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Self Improvement

100 SAVED IDEAS

Heraclitus
"Change is the only constant in life."

@tmaxter

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Self Improvement

Change happens all around us, all of the time. Sometimes quickly, but often slowly, we change.

When something is changing in our lives there as three possibilities as to why:

  1. Things are getting better
  2. Things are going downhill; or
  3. The change is neutral.

We are changing, and we are either becoming more like the people we want to be or less. It is helpful to stop and evaluate and see which direction we are heading.

We know that not all change is good but if we are moving towards the direction to the person we want to become then that means we're doing something right for us.

  1. You can always change. You're the only person who gets to decide who you become.
  2. Change your habits, not your goals.
  3. Take comfort in the idea that we live in a society where we love seeing people changing for the better.
  4. It's never too late to change. As long as you're living, you have the chance to change, and although we can't change the past, we sure can redeem it.
  5. People are remembered for who they were not for their accomplishments.
Using the Imposter syndrome as motivation

The imposter syndrome is the feeling that you are unworthy of your accomplishments at work and that you will be exposed as a fake. People who experience imposter syndrome perceive it as harmful to their success.

But the behaviours that the 'imposters' show to compensate for their self-doubt can make them better at their jobs and motivate them to outperform their non-imposter peers in interpersonal skills.

Over 70% of people are affected by imposter thoughts at some point in their careers.

'Imposters' have perfectionistic tendencies. They often feel overwhelmed and disappointed if they are unable to fulfil their perfectionist goals. A cycle starts where imposters can't accept positive feedback on their work. A gap develops in how individuals perceive their own competence compared to how competent they really are.

In a study, workers experiencing imposter thoughts were rated more interpersonally effective and better collaborators. There's no significant difference in competence between those who have imposter thoughts and those who are not.

Self-doubt leads 'imposters' to put extra effort into their interpersonal connections and may lead to outperforming their non-imposter colleagues.

Imposter syndrome is widely assumed as debilitating, but imposter thoughts can be a source of fuel. It can motivate us to work harder to prove ourselves and work smarter to fill the gaps in our knowledge and skills.

The best way to harness this new potential is to move past the negative emotion and lean further into the imposter feelings. Focusing on the perceived competence gap between you and your peers and putting your energy towards closing it might give you the edge.

Exceptional Creativity

While collaborating with others is essential in a creative process, exceptional creativity needs solitude. Interacting and brainstorming in a group is not as deep creatively as shutting down the world and being completely alone with your own craft. Creative people generally tend to be introverts.

The best creative minds like Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein remain flexible and spend a lot of quality time in solitude, while also valuing the ideas from other sources.

Prolonged solitude results in deeply profound, personal art, as we can lose ourselves in our work, being in flow without any distractions. It has to be voluntary, by choice and does not work in forced confinement.

Even a little bit of solitude, like being in the office an hour early, can result in some quality work before the rest of the colleagues start trickling in.

The enemy of great work is distraction. The more you are disconnected from the smartphone, the more ‘flow’ mode you can experience.

To practice solitude, try to focus on just one thing, without letting the external distractions disturb you, making it a kind of meditation.

Moods Vs Emotions

Emotions (like rage) are a jolt of energy with a short duration and are also called ‘action potentials’. This is because they provide information that energizes you towards a particular action.

Moods are states of mind shaped by our current problems, stress, thought and rumination. Moods that go on longer than a day or two can cause anxiety or depression.

Our environment provides us with triggers like food, caffeine, job stress, a swear word from a driver, rain or music, that can cause us to form a certain mood, or feel a certain emotion inside us.

These triggers are often subtle and can be routinized by our mind. The worst part is that we don’t consider ourselves as a witness to a mood or emotion, but become the mood or emotion itself. This false sense of self leaves no space between the emotion and our own identity.

  • Simply having better thoughts and thinking about something else is not going to help in changing our mood, even if it seems so in the short run.
  • Mindfulness meditation untangles our self from the mood or emotion and creates space in between. This helps us remove the identification we have with the emotion.
  • The space that mindfulness provides can be very valuable if we want to choose to respond to our emotions and not react like before.
  • If you can’t meditate, good sleep can reset your mind and provide clarity of thought, making you respond to the triggers in a better way.
Mental resilience

Resilience is the ability to walk through bad experiences.

It generally means adapting well in the face of chronic or acute adversity.

  • Psychological flexibility gives us the ability to shift perspectives and actions when we’re experiencing discomfort or difficulty without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Psychological flexibility means not avoiding difficult emotions, but accepting them as part of life.
  • Psychological flexibility also means prioritizing what matters to you and concentrating of what is within your control, to reach your goals.

There are three elements you can focus on:

  • Developing a set of coping mechanisms
  • Nurturing the psychological flexibility to accept difficult emotions and knowing how and when to deploy your various coping strategies
  • Being mindful of your values, so that you can continue to live a meaningful life in the face of adversity.

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