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Practical creativity: how you create and experience your world

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Your brain is a meaning-making machine. At all times, your imagination and creativity are actively creating scenarios and potential outcomes in your head. How you experience your world is mostly a creation of your perspective and beliefs.

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While situations create emotions, our thoughts and beliefs about a problem often run the show. I previously shared the cybernetic loop in a blog post about how stress and anxiety block decision-making.

Practical creativity recognises your mind’s role in how you experience your world: what do you want to create? 

You can awfulise and catastrophe: allowing your inner critic to judge and tell you all that is wrong with you. Your anxiety and stress limits can be pushed by imagining the worst-case scenario. Your relationships can be strained by thinking the worst.

You might go the other way and dissociate into fantasy, creating in your mind an idyllic scenario where everything is perfect. Do nothing. And nothing changes.

Or you stay present and look at yourself and others through the eyes of compassion, practising the self-awareness of emotional intelligence and creating opportunities to change the situation and your relationships for the better. Continue reading Practical creativity: how you create and experience your world

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Hyper-independence makes you miserable: ask for better support

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I grew up in the eighties and nineties when “girls can do anything” was our everyday motto. This strong drive for independent women had shaped so many facets of my life that I failed to notice when I crossed the line from an independent woman into hyper-independence.

I struggle to ask for help.

Worse yet, I fail to accept support and connection from others and then will be the first to complain, “why do I have to do everything myself?”.

Hyper-independence is not a virtue. It may look like one of my strengths, but it is my Achilles heel.  Continue reading Hyper-independence makes you miserable: ask for better support

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Habit Control: know how to master and overcome temptation

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What is a habit? It’s what you repeatedly do.

All habits are helpful – they serve a purpose.

Your habits are formed as shortcuts (learned behaviours). One habit you probably have is knowing how to pick something up with your fingers. You don’t need to think about each movement involved: opening your fingers, putting them around the object, closing them firmly (or loosely) and then lifting. You automatically know what to do and how to do it.

Without even thinking.  Continue reading Habit Control: know how to master and overcome temptation

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Emotional intelligence: 9 ways to build your self-awareness

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Great relationships, connections and networking are built on the foundation of emotional intelligence. It’s not enough to pretend to control your feelings, but rather to be fully in touch with your emotions and use them resourcefully.

Although you might have heard of emotional intelligence as if it were a single skill, several different skills and practices come together that allow you to stay in touch with your emotions and those around you. 

Typically, there are four key areas to emotional intelligence: self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship management. The nine skills in self-awareness that I will share with you overlap with all four of these areas. 

It takes an extraordinary self-awareness to use your emotions effectively to create a better life and stronger relationships. Continue reading Emotional intelligence: 9 ways to build your self-awareness

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How stress, fear and anxiety rob us of the ability to make good decisions

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While the news media is only partly to blame, making a killing of FUDGE (fear, uncertainty, doubt, greed, and envy), they are not the sole culprits. We live in a world where fear, stress, and anxiety are normalised. Each one of us chooses, on some level, to play this game. Or at least, we pretend that we have no other choices.

But, how do we make good decisions from a state of fear, stress and anxiety? In many ways, we’re hampered by tunnel vision, unable to see options broader than the scope of escaping the immediate threats that we perceive. We move towards safety rather than seeing the broader opportunities available to us. Continue reading How stress, fear and anxiety rob us of the ability to make good decisions