Motivation

Stuck? Overwhelmed? Make the 4A’s Your BFF #Resilience

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Acceptance

Awareness – Acceptance – Adjustment -Action


Spoiler!

What you are about to read is not a slag to millennials, but rather a compliment!


 

Dear Millenials,

I know that you take a bunch of criticism from Boomers and GenXers, some if of it deserved ūüėČ some misinformed and wrong. So to balance out this perception, ¬†I am going to share a good news story with you…

I have just come back to work after a province wide (24 colleges) faculty strike where I had the privilege of waking in circles, for little to no pay, taking a strong stand for quality education (which is super important). No, I didn’t want to be doing this but the cause was irresistible since education changed my life profoundly. Integrity means supporting your beliefs even when it is hard. I want you to have the incredible educational experience that I had so that you too can create your wildest dreams life.

So, we faculty were all very nervous coming back, wondering what we would be met with as the student-faculty paths started to intersect again. What I found was pretty incredible behaviour from you millennials ūüôā

So many of you were stressed and overwhelmed, which is absolutely normal since you had no idea what the plan was for you to complete your semester. Within a week, after the¬†plans were clear, the whole campus feeling transitioned from freaked out to functioning beautifully. Students listened, asked questions and started¬†getting back to work and professors listened, asked questions and¬†supported their students. So many of you decided that you would “lean in”, listen and figure out your next steps. You got all gritty and motivated and made the next step toward your success.¬†Nicely done!

My advice to you is look around you at the students who are leaning into their studies, not complaining about what happened (staying stuck) but rather doing what it takes to get their semester¬†completed successfully, one small step by one small step. There are some pretty great examples out there in your classes, sitting right beside you. ¬†I am so¬†impressed with your behaviour and resilient abilities ūüôā¬†


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Well, this got me thinking about resilience building and a model that really helps bring the process to life.


Awareness  Р Acceptance  Р Adjustment  Р Action


icon2  Awareness

The first step in building your resilience is awareness.

  • Be aware of what is going on in your body and your brain. Where do you feel tension? Is your body telling you that something is wrong?
  • What are you feeling? Emotions contain information. Notice what they are telling you about the situation and yourself. If you are saying that you can’t do this, well that is exactly what your body is reacting to.
  • Try this! Mindfulness Practice is a great way to get started: Check this Out!

*Overall, awareness is reading your personal signs and knowing that there may be something that needs to change.

icon1  Acceptance

This is the part where you say, “okay, that happened”.

  • Feelings: Accept the way you feel is the way you feel. Feelings are are part of our natural response to experience. It is absolutely okay to feel disappointment, shock, sadness, overwhelmed or incompetent. But…
    • Remember that just because you feel a certain way, does not make it true. You may feel like you can’t handle something or that you are a failure, these are just feelings.¬†Feelings are not facts!
    • Also, you don’t have to stay living in those feelings. Be careful how you interpret the message.

hafiz

  • Behaviour:¬†Accept the situation for what it is, what you can and can not control. Do something to change the situation or change how you are reacting to it. I had an amazing professor who called staying stuck in things you can’t change as ‘baby wishes’. You can wish and wish and wish, but that will never change what is. This was a very helpful way of conceptualizing my stuck inner tantrum-prone 4 year old ūüôā

 

icon4  Adjustment

This is where the “bouncing back” part of resilience begins.

This is where you start to make adjustments in your approach so that you can improve the situation. Asking yourself, How can I shift my attention and energy to something helpful?

Here are some tools to get you started:

  • Attitude Adjustment:
    • Adopt the attitude of making change happen in your life, not waiting for others to do it for you. You are your own advocate, show up in your own life. #MakeSomethingGoodHappen
  • Radical Acceptance: Check out this funky little therapy trick!
  • Cultivate Clarity:¬†You need to have an idea of who you want to be, what qualities you want to possess and what you would like to accomplish in your life. If you know where you are going, the tough times are easier to navigate.
  • Take on the Challenge: Be a person who deals with anxiety and overwhelming emotions by approaching them, not avoiding them. The very thing that scares you is the thing you need to run toward, not away from. *You can also walk or even crawl because it is the direction matters ūüôā

icon5  Action.

Take action and do something.

Do it consciously and intelligently. Use your emotional awareness, even if your choice is not to act immediately. Consider the last time you were in a state of indecisiveness.

How did you feel the moment you made a decision and took action?

What positive changes happened as a result?

jung

Adapted from: 4 Steps for Building Your Resilience


 

Still don’t believe me that this helps?!?!

Here are some facts to convince you tough ones out there…


PsychNerd TIME!

Brain Nerd

It has been a while!

I just can’t stop myself from dropping some nerd on you today ūüôā

Here is some evidence that emphasizes the importance of cultivating the skill of acceptance. I highly recommend adding this to your self-development¬†¬†life “to-do” list, especially if you want your life to be less overwhelm and drama and more “I got this” and “I can’t believe how this has changed my life”.

Blame my past

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Acceptance

Buddhist teachings on happiness have long held that accepting that which cannot be changed or controlled is key to reducing suffering.

So some pretty smart researchers,¬†Broadbent, de Quadros-Wander & McGillivray (2013),¬† found that “perceived control” is a very important learned ability that fosters life satisfaction, happiness and wellbeing.

Perceived Control has Two Parts: 

Primary Control (External): the ability to make desired changes in your environment. Yes, you need to assesses the situation and see if there is anything you can do to make it better….and then do it.

Secondary Control (Internal): making changes within yourself to adapt to your environment; the acceptance of what can’t be controlled externally. You change your thinking about it, or work hard at stop thinking about it (stop dwelling on it), and start regrouping and designing your next steps.

*Both types of control are EQUALLY important in determining overall life satisfaction. Secondary Control, internal control, helped the research participants to cope with the losses in primary control that they had experienced.

 


I will end with the words of advice from a very wise woman….

“Bring your best self to whatever the challenge is”

Jennifer (Reid-Bicknell) Trapman 

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Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to wait/work for what you deserve. 

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca


References

Broadbent J, de Quadros-Wander S, & McGillivray J (2013). Perceived Control’s Influence on Well-being in Residential Care vs. Community Dwelling Older Adults. Journal of Happiness Studies; DOI 10.1007/s10902-013-9452-9

Motivation, Motiva, Mot: ZZZZZzzzz Huh?! Wait What?!?!

Posted on

Never Quit

Shout Out to All College Students!

The semester is coming to an end and likely, so to is your motivation to keep on task. Oh how I  remember the semester end so well. I just lost all my drive and energy to conquer the intense feeling of being overwhelmed all the time.

I would go¬†through rapid cycles (and sometimes still do) of “ok, I can do this, no problem, I got this” to “I just want to quit!!!!” I was consumed with thoughts of wanting the¬†relentless pain, and lack of sleep,¬†to end. I just wanted a life without constant negative mental¬†chatter, the mental nagging (“you should, should, should…”) and immense pressure to do well (or at least finish).¬†

I thought the timing was right to share the various things that have worked for me during these very challenging times. Yes, I still do all of these things at various times in my life, because they work. I am defiantly not one of those people who gives advice that I do not take. I walk the walk. I suck it up and do what it takes. I feel stronger and better for having pushed myself. The more I rise to the challenge, the easier it has been to deal with future challenges.

Your Stronger Than You Know

Take a moment and grow your resilience, lean into your life, roll up your sleeves and move toward strength and resilience. Below are some Tips, Tricks and Hacks that I recommend for getting you through this heinous, painful, overwhelmed moment in your life. Yes, moment…it will not be forever….feels like it…but…feelings are not facts ūüėČ


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I will start with organizing the motivation enhancement hacks into two categories: Mindset and Perseverance.

You can’t get anywhere if your mindset is working against you and your mindset alone in not enough, you actually need to stop thinking about something and just do it.

MINDSET

  • Wise Mind: Foster a Wise Mind. Get your Thinking Mind and Your Emotional Mind to smarten up and be friends and work together toward the wisdom it is going to take to get stuff done.
  • Tweak¬†Your State of Mind:
    • Do things deliberately to change your state of mind. If you are feeling low, do things that elevate your mood. Get Started with the Following Ideas:¬†“22 Ways to Change Your State of Mind“.
    • Use motivational quotes to shift your thinking and offer a wider perspective.
    • Use positive imagery. Imagine yourself at the end of exams. Are you proud of yourself for persevering? Imagine all the times that you wanted to quit and didn’t.
  • Perspective:¬†
    • This pain is temporary! “This too shall pass” is what I hear when my inner 4 year old starts tantruming and saying “I don’t wanna…whaaaaaa”. I move to “seriously, Heather, you are way to old for this whining, stop this, get it done, you are being a baby”. I would feel way worse, in the long run, if I just quit. I know this because I have quit in the past and regretted it.
    • Opportunity Focus: This is an opportunity to build, grow, become more resilient and to see what you are made of. I believe that we are who we are in the tough times, so work on building your strengths and be awesome in the times where adversity comes along and sucker punches you.
  • Personal¬†Responsibility: Show up in your own life. Be the main character in your story. Work first, play later. Start adulting! Yes, this is not just a message for young people because many of us 40+ year olds fight being an adult too sometimes ūüėČ Do what you know you need to do, not just what you “feel” like doing. Don’t wait for others to do it for you, or to motivate you. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, do it now.
  • Bolster Your Self-Efficacy: This is about building a positive believe about yourself and your abilities. Carve out a moment in your chaotic life to reflect on what you have done well in the past, examples of where you wanted to give up but you didn’t, take an inventory of what comes easily to you and just take the time to purely notice what is actually going well in your life.

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PERSEVERANCE 

  • Make a Plan: Set goals, big and then smaller steps toward those goals.¬†Take on bite sized pieces, take breaks and reward yourself.¬†If you try to do too much too fast then you will burn yourself out or you will make so much work for yourself that it will be hard to even get started.persevere.jpg
  • Stay Active:¬†When you keep your momentum going by keeping yourself on track, following your plan, you will find that the momentum you have is much easer to maintain….because science says so ūüėČ
    • arrow-10.pngNewton’s first law of¬†motion¬†– sometimes referred to as the law of inertia. An object at rest¬†stays¬†at rest and an object in¬†motion stays in motion¬†with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. BE THE BODY IN MOTION! Avoid the unbalanced force of¬†distraction,¬†doubt and negative thinking.¬†

 

  • Hang Around With Motivated People: Study with people who are good for you, that you can learn from, that are feeling overwhelmed like you but work hard to remain in their wise mind and just get work done. These people can become role models who inspire you to push yourself beyond what you thought you were capable of. This is the quintessential story of my life. I am a people watcher (a.k.a vicarious learner) and I have managed to take what I witness and put it into action in my own life.
  • Do The Hardest Thing First:¬†Seriously!¬†It is the thing that you dread the most that is killing your confidence. That BIG chunk of work that is sapping¬†your motivation to get started. Often this is just in your head and how you see this task. Shut off your judgemental and fearful thoughts and get going on this task, in small manageable pieces, step-by-step, until it is done. Just do your best in that situation, with the time that you have. It is better to hand something in rather than nothing.
  • Make It Fun: check out a previous blog post:¬†Pain + Fun = Motivation

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Some of My Favs

Motivational Quotes That Kick My Butt into ActionA Little Progress

“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow” –¬†Unknown Author

‚ÄúFall down 7 times, Stand up 8‚ÄĚ –¬†Chinese Proverb

“Dont’ stop when you are tired, stop when you are done” –¬†Unknown Author

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” –¬†Unknown Author

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear.” —Mark Twain

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“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” —Jim Rohn

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” —Wayne DyerTough Times.jpg

 

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” —Margaret Thatcher

“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can hinder or
control the firm resolve of a determined soul.” –Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“There is no traffic jam along the extra mile.” —Roger Staubach


“Adversity can change you for the better, if you let it”¬†

Known to be said by me, to many of my students. Sometimes they roll their eyes, but sometimes they take the advice and become the main character of their story.


Now get out there, shut off your critical mind, get some momentum, work first and play later and just get ‘er dun!

*Today’s blog post was brought to you by a very under motivated person who used GRITTY strategies to ¬†make it to the finish line ūüėČ

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

 eSuccess-Coach * Counsellor * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca


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