress hormones, work-related problems, work-related stress on October 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Do you find yourself focusing on how disorganized your manager is, or how your colleague can’t run a meeting, or how your team can’t come up with the right idea, or how disgusted you are by your CEO’s poor communication skills?

Well, if you are criticizing just about everyone and everything, guess what?  You have lost perspective, objectivity and healthy, personal boundaries.  In fact, you are unwittingly creating your own hell and it’s keeping your brain from its executive powers to think, problem-solve and be most effective.

In this state, some of us will bully, become passive-aggressive, withdraw, gossip, cry, or beat the hell out of ourselves and eat five chocolate bars to get a kick of serotonin. You get the idea.  When we are unable to cope, we start moving into old-fashioned self-defense. There’s no resolution in this state, only more frustration and pain.

Being in a constant hypercritical mode doesn’t take that much these days, with so much pressure on us to deliver.  But, there’s usually another factor — unclaimed emotional baggage that we’ve carried into the present day.  Here’s why:  our brains will respond with whatever we give them.  As Norman Vincent Peale said, “Dwelling on negative thoughts is like fertilizing weeds.”  The chronic re-injury to the brain from negative thinking literally changes our brains.

These weeds are neural pathways that have been constructed around negative thinking.  Think of highways and how they connect to one another to move traffic along. In the brain, these are called synapses. When fired-up they will stimulate the release of stress hormones, which set the stage for unwanted reactions of the mind and body. In fact, over time we can see how the stress takes a toll on our health: migraines, depression, chronic fatigue, etc. This is why being negative is not your fault; your brain has been bred for it. The good news is, we can get help from our executive (or thinking) brains.

The key is to recognize the symptoms. Are you waking up and going to sleep (if you’re sleeping, that is) with anger, rage, vitriol, depression, etc? If this is the case, even if you’re not openly complaining, your body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and attitude are most certainly giving you away.  You’re not hiding from anyone.  So, you’re also negatively impacting your reputation.

Look, this isn’t the moment now to start berating yourself.  It’s the time to take charge of your brain.  The pre-frontal cortex is the thinking brain and can be used to manage the limbic or emotional brain that is controlling your moods. So to get on top of this, it’s important to feed your brain thoughts like, I can’t control other people or outside things so I’m going to accept what is. In other words, I’m going to let it go, surrender, and move on. We have the power to clear out our thoughts about what went wrong during the day and leave room to start with a fresh outlook the next day.  This is the beginning of re-wiring the brain and creating new neural pathways.  The brain has enormous plasticity!

So, take the current work situation and use it wisely.  How is it reinforcing your negative thinking?  Who is triggering you into a self-defensive posture? By examining our current relationships and challenges, we have the opportunity to use our executive brains to keep our histories where they belong — in the past. (This is why I decided to become certified in brain-based coaching; the brain is fascinating, our current experiences are usable, and with focus, we can emerge enlightened.)

Lastly, sleep matters.  The brain cleanses what it has taken in during the day, while we sleep. So, to manage the hamster wheel of obsessive thinking and  make room for a new day, with a fresh start, we need ample sleep.  If not possible nightly, a daily 20 minute nap can do wonders too!

In the end, please don’t blame yourself (or others) for how you feel but do take responsibility for what you do. Go home tonight, leave the challenges of the day behind you, and enjoy your well-deserved rest.  Your brain will love you for it!

Happy thinking,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Are you a Prisoner of your Mind?

In Accedemia Gallery, Angel in the Marble, Belief Systems, brain-based coach, Clear Thinking, freedom, Hall of Prisoners, Michelangelo, mindfulness, personal growth, Prisoner of the Mind, psychology, seeking the truth, Statue of David, Uncategorized on January 23, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Standing in the Hall of Prisoners, at the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy, just feet from the very famous Statue of David, are unfinished masterpieces by Michelangelo that, in their state, appear to be slaves, prisoners or captives of the marble from which they are emerging.  As one approaches the glorious, free, angelic David, these sculptures, against the walls of a long hallway, seem to be telling the story of the human mind. Are these tortured souls in various stages of enslavement, or depending on perspective, of setting themselves free?

The images of these frozen captives, in juxtaposition with the gloriously free David, makes one think:  Am I a slave to my baggage?  Am I waiting to be free?

  Prisoner - Michelangelo

As lore has it, when people asked Michelangelo how he accessed David from a slab of marble, he said, “It was easy.  I perceived the Angel in the marble and carved to set it free.”  If we put a psychological spin to this, the idea is of chipping away at the parts of ourselves that no longer fit, or are wasteful; baggage we lug around, like slabs of marble.  And, as we let the chips fall away, we access our true selves; the pure beings we were born to be.

If Michelangelo was our maker, we would all start out as a slab of marble.  Then it would be our energy, our force, our will to reveal ourselves to him so that he could see the being lodged in there.  It would be the clarity of who we are, our demand to be seen, our mindfulness, our fierceness to rise that would trigger him to see how far he must carve to set us free. We would demand and get our freedom.

And so with this powerful metaphor in mind, I ask:

1. Are you a prisoner of your beliefs and thoughts?  How do they keep you stuck and walking in circles?

2. Do you take risks that challenge you beyond your comfort zone?

3. Do you surround yourself with people who want to see you win; who promote your growth and see your potential? If not, who or what are you allowing to keep you down?

4. What parts of your life keep you captive – whether the people, the job, extra weight, emotional pain, etc?  What rock are you hiding behind?

6. Have you felt unhappy, unsatisfied and unchallenged as of late? Are you searching for something more?

Your answers may surprise you, and I know first hand that seeking the truth can wreak havoc: it can cause you to make difficult decisions, make changes that require courage, leave you feeling a huge void, make you feel like you’re in a free fall.  But, as I have been on a very active journey to my truth, I can say that it was this very metaphor, given to me by a wise person years ago (with my best interests at heart) that launched me to completely change the direction of my thoughts and beliefs about myself, my relationships, my career, my health, and discover my purpose in life: to help others do the same.

I’m only a stone’s throw away!  Please share this article with others, whom you support, and feel free to reach out to me directly. I am a brain-based coach who helps people step out of the marble and into the light.

Shine on,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Are You Striving to Get Yourself Back on Top?

In career, career challenges, career path, career transition, Dr. Robin Smith, get back on top, job titles, life changes, looking backwards, Oprah Winfrey, personal power, professional development, salaries, second career, striving forward, Super Soul Sunday on August 10, 2015 at 9:55 pm

Yesterday, I caught an interview with Dr. Robin Smith on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, and was absolutely struck by a part of the conversation that referred to the demise of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.  Dr. Smith spoke about how they died as a result of being completely obsessed with getting back to the top of their games.  For Whitney Houston it was, ‘hitting that note’ again, and with Michael Jackson it was creating something bigger than “Thriller.”

How many of us professionals, those in career transition, and those who lost titles and high salaries to the economic downturn, are in a spin to GET BACK TO THE TOP?

The obsession to re-experience a high from the past, compounded with a lack of acceptance that life has changed, that those were exceptional moments of their own time and circumstance, drive us to self-destruct.

This idea resonates greatly with me as I’m now 10 years into my second career (from advertising sales to professional development) and have a constant nagger (my ego) worrying about how I will be able to get back to the top of my earnings again.  My top was at the height of the Internet boom, where I was so perfectly situated, in the late 90s and early 2000s.  Of course, I was already nearing 20 years into my sales career when this hit and I’m only 10 years into this career (that in general isn’t known to be the money-maker that sales is) BUT, the point is that the way I’ve been evaluating my success, which is to GET BACK TO THE TOP, is my real problem.

The thinking itself is a set-up for feeling like a failure!  I was on a different path, I had different personal goals, I was a different person and life presented me with different options. Plus, I would never, ever want to go back into that career  and walk away from the very thing that has fueled me with purpose, joy and feelings of fulfillment.

And, even though I have a rich life with a loving husband, good health, great friends and family, and kick-ass skills to do my work at high levels, I recognize that the obsession to have what I had is a self-destructive thought.  Embracing the path I’m on now is the key to moving forward.

I believe in my ability to bring in that bounty and to prosper as I look toward the future.  The difference is I’m not going to continue striving backward, I’m now striving forward.  The freedom from comparison of a past situation is the clarity I needed in order to feel optimistic.

So, dear colleagues: STOP IT.  Stop working to get back on top. Stop comparing your life now to back then. Instead, look for the direction your life is taking and say yes to what feels right, right NOW, because it will lead to the best opportunities that can present themselves to you.  It will lead you to a new future.  And that future may be more dear to you than title and money, and/or that future may include a better title and even more money! Who knows?

Forge ahead!

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.