I help people build the clarity, self-confidence and unstoppable belief to go after, and get, everything they want. The content can help you build the tools and mindset to take your career to the next level. Much of what we share is mindset-based, drawing from the latest in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Want to turn off that negative inner critic for good and build unstoppable confidence? I'll show you how.Let's do this.
Thought Pathways (#3 of 4)
Managing your mind. It is THE key to not only a more rewarding and meaningful career. It’s the secret to living your best life.
Sounds a little woo woo if it’s the first time you’re hearing this. But it’s true. I promise.
Given the interest, I decided to go a little deeper into the topic with a concept I call Thought Pathways. And this one is relevant to every human on the planet because it’s about repetitive thoughts, which is where all thinking, feeling and behavioral habits come from.
Hate your job? I can guarantee there’s a thought pathway there.
Hard time sticking to a diet? I can guarantee there’s a thought pathway there.
Difficult relationship with your boss or anyone else? I can guarantee there’s a thought pathway there.
Over spending. Over drinking. Chronic job hopping. Indecisiveness. I can guarantee there’s a thought pathway (or several) there.
This is super interesting, and I think you’ll find it relevant. Now as you know, I’m not a neuroscientist, but because the certifications I have are based on principles of cognitive psychology, positive psychology and neuroscience, I study this stuff and it’s the foundation of what I teach my clients. So I’m going to take fancy words and put them into everyday language so you understand exactly how that brain of yours works.
So, let’s dive in.
The best place to start is by talking about our brain cells. They’re called neurons.
Scientists say we all have about 100 billion or so. And their job is to send and receive information in your brain by connecting with other neurons.
A Thought Pathway happens when connections form between NEURONs in your brain, because of a recurring pattern of thought. Scientists call this a neural pathway, but I like to call it a Thought Pathway because that’s the part we control – our thoughts. The neurons just do what they do when we have a recurring thought. But we’re the ones who can CONTROL or CHOOSE the thought we have.
Thought Pathways are the science behind learning. Like always associating the word apple with the visual of the fruit.
It’s the science behind your feelings about people, jobs, yourself. Here’s how it works.
You have a thought about something or someone and your neurons light up and form a connection. Now, if that thought happens once and not again no pathway is formed.
But if the thought repeats itself over and over again, it forms a pattern. A Thought Pathway.
For example, let’s say you have a challenging meeting and there’s one colleague in particular that (at least in your mind) contributed to the challenge.
Let’s say you had a thought (or perhaps a series of thoughts) about that colleague that ranged from judgmental to angry.
Now if it happens once and not again, the thought is likely to be dismissed.
But if you have a series of interactions with that person and your brain serves up a similar thought, the pathway is formed. Because your brain has now attached a meaning to that thing (your colleague).
And now, every interaction you have with that colleague triggers that neural pathway you’ve associated with it. See how it works?
It’s also important to know that there are dominant pathways and lesser pathways.
The first time you have a new thought, it’s a lesser pathway. It’s not yet a habit. It’s one individual thought and a permanent association hasn’t yet happened. If you don’t think it again, a pathway is not formed.
But the more you think that same thought over and over and over again, the stronger and more dominant the pathway becomes. It’s like the path of a river or a highway. It’s there. It’s established. It feels familiar because your thoughts drive that same way all the time.
So it just feels TRUE. This is EXACTLY where our beliefs come from.
For more, give it a listen.
Thought Clusters (#2 of 4)
Well hello friends.
I hope you guys had a good week!
Mine has been amazing!
June has been a month of big important (and I believe life-changing) decisions in my career and life.
That has inspired and motivated me.
And as a result, I’ve probably gotten more done in the past week than I have in the past three months combined.
Though my own daily self-coaching, it’s been fun to dive in and explore the reasons for this sudden burst of motivation.
You see, the past few years have DEFINITELY been interesting and good for me - a time of preparing and exploring and testing. But that’s now turned into a time when I start making ALL those things come true.
Talking has turned into consistent doing.
Well, it really comes down to something I call Thought Clusters. I thought it was important to cover this today because it builds off last week’s episode around Thought Maintenance.
So, if you haven’t listened to that yet, I encourage you to listen to episode 23. In that, we explore the importance of doing regular self-coaching, using the approach we teach in our practice. This helps you gain awareness in your regular patterns of thinking. And once you do, you gain awareness into the ones that SERVE you vs. the ones that DON’T.
A SUPER important thing to do on a regular basis and especially in your career as it helps you uncover your blind spots, eliminate thinking and behavioral patterns that hold you back and allow you to CHOOSE new, empowering ones that move you forward.
Honestly, I SO wish I’d known this stuff earlier in my career.
And I had so many DM’s and emails from you guys this past week that I thought it would be good to dig a little deeper into the role thoughts play in our fulfillment and our level of achievement or success.
So, this week, I wanted to talk about Thought Clusters.
This concept was inspired by the principles behind cognitive behavior therapy, a form of psychology that is based on the belief that:
· Problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
· And in part on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
· And that you can learn to change or cope with these things through self-awareness and learning to recognize your own distortions in thinking that created the problems in the first place. And how to change it going forward.
This type of psychology was the inspiration for the coaching method I became certified in. Which teaches you how to gain awareness of your thoughts and proactively CHOOSE to think NEW ones that empower you.
So, the idea behind Thought Clusters was to illustrate how ONE thought becomes a CLUSTER of similar thoughts, many times each escalates or builds on the one before.
This can work towards either the positive or the negative side.
When it comes to the negative or downside, psychologists call this “catastrophizing” which is defined as a cognitive distortion that happens when people jump to the worst possible conclusion, usually with limited info or objection reason. Even if a situation is mildly upsetting, some can end up feeling like they are in a HUGE crisis.
This happens because of Thought Clusters.
One thought can multiply.
To learn more, listen to the episode.
Thought Maintenance (#1 of 4)
Before we dive into today’s episode, I wanted to share a few thoughts.
First, I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to my regular listeners and if you’re new here, I want to welcome you and thank you for giving us a listen. We’re growing and I appreciate each one of you.
I wanted to share a bit more about the upcoming Workshop we’re planning for June 12th. It’s called Train Your Brain. It’s going to be so great. It’s going to be a one-hour video conference via Zoom with a workbook. It’ll be recorded so if you can’t attend live, you’ll have the recording to view later. It’s going to be a great introduction to our approach. You can register by going to www.thepurposefulcareer.com/trainyourbrain. I hope we see you there. And if you have a friend, you think would be interested, please share with them.
If you’re new to this podcast, you might be wondering what “training your brain” has to do with your career. That’s why today, I wanted to talk about Thought Maintenance. And the role it plays in your career.
So, let’s dive in.
So…train your brain…. thought maintenance. Not your typical career topics, I know.
But the truth is, there is NOTHING more critical to your success or your ability to continue to next level your career than learning how to master your mind.
Regular listeners of this podcast know that at The Purposeful Career, we use a cognitive based approach to helping people build self-confidence, drop the self-doubt, and learn how to create a career AND life they love. Our method uses the latest in neuroscience and a mash-up of cognitive and positive psychology.
It’s a kind of Jedi Mind Trick that can give you the clarity, motivation, and steely resolve to go after HUGE dreams and bring them to life. How does it do this?
Well, what no one tells us Because everything we achieve (or don’t), every obstacle we overcome (or don’t), every success, every disappointment, every struggle, every relationship, EVERY SINGLE THING all comes back to how we’re thinking about that thing.
It’s not what happens to us that decides our ability to do the things we want to do or our ability to be happy or satisfied with our career or life.
It’s not about luck. Or a good boss. Or a HUGE salary. Or the perfect company culture. Or getting the promotion. Or liking your colleagues.
Though of course those things don’t hurt. Those are just circumstances. And sure, we LIKE IT when they go in our favor.
It feels easier.
But as we all know, in our career and life, MANY THINGS WON’T.
And it’s WHAT YOU DO WITH THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO YOU that will ultimately determine not only your level of success. But your level of happiness or fulfillment with your life.
How we THINK about the things that happen to us ultimately determines whether we muster the courage to try. Or the grit to keep going when it gets tough. Or the clarity to KNOW when to be grateful for what you have OR when you’re ready for more.
When I first got exposed to this method, it was just a few years ago. I was a few decades into my career, and I just couldn’t believe the difference it made. I couldn’t help but look back at my climb up the corporate ladder and imagine how different, better, less stressful it could have been had I KNOWN this approach at the beginning.
That’s why I do what I do. Because I want to make YOUR path easier.
Listen to learn more.
How to Create Any Result You Want
I don’t know about you but I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it’s already end of May. We’re almost HALFWAY through the year.
I’m always amazed at how fast time moves.
And for me, this is the time of year that I love to look back and reflect on where I was six months, 12 months ago and decide if I’m where I wanted or hoped I’d be at this point.
It’s an important question because we’re never going to get what we want from our career and life if we’re not intentional bout creating it. And that’s why today, I want to talk about How to Create Any Result You Want.
So, let’s dive in.
Now sometimes when I ask my clients if they’re where they wanted or hoped to be at this point, they’ll say something like “I don’t know where I want to be” or “I don’t know what I want.” That’s actually really common.
Most of us have a long list of what we DON’T want but no idea of what we DO want.
I’m not going to talk about that today but if “I don’t know” is a thing for you, check back on this podcast next week because I’m going to announce a workshop coming up on June 12th that’ll help you move past I don’t know so you can create the success you’re looking for.
But like I said earlier, the looking back exercise is helpful. And when I do it, I like to start by asking my clients (or myself) three questions.
- Are you where you hoped to be at this point?
- Are you more fulfilled in your career or life then you were 6 / 12 months ago?
- What new skills, experiences or successes have you created in the past 6/12 months?
Now, if you didn’t like your answers to those questions, it’s important to not judge yourself. Don’t make yourself bad or wrong. Don’t shame or blame yourself for being lazy or undisciplined or unfocused. Because that’s what so many of us do when we look back and reflect on where we’ve been.
And that’s not helpful. What IS helpful is answering those questions and then allowing yourself to be curious about your answers. Instead of shaming or blaming yourself, be curious about why you responded the way you did.
To learn more, check out the full episode.
Why You Quit Things
Today I want to talk about Why We Quit at Things.
Or maybe more specifically, Why We Quit on Ourselves.
Most of us do this in one way or another. And it’s never a great thing. But for many it becomes a pattern that holds them back.
You know what I mean.
We start the diet determined to head into swimsuit season at our ideal weight. So, we start the diet determined and motivated. And then a few weeks or a month in, we give up.
We decide this is the year to find the ideal job. So, we dive into the job search with gusto, land some interviews and when the rejections start rolling in, we give up.
We start the direct sales business or other side hustle and go all in. At first. But when it gets challenging finding clients or managing the calendar, we decide it’s not meant for us; it’s too hard, so we give up.
And there’s lots more where that came from in every area of our life – with relationships, paying off debt, working out, starting the business, changing career paths.
Too often, we give up.
I wanted to talk about this today because I see it all the time in my practices.
I’ve done it too often in my own life.
The diets I’ve started and stopped.
My passion for writing romantic fiction which I just gave up after finishing a few books.
Even my efforts at getting this business going. I’ve started and stopped many times.
So, are you quitting on anything?
If so, what?
It’s important to remember when we quit something we really want, we’re not just quitting that thing. We’re quitting ourselves.
And that’s why I wanted to talk about this topic today. Your goals and dreams and YOU are too important to quit on. Today we’re going to explore the whys and learn what we can do about it.
So, let’s dive in.
When we set a big goal or have a burning desire to do something, it feels AMAZING.
We see the vision, imagine how amazing it will be to HAVE the new thing.
This DESIRE gives us the motivation and excitement to get going. To START the thing believing that we can HAVE it.
So, we fix our eyes firmly on the horizon and start moving forward.
Then we get into it.
And as we go, the days and months and sometimes years tick by and we start to encounter challenges.
And that’s when a shift starts to happen.
Suddenly we don’t FEEL motivated or excited.
And maybe we can’t even connect with our DESIRE for the thing anymore.
We just know we suddenly feel discouraged.
Because it no longer FEELS good, our discipline or pursuit of the DREAM starts to slip.
After all, who wants to throw all their energy and effort into something that DOESN’T FEEL GOOD?
And if these negative emotions PERSIST, we quit.
For most of us, when we quit, we’re rewarded – at least for a little while – with HUGE feeling of relief.
The discomfort, boredom and feelings of defeat are gone because your life can go back to NORMAL.
We tell ourselves NORMAL is okay. We’re used to it. (Even though our life might not be what we want, it’s what we’re used to and that’s okay).
And because we FEEL better, we tell ourselves it was GOOD that we quit.
That the thing we were pursing wasn’t meant for us anyway.
The problem though is that when this pattern of quitting on yourself becomes ingrained, it erodes our belief in ourselves.
We start to believe we CAN’T do the things we dream of.
That we’re not GOOD ENOUGH.
That it’s pointless to EVEN TRY.
That we can NEVER DO HARD THINGS.
What we just DON’T HAVE WHAT IT TAKES.
If so, you’re not alone.
Most of us struggle with this in one way or another.
Listen for more.
Turning a Bad Experience Into a Gift
Today I want to talk about something most of us don’t like to talk about.
I want to talk about bad experiences.
Now you might be wondering WHY we’d want to talk about bad experiences.
The truth is most of us will go to any length to avoid focusing on them.
We’ll engage in all sorts of numbing behaviors like overeating, overdrinking, overspending, over-whatevering, just to avoid having to think about them.
But today I want to serve up a different perspective because if you’re going to have any sort of career – whether as a corporate employee or a business owner – you’re going to experience things that you categorize as bad.
There are so many challenging experiences our corporate career can serve up.
· Getting passed over for promotion.
· Toxic culture.
· Backstabbing co-workers.
· Bad bosses.
· Failing at a key project.
· Being laid off or fired.
Or as a business owner…
· Losing customers
· Declining revenue
· Problem employees
And even for all of us around the world this past year…
· Covid…need I say more?
The truth is bad things happen.
And we’re left to deal with those things.
But the problem is, most of us DON’T.
And that’s why today I wanted to offer you an approach that will help you flip the script on the bad experience.
It’s going to rock your world.
So, let’s dive in.
A bad experience is anything that is not what we hoped of. Something that’s undesired, unpleasant, or unwelcome.
While of course the experience can be disappointing. But at its worst, that thing can make us feel like our life is completely OUT of our control.
And so many things in our career and life ARE out of the control.
I mean, we know we can’t change a toxic work culture.
We can’t make a bad or untrustworthy boss a good one.
We can’t prevent being put on the list for a layoff.
So, that inability to control something we don’t like can make us feel like a victim.
Being a victim doesn’t feel good.
After all, the definition of victim is “a person who is cheated or fooled by someone else; someone that is harmed by an unpleasant event.”
None of us want to feel cheated or fooled or harmed.
And when we feel that way, it doesn’t tend to bring out the best in ourselves as it relates to how we handle it.
We might yell or scream at someone.
We might cry.
We might plot to do harm ourselves – gossiping, spreading untruths, blaming – to get back at the person we think caused the bad thing.
Or we retreat into ourselves, trying to soothe the pain through indulgent or false pleasures that make feel better in the moment but in actuality, cause us even greater harm.
Most of us do this because we believe that focusing on the bad thing that happened will make us feel even worse. We think that by running away from it, by soothing ourselves, we can avoid the pain of having to deal with the downside.
But I’m going to offer you a different perspective.
When something bad happens, we need to do the opposite of running away from it. We need to turn back, look directly at it, and ask ourselves how that BAD thing can be a GOOD thing.
Or more specifically, we need to look for ways to turn that bad experience into a GIFT.
We call it The 3 Gifts Technique. Take a listen to learn more.
I wish I had Carla’s influence 20 years ago!
What she teaches is both clear and practical. Carla’s got such a helpful perspective that helps change you internally so you can reach your career goals a lot easier. I truly wish I had her influence 20 years ago.
A fresh take on getting ahead
Love this podcast. Super insightful advice on how to secret to how to get ahead even when you face challenges.