psychology

Will you be Brave?

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I'm curious... Have you ever gone to someone for advice or feedback and felt they were just telling you what you wanted to hear? Or feel like they weren't even really listening to you at all and just agreeing for the sake of it?

Even our closest, most-trusted "go-to" people can give us sugar-coated feedback. But hey, they don't want to hurt our feelings! So cut them some slack, right?

In graduate school, I had a professor/mentor give me the most honest (and boderline confrontational) advice I had ever heard. I was complaining about someone and she basically said, "have you thought about how your actions impact the situation."

I was stunned and offended at first. I thought 'you're supposed to be on my side!' The immature child in me wanted to run for the hills and never return because of shame and embarrasment. This was my professor after all!

But what I did was sit there and actually think about what she said. She clearly saw something that I could not see. She said to me what no one else had yet cared enough to say. And the encounter changed my life and the way I relate to others.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because I want to give you the same gift. I want to have those tough conversations with you. I want to push you to be better. And sometimes it will hurt.

So this week I want to challenge you to be brave. When you come in to see me next, talk about the issue you've been neglecting to mention...the thing that's really nagging you. Ask for the feedback you know you need to make real change in your life. Be courageous enough to receive the feedback.

Or, if you've never come in before, take that leap to face the feedback you know you need to hear! Be brave!

{WATCH the video for my promise to you!}

Were YOU Brave? Share your comments and experience in the section below the video (on YouTube) or in the comments section on the Blog.

Are you just FAKING it?

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I often talk about connection as a central purpose in our lives. It’s the source of a lot of our happiness, self-worth, and shared human experience. However, what we do and how we try to connect can say a lot about our true intentions and motivations.

So what do I mean by that?

Think about a conversation you’ve had recently – we use storytelling as a way to connect, relate, and empathize with each other. Right?

Think about the kind of stories people tell you:

  • Do they use over sharing? Like telling you intimate details too soon for your relationship with them? Chances are this is a pseudo connection, and can actually push people away from you.
  • Are they comparing themselves to you or one-upping you? Sounds like they are motivated to build their own self-importance – which does not lead to a real connection!

True vulnerability uses healthy boundaries. It allows for the time to build trust and is held accountable by both parties involved. Who do you connect with like this?

{WATCH the video to find out if YOU fake it!}

Now, think about how you connect with others:

  • What kind of stories do you tell? Why do you tell them?
  • When you’re trying to really connect with someone, what do you do differently?

So, I challenge you to really consider your motivations and intentions behind what you share and how you try to connect.  Be more mindful of this in your next conversation. Find out what you do differently when you really want a genuine connection, and how it affects the connection you make.

Did you try it? Share your comments and experience in the section below the video (on YouTube) or in the comments section on the Blog.

3 Steps to Crush Control

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Control. It has such a harsh and negative ring to it, right? Yet it’s something we want in so many aspects of lives. We want control with our partners, in our careers, and over our dog. However, the things we do to gain control are not so good… yell, make demands, not listen to others.

So why do we do it then? FEAR.

Our need to control people and situations is based on our primitive fears that we will not have our basic needs met – including money, love, and acceptance.

How do you make this different? 

If control didn’t serve us well in some ways, we wouldn’t use it so often. Consider some of the ways in which control is useful – planning, making a schedule, and exercising discipline.

But when it doesn’t serve us well, we need to let go control without anxiety or worry.

How do you do let go? [watch the video]

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Use these 3 Steps to Crush Control in your life when it’s NOT needed:

  • Recite your intentions
  • Reality check yourself
  • Stay present

Don’t take my word for it! Check out the video for waaaay more tips and examples to let go of the things in your life that are holding you back from the life you want to live.

Let’s create a conversation in the comments section of this blog to share even more tips and success stories!

Your Key to Happiness

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Ever look aimlessly for your keys and they're nowhere to be found?! Yeah, this is kind of like that. Frustrating, but so rewarding when you find them!

Ever look aimlessly for your keys and they're nowhere to be found?! Yeah, this is kind of like that. Frustrating, but so rewarding when you find them!

Everyone’s always looking for the key to happiness. Trying to find it in their career, their relationships, and other external things. But happiness has to come from within. 
This is good news for some and bad news for others: the good news is that if happiness comes from within, that means we’re all capable of having it. We’re all capable of being happy. The “bad” news that it comes from within, meaning that you’re going to have to look in the mirror and dig through the trenches to find it. 
Sometimes it’s hidden beneath the very things we’ve been trying to avoid and ignore in our lives. Sometimes it’s smack dab in the middle of us and our relationships with others. But no matter where happiness is hiding, we need to do the following things to find it…..  [watche the video]
Wach: http://youtu.be/JHfWMvZ1ONU
  1. Draw a map. Where was your happiness the last time you saw it? Where has it been in the past? At different stages of your life?
  2. Make a to do list based on the activities you were doing when you’ve been happier in the past. 
  3. Be aware! How are you acting during the day? What’s your mood like? How are you interacting with others? All of these things impact our happiness, and you will need to be aware of what you’re doing now if you’re going to change it.
  4. Give a damn! If you want to be happier, then you’re going to have to make an effort, engage, and care about YOU!
When has this worked for you? When have you been happier in your life? What's something you already know helps you feel happier? I CHALLENGE you to write one thing in the comments section that you will change TODAY to make room for more happiness!

I want to hear from YOU! Send me your questions, suggestions, and comments on what you want to see and hear from me on videos, blogs, and newsletters! I want to give you exactly what you need to be your best self!

Who's On Your List?

I usually like to keep these emails fun, upbeat, and positive. But sometimes you just have to keep it real, and today is one of those days.

On a very real note, I would like to recognize the life and recent passing of comedian and actor Robin Williams. It's important to recognize that Robin Williams had been reportedly suffering from major despression and bipolar disorder.

We hear about these disorders in the media and from friends and family. Who hasn't made a joke about someone you know being "bipolar"? But these disorders are very real, have major impact, and can afflict anyone. So please take it more seriously.

Have you, or someone you know, struggled with depression or bipolar disorder?

 My guess is that you have.

What did you do? What helped you break through your deepe

st bouts of depression? What helped you turn it around to be in a happier place?

What or who was your motivation?

 What was your vision for yourself? When did you decide that this current state wasn't going to be good enough?

Sometimes in life we feel that we're very alone. That no one else is truly there for us. But every one of us needs supports. 

We need people on 

our sides, on our team, in our black book that we can call when life is overwhelming.

Write those people's names down. Make a list o

f the people who are your best supports. Remind yourself of who really is there for you.

Give them a call today.

 Let them know they're on you list of best supporters. People like knowing that they can be helpful for others.

Who's list do you think you're on? Give that peroson a call today, just to let them know you're there.

Life is hard enough. The best thing we can give to each other is our presence, our love, and our support. So please give this to someone today. 

Expanding Happiness

Join myself and our followers in a 

21-day at home mediation series

. Exapnding Happiness is a free series that promises to increase your happiness, share your true self, and foster greater connection with others. Join so you can share in the discussion to come.

Vlog: Self Care is Essential!

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[video type="youtube" id="0njUhhG0_PY" width="624" height="351"] Happy Monday! Are you coming off of one of those weekends?! You know- the kind where you can't believe that you got no rest and feel even more tired than on Friday?

The likely culprit...No self care!

Think about it- what did you do for yourself over the weekend? This is not sustainable to not make time for yourself! You deserve to cared for too! Whether it's a bath, reading a book, or making time for exercise, it all goes into your emotional bank account.

Learn more about the emotional bank account and my self care catalogue in the video! Share your comments and self care success stories below!

You have 2 Options!

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When we are plagued by indecision, overwhelm, or a bad attitude we have 2 options:

Change your Mind or Change the Environment.

The former is the more difficult of the two - but definitely feasible! The latter can also feel like a struggle, but is a real game-changer! Which will you choose?

Change your Mind: Situations, behaviors, and interactions are most often benign. But we are conditioned to attached a thought and then an emotion to the event. See diagram. The resulting thoughts and emotions impact your future behaviors and reactions.

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You have the power to change this! Once your become more aware of your cognitive and emotional reactions to a situation, you can choose to attach a different meaning to it - a meaning that better serves you!

Change your Environment: It takes a lot of awareness, practice, and emotional control to exercise a cognitive change, like I just described above. Sometimes in the moment it's best just to move! Ever heard of fight or flight? Well, your situation may not be that serious, but you could still benefit from "fleeing" the situation and changing your environment. Pissed at your boss? Go outside for a walk. Take your lunch break outside of the office. Or go visit a colleague's cubicle.

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Take advantage of this great New England weather and increase your Vitamin D with a little sunshine! This can improve anyone's mood!

Bottom line: you have two options! Pick on that serves you and run with it! Tell us below which option works best for you? When have you tried using this before? Share comments to spread the love!

- Brittany

You're not Perfect! [neither am i]

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Bloggers! I have missed you.... but not forgotten about you!

Last week was the busiest week at my practice (saw so many clients!), had the first session of the Build Your Best Self seminar, and attended a 3-day intensive training for Core Energetics (part of my 2-year program). I'M TIRED!!!

Yes, I've been slacking on my blogging. My goal is to connect with you at least 3 times per week on here, but that just didn't happen last week. And it might not happen this week. And that's okay :)

That's okay ????!! [Did I really just say that?] Yes!!!!!!!! A few years ago I would have NEVER actively admitted to not achieving something I set out to do. Never mind calling attention to it on a blog post! Have I lost my mind?? [don't answer that :)]

No I haven't! I want to make it okay for everyone to admit to the same! I'm not perfect, and I'm never going to be. I have this idealized image of myself that I'm never going to reach. And I'm fine with that. Because that idealized self doesn't schedule much time for fun, works too much, and doesn't account for real-life mishaps.

If we feed into the idealized self, we create unrealistic working environments and goals that often lead to disappointment and discouragement to keep trying. Ever worked in a place where salaried employees were working 50-60 hours weekly instead of the intended 40 hours? That happens when one person tries to met an unreasonable demand, and eventually it becomes the norm. Now you have a culture that's built on overworking and undervalued free time. Not good for the employees or the company itself.

The US has a disproportionate amount of burn out, workplace accidents, and suicides. I think this idealized self could be the culprit. We need to make it okay for each other not to work towards unrealistic goals and levels of achievement that hinder real life experiences.

Only once we are honest with ourselves can we begin to look at affecting realistic, positive changes to better our lives. I'll go first:

I'm not perfect. I won't be able to achieve all the goals I set for myself. Most days I don't finish my to-do list. I'm human, and I keep trying.

Now it's your turn! Get real with yourself and others. Stop aiming towards your idealized self and reach for something tangible, realistic, and authentic. Get real in the comments below! Tell us about your idealized self and what's gotta go! 

Moving towards my best self,

Brittany

Find Your Passion!

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Do you have a friend who is always excited to tell you about their new workout program? How about a relative that’s posting pictures of their nutritious meals? A colleague who is so stoked about their recent promotion? Yeah, you know these people. They’re usually the ones we love to hate. But have you ever asked yourself, “Why are you hating on this guy?” These people are generally positive, optimistic, and fun loving. So what do you have against them?

Their Passion!

These people have a passion for something- whether it’s the gym, a sunny day, or making a positive change in their life.

So when you’re down in the dumps, it’s easy to hate on these people for their optimism. But really, we’re jealous! The real you says “I want that enthusiasm, energy, and spirit! I want to be that passionate about something!”

So how do you find passion?

  1. The first key to finding your passion is understanding passion. Passion is defined as a strong and compelling emotion, feeling, or desire. Passion can come in the form of positive and negative, such as love and hate. If you’ve ever been really opposed to a new policy or legislation, you can relate to a negative form of passion. It’s important to understand that both forms of passion can be fulfilling.
  1. What turns you on? The second key to finding your passion is paying attention to what turns you on. What gets you excited? What activity leaves you with more energy? What would you do if money were no object? List your answers to these questions in simple, one-word columns. What patterns do you see in the responses? Try to create categories from there to narrow it down.
  1. Discipline is the third key to your passion. What are you willing to wake up at 6am for? What do you make sure you do daily or weekly no matter how busy you are? What is something you feel you can’t live without doing in your life? Again, list your one-word answers and look for patterns and categories. Are any similar to your answers to #2?
  1. What do you want to change? What do you wish was different about the world? What do you want to change in your life? Less stressful job? Travel more? Connect better to friends and family? When we notice we want to change something in our own lives, we often find that’s true for others as well. Suddenly, your desire for change is authenticated and supported by many others in your circle. When we see a need that could potentially benefit hundreds of lives, we can find the energy to bring it to fruition. Use the answers from this section to compare to #2 and #3.

Now what?

What common threads did you find in your answers? Start looking there for a theme or category that you really connect with. Then try it out! The truth is you never really know what your passionate about until you give it a chance. Maybe your were certain you would love working in healthcare, but you tried it out and it was much different than you thought it would be. Then try again! You can always return to your list for more inspiration.

Grow your list as well! This isn’t something that will remain stagnant, and will change as you grow and explore yourself and your surroundings.

Let go of feeling like you have to have all the answers about your greatest passions and pursuing your life’s dreams. The benefits of passions and dreams are in the journey, not necessarily the destination.

Already found a passion? Share it below! You never know who you'll inspire!!

How your FEAR won't let you Win!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMGFb0HJBbU

We all use information from past experiences, our emotions, and needs to make decisions and take action. Our decisions are usually made based on fear or love. But we don't like to call it fear (because that would be embarrassing!). Instead, we feel self-doubt, frustration, anger, jealousy.

But wouldn't it be nice to act from a place of love? Real, sustainable change can only happen when we change our motivation to act from fear to love.

How has fear stopped you from taking action towards your goals? When did you regret doing something out of fear?

If you've already made this change, how are you acting out of love now? Share your story below to inspire others!

Find out what's missing TODAY!

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Included in the Build Your Best Self seminar is my Status and Strategy Assessment ($199 value). Get a peek of what the 4-page assessment looks like. This is a great tool to find out EXACTLY:

• What’s missing in your life

• What’s stealing your drive and motivation

• What’s causing lack of clarity and keeping you from moving forward

• What clouds your vision and prevents you from formulating an action plan

• What you can start doing TODAY to achieve greater success

Get it FREE when you sign up for the seminar!

The Build Your Best Self seminar begins May 1st! Contact me to reserve your spot!

Vlog: Why you'll never find clarity

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmQK3sYxWlA

How many self-help books have you read, experts you'd consulted, and methods have you tried to find clarity?! Still not "clear"? That's what I thought. Find out what no one tells you about gaining clarity, but is the one thing that works!

Super Saturday

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This Saturday did not turn out like I wanted it to- and I mean that in a good way!

Ever have those days when you prepare the night beforehand to wake up early, be super productive, eat cleanly, and put some check marks on that to-do list?

Yup, that was my Friday night. Everything was going to go smoothly on Saturday.

Yeah right! Fast forward to this morning- Slept in, casually made breakfast, went shopping, cooked a big lunch.

At 4pm I looked at my to-do list, disappointed that I had failed at my "productive day".

This was my window of opportunity- either see today as a failure or enjoy all the down time I had in the morning and make the most of the evening ahead.

Right away I grabbed my yoga mat and headed out the door. At the front of the yoga class sat Ganesha- remover of obstacles (see pic above). I had been to this class several times, and never really noticed it before. But today, I kept Ganesha in my mind and intentions throughout the class.

I thought about this: so often we are our own worst enemies- our own obstacles to happiness and success. We're overwhelmed by to-do lists, distracted by all of our demands, and find ourselves spinning in a world we don't recognize. This definitely does not lead to feelings of success and happiness at the end of the day.

When we slow down and ask ourselves what we really want or need, the next step often presents itself. For me, it was yoga. Allowing myself to forsake my to-do list and indulge in some self care brought me greater happiness immediately!

And from there, my indulgences just flowed...and eventually led to baking cookies!

At the end of the day, my to-do list has no check marks, I didn't eat kale, and I wasn't too productive. So what?! Sometimes you need to feed the soul and re-evaluate what a successful and productive day really means. Choosing happiness and rejecting negativity can make all the difference- no matter what you did today!

What window of opportunity did you have to choose the outcome of your day? What would you do differently next time? Share below!

RI Fit Magazine

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Check out my article on Change Vs. Progress in RI Fit Magazine page 54!

Heard of RI Fit Magazine? They are RI's hottest and healthiest new resource for fitness, wellness, and overall health. Check out their April issue online or in print for FREE at hundreds of locations in and around Rhode Island. The best part is that they feature local Rhode Islander's that are fit and motivating! You'll probably see someone featured that you already know! #smallstate #RIproud

Turn Your Wishes into Reality

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Do you ever feel…

  • Not good enough?
  • Unfulfilled by what you do have?
  • Not happy when you think you should be?
  • You’re living without intention?
  • Overwhelmed, spinning, and can’t get ahead?

Sound familiar? Want it to be different?

Real change is possible when we can identify who we really are, what we want, and eliminate obstacles in our way! This 4-week seminar will supply the tools to make real change possible in your life.

Being limited to 10 people will allow for more time to work on you and get what you need out of it.

By the end of this series, you will…

  • Develop your Life Aim
  • Nail down specific and focused goals
  • Identify what’s serving you; and get rid of what’s not!
  • Build the self care you need to succeed
  • Have a greater sense of clarity in your life
  • Ask for what you really want, and have a plan to get it!

Not sure if this is what you need? Ask questions in the comment section below, or call (401.441.1626) or email (brittany.drozd@gmail.com) to contact me directly!

What did you do today to bring you closer to your dreams?

- Brittany

Are You a Hater?

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Ever find yourself making this face? Yeah, not so pretty is it?! It's like you have to put actual, conscious effort into making this face. That means sending disdain and negativity into your body in order to make this expression!  What? Why?! Sounds terrible, right?

So why do we sometimes create negativity from within ourselves and send it outwards into the world via this nasty face?

- You don't like someone.

- Something is not working out in your favor.

- You see someone as the competition.

On the surface you may say, "yeah, I can see myself hating on someone for those reasons." In that case, I challenge you to take a deeper look at why you are hating...

- Are you jealous? Probably! Find out why.

- Are you reflecting on your own weaknesses when you see someone else excelling?

- Do you secretly feel everything should work out for you? Why? What makes you so special?

Don't hate, appreciate. 

How can you turn that awful face and self-created hate into positive appreciation for the person or thing?

- See the person as a blessing that's pushing you to be better (the competition trigger).

- Understand your jealousy towards someone, and instead, use that energy to work on improving yourself versus beating others down (the "don't like" trigger).

- See how this situation can be a learning experience and benefit you down the road (the "not in my favor" trigger).

Ever caught yourself making this face or creating the hate? Tell us about it! What did you do to correct it ? Share your comments below!

Be your best self today,

Brittany

Check out this blog!

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Check out this hilarious, straight forward, and real-life blog! I don't often recommend other blogs. But when I do, trust me, they're good!

More specifically, check out his article "16 ways I blew my marriage". We can ALL benefit from acknowledging the behaviors he calls attention to, and recommended "do over" approaches.

http://www.danoah.com/2012/10/16-ways-i-blew-my-marriage.html

What do you think? Share your comments below!

Want your life Photoshopped?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRlpIkH3b5I

So often we run around wishing things were different about our lives, and our selves. What if you could change that?

In this video, 4 women received professional makeup, styling, and photography to make them look like "Cover Girls." Every woman's dream, right? Well, their reactions may surprise you.

Not only did these women feel that they didn't recognize themselves, they had overall negative reactions to being so drastically photoshopped. They even said, "I don't even know that person."

How do you project this is your own life? Do you wish you looked like someone else? Had someone else's career? Someone's life? That would fix everything! Right?!

Wrong. Don't ask to look like someone else. Or be someone else. Be yourself. Be your best self.

-- Brittany

Change Vs. Progress

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“Only two things in life are certain – death and taxes.” Heard this before? Definitely rings true during tax season! But I’d like to propose that something else is certain as well: Change.

While it often seems that we’re stuck in a rut, we know that change will come. Why? Because it has every time before! We used to be little, then we grew. We used to have flip phones, now we have iPhones.  We used to have no clue about our health, now we’re educated on how to be healthy.

We know change is coming; yet we still talk about making changes as if it’s some elusive challenge. Change is certain. Progress is not.

So what’s progress? Progress in your fitness? Nutrition? Overall health? If change is anything different from the status quo, then progress is a change that is more specific, goal-oriented, and measurable. 

Progress is a measure of relativity. You’re moving towards change in a specific direction. Movement on that trajectory is identified as progress. If you altered your habits to lose weight, but it resulted in weight gain, this is change but not progress. If you started a healthy diet to lose weight, and we’re gradually losing the weight, this is progress.

You need a goal in order to measure progress from change. PS- “I want to be healthy” is not a goal, it’s a statement. Make sure your goal has specifics, a timeline, and is measurable.

Specifics: Try “I will eat 3 servings of vegetables daily” versus “I will eat healthy”. By articulating the specific thing you will do, you will be more likely to actually do it!

Timeline: Create timeframes, start dates, and deadlines for yourself. Otherwise, your “Someday” will likely never come. Here’s a sample of a timeline - “I will eat 3 servings of vegetables daily for 6 consecutive weeks, beginning March 9th.”

Measurement: How do you know you’re not at your goal already? How do you know if you’re making progress towards your goal? Most importantly, how will you know when you’ve reached your goal? Measurement. This is key to the whole process of making progress and achieving your best self.

Ask yourself these questions to assess your goal for measurability:

-       Can you count it?

-       Can you create a percentage from your results to determine your progress? (i.e. I ate 3 servings of veggies 3 out of 5 days thus far= 60% progress towards goal).

-       Can you make adjustments to your goal based on your findings from your percentage and experience? (i.e. maybe only 2 servings of veggies daily is more reasonable for you. Maybe 5 days weekly versus 7 is better for you).

*This is not to say that you should lower your standards, but continuing to progress on an adjusted goal is more beneficial than failing miserably on a strict, unattainable goal.

Ok, Let’s go over what we know:

-       We know that change will come. The question is how, when, and in which direction?

-       We know that progress is necessary for improvement, not just change.

-       We need a goal in order to distinguish progress from change.

-       Our goal needs to be specific, have a timeline, and be measurable in order to evaluate progress.

If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail. So make a plan, make progress and achieve your goals. This success will build your momentum for future goals and future successes. Progress, not change, is necessary to become your best self.

Caretaker Syndrome

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Ever feel that some of your relationships resemble the picture above? You- taking care of a person who is supposed to be your spouse, partner, equal, peer?

Do you have days when talking with this person is more of a chore than an asset to your day?

Ever feel so exhausted by all the giving, listening, and care-taking you do for others that you don't have time to take care of yourself?

Want this to be different? Want to be taken care of too?

You first have to ask yourself 'How is this relationship serving you?'

There's a good chance that you're getting something out of serving others. Maybe it's a way to be close to the people we're taking care of, giving your life more purpose, or giving you something to complain about with others (this can be valid too!).

No, I'm not talking about taking care of Great Aunt Margaret. I'm talking about the relationships in your life that seem like you're the one doing all the giving, and when the tables are turned, this person is not there to listen, support, and validate your needs as well.

Get what you want out of the relationship by making the following changes:

Take inventory- notice the times when you feel drained after being with this person. What was talked about? What happened? How do you feel after leaving that situation?

Ask for what you want- These people aren't mind readers! Tell them what you need and see what happens. PS- this will be a pivotal point in the relationship!

Learn from a taker- Make sure you're not draining others with your emotional needs. Ask yourself 'Is the conversation balanced? Am I listening? When do I give back to them?'

Ever been in a relationship or friendship like this? Share your story below! How did it change? Or did it have to end?