Emotional Intelligence

Wanna Career?!? #Resilience #GRIT #Goal Setting #Adulting

Posted on Updated on

life-is-10-percent-what-happens-to-me-and-90-percent-uplifting-quote.png

So, most students are now off for the summer and savouring the break from the relentless academic grind. I think now is the perfect time to work on those non-academic skills that help you successfully complete your program and transition to the workplace….eventually.

The Canadian Conference Board of Canada created this beautiful little document summarizing the  skills that employers are looking for.  This is the skillset that you want to start building if you want to become employable and in the drivers seat of your life. Wanna drive?!? Well, start building your skills in the following areas: Academic Skills, Personal Management Skills and Teamwork Skills.

Ok, now you know, no excuses 😉


Dont Freak Out


Yes, I know, life can feel overwhelming (me today) at times, it can feel like you were just not born with the natural ability (neither was I), it can feel like you will never have what it takes to finish your program (I grew past this with practice and experience, and a wee bit of whining sometimes!)….

Well, if you have been following me for a while, or you know me from the college, you probably know what I am going to say next 😉

Feelings are NOT facts!

…let’s get our “Wise Mind” kicked into gear so that we can build these skills! 

wisemind-illustration1

*Check out one of my previous posts for more information about your Wise Mind.


The best way to get into your Wise Mind, and get building those skills, is to listen to both your Emotional Mind and your Rational Mind. Tell them both to cooperate!

Emotional Mind: “I have NO idea where to start! EEEEeeeek!” (probably some swearing is inserted here, or negative words about yourself)

Rational Mind: “There is an actual list from some smart researchers that tell me what I need to work on to increase my employability”

Wise Mind: “Ok, breathe, you got this, breathe, start at the beginning and take it step-by-step…sigh…breathe…Step #1, Personal Management Skills”arrow-black.png

Personal Management Skills

I have matched some, not all, of my previous posts that can help you to build the skills that employers are looking for. 

Positive Attitudes and Behaviours


Want to Change Your Attitude?!?!

#StopComplaining #Adaptability #Resilience #YouStandOut #Adulting


do-one-thing-scares-you-motivational-daily-quotes-sayings-pictures.jpg

…and become the potential employee that everyone wants to work with. 


Shoot me a message and tell me about your experiences stretching yourself to grow into the successful student and future employee you want to be! #ReactWell

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

Stressed?!!? Well Let’s Start With ‘Feelings are NOT Facts’

Posted on Updated on

Feelings are Not Facts.png

Drowning in your feelings? Feeling overwhelmed?

I was going to write about study strategies today; however, I have been completely overwhelmed by the emotional pain my students have been experiencing lately. So, I thought that maybe study strategies would be a wee bit too lame of a topic under the circumstances. I have decided to share the perspective, the strategies and the experience of others (you are definitely not alone in this) that happen every day in my counselling office. Why should all this great information stay in a counselling box?!?! …me thinks…

So…Here I go…

Emotions, Emotions, Emotions

Blah, blah, blah…what are these feelings you speak of?!? Well…let’s start here:

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 8.50.03 AM.png


Emotional State

Yes, emotions can be VERY scary. I am not saying that they are not or that you shouldn’t “feel” a certain way. What I am doing is challenging you with the following questions: How do you want to react to the emotions? How do you want to live your life? What emotional house do you want to live in?

Yes, you have a choice.

A choice that requires a bunch of commitment and work. It is not easy, but I assure you the hard and scary change/growth work is well worth the struggle to get there. I do this every day in my own life. It gets so much easer with practice, so much so it has become a habit for me. I get it, it’s hard, but come on! Give it a go. What do you really have to lose? Oh, yeah, you may lose the constant suffering version of yourself. It all seriousness, this can be a hard shift. But still, let’s imagine a different life experience.

Let’s start with a seemingly simple formula that I will base the rest of this post on:

Emotional State + Emotion Regulation =

Pretty Awesome State of Personal Empowermenttemper-tantrum-girl

I love this graphic! This little cutie pretty much says it all.
This is often the look I get when I am talking about the possibility of change with my students.

Yup, Getting PsychNerdy on Y’all Again!

Brain Nerd

Just sharing the “FACTS” about emotion regulation, just to let you know that it is really possible 😉 Science says so!

There is some pretty great recent research looking at a bunch of different findings combined all together in a beautiful Regulatory Flexibility model. Ok, that is psychnerdy speak for taking all the best stuff and mushing it together in a way that people can understand and use easily in research and in their lives.

People respond to stressful events in different ways, depending on the event and on the regulatory strategies they choose. Coping and emotion regulation theorists have proposed dynamic models in which these two factors, the person and the situation, interact over time to inform adaptation. Source: Regulatory Flexibility: An Individual Differences Perspective on Coping and Emotion Regulation by George A. Bonanno & Charles L. Burton

screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-9-40-22-am

Translation of Fig.1: So you have a stressful event in your life, you look at what it will take to work through it and decide if you can handle it, you then start using your coping skills, then decide if the strategy solved your problem or not. The flexibility part comes in as you keep on persevering and/or trying different strategies to cope. This is how you build resilience and adapt beautifully in life.


So now what? You ask!?!

104455-200.png

Here are some coping skills to throw into this Regulatory Flexibility model 🙂


Emotion Regulation Strategiesemotion-surfing

Let’s build some…

Mindfulness Practice

Distress Tolerance Skills

Emotion Regulation Strategies

“We are not responsible for what breaks us, but we can be responsible for what puts us back together again. Naming the hurt is how we begin to repair our broken parts.” – Desmond Tutu, The book of Forgiving


EMOTIONS (What FEELS True) + EVIDENCE (What is ACTUALLY True) =

Balanced Approach to Examining Information

*Don’t rely on how you feel alone. Feelings are great, but on their own, they may not be completely accurate in terms of the message being sent. Just because you feel it does NOT make it true. Look for the evidence.


Recipe for Writing a New Chapter in Your Life Story

Start with taking responsibility for your life.

“If you couldToday.jpg kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”― Theodore Roosevelt


…Then start writing a new story.

“If you own this story you get to write the ending.” ― Brené Brown

Writing prompts…

“I am a person who feels lots of things but they don’t define me. I am a person who takes responsibility for my own life and experience. I am a person who will work hard to create a life I love. I am….”

Here are some tools to get you started on creating a new life story:

Your life is your story. Write it well and edit often!


My Advice On …

the-next-chapter-1-470x264.jpg

Take a deep breath, and then another one, foster a self-compassionate mindset, examine those feelings and don’t assume they are facts.


Please don’t ever feel that I don’t want to hear your thoughts…I do! Send ’em along 🙂

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

Prospective Hindsight: Fancy Word for “How to Set Yourself Up for Success in 2017”

Posted on Updated on

creativity-and-problem-solving

Well it is 2017!

Happy New Year!

This is the time of year that many people view as a fresh start, a moment in their life to try their hand at changing things in their life for the better, setting new goals, taking risks and kicking their own butt.

Every year you probably see the same, very good, advice for how to set resolutions and achieve your goals. I have written on that precise topic. Check posts from 2016:

I know, I know great advice right?!

But…I hear you saying “yeah but”…

Yes the advice is great, but what if you can’t get the changes to stick around? Most people, including me, tend to crash hard on the goal-achieving part sometimes. So, that got me thinkin’, googlin’ and being curious about my own success process when I was awesome at “stick-to-it-ness” and made my goal a reality.

17366832dc4b52a56b00ae4c5955525dWhat I found was super radical.

So, keep reading and join me in shaking it up a bit this year and get all set up for success. This year I want you to do something super whacky….

PLAN TO FAIL!!!

Wait what??!

Yes! Plan to Fail!


Ok, stick with me and check out this fancy word:

Prospective Hindsight

Let’s break it down…

  • Prospective: is defined as something that is likely to happen at a future date; concerned with or applying to the future.
  • Hindsight: is defined as understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed.

So…

Prospective Hindsight is an attempt to determine the most likely reasons for future failure based upon past experience and create a plan to work around those potential pitfalls.


Check out this wonderful TEDTalk to help you understand a wee bit more about prospective hindsight.


Still Wondering Why You Should Foster Your Prospective Hindsight Ability?!?64820

It is the essence of any risk assessment in the business world because it hones your ability to spot problems before or as they occur. Business people tend to know their stuff because business success depends heavily on refining and streamlining processes. So, be your own business and project manage your life like a pro using Prospective Hindsight 🙂


Advice for Getting Started:

  • When setting goals, brainstorm about what could possibility go wrong in the process of meeting your goals. Explore where you tend to procrastinate, where your motivation tends to drop, what tends to overwhelm you, etc.
  • Try Asking Yourself…
    • At what point in the goal attainment process do I tend to be most vulnerable to quitting? 2weeks in? When life gets stressful?
    • What has gone wrong for me in the past when setting goals?
    • What do I think the possible causes were for not reaching the goal that I set? Was my goal to big? Did I not break it down to manageable pieces? Was this goal not my goal, but rather something someone else expected from me? Was I WAY too hard on myself and expected perfection all the time?
  • Play the “Devils Advocate” role in your own life. Look at your growth areas, weaknesses, stuff you are not good at yet, and use this information to make a plan. This can be hard to admit, but this is so important. This is how you learn to work WITH your characteristics or WORK AROUND them. Start by asking yourself what you know about yourself and work WITH your personality and skills, not against them.

Mindset VIDEO

Now that you have started to identify the likely reasons goals have fizzled out in the past, you now have a basis for approaching goal setting differently.

You just need the most helpful mindset to get started. Here is video from a 4 year old who is giving the most fantastic advice for setting goals. I was seriously shocked how insightful (and super cute) this little person was. Check this video out, you will not regret the time spent viewing it 😉


best-iq-test.png
“Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Albert Einstein
Go out there, use the goal setting strategies, but add a little whacky in your approach, use some creativity and plan to fail!

 


I would love to hear about your adventures in applying prospective hindsight this year!

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

Psychological Flexibility: Brain Yoga for Enhancing Motivation

Posted on Updated on

Plan A.png

Psychological and emotional flexibility are consistently mentioned in resilience, emotion regulation and stress management research findings. The ability to implement plans B-Z beautifully illustrates the benefits of psychological and emotional flexibility. It is crucial to your physical and mental health. Seriously, this is an important yoga move! Start bending!

Wondering Where Your Motivation Went?!?

Motivation can be completely derailed when you feel/think that you have run out of options. You have tried EVERYTHING and NOTHING works. Well, from my experience there is ALWAYS another way of seeing something, doing something or experiencing something. Curious how to start learning how to be more psychologically and emotionally flexible?!?

Sure your are!

…or you can choose to stay stuck in a painful yoga position that makes your butt numb 😉


Psychological Flexibility is defined as “the ability to contact the present moment more fully as a conscious human being and to change, or persist in, behavior when doing so serves valued ends” (Biglan, Hayes, & Pistorello, 2008). What these researchers mean by ‘contacting the present more fully’ is being aware of, and in, the curegoalsnt moment; what you feel, what is happening, not the past or future, but now. Once you are there, using this awareness, to creatively brainstorm alternate solutions, methods, strategies and shift the plan. You can even persist in the face of adversity along the original planned path if that is working for you.

Emotional flexibility is super important because so many people get stuck in the Emotional Reasoning loop, thinking that “I feel like such a failure, so I must be”. Applying a bit of flexibility here enables people to experience and notice the full range of emotion, like happiness, sadness, shame or anger, but have the ability act on the emotion in a helpful way (challenge the feeling and ask if it is really true) and then leave that emotional experience balanced when it is time to move on.

When you become more flexible, you can start to choose your responses rather than automatically responding to a situation.

Psychological Flexibility + Emotional Flexibility = Flexible Methods


 

Getting Started:

Be the scientist observing your mind. Be curious.

  • Develop a Curious Mindset: A curious mindset allows you to observe your negative reactions without judgment and see what you can learn from them. Curiosity engages your sense of logic and inhibits emotional “gut” reScientist.jpgactions, allowing you to learn from these situations and identify intelligent next steps that lead you towards your goals.

 


Feelin’ Crafty?!?

sticky-notes

Motivation Activity for the Day

Grab some sticky notes and start gathering moments in your life where you had to push through, dust yourself off and then try again or made it through something really hard. Write Mindset Moments in the middle and start collecting these personal strength events on sticky notes. This create a great visual reminder your power and strength in the face of adversity.

The following are some writing prompts to get you started:

When I learned…

When I did…

When I overcame…

When I developed the skill to…

When I pushed through and….


 

Fierce but Flexible.jpg


Happy Flexible Friday!

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

 

Make Good Things Happen

Posted on Updated on

 

IMG_6188.png

Ok, today is the day that I am going to ask you to do some thing RADICAL!

be-radical

Fun Right?!?!

Well, yes and no, but a super important topic for anyone who wants to grow, heal and move forward in their life.

RADICAL ACCEPTANCE

Wait what?!?! yes, let’s focus on one of the most fundamental parts of emotion regulation, personal empowerment, self compassion and overall life balance.

“acceptance of life as it is, not as it is supposed to be; and the need to change, despite that reality and because of it” – Dr. Marsha Linehan

There are three parts to radical acceptance.

  1. The first part is accepting that reality is what it is.
  2. The second part is accepting that the event or situation causing you pain has a cause.
  3. The third part is accepting life can be worth living even with painful events in it.

Radical Acceptance is a part of a therapeutic approach called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) designed by the amazing psychologist, Dr. Marsha Linehan. This therapeutic approach was invented to help people, who were suffering terribly, learn to regulate their emotions and live a life worth living. Even though you may not be suffering, most people find themselves, at some point, in a state of wanting a life that is different that they are currently experiencing. Sometimes it is this wanting or wishing that lowers our self esteem and increases sadness or life dissatisfaction. The first step on the path to living a life that you want, is accepting the life that you currently have and then deciding what you are willing to work hard on to change.


I am not saying that this is easy. It is actually a very difficult practice, but from experience I can tell you that the result of your effort is astounding emotional freedom and personal empowerment.


Want to Get Started Radically Accepting?

Start with asking yourself the following questions about a recent difficult situation in your life:

Radical Acceptance: “So that happened…”

  1. What events led up to the distressing situation?Acceptance.jpg
  2. What role did you play in creating this situation?
  3. What role did other people / another person play in creating this situation?
  4. What did you have control of in this situation?
  5. What didn’t you have control of in this situation?
  6. What was your response to this situation?
  7. How did your response affect your own thoughts and feelings?
  8. How did your response affect the thoughts and feelings of other people?
  9. How could you have changed your response to this situation to lead to less suffering for yourself and others?
  10. How could this situation have occurred differently if you had decided to radically accept the situation?

Source: For more information about how to explore these questions: CLICK HEREill-be-fineSo when your not so fine, start working on some mindfulness and self compassion…

 


To live the best version of a life we first have to accept our life as it is and get out of the rut of wishing it was different, especially with things that are out of our control. Once you accept and acknowledge, we can then decide what WE want to do about it.

#MakeGoodThingsHappen

Take the time to work hard and design the best possible life for yourself. Be the main character in your story.


 

I would love to hear the good things that you are making happen in your life. Tweet me @SuccessMohawk and use #MakeGoodThingsHappen. Let’s share and learn from each other 🙂

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

mindfulness-quote.jpg

Gratitude: Shift Your Brain and Shake off Some of that Turkey Haze!

Posted on Updated on

power-of-gratitude-.jpg

In Canada, we are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend. Instead of just filling your belly with yummy comfort food and napping, this is a great opportunity to take a moment and also feed your brain. Fill it with alternative ways of thinking that promote wellbeing and can reduce symptoms of depression while you are at it. Build, develop and foster some gratitude neural pathways in your brain!happiness-via-gratitude-quote_daily-inspiration


Not Convinced?!?

Here is the science…

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.

Check out this video where Dr. Emmons reveals the power that gratitude has to transform our lives and offers tips for cultivating it.


Ok, I can feel you slipping into a deep turkey coma because you are not completely convinced as to the value of thinking in a grateful way. Well…


Brain Nerd

Ok, you asked for it!

I will now have to get all PsychNerdy on y’all!

Dr. Norman Doidge, a Toronto Psychiatrist, has done some pretty extensive research on brain function, particularly in the area of Neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. All you need to do is exercise your brain in the right direction. He says that neutrons that “fire together, wire together”.

neurons-2.jpg

So if you are participating in Thanksgiving family activities and all you can think about is what is crappy about the situation, the neutrons firing for “Thanksgiving” are wiring with”crappy”. Wouldn’t it be better to change your perspective to “what is going well?”, “what am I grateful for?” or “I am so lucky to have [fill in your blank]”?. This way the next time you see a turkey you will associate it with good things 🙂


Gratitude Fostering Strategies

  1. Perspective Shaping: Start with reading this amazing list of questions”50 Questions That Will Help You Feel Grateful and Good About Life” that will get that sluggish brain ticking along a gratitude path.
  2. Reframing: Consciously reframe something that you initially perceived as negative into an opportunity to be grateful. Come on, try it! Find that silver lining. Notice how you feel when you think the negative thought and notice how you feel when you shift over to the positive.
  3. Curb the Urge: Try catching yourself every time you are about to complain about something and then W.A.I.T! Stop and ask yourself “Why Am I Talking”? Ask yourself “Can I say nothing?” or  “Can I say something positive instead?”
  4. Gratitude Letter: This is not the same as a “thank you note,” a Gratitude Letter gives you an opportunity to examine the happiness and meaning that you get from a relationship in your life, write it down, and share it with that significant person. The cool thing here is that it’s not only a gift to the recipient, it’s a gift to yourself. The process of pondering and realizing the good things in that relationship and the positive impact in your life is so beneficial for your wellbeing. Check this out and get started -> Gratitude Letter Ideas.

thankful-quote.jpg


All you programmers and coders out there are well aware of the following phrase:

“Garbage in-Garbage Out”

Gratitude Symbol.jpg

This works the same for your brain. Feed it well…


Come on, shake yourself out of that turkey stupor and try feeding your brain some gratitude and start feeling better in your life. Show up, lean in and create the life that you want. Be grateful that you can change your brain! #NeuralPlasticity It is up to you!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING from CANADA!

Turkey Hockey.jpg

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca


Resources:

The Procrastination Paradox

Posted on Updated on

Procrastination-is-the-thief-of-time-collar-him..jpg

Last week, in my Procrastination. Sigh. Nuff Said  post, I really tried to sell you the value and benefits of exercise. I hope you started moving more 🙂 Exercise is a very tangible and possible way to positively impact your mood and increase your overall motivation. You need motivation to deal with procrastination. Exercise is the first step. The paradox is that the more you procrastinate the worse you feel adown_the_rabbit_hole_by_jcjessica-d5kqxq7.jpgbout yourself. Your emotional state lowers, you feel like your are a horrible person and then you procrastinate even more. The downward spiral into the procrastination black hole begins.

EEEK!

Get moving for your motivation!

__walk_cycle___by_drowninginflame49.gif


procrastination-drinkWouldn’t be awesome if there was an easy way to get rid of procrastination, magically get stuff done with ease?

Ya, me too. If there was a magical way, believe me, I am the person to have found it! Love an easy way out 😉

Since there is nothing easy, own that fact and commit to starting some relatively easy steps toward building the procrastination combat skills you need.

 


Fear is the driving force behind what leads us to being overwhelmed which lands us in a procrastination sinkhole.


There are two main academic dudes (ya, I know “dude” makes me sound old, but I still love that word!) that have such great advice for understanding and dealing with procrastination, Dr. Tim Pychyl, Associate Professor, Psychology and Director, Carlton University and Dr. Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at De Paul University in Chicago. I am going to pass along some great wisdom from these two smarty pants’ today.

The problem is that we often we describe ourselves very negatively when we procrastinate which leads to us feeling pretty crappy.

  • “I have a time management problem
  • “I just can’t make myself do it. I have no willpower
  • “I am just a lazy person

This just makes us procrastinate more.

These two awesome psychologists see procrastination as a misplaced coping mechanism, as an emotion-focused coping strategy. When you procrastinate, you are using avoidance to cope with emotions. We are “giving in” to feel better.  This is not a flaw in you, it is actually just a lack of development in self-regulation skills.This can be learned!

Advice from Dr. Pychyl

“When you find yourself putting off a task, ask yourself WHY you are feeling a need to hesitate or delay. Then, remind yourself that undertaking that task in a reasonable time frame is in your own best interest (don’t leave it to Future You).

Advice from Dr. Ferrari

  • Make a list of everything you have to do.
  • Write a statement of intention.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Break it down into specific tasks.
  • Make your task meaningful.
  • Promise yourself a reward.
  • Eliminate tasks you never plan to do. Be honest!
  • Estimate the amount of time you think it will take you to complete a task. Then increase the amount by 100%.

Advice from Me…

Check out my Emotional Intelligence Tip Sheet for Emotional-Self-Awareness and try and figure out what emotions you are feeling that lead to procrastination.


TedTalk

In case you missed a previous post here, I am putting this TedTalk up again. It really helps to normalize procrastination. Everyone does it to a certain extent, some of us are just further along the learning path to have the skills to curb it.

Check this out! Trust me, you will feel better 😉

Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn’t make sense, but he’s never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window — and encourages us to think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.

 


Wondering.jpgWondering if you are a Procrastinator?

Check this Quiz from MindTools! 

CLICK HERE


Next Week…

Mindset and Procrastination


Share your experience! I would love to hear what you do to manage your urge to procrastinate 🙂 

 

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca