I am excited to release my first post in a new series called Finding yourHigh, the flow you find in purposeful and fulfilling work or growth. In this 7-part series, you will get the tools you need to find and activate your High in 2020 successfully. I will release a new post every Wednesday over the next six weeks. Be sure to subscribe to receive weekly to your inbox.

Finding Your High – Series Overview;

Step 1-Negative Thoughts and Beliefs; Remove and replace negative thoughts and identify with your inner personalities, learn to shut down those that don’t serve the vision of your future self

Step 2-360 Review; Audit yourself and receive feedback from your top “favorites” aka the people you communicate with the most

Step 3- Know your Best Audience; Use the definition of who you are and the type of people you like, admire and desire to be close to

Step 4Values; This is YOUR, description of who you choose to be, why and how you define integrity

Step 5- Define your Purpose; Your High, what gives you fuel, why do others depend on you, what do you love to give and what do you get from it

Step 6-Visualize your Future Self; Design your decade by using all of the information you learned from yourself and about yourself. Use it to set your goals and achieve them

Step 7- Time is Our Most Valuable Asset; Optimize your life and make it your best one, so evaluate, prioritize, and optimize it

Step 1

Identifying and Removing Negative Thoughts and Beliefs

Welcome to 2020. Now that we’re a few days into the New Year, everyone has set their sights on new goals and resolutions for the new decade, but to facilitate any growth, you have to understand what stops you from achieving what you’ve set out for and how to make room for growth.

We are all under construction, at all times, HOWEVER…….A key component in understanding negative thoughts is identifying if you have a growth or a fixed mindset. Author of Mindset: The New Psychology for Success, and Stanford University Professor, Carol Dweck speaks about the differences between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. In her research, Dweck focuses on young children playing with puzzles. Starting with the easiest puzzle and graduating to those more challenging, some of the children that completed the puzzles and gladly asked for a more challenging one, other children when presented with a more challenging puzzle quickly became frustrated and gave up before they reached a solution. Indicative of her research, it was easy to identify even at a young age which people had a growth or fixed mindset. Dweck’s research and book go on to discuss how those with a growth mindset are more capable of adaptability, learning, and success than those who have a fixed mindset (her Ted Talk is a must!).People with a growth mindset are consistently learning; they are lifelong students and are not deterred by failure, only perplexed and determined by it. We must understand all aspects of our mindset before we expect to grow.

Happy Highs and Un-Happy Lows

I am not a therapist, but I know that everybody goes through the peaks and valleys of life, creativity, and happy highs and lows. To find more consistency, we need to figure out what blocks you. It could be something that you’ve told yourself since you were a little kid, or an experience or an emotion, that scarred you. When I was 10, I wrote my dad a letter from summer camp. He returned the letter with corrections. From that day forward, I told myself that I was a terrible writer. By no means did my father do this out of malice. Instead, he was trying to teach his young daughter a grammar lesson. But, my 10-year-old self told me I was a lousy writer, and at that age, perception is everything. Limiting beliefs are the negative thoughts that you tell yourself. The notion that you aren’t good enough, not smart, and won’t make your dreams a reality. Everybody has them. The difference is how people deal with them. You can either decide to listen or choose to shut them down. What do you do? Make a list of your top 3 LIMITING beliefs. Then next to those three limiting beliefs, write down where they came from.As a way of example, here are mine.

Gayle’s Top 3 Limiting Beliefs and Where They Come From:

1. I am not smart enough

  • This comes from having learning disabilities and being in special education classes. I lost my confidence and knew I was very different from all of my friends. Does that make me stupid, NO.. but it has stayed with me for many years

2. People don’t want to listen to what I have to say

  • I am the youngest of 4 kids. We are very close in age, and my family dynamic is powerful, opinionated, and loud, so getting a word in edgewise, is almost impossible in a larger group, so I always felt that my voice didn’t matter. Is that true, NO…but that was my opinion, and it has stayed with me for a long time

3. My lack of confidence in being a great mother

  • I question myself and my abilities as a mom, and I feel this comes from being the youngest in my family and never seeing how children raised before raising my children. Am I a bad mother, NO….., but I question myself, and I look to family/research/therapists to validate my approach and work hard to be the best mother to my children

Write down your top 3 LIFTING beliefs and why they lift you and how they make you feel. They can be feelings of accomplishment, things you know to be true about yourself, or even anecdotes of success. Make a note of anything that has positively added to your life.

Gayle’s Top 3 Lifting Beliefs and Why:

1. I can achieve any goal

  • I can crush any realistic goal in front of me. Knowing this, makes me feel that with hard work, being creative, keeping a positive mindset, and tenacity, I can make it happen for myself

2. I can control my mindset

  • I am no Yoda, but now I have the skills to control my mind and focus on what serves me best and remove negative talk. These skills are my superpower and protect me from myself and others

3. I LOVE growth

  • I have a purpose, I love change, and I can see things in others that they can’t see for themselves. I can solve real issues, I know how to bring value and I have love to give

Great work. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding. NOW on to the next step.

Defeating your Inner Critic

I am a mostly positive person, most of the time. Although sometimes, when I’m struggling to produce at work or things aren’t going my way, my negative self-talk kicks in. Let me tell you she is a real bitch. When Negative Nancy (that’s what I’ve named her) comes lurking, that’s right about when my confidence takes a nosedive, and I am completely blocked. I envision her taking my babies away from me, and my momma bear kicks in, and I can put Negative Nancy on her a$$. Confidence is one of the biggest problems we face when we take risks, or when we set out to reach our goals. Many people are easily deterred because their negative self-talk is so strong, it creates a paralyzing block.

Negative Self-Talk = Confidence Enemy #1

1. The other side of you taking away everything that you hold dear

  • Get mad at that negative side of you and let the positive prevail

2. Say those negative thoughts out loud

  • You’d be surprised how ridiculous they sound when they’re outside of your own conscious

3. Teach yourself to notice when the critic kicks in.

  • Thoughts and feelings are often not a reality

4. Shift your perspective

  • Short term to long term. Whatever you’re stressing about right now, does it affect your long run?

Let’s Go! Take back your confidence. For me debating Negative Nancy is the best way to challenge my negativity with a healthy outlook.As soon as I make it a “win or lose” situation, I am all-in to take that B$&!@ out, coming out victorious with my confidence in hand. Try it for yourself. Find the method that works best for you, use your lifting beliefs to overcome your limiting ones. Stay motivated, believe in what lifts you, and kick your Negative Nancy to the curb.

Keep an eye out for the 2nd installment of the Finding Your High series or better yet subscribe to get it straight to your inbox!

After you complete the steps, please share your results with us for support and feedback. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Thank you!