Monthly Archives: August 2010

Are You UPLing?

In the book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, the concept of self limiting behaviors is addressed through the easy to understand concept of the Upper Limit Problem or what he calls the ULP. The ULP’s are what we as humans do to ourselves right when we are about to really be happy or experience success. They are the output of our inner saboteurs. For example, work is going great, you just got a promotion and you get in a huge fight with you partner, or perhaps you get engaged and find yourself sick. The scenarios are endless, and I imagine without much thought you can recall a time where something really great was happening and then something not so great happened. The ULP’s are the situations we invent to keep us from experiencing success or happiness. The Big Leap talks about how to stop inventing these situations and experience happiness. Do you have the courage to stop inventing road blocks?

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Children and Stress

Downer alert: the news is not good for children who grow up in stressful environments. Posted today to the BBC Heath section, based on new research a group of psychologists warn that adversity and stress early in life leads to long-term ill health and possibility early death. Stress is scientifically proved to impact immunity and cardiovascular health. In addition, living in stressful environments can create hyper vigilant responses in children to perceived threats, making normal daily interactions with other a point of stress. Children in the study who were in stressful environments had higher blood pressure, harder arteries, increased anger and hostile responses.

Studies like this make me sad and they also inspire me that we all have a part to play. By helping to reducing the level of stress adults feel, or at least helping to create awareness in adults around how they respond to stress, I hold on to the belief that those lessons have the chance of trickling down to the children of stressed out parents, and a new generation will have the tools to make different choices about how they respond.

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Quote for Today

I read this in a cooking magazine related to making good food choices; however it works great for balance and how you manage stress as well.

“What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in awhile”.

What do you do once in awhile that you wish you did every day? What is stopping your from doing it every day?

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Stress and Motherhood

Oxford University recently conducted a study that measured stress hormones in women planning to have a baby and found that those who were experiencing more stress had a lower chance of becoming pregnant. It has long been theorized that stress decreases fertility, this is one of the first studies with hard data supporting this theory. The theory makes total sense when you think about what stress hormones do to the body, they work to keep you alive when you are facing danger. So it’s logical that when the body thinks it’s facing danger that it might not be the best time to conceive. Regardless if you are actually trying to start a family, the article also talks about yoga as a way to reduce stress.

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Perfection vs Clarity

Based on what I’m seeing in my research and workshops, I’m learning that many times stress is generated around expectations we put on ourselves or others to be perfect. And what is perfect anyway? Just like balance and stress, perfection means different things to different people, so what is or feels “perfect” to you might not feel or be perfect to your partner, boss, family, friends and so on. When you shift the focus on being or getting clear around expectations, the intensity in driving for or obtaining perfection dilutes and the power of perfection is diminished. This is so because the conversation has moved from the abstract (perfection) to reality (clarity) and magically the level of stress begins to melt away. How is your need for perfection showing up in your life?

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SPUN Up

Have you ever been so stressed that you feel as if you are spinning round and round in circles like one of those old fashion spinning tops? You are not alone. Millions of people right now are spinning round and round. In fact, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention sates that more than 80 percent of medical costs in the U.S. are stress related. More fighting than that is The American Institute of Stress states that as a direct result to workplace stress U.S. businesses loose over $300 billion annually. Holy moly, that’s a lot of money that we could be putting toward innovation and education.

So how do you stop spinning? It’s a question I get quite a bit when teaching my work life balance workshops. When I began this journey three years ago, I believed that stress and work life balance went hand in hand, and that is partially true. Those who are out of balance are normally stressed out. And those who have balance, well they get stresses out too. That is when it occurred to me that just like with balance, there is not really one way or place in which people learn to manage stress in a healthy proactive way. (No wonder 80 percent of medical costs are stress related.)

So, I created another workshop purely focused on stress, called SPUN Up: Success With Stress. It’s designed to empower you to take ownership for managing stress in a proactive, positive, productive way. Participants will learn what stress is, the physical and mental impact of stress and five strategies for managing stress that are healthy and sustainable for the long-term. And there will be a book coming out the fall as well, so stay tuned for details.

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Employee as CEO

The foundation of my workshops is based on personal accountability and cultivating the knowledge that the choice is yours every day for every action and every thought you have. Another great gem from Tom Peters that echos this that I feel compelled to blog, “The employee quarterbacks her or his work life. Controls her or his benefits. The employee is “CEO” of his or her workspace. That is the New World Order.”

How are you running your company today?

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