Using Your Strengths to Ease Stress


Stress is Optional


Lesson Info

Using Your Strengths to Ease Stress

There was, um, interesting research that we have sim immutable values, ones that we really won't change and then we have a set that are sort of much more situational is was discussed before, which explains how we have some people change their values under peer pressure. Those were the less core values for that person there a little more open to the influence of somebody else so there's no right or wrong answers to this, but the process of doing it should help you feel more grounded in who you are and more grounded is more resilient, so this isn't fluff this isn't play, this is actually finding your core. What are your roots into the ground that are going to make you resilient? So the next thing I asked you all to dio, which is a little out of order with, um I'm going to skip one thing in the book for right now go to the bottom of page sixteen your strengths, as I mentioned before, we have a culture that is really focused on bringing us up to our weaknesses in the business world. We do ...

these three sixties evaluations and assessments that identify the person strengths and they give it a little bit of time, then they jump right into the developmental opportunities euphemism your weaknesses and we focus on bringing those up and we have school systems that measure and bring up the bottom, but in reality, there's so much fabulous research showing that when we do things through our strengths, the weakness has come up. We we can use that to get to where we need to be. So they I offered up a strength assessment that is found at the university of pennsylvania's positive psychology school on you can get through authentic happiness dot com, which will reroute you two authentic happiness. You pen, eh? Ju yeah, I gotta, um just so you know that it will change the link when you go and it comes up with twenty four he character strengths and again, because we're high achievers, people in business for herself, this doesn't mean you're weak if you don't score all of them this's identifying the ones where you have your power that's the way to think of it. So if you're going out to fight the forces that are to fight the stresses that are out there, you certainly want to do it with your best tools, and your strengths are your best tools. So if you look at this list, which is some of them that exist, you know, what are the things that you look at and say, you know, that kind of is me, and first of all, as a culture, we're not really comfortable saying what we are good that, you know, we're very comfortable. Well, I'm not so good at that, but, you know, you might be so much better. We're very comfortable with that. So there could be this moment of, you know, well, why would I tell somebody else my strengths? Because you really do want to own them if you creativity as a strength for me. I worked in medicine in the left brained world, and I couldn't really figure out how creativity fit in that, except that we'd go home and draw body parts that wasn't really helping my career, except I learned my anatomy a little better, but but then I began to realize that it's the creative process of thinking when I applied that to what we call differential diagnosis, trying to figure out what's going on looking for relationships of things that weren't obvious that's a path of creative thinking, and when I allowed myself have to do that, I was stronger and better, less stressed. Oh, and happier, much happier. So what I would love to do, I want to hear from the online group how they what kind of strength they feel, really helped them with stress and how they enjoy the exercise if they did it, but I'd love to take. I'm gonna pick on youtube because you were here yesterday and I had to do the homework, you get a pass right now, it's I'd love for you to tell each other what came out in your strength survey, so just turned to each other and share them. One thing a city that is coming up in the chat rooms as well is that, um, we have a lot of creativity, creative people mean, creativity is creative lives main viewership, exactly on dh they you know, they are pointing out that stress often just crushes their creativity, creates crushes their creative, strengthened and gets in the way of being able to do what their how we want to express themselves. Now you're an art major yourself. I am so this is something I'm sure you've had to deal with yourself. Yeah, and um and I'm also in business for myself, and I know that my ability to succeed in business to come up with models and things that are going to help people to come up with a way to express it that's going to get through depends on my creative power, but I'm in business with myself, so I have to do I wear every other hat that a business owner has, I've got to network, I've got to follow upon administrative duties, all the things that stress me out and drain my creativity and just knowing that is important and sometimes I have to have a little talk with me I have a lot of talks with me I'm not too crazy, but sometimes I have to stop when I start down that path and say, look you're doing that I can you know your jaw's tightening your starting to say, oh, this is something you should do and it's the thing that dreams me and I have to back up from that and say, wait a minute, you know you're creative, this is a task do what you have to do with his task and hold yourself hold your power still or delegate that task and we're going to talk a little bit more about that that maybe this is one that would actually be wiser to delegate so that you keep that creative power and that that's an important point thank you so why don't you two tell each other what came up when you did the strength assessment? What were your top five? Just that that the process that right just tell each other just share what was strong for you okay, so my top five were gratitude um the second was judgment critical thinking and open mindedness the third was honesty, authenticity and genuineness. The fourth was capacity to love and be loved and the fifth was social intelligence and hat okay you just said all those what do you feel as you say I'm great I feel as you know when you do the assessment they showed the first six or cell on the page that you know you're todd right and I thought yeah you know that they all resonated with me um and I feel proud that those but that's me nice look atyou look at that but you're right I'm not used tio putting it out there yeah you know standing up and declaring this is brand erica right now so can you think of some examples of where those strengths have served you yeah um I think that with gratitude I'm able teo I think that partly sometimes what grounds me when I feel like everything is flying around me I can just think of what I do have and what I'm grateful for and with within that um I think it helps me to build relationships with others because I'm able to voice my gratitude towards them um I think in my particular case that has manifested in a few very like a smaller group of friends and family that I feel are my tribe rather than like a large group um and I think that that partners with the honesty authenticity and genuineness um with within those relationships and then also the capacity to love and be loved that certain partly with that um the judgment critical thinking and open mindedness I'm a mechanical engineer by training so that served me in that way and then I also think that I could bring that critical thinking um too many different areas that people don't have that critical thinking training um I think that's a strength of mine and then also the social intelligence you know, pairs with everything but um I'm able I like tio make everyone feel a part of the group or that they have something to contribute you want to work with her now don't sound good so can you think of a time where you've met a challenge and you use those strengths to do it? You can move it I am so uh I've always sort of been a higher anxious person and about four years ago my mom was diagnosed with, um, brush cancer and that triggered within me ah lot of panic get panic attacks and anxiety and so I think that having that honesty in that authenticity to finally say I need help um it took me a little bit of time to get there I was stuck in a bathroom and couldn't leave you because I was a panic attack but to be able to be authentic and say, you know, I feel vulnerable here um but I need help with this and then to sort of have sort of a little bit of the critical thinking and the open mindedness teo be aware of even like you're talking about, with the stress curves being aware of when I start to veer off into more anxiety or more stress. Um, and then with that, bree, having those close relationships and having sort of gratitude is one of my strengths, that and the and the capacity to love and be loved. It wasn't like when my mom was diagnosed, I've had to feel like I regretted never telling her that, or never showing that and that kind of thing and she's fine. Now, everything's wonderful. Um, but I think that all of those five really helped me to get through that sort of very tumultuous time. Nice, very nicely said so if if stress is about reacting to feeling unsafe, there is safety in our strengths and inner values. I like that, yeah, it's thiss isn't just, you know, some esoteric exercise, there's, truly resilience and safety in being who you really are, and that, unfortunately, in this day and age, sometimes takes some work to come back to who you really are, to find that neutral point where it's authentic, and it feels like the pieces are connected, and and you can really be there. Thank you, colonel, if they said the state their safety in the strengths and values, because your first question how did I how do you know how did I feel about this drinks and sharing them? I didn't say it but now that you say it that these air this is a very safe space for may I see that that it's very comforting nice that thing nice so simon share with erica your strength sure and you had mentioned on the workbook that you know if you have some other your strength testing you sure so that's what I've referenced those and actually I'm look forward to have finishing this one and seeing how how those air but so some of the ones that that cross from from on this list are spirituality and leadership and appreciation and creativity are some of those core ones and, um persistence. So um as I've told you it with spirituality, you know, I've meditated for fourteen years now and so you know, that's been the strength not just in my own personal life but then in business and other circumstances because you know, people consistently find me calm where is in I work? I've worked on start ups where everything else is kind of chaos. So there I'm kind of this one person people could go teo and know that, you know, I could kind of, you know, see things you know in a clear way without all the added stress so that's, um, one thing, and then, um, persistence, you again, same kind of thing like I've worked in all these different companies where, you know, we were always starting up, so you're always trying to find what's gonna work, and so often you try things and they don't always work initially, and so in people find that helpful that I can know, and then in my own life, I just continually try again, you know, whatever that kind of thing is, and then creativity it's always, you know, always trying to find create creative solutions to different of problems, you know, and just thinking outside the box in different kinds of ways. Do you ever forget that those of your strengths and try and do it a different way? Um, yeah, I think sometimes I might follow, like, you know, there's always the newest, like, you know, business fat of the day and this, you know, aisles and aisles of rice to write it, you know it, you know, and everybody's talking about this hot thing right on this is how you should do business, your productivity, etcetera in those don't necessarily match with, you know, my strikes, so then they don't always work, right? So yeah, I think that that does often that's a that's an interesting I've been on that same path being in business for myself and thinking, you know, what's the right system and how should I network and how should I do this and there's way more information out there than anybody needs? And I've noticed that when I'm less grounded, I'm more vulnerable to feeling like somebody else has a better answer like, you know, I should read that book or I should just do this system and I don't know about the rest of you are in business for yourself, but everybody is marketing to you to save your business or take it to the next level, and when I'm feeling good about what's going on, you know, I filter that stuff really well, it doesn't faze me, but when I forget my strengths and my values and who I am in it, I'm more vulnerable to that. Yeah, I mean, what I would add, yes, certainly there's every day there's some kind of new course or whatever both their, you know, there might be tactical things in terms of marketing or, you know, begin tactical things in terms of productivity, but what I have notices that's all they are they don't, and they're always, you know, they're these outside systems and if we don't work like that like a far you know if our let's say for example of our brain doesn't think in a way that seo works or something than learning one of these things it's it's just never gonna work but I like your ah highly creative person for example than something that has to do with you know you know making videos and that's who you are then that's going to work so I think it's so key to understand your strengths first you know and then I find and then work from those because its own you know it's that's that's what makes any of these tactics useful is if if they're resonate with who you are think well said and I think one of the interesting things about stress is it's contagious even within yourself that if you're stressed over something else and that stuff is coming at you I think humans have this don't want to miss out on something gene that you feel like oh well I I'm not going go down that path with my business what if I've made a mistake? You know what if that was the answer and that's very stressful when you're you're growing your own business on dh it's very stressful even within if you're working within someone else's business to know exactly which thing and there's too many to choose from so when you come back to your strengths and your values that decision gets easier it gets and that's what this is about is just making it easier what's coming in from online it's interesting what people are posting angst puppies actually saying their strength find a results just made him smile because on them but they said they only post what they are and they said they're via results just made him think interesting made them pause there sky it is just sort of passing a general comment saying that they see it they're all their strengths are intrinsically what they are it's about life experience and certain people triggering, highlighting them for for them in us and that's what we talked about yeah that's nice that's nice um strength finder is one that I've don't as well and I will say I have my famous index cards I have an index card right next to my desk and so do my clients that has my lists of strengths and values on it, and I have the strength from the survey as well as my strengths find your strengths up there on dso if I'm having a moment where I'm feeling like I'm off balance or reeling it's not bad to have a little visual reminder right there saying, you know, this is you and your valuable because you have these strengths and you have these values and this is you and this is where you should be operating not in the should world or the er world when as you say that it reminds me that you know thes strengths khun go on the you know uh so I I missed fellas on here yeah, I think that would be good ten points erica I'm trying to get you guys competitive that's one of my low value so hee you know you just said that I'm just competitiveness does that add to your stress if you do try and compete with colleagues or competitive this is an interesting thing it we're naturally competitive where we are animals um and we can be very collab were also collaborative and we're trying to build a more conscious collaborative world she hopes on dh yet competition is part of a competition gives us an edge it's what makes us try and do a little bit harder and we do well with it if we're aware of that of how you use it and when to use it we've become far more competitive when the stakes get higher you take away our resource is we're going to get more competitive that's nature um that's where organisms in nature and that's what's gonna happen so just being aware of it and when you have the choice own your competitiveness to realize that sometimes you're you're playing out some behaviors that are competitive that are really just for the sport of the game and we're not adding to the power of the situation and we've we've all seen that in action or maybe done it but often been the victim of it but so owning these should feel good and I love that just own it really really own it this is you this is the authentic you so above that above what strengths on page sixteen is your mission and purpose if the's air your values and these are your strengths, why are you here? What would you like to do with, um and as I said yesterday this this these three little lines mission and purpose khun stress people out you know I don't have a really good purpose yeah um and I don't think I'm gonna handle world pace, but it doesn't have to be this heavy big thing it could be that you're just going to add grace to the world it can be that you're going to create a family structure where love makes people stronger it doesn't have to be a major achievement focus thing, but it's the why you get out of bed it's the why you have those values and strengths and what you'd really like to do with him if you kind of step out of your life if what do you want your purpose to bay and I'd love to hear some that came up for people um you can really start to feel it when you land on it now I have a coach friends and do all this with plato I say do it with pencil because if committing to it is stressful, let that go um this this is a work in progress you're a work in progress if you had interviewed me a decade ago and asked me if I was going to be doing this, I knew that I I knew that I'm in the world of healing I knew that I like enjoy supporting another human being doing something, but I have horned public speaking if now I love it when you don't know um so it's not the manor it's the the results you'd sort of like your life to stand for and is there a way to kind of truck? Sure, um, that mission or purpose in terms of like how it's explained that you when you work with your clients that you find useful like you know you used some of the words from your values and your strengths and along with some goal or huh what do you exactly? So using your values you want your life to represent this and these are the strengths you bring to it we've heard you're in product development and that you have the spirituals side and you have this creative side as well in five years from now what what do you think the purpose of that could be so to try to, you know, build enough container big enough container that would it would be something about you know um you know, creating things that help um creating beautiful things is the esthetics is one that help enlighten people that suits my values to go for it now is that, uh is that just like again what what's helpful but that you found is that something that kind of over our chain or there it's more specific tartus starting with that overarching, you're going to figure out the how as you go through but you've got to start with the bigger picture I want to leave people with more grace I want to create beautiful things that that's plenty um I you know, I want to have impacted the world in this way that's plenty for a purpose you can refine it and detail it as you go, but by this purpose or mission this is this is the mark you'd like to make it's why you're put on this precious world, why are you here? And we're here for we don't know what particular length of time but what would you like that stamp to have been? What did you add to someone else or to um to really to a purpose of your aesthetics to a purpose of the people you love to a purpose of what's needed in the world I talked a little bit in the session before about my two friends and I who used to walk in the mornings and weed we pretend right our obituaries there's an odd activity but this is sort of that's one of those exercises of looking you know while she lived for blank blank blank on my friend who kept saying that she just managed we wrote hers for her and said she added grace to everything she did in the world she did she just she is the most lovely person and she adds grace with every interaction with just entertaining or raising her family she's raised kids who have all gone out in the world and done amazing things she adds grace and it's lovely I've had people who say their purpose is just to leave every person that I encounter with a smile or feeling a little bit better not every is probably a strong word that could be a mission um as long as you know tohave cem cem grace with yourself for that mission but does that make sense? Yeah well it does in one way it's helpful is that so on my own life and I think anyone who's you know self employed or in business that is creative there's always this kind of to pull like between the kind of creative endeavours in the passions and then again kind of the the business side of things um and so for me you know I have this this my created like wantinto write a novel or something in one hand and then doing these products which seemed more kind of business like another but to think of all of that is is helping toe you know create beauty is nice because it gives a bigger framework for everything that in all of these endeavours could help uh enlighten and bring more beauty to the world bless you for saying that that that was just so well put there is stress for us when we feel separated into these parts and this overarching umbrella takes away some of that dad I feel the same thing I because of the different parts of my business and I realized how much energy I was expending on resenting some of the business development part that I needed to dio I really I kept waiting for the fairy godmother to come where is she? Well she just fix this part it's but I but I was spending so much energy on resenting that until I put them together as the bigger part of I want to deliver this and so that's just part of delivering this I want to help people not struggle so with this stress I want to help people feel empowered in their own lives and and that feels fun and it's going to take on different looks at different times um and sometimes that's the chance encounter you have with somebody in the elevator and sometimes it's a very purposeful, specific job orientation that you've taken, you know, a structured thing, but feeling in touch with that should feel strong. Thank you for sharing that. So turning the page again, I've asked in number three what's your best mindset, and I've asked this multiple times and I do that on purpose because I want you to really get solid in your mind who you are when you're your best. What mindset do you bring to your best function to your best happiness? To your best health? Who are you when your best? So take the time to just jot down a few I'm my best when I am I'm my best when I am centered when I'm grounded when I'm calm and is this similar to the as I said, I'm going to ask you several time no good, yeah, just tried it. Wait call at the re attention to intention. This is who you want to be at your best so that thank you for saying that because one of the ways to think about that is a time when you were really doing your best, who were you, and then you know what, what state were you in when you were doing your best? So what you going to do is put this together your values, your strengths and your purpose, and that creates sort of a theme for you now, that's an odd term, I cooked the gps for the theme and gps khun stanford goals, purposes and strengths, but this it could be a theme, it can be a mantra and you can change that from year to year. But it's this guiding reminder ah, freya short phrase or a word that's your word for the year that just helps me make decisions. So some things thrown at you say I come to you and I say, you know, I've got a crisis. If you have this theme in your mind, you have this ability to say, let me frame that into this this is what I have to offer at this moment because you're going to hit the bumps we all hit the bumps that's just the way life isthe eso I've had a lot of people do different things, you know, grace or adding love or, um, serenity now I love that one star in a now but something that they really want their mind to hold as they go for life that year and that helps direct you it it makes it easier because that's one of your purpose is for the year's toe hold this theme for your year so it can be fun it can be daunting the first thing you can change it if you you know if you do this the beginning of the year and it gets to be march and you're thinking I'm not liking that one so change it this isn't written chiseled into stone but it's a it's a fun thing to do to have something that reminds you you could do it when you do breath work you can set your intention for the day in the morning you could just repeat your theme for the year my intention for the year is to be blank and that could make a big difference in your stress level because you're touching base you're touching base with what's important to you and that's less stressful any questions on that we do have one eye she just has a clarification from banks puppy the same to the values and the strengths roll up into the purpose but they don't have a it doesn't have to be this package if you're it congee you can have your purpose and your values and strength will help you get there makes sense it's all connecting the dots integrating who you are with what you want to dio and when you start with who you are how to be the doing gets easier and it gets so much easier to say this isn't in line with my purpose I choose not to do it um if you're working for someone else that's not always your choice but the manner in which you do that can be helpful probably one of the most stressful things that we have going on these days is being too busy we are allergic to saying no we're gonna work on that in a little while and we are allergic to taking things off our plate so if we use our theme or gps to decide really what belongs on this plate really belongs on it it gets easier to make that decision to say no this one doesn't it really does get easier can I talk through oh my g p a I would love that um so in the beginning of the year I picked a word like basically I picked a theme in a word for the year and that has been bloom um love that and it's especially part of the reason why I picked it is I felt that I sort of allowed my soul to be sucked out of me in the job that I hated and all of that so I was in sort of ah great holding pattern yeah really I like that so on and so this year in my move and transition and career transition in so many different transitions my touchstone has been bloom you know what am I doing right now and my blooming um because I feel like I'm gonna and awakening a rebirth how lovely it so so that's been a really nice touch point for me um and then now going through this activity my mission purpose sort of the first draft is to help others with auto immune disease conquer their symptoms and late empowered lives nice and so the the theme of bloom coming back to that mission so right now I'm in I feel like it relates and is good but maybe I could find a stronger connection or if it's working for me and I'm happy just go with it go with it okay go with the girl okay you're blooming into your mission to write exact does that help? Yeah, because I'm on the path I have a non immune disease and I'm on the path now right of that journey myself so ok lovely and so the word doesn't necessarily need to be your mission right? They can support each other and sometimes they are your mission thes can be a little bit different I have it's all about connecting them now it's definitely about connecting all right and I think so that's my mission and like you say bloom is where I am teo on that mission in the next year it's going I think it would be a little bit more some blooming that and then sort of more of the explosion and next year so

Class Description

Panic, anxiety, and stress are paralyzing emotions that can stand in the way of the life you want. Freeing yourself from the grip of these toxic thoughts and feelings will give you clarity you can use to make better business and life decisions. Join nationally recognized stress expert Dr. Cynthia Ackrill for a course that will give you powerful tools to relieve stress and develop greater emotional resilience.

Everyone has to negotiate difficult life circumstances – financials problems, conflicts, and business challenges are woven into the fabric of everyday life. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed. Learn how to manage life’s ups and downs using insights from stress management research and positive psychology and you will bounce back more quickly from life’s inevitable setbacks. In this course, you will develop a framework for evaluating your stress levels and your behavioral responses, and then identify cues you can use to get back on course. Dr. Ackrill will explain the physiological impact of stress and offer techniques for minimizing the disruption it can have on your body and life.

Stress, worry, and anxiety lead to procrastination and burnout, which cause more problems--and more worry. You can stop the cycle. Join us for Stress is Optional and learn an effective, proven approach to relieving stress for good.