Monday Mojo – Believe In You

Have you ever heard the phrase “fake it until you make it”? It famously became popular from a TED talk by Amy Cuddy, where she describes how our body language doesn’t just influence how other people receive us, but how we feel about ourselves.  

Cuddy identified that things like adopting a power pose (think Wonder Woman) can help us feel more confident for events like interview preparation. Although some have since challenged the research behind it, there’s still something to be said for Cuddy’s idea of holding your head up high. Body language definitely reveals more than we might realise, especially in arenas where we are trying to make a good impression. 

In a similar way, we are slowly starting to change the way we look at Imposter Syndrome. This is a term that describes how, especially when things are going well, we feel like a fraud; we are constantly waiting to be “found out”, as if we are just not quite good enough. Research around this area is starting to suggest that it’s not necessarily that we’re not good enough at all, but our environment contributing towards how we feel. (Christina Whittaker explains in your video below). This is particularly the case where your views are stifled, or you feel you can’t be who you want to be at work.

Here’s what might help:

This week, set the intention to Believe In You. Sometimes we are in the wrong room, not because we’re not qualified to be there, but because our skills, strengths and talents aren’t being respected or utilised. As Whittaker goes on to explain in the video below, the doubts we sometimes feel (she calls it “The Murky Middle”, or Imposter Syndrome 2.0) is nothing to do with our lack of capability or capacity (eg, a lack of confidence) but that what you’re doing is misaligned with your deeper life purpose, or sense of meaning.

Questions you can ask yourself are:
• When I’m at work, do I feel as if I’m not good enough (eg lack of confidence), or is it that my skills are not being used to their full potential? If it’s confidence, this article may help.
• How much of how I feel is because of my own narrative (eg that I “should” do better), or the environment that I’m in – eg, am I being micro-managed? (If it’s your self-talk, your Top Tip below may help).
• Is what I do every day aligned, with where I want to be?

Overall remember, you’re allowed to speak your truth, change your mind and know where you’re going, especially if you don’t want to stay where you are. It’s ok to reflect on the room you’re in, and if that’s really where you want to be.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed.

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

You might also like: my book Answers In The Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal, out now.

© Delphi Ellis 2022

Monday Mojo – Speak It Out

Have you ever walked in to a room and just known that tension is there? You can’t see the conflict, but you can feel it. I talked about this in my interview with Paula Vail, and why I make the case for having “No Whinge Zones” in the house (essentially choose to have arguments outdoors, because it makes you think twice about how important they are if it’s raining). Energy lingers. We need to protect our space.

One thing I am always careful to explain though is that anger as an emotion is healthy. It has its own intelligence. It is also a ‘secondary emotion’. In other words, there is something behind it. It might be telling us we are scared. That we are grieving. Or even that we feel entitled to something (especially if you use the word “should” a lot).

It’s how we express our emotions that take us towards recovery or relapse. Anger is healthy, whereas aggression – the emotion in motion – is what does the damage. We need to learn to put space between what we think, how we feel and what we do. 

Here’s what might help. 

This week, maybe set the intention to Speak It Out. It’s not always easy to tell people how we feel, but often it does help just to say it as it is. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t soften the blow, so we need to speak in facts (not insinuations), with a view to creating peace. We also (usually) need to make room for the other person to have their say so you may agree together what that will look like, or make the decision to take it to therapy, especially if it is a fear or grief that’s showing its face.

You might also find more creative outlets for how you feel, like drawing a picture – even if it’s just colouring a sheet of A4 completely red – or taking up a hobby like pottery (there may be something very therapeutic about slamming a piece of clay around!) You might write poetry or even a song to describe how you feel. 

It’s important you use your voice in a way that’s helpful and healthy for you. When we swallow our words they can (almost literally) make us feel sick. So rather than push down what we need to say, find a way to let it out. If in doubt, remember to breathe.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed.

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

You might also like: my book Answers In The Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal, out now.

© All Delphi Ellis 2022

Monday Mojo – Breathe and Flow

I’ve been doing a lot of teaching online recently, delivering three hour sessions on Understanding Mental Health. During that time, we bust some myths, explore the language and stigma around this topic, and take a step into exploring what helps (and what doesn’t) when someone is going through a difficult time. One of the things I offer is that sometimes we have to get comfortable with discomfort. Whether it’s our own or listening to others, sometimes the most helpful thing we can do is show up. It’s not easy but here’s what might help:

This week, maybe set the intention to Breathe and Flow. Each of us, at times in our lives, has to navigate difficulty. Pretending we don’t feel anything doesn’t work (at least not long-term) and trying to avoid our feelings can create problems in itself.
They build up.
We blurt.
It rarely ends well.
It sounds counter-intuitive but sometimes sitting with what’s difficult allows us to at least acknowledge that we’re feeling something. We don’t have to always do anything with it, sometimes we can just label it for what it is and breathe then “let it go”, even if that really means setting it aside for another day. (This article (via an external website) may also help).

Also be aware of your self talk when things are tricky, and that thoughts are just thoughts – they don’t mean that’s what you’re thinking. As Tara Brach explains in her video “Three Steps of Letting Go” – “A person of knowledge knows that the world will change the moment you stop speaking to yourself.”

Whether you love it or hate it, our recent bouts of warm weather also reminds us that everything is temporary. Storms blow over. The rain comes. The sun comes out again. It’s at times like this we can take each moment as it comes, and, even when it’s unpleasant, know that it will pass.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

Monday Mojo – Listen. Understand. Connect.

What’s the difference between sympathy and empathy? As it turns out, quite a bit.

In my latest blog, I explore the difference, and ask the question “Is Empathy Being Lost?”.

I explain that social media has become a particularly scary place lately. Hate speech is on the rise and, certainly for women, it’s becoming a more and more troubling space to inhabit.

A lack of empathy doesn’t always show up as hate though. It can be in the subtle ways people – including friends and family – try to “help”, but potentially do more harm than good.  Bereavement is one example for this.

One of the things I talk about in Answers in the Dark, is when something bad has happened, it’s not long before we are told we should be “over it” (which, of course, is absolute rubbish). All grief is valid. Everyone is different. It takes as long as it takes.

And yet, the implication that we’re grieving wrong means our grief goes underground and we stop talking about it.  This is bound to steal our sparkle, and we may even lose empathy ourselves.

Here’s some thoughts. 

This week, maybe set the intention to listen, understand and connect. These are the tips that Jamil Zaki gives in his TED Talk. In the main, he encourages us to get curious about why (for example) we bristle when someone says something we don’t like. Instead of shutting them out, we could try leaning in and see if we can find some common ground.

It’s just as important though, to listen, understand and connect with ourselves. This might be through paying attention to the subtle cues of your body (like when you’re sleepy, hungry or thirsty) or when you’re worrying or beating yourself up. And if you start to notice your patience for others is wearing thin, step back, reset and recharge.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

Monday Mojo – Dare to Lead

Have you ever thought of yourself as a “leader”? 

Many people conflate management with leadership; the way I describe it is like this: leaders care about people, managers care about process; a leader will buy you a coffee, a manager will ask for the receipt. People can be both – and very good at it – but not all are. If you’ve ever had a ‘manager’ who got the job done but just didn’t care if it broke you, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

It’s one reason why myself and others, promote mindful leadership; the main ingredient, alongside being present, is showing compassion – for ourself and others.

In his book, Compassionate Leadership, Michael A. West defines it like this:
1) Paying attention to the other, being present and noticing their suffering – attending
2) Listening to another person and what is causing the other’s distress – understanding
3) Relating to the other person’s distress without being overwhelmed by it – empathising
4) Taking intelligent action to alleviate that person’s suffering – helping
Note the use of the term “intelligent action” – this would include making sure that you don’t give so much of yourself that you burn out in your efforts to help others.

Here’s some food for thought:

This week, set the intention to Dare to Lead. Taken from the book of the same name by Brené Brown this concept provides an opportunity to show the world your caring leadership side – in any moment. This doesn’t have to be a work thing, it could be in any situation where the moment calls for courage and compassion.

If the idea of showing courage makes you stiffen a little, Brené Brown explains in the video below courage is a skill not a personality trait; it can be learned and it’s contagious. We can teach it and measure it BUT at the same time we have to create cultures where being “armoured up” (e.g. defensive) all the time is not rewarded.

Brené Brown explains vulnerability and courage in the context of leadership

Brown also makes the point that vulnerability is not about disclosure – we probably all know someone in a position of power who shares their story in a way that implies no one else could have had it so bad. But vulnerability is more about whether you can manage risk and stay in the hard conversations like being ready to give – and receive – feedback. Take it in, take it on.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

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