5 Ways To Gain More Control In Your Life

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“Destiny is as destiny does. If you believe you have no control, then you have no control”.

Wess Roberts

We have all experienced that horrible feeling of being out of control. We can feel overwhelmed, defeated, useless and when a problem (or problems) seems so big, we just don’t know where to start. When this happens we can start to hear all the self-defeating language that we often engage in and constant worry seems to plague us night and day.

But, the more we feel that we can shape and influence what is happening around us, the more likely we feel that we can make a difference and achieve what is necessary.

Studies tell us that the less people feel they are in control, the more stress they will feel.

We have to ask ourselves the question…. Do we believe we have sufficient control over the factors that influence our behaviour and our performance for us to believe we are capable of achieving what we set out to achieve?

Do you believe your success is up to you and your attitude toward the task? Or do you believe someone or something else has that control? Do you believe that you have control over your emotions, or do you feel that your emotions are driven by another person or the situation you find yourself in?

So what steps can you take toward getting back in control and move from being a “worrier to a warrier”?

1)Recognise what is within your control and what isn’t.

There’s an old Chinese proverb that says: “If you have a problem and you can control it, then you don’t have a problem. If you have a problem and you can’t control it, then you also don’t have a problem.”

Think about undertaking a simple exercise. Draw two circles, one within the other. In the outer circle, write down all the things which you have no control over, or you cannot change about the issue. Now in the inner circle, write down all the things that are within your control, or you do have the control to influence. Now consider…. Where are you spending most of your time when worrying and thinking….. in the inner circle or the outer circle? Which would be more productive?

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2) Take one step forward

Now that you have recognised the things you can control that are within your inner circle, choose one issue to work on. Break this issue into parts and start problem solving and listing all the various options you have for resolution to this issue.

Go Wild – think of all the options that are within your arsenal to manage this issue. Now consider the best options out of your brainstorming and write a goal for yourself. What is it that you want to achieve?

Remember, a goal is just a dream until you write it down.

3) Manage Your Procrastination

There are some very common reasons why many of us procrastinate including:

Poor time management – we are unable to prioritise or we feel uncertain of the priorities. 

Difficulty concentrating - too many distractions, or we are bored. 

Fear & anxiety – We may have a fear of failure, and/or success. 

Personal problems - financial problems, family issues, etc.

Perfectionism  -  unrealistic expectations of ourselves. 

Dislike the task – make out the task is not really that important.

Negative beliefs – we lack confidence in our abilities; feel overwhelmed by the task/tasks, or have difficulty dealing with setbacks. 

Ask yourself if you recognise the reason for your procrastination and how could you take proactive steps to manage the reason rather than the procrastination itself.

4) Frankie says “Relax”

Often when we feel overwhelmed, the thoughts we have can trigger our fight/flight response and we can trigger a number of physiological symptoms of anxiety. So try one or both of these exercises.

4 Square breathing – breathe in for a count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 4, breathe out to a count of 4 and then hold for 4. Repeat 4 times.

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Or try this relaxation exercise. Sit comfortably with a straight back. Tell yourself that you are going to give yourself an opportunity to relax. Slow your breathing and allow a few moments to let muscles relax.  With your arms down by your side, make a tight fist with your right hand. You should feel your arm muscles tighten. Hold it for 10 seconds.  Release the fist and feel the tension drain away (wait for 15 seconds).  Repeat this with your left hand, making a fist and holding it for 10 seconds. Release the fist and feel the tension drain away (wait for 15 seconds).  

5) Visualisin’

I always get this song (Peanut Butter Jelly) stuck in my head whenever I think about visualisation – gets me groovin’ every time too. And when I run training sessions, I ask people to get up and have a groove – take a look and listen to the song if you need a pick me up and I dare you not to groove along. See if this song can cement in your head as a way to remember the importance of visualisation.

Basically if you visualise yourself doing a task and achieving the outcome you want to achieve, you also can start visualising the steps that go in to the achievement of this task. So “seeing is believing”.

 

Want to know more about getting in control and developing your Mental Toughness? If so, contact me at michelle@bakjacconsulting.com for more information.

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.

 

 

 

5 Attributes Which Can Affect Your Outcomes

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We are often faced with challenging situations on a daily basis. When we are confronted with a new situation, we tend to make a very quick automatic decision as to whether we feel we have the attributes to take a situation in our stride or whether we feel we will be challenged by the situation and get worried about how we will cope.

So when you are faced with a challenge, or a new task or even a difficult relationship, there are usually 5 attributes that we have which will impact either positively or negatively on our performance.

So ask yourself, which of these attributes you possess and what questions do you ask yourself when faced with a challenging situation?

1)   Your abilities

What can I bring to this task? What are the skills, resources or existing knowledge that I already have and what are the strengths, values or relationships I could tap into even if I don’t have the current ability?

2)   Your approach

How am I approaching this task? What are my motivation levels? What is my interest? What do I hope to achieve? Am I clear on what I want to achieve?

3)   Your reward

What could I gain if I was to become involved in this project (issue, relationship etc). What potentially could I achieve, or change in my workplace, life or in this relationship? What could I gain?

4)   Your Colleagues

How do you interact with your colleagues or with friends/associates/family? How do you enhance your relationships? Do you focus on a win/win approach?

5)   Your state of mind

Are you in a state of mind to rise to the challenge. Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset when it comes to the issue? Are your thoughts focused on a self-fulfilling prophecy with a negative or positive bias?

Interestingly, our state of mind accounts for at least 50% of the variation in an individual’s performance, but we only spend 5% of time optimising our performance through mental training.

It is recognised that we can enhance our mental toughness and the ability to handle many situations. An individual who has mental toughness is somebody who doesn’t choke, doesn’t go into shock and can stand up for what he/she believes in. Mental toughness allows us to handle pressure, distractions and people trying to break our concentration. It involves focus, discipline, self-confidence, patience, persistence, accepting responsibility without whining or excuses, visualising, tolerating pain and having a positive approach.

Mental toughness incorporates intervention such as a focus on visualising outcomes, managing stress, anxiety control, goalsetting, positive thinking and building confidence to manage change and challenges through coaching and targeted interventions.

Want to know more about managing your stress and developing your Mental Toughness?

If so, contact me at michelle@bakjacconsulting.com for more information.

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.

 

 

 

The KISS Principle For Stress Management

I love the opportunity to convey really simple and easy techniques to manage the everyday stressors we are exposed to. When a colleague of mine in the area of Mental Toughness in the UK posted a video this week on 3 simple principles to manage stress, I just had to share it. Here are Anthony Taylor’s 3 simple techniques to manage stress management and then take a look at his video.

3 Tips To Help You Start To Lower Your Stress Levels.

First - Change Your Perception

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To Change Your Perception, ask yourself these 2 questions:

1)      On a scale from 1-10 (10 being death) how important is this?

2)      Six months from now, how important is this likely to be?

 

Second – Change your physiology.

You can change your physiology simply by breathing more slowly.

Try the 4 square breathing technique…..

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Third – Do Something To Change The Problem

Focus on your 50%

You can’t do much to change someone else or often the situation you find yourself in, but you can control your half – your thoughts, your feelings/emotions, your reactions. Take control of these and you can actually do a lot to change the problem.

 

Take a look at Anthony’s video:

Want to know more about managing your stress and developing your Mental Toughness? If so, contact me at michelle@bakjacconsulting.com for more information.

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favourite Motivational Quotes From Stephen Hawking

 Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking

I was so saddened to hear of Stephen Hawkings passing. After losing my beautiful Mum last month to Motor Neurone Disease, I know how debilitating the symptoms were. Hawking overcame huge obstacles to become a world renowned scientist. Not only was he a best selling author and award winning physicist but he appeared on Star Trek and that makes him a star in my book.

Over his career, he has made some wonderful discoveries, but also some very thought provoking comments. Take a look at some of his best. 

1.   "However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at."

2.   "I am just a child who has never grown up. I still keep asking these 'how' and 'why' questions. Occasionally, I find an answer."

3.   "I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth."

4.   "I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."

5.   "In my opinion, there is no aspect of reality beyond the reach of the human mind."

6.   "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change."

7.   "Life would be tragic if it weren't funny."

8.   "People who boast about their IQ are losers."

9.   "People won't have time for you if you are always angry or complaining."

10.   "Science is not only a disciple of reason but also one of romance and passion."

11.     "The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities."

12.    "The universe is not indifferent to our existence -- it depends on it."

13.     "There is no unique picture of reality."

14.     "When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have."

15.    "Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it."

What will give you inspiration to pursue your passion despite your own set of personal difficulties? How could you rise above today?

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.