Who Do You Think You Are??

Monday I posted a poem that was born from a week of doubting myself countless times. I returned from a week of rest and relaxation to a week where I questioned my abilities, sanctioned creative ideas, and quarantined my enthusiasm, shoving those ideas and that energy into a file and stamping it “Why would anyone listen to you?” or “Who do you think you are to do that?”

Yuck. Yuck. Yucky-yucksville.

And then I came across the newest Brene Brown TED talk about shame. Brene describes shame as a gremlin following you around as you try to carve your way through life, telling you ‘you are not good/smart/pretty/strong…enough to do this’. Had someone asked me about shame before hearing this I might not have answered “Yes”, but this week I shamed myself. As I got excited about possibilities and began working toward goals, I could feel myself getting tired, anxious, and distracted. I could hear all sorts of “not….enough” talk.

Brene Brown says in her talk that empathy is the antidote to shame. When I heard it the first time I heard it in relation to understanding shame and using to “finding our way back to each other” but the more I reflected on her empathy antidote statement, I thought about its importance in our relationship with ourselves. I think it is so much harder to have empathy with ourselves, especially as we are housing and feeding a gremlin like shame. We would never shame a friend right? So why do we do this to ourselves? We are our own worst critic. We keep ourselves small. A friend recently asked me “What do you do when it all begins to unravel? How do you deal with it?” After hearing Brene’s talk, I think I will try to add empathy to my cocktail of breathing and stepping away (perferrably outdoors). I will try to respond to myself as I would a friend – with love and empathy.

Here is Brene’s talk. And if you missed her talk on Vulernability (to which she refers in this talk, do check it out as well.

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So Full Teaching: Shawn Achor

This is a 12 minutes well spent. Shawn is a great orator – charming, eloquent, and funny – but his message that happiness is the secret to better work is a worthy one. “Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stress.”

So Full Teaching: In the last minutes, Shawn Achor lists 5 actions that can help train the brain to being more positive and turn on the happiness. Daily activities like gratitude, journaling, exercise, meditation, and random kindness can allow one to focus on the happiness in their lives, which begets more happiness. This was a good reminder for me. I used to do most of these things and have let them all slide. I can think of specific times in my life where I have felt like the pits and have thrown on my shoes and gone for a long 40min or more walk, and returned to the issue(s) at hand and felt more able to handle them. I think it is so easy for me to fuel myself with coffee, go to bed late so I can work late, skip exercise for a multitude of reasons, stop journaling because I go to bed so late, skip quiet meditation time all in the name of being “busy”. But listening to this talk gave me a gentle reminder that I need to incorporate these things back into my routine for my own health and happiness. I might have to schedule it in for now but hopefully by the end of this year, taking care of my health and happiness will be second nature.

What about you? Do you incorporate these things in your life? Share with me.