ACT and Perfectionism 2

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!

Q:  What’s so wrong with being a perfectionist?

A:  It sets you up for failure.

Perfectionism is a cruel task master.  Once it’s got us under its cosh it is most unwilling to let us go.  It whispers siren songs trying to convince us that it has our best interests at heart, it doesn’t, that it won’t let us down, it will, and that if we do what it says that we won’t go far wrong, we will!

Perfectionism is not our friend.  Most of the time perfectionism leaves us feeling disappointed, miserable and exhausted.  This is not a good way to live!  If left unchecked it can destroy our health and our relationships.  Although we may have started out with good intentions, high standards are, after all, generally believed to be desirable, when high standards turn into impossible, unremitting high standards, perfectionism turns out to be not such a good idea after all.

This is where ACT can be so helpful.  ACT reminds us that perfectionism is essentially just an idea.  Our perfectionism is the result of the stories we tell ourselves, the thoughts that our mind generates.  If our thoughts are full of “oughts” and “shoulds” and “musts”, then it is likely that they are giving us a pretty hard time.  Every time our mind tells us that we are not good enough, that what we are doing is not good enough, that good enough is not good enough, we suffer.  When it tells us that only perfection will do, it is selling us a lie.

There is no such thing as perfection.  We are imperfect human beings and doing our best is surely good enough.  When we fail to take satisfaction in our achievements, imperfect though they may be, we are missing out.  When we fail to do something because we cannot do it perfectly, we are missing out.  Being a perfectionist stops us from learning the lessons that failure would teach us.  Perfectionists are afraid to fail and so they often do not try.  What a lot of life we are missing out on when perfectionism rules the roost.

ACT helps us to become aware through Mindfulness, then it offers us Defusion to show us how to defuse from unhelpful thoughts.  Perfectionist thoughts are rarely helpful.  When we are in their grip we are more likely to be moving away from where we want to go than towards it.

I wrote “PERFECTIONISM” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Is perfectionism an issue in your life?
  • Does it work for you or against you?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

it-doesnt-all-have-to-be

POEM FOR TODAY

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PERFECTIONISM

 

It doesn’t all have to be perfect, whatever we think perfect is,

For the price that we pay for perfection is to stress and to get in a tizz,

And it’s all just a silly illusion, this perfection that’s driving us mad,

Better far we accept we’re a little inept and let go and relax just a tad.

And we’ll find that the heavens don’t open, and no lightening is striking us dead,

And in place of the stress a perfectionist bred there’s a lightness that’s spreading instead.

And so, if we are prone to perfection let us pause to consider the cost

Every time we set standards impossibly high and let sweet satisfactions be lost.

And why is it that we’re so persistent in pursuing impossible dreams,

What a boon it would be were we able to see that perfection is not what it seems,

For it is the most brutal task master, pouring scorn when it sees us fall short,

And it never allows us a moment’s respite, keeps us stuck in the trap where we’re caught.

‘Til one day we see through its illusion, and we’re ready to then call its bluff,

So, when it starts to tell us we’ve much more to do, we respond that we’ve done quite enough,

And what pleasure there is for the taking every time we reply in this way,

For the day then becomes full of promise, as perfection is slinking away.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “PERFECTIONISM” please pass it on, and do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

If we have reached a point when we are fed up with life being an endless report card on achievements or looks, a rather fast track to unhappiness, then hopefully we are ready to make some changes.  This is easier said than done!  After all we have been perfectionists for so long that we have become experts.  New behaviour is going to take some time to kick in!

But ACT does offer some really helpful strategies.  If perfectionism starts to rear its ugly head then it helps to remember that all these “oughts” and “shoulds” and “musts” and “have tos” are just words, just bits of language.  When we speak to ourselves in these terms we are setting up rigid, inflexible rules which create stress and tension.  They also create the likelihood of failure.  They are at the root of much of our emotional suffering, our disappointment with what life offers.

ACT reminds us of the power of language, the potential that it has to impact negatively or positively on our lives.  Even small shifts, saying “may” instead of “must”, “could” instead of “should”, “might” instead of “have to”, reduces the rigidity and creates a choice.

ACT goes one step further.  It reminds us that developing a different relationship with our thoughts, defusing from them and seeing ourselves as the Thinker and not the Thought, reduces their impact still further.

This is all good stuff, a life-line for the perfectionists amongst us.

I have just watched one of Joseph Rhinewine’s videos on Perfectionism.  You might like to go and check it out.  He reminds us that perfectionism has, at base, the common theme of “not enough”, “not good enough”.   Perfectionists have a tendency to get rid of, to discount, anything which is not perfect, which ends up being everything!  Food for thought!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

just-for-today-im-going-to-see

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and Keeping a Cool Head

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What should I do when my mind goes into overdrive?

A:  Be sceptical.  Remember that your Mind is a great story teller.

it-is-the-mark

When our mind goes into overdrive and thoughts start churning round this is not the time to make decisions.   When we are overwrought and becoming embroiled in our stories this is not the time to take action.  When our mind starts projecting the worst and is urging us to do something, do anything, this is not the time to give in to its demands.

At such times, and there may be many, this is the time to remember that Mind is, amongst other things, a great Story Teller.  We can, and maybe should, learn to look at it with awe;  its skills are formidable.  But as for doing what it tells us, well maybe not!

The time to take action is when the story lines are fading, when cool heads are replacing angry hearts.

I wrote “COOL HEADS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you create distance from your angry heart?
  • How do you resist the demands of the great story teller?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

 

and-so-if-mind-is-busy

POEM FOR TODAY

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COOL HEADS

Mind starts to spin its fantasies, and we are soon in thrall

To the twists and turns it conjures up, as helplessly we fall

For the little bits of fiction that are urging us to act,

But let’s remember before acting, this is fantasy not fact.

Oh it’s hard to create distance when our stories start to spin,

When Mind’s going into overdrive ‘til everything within

Is embroiled within a story telling us what we should do,

But let the warning bells resound, this is a story, it’s not true.

There are times for taking action, preferably with a cool head,

When the story lines are fading, and we’re able to instead

Make decisions more considered based on actuality,

For an action has a consequence, it’s real not fantasy.

And so if Mind is busy spinning let’s remember it’s not real,

Amongst its many other functions Mind’s a giant spinning wheel

Which we can watch in all its glory as its stories tumble out,

But be aware a cool head’s squeezed out when a spinning wheel’s about.

And so let’s let Mind tell its stories, as it will do anyway,

But let’s remember that’s its function, and we’re not required today

To pay heed to its excesses, nor obey what it commands,

And though we may admire its skill, we need not do what it demands.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “COOL HEADS” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

It isn’t easy to defuse from unhelpful thoughts, to stand back from the riveting stories that our Mind conjures up.  And yet the more we can do this the less stressful our lives may become.

Learning that we needn’t believe everything that we think can be very liberating.  Not being held hostage by our story telling mind and not being bound to obey its sometimes outlandish demands can save us a heap of trouble.

Developing these defusion skills takes some time and effort but the benefits, in my opinion,  are well worth it.  There is a great article at getselfhelp.co.uk entitled:

DEFUSING TECHNIQUES

DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK!

It explains how:

“Defusion involves distancing, disconnecting or seeing thoughts and feelings for what they are (streams of words, passing sensations), not what they say they are (dangers or facts).”

The article outlines some really good strategies for developing defusion skills.  I really enjoyed it.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

just-for-today-when-stories-spin

 

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and Treasure Hunting

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q: How can I make better choices?

A: Distinguish between treasures and trinkets

treasure hunting 4

We live in a world of so many distractions.  Never has there been so much choice, so many claims for our attention.  Choosing wisely is a challenge.  And what does “wisely” mean?

If we are feeling less than satisfied in our life, if we have a feeling that something is missing then it might be time to revisit those choices.  In ACT terms we have a useful measure.  ACT suggests that if we want to make wise choices, choices that are more likely to make our lives feel meaningful, then we should check in with our values.

It is tempting to go for the easy option, the quick return, but if this starts to pall then maybe we need to consider whether this is really the best use of our limited time.

There is a difference between trinkets which bring short term pleasure and treasures which offer a more lasting satisfaction.  If we start to tire of trinkets then treasure hunting becomes more appealing.  ACT reminds us that value driven actions are more likely to lead us to the pot of gold.

I wrote “TREASURES AND TRINKETS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How good are you at distinguishing treasures from trinkets?
  • Are you more conscious of making value driven choices?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

The-day-lies-before-us

POEM FOR TODAY

treasure hunting

TREASURES AND TRINKETS

The day lies before us, it’s ours now to fill,

But to fill it with treasure’s an art and a skill,

For to look back with pride at the end of the day

Means we need to be present each step of the way.

For much treasure is hidden and not easy found,

There are trinkets a-plenty just lying around,

But these cheap easy pickings won’t satisfy long,

And if we think they’re treasures then we would think wrong.

For a treasure is precious, it’s rarer to find,

And can hold out a challenge to body and mind,

For it may not at all be what it at first seems,

And may bear no resemblance to stuff of our dreams.

And so finding a treasure requires us to be

Fully present each moment, eyes ready to see

That the time collecting trinkets denies us the chance

To seek out hidden treasures we’d miss at first glance.

And if we are confused as to where treasure lies,

And not sure if we found it we’d it recognise,

Then a nod to our values should be quite enough

To distinguish a treasure from trinkety stuff.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “TREASURE HUNTING”  please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

One of my favourite things about writing this blog is finding examples of inspirational ACT resources to help me and to share with you.

There are all sorts of wonderful things out there, articles, videos, workshops, ACT communities.  There is certainly no shortage of inspirational material.  There is certainly no need to feel alone!

Today I came across a great article about the Value Driven Life at HealthyPsych.com

The article reminds us of the importance of discovering and then staying close to our values.  If you are having difficulty clarifying your values take a look.  I found it really helpful.  The opening paragraph gives a flavour of what is to come.  It starts with that tricky question that we often get asked as children!

As children, we are often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question then gets asked constantly as we go through life, sometimes causing some immense stress and feelings of confusion and frustration when that question cannot be answered.

Questions that we neglect to ask are, “What KIND of person do you want to be? HOW do you want to behave?” Not being who we genuinely are, losing contact with our values, not behaving in ways that are important to us can also bring stress, pain, even suffering into our lives ……

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-some-time

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments.  How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT and Acceptance

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q: When is the best time to make decisions?

A:  When the heat of the moment is gone.

The phrase “startled thinking” is one we would do well to remember when life is in the process of throwing its challenges at us. Why? Because at such times it is highly likely that we are not thinking straight, or at least not to begin with.

ACT reminds us that at such times, in the midst of such challenges, our initial reactions are unlikely to be rational or logical.  Quite the contrary.  When something unexpected or unwelcome happens we should expect that our first reaction will be an emotional gut reaction.  This is not the time to act.  This is the time to play for time, to wait for the tide of high emotion to recede.  The time for action will come later, hopefully in the shape of a more considered response which will work better for us.

“Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings” is a great mantra to draw on when we are tempted to hasty action.

I wrote “QUIET ACCEPTANCE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you learned not to make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings?
  • Are you learning to recognise “startled thinking” for what it is?
  • What can you share that might be of help to other?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Lets-not-succumb-to

POEM FOR TODAY

file0001477487882 (1)

QUIET ACCEPTANCE

A state of quiet acceptance, well it may sound rather dull,

Not being roused to high emotion, but emotion trying to cull

By sitting quietly on the side-lines as the feelings rush on through,

Yes it may sound rather boring but it can be best to do.

For life throws at us its challenges when things don’t go our way,

All the little unexpecteds that just happen every day,

And the way we trade our peace of mind for nothing much at all,

Yes sometimes a quiet acceptance can such turbulence forestall.

And the prize of equanimity’s not one we should disdain,

For it conserves in us an energy which then is ours to claim

For activities more fruitful, for endeavours that content,

So let’s beware the first reaction when such challenges are sent.

For we don’t have to inflame it, we can simply give it space,

Learn to breathe into a feeling as our heartbeat gathers pace

And then just watch as high emotion lashes out and then recedes

Whilst we wait patient on the side-lines until normal life proceeds.

And so next time a challenge enters, let’s not panic, let’s just wait,

Ride the tide of high emotion, let it rise and then abate,

And not succumb to startled thinking that just masquerades as fact,

For it is after quiet acceptance that ‘twill be the time to act.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “QUIET ACCEPTANCE” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

ACT reminds us that feelings are fleeting, they come and they go. It makes sense therefore to remember that there is a danger in making permanent decisions based on fleeting feelings. Will we be happy with a decision we make in the heat of the moment when the heat of the moment has cooled?

We would do better, ACT suggests, to refer to our values before we make important decisions. Knowing what matters, what really matters to us and making decisions accordingly is much the better choice.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Today-I-am-not-going-to

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT and The Serenity Prayer

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How do I make difficult decisions?

A:  Turn to The Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer has played an important part in my life.  It seems to seek me out when I most need it.   Many years ago I discovered it had pride of place in Twelve Step Programmes.   Years later when I stumbled upon ACT I found it was once more at the heart of things.

In fact it was the prominence given to The Serenity Prayer in ACT that made we feel completely at home there.  When things get tough, when difficult choices need to be made, turning to The Serenity Prayer never disappoints.

I wrote “CHOICES” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Does The Serenity Prayer play a part in your life?
  • Has it helped you to make difficult decisions?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Accepting-things-we

POEM FOR TODAY

DSC05730

CHOICES

Accepting things we cannot change, changing the things we can,

Well these words could be a blueprint for the life of any man,

For if we are at a crossroads and we’re feeling all confused

They will clarify our choices ‘til we’re feeling less bemused.

They speak to us through the ages from a mind of yesteryear,

If we listen in the stilling then these words are ours to hear,

They will seep into our psyche and once learned they’re always there,

So when we are faced with choices we can say them like a prayer.

“Oh God grant me the Serenity,” we pray with all our might,

“To accept the things I cannot change, the things I cannot fight,

And afford me Lord the courage Lord to change the things I can,”

Yes these words could be the blueprint for the life of any man.

And that leaves just one line missing, the most notable of all,

It’s the one that asks for wisdom, so when choices come to call

We can listen in the stilling as life starts to re-arrange,

And we will know which things we should accept, and which things we should change.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “CHOICES” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

If you want to read more about how The Serenity Prayer fits into ACT there is a great article on the ACBS website entitled, “New Harbinger’s interview with Steve Hayes.”  In the interview Steve Hayes discusses his book “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life.”

Product Details

During the interview he explains some of the principal tenets of ACT, how for example,

“Accepting your pain is a step toward ridding yourself of  your suffering” … and that

“ACT is based on the idea that psychological suffering is usually caused by running away from difficult private experiences, by becoming entangled in your own thoughts, and as a result of all of that failing to get your feet moving in accord with your chosen core values.”  … and that

“ACT has an agenda sort of like that Serenity Prayer from AA:  accept what you can’t change, change what you can.  In the prayer, clients ask for the wisdom to know the difference – ACT theory specifies that difference.”

It’s a great article.  I am a great fan of The Serenity Prayer, I am a great fan of ACT.  To me ACT is, in a sense, The Serenity Prayer plus values.  It works for me!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-Im-going

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and Energy Conservation

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What do I do when things go wrong?

A:  Pause and stay calm!

pause and stay calm

When things go wrong our natural reaction is to react, usually not very positively!  All sorts of uncomfortable thoughts and emotions surge through us.  Of course they do, we are human!

In ACT though, we are learning that after the initial reaction we do have a choice.  We can take a deep breath, pause and make a choice.  We can choose to respond in a more considered way.  We can choose how we are going to use our energy, our precious energy.  We can choose what happens here.

When we discover the power of the pause things can change.

I wrote “ENERGY CONSERVATION” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How good are you at energy conservation?
  • Do you practice the power of the pause?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

We-have-learned-that-in

POEM FOR TODAY

 

LostLake-2015

ENERGY CONSERVATION

It’s in the being willing that some peace at last we find,

When we set aside the struggle and observe what comes to mind

In a spirit of acceptance, without judgement, without fear,

We’re not swept away by impulse, we can choose what happens here.

There’s a pause that we have practiced long enough to make it stick,

We’ve conserved our precious energy and now we get to pick

Where we’re going to deploy it, maybe here or maybe there,

For when we’re not caught in struggle we have energy to spare.

And though it may still be tempting to fall into those old traps,

Every time that we resist them, every time we don’t relapse

Becomes another little victory which gradually will build

Into a set of better habits, where we’ve now become more skilled

At selecting other options, not for us a spat today,

There’s a sunset with our name on, there’s a joy won’t brook delay,

And we have learned that in our willingness we’ve strength on which to call,

Because our struggles are redundant if we just accept it all.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “ENERGY CONSERVATION” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

ACT has many applications!  When I was thinking about it in relation to energy conservation I surfed around and I came across a really interesting article at the ACBS Website.

It is entitled “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Insomnia” by Dr Guy Meadows, a sleep physiologist.

For those of us who suffer from insomnia, and thankfully these days thanks to ACT I have more restful than sleepless nights, it is definitely worth checking out.

Essentially Dr Meadows suggests that,

“It could be more effective to teach patients to adopt a more accepting attitude towards what spontaneously arises when experiencing difficulty sleeping.  The greater willingness to experience poor sleep results in fewer struggles, less arousal and paradoxically greater levels of sleepiness.”

Sleepless nights are horrible.  Anything that helps to alleviate them has to be worth a look!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-will not fight

 

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and CHOICES

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q:  I feel like I am stuck in a rut.  What can I do?

A:  Make a choice to take a chance!

It can feel very uncomfortable making a choice to take a chance.  It can feel very scary choosing to do something way out of our comfort zone, choosing to venture out into the unknown.  It is very tempting to scurry back to safety, to give up at the first hurdle, to throw in the towel before we have even tried.

I know that because I am on the brink of something new myself.  And it is scary.  So much could go wrong, but so much could go right too; so much to lose, but so much to gain too; so much I don’t know, but so much to discover too.  For every potential difficulty, flip the coin and there is a potential benefit hiding behind it.

What would ACT say?  Well at this moment I am very glad to have ACT to refer to.  And I know enough to know what ACT would say, and I am very glad to remind myself of it now.

ACT would say whatever  feelings and thoughts I am having now, accept them.  They are what they are and they are already here.  Struggling with them will just be a waste of energy and I could more usefully use that energy for a meaningful action which is in line with my values.

ACT would also remind me that although I may not like the discomfort I am feeling in the face of something new, such a feeling is natural in the circumstances.   I can cope with it and it will pass if I allow it to pass through.  I also know that if I allow the discomfort to stop me doing something worthwhile and meaningful, what ACT calls experiential avoidance, I will end up feeling worse not better in the long run.

So there we are.  I have reminded myself of all this and I feel better already.  Sometimes that is the best thing we can do for ourselves isn’t it?  If we have uncomfortable feelings don’t try to get rid of them, struggle with them or deny them, but just let them be there, they are there anyway, and do something meaningful, something that matters to us.

I wrote this post because I am  participating in  Writeful Mind’s Feel-Good Friday.

“Feel-Good Friday is all about promoting self-care and “me-time”, which  we can all use when the stresses of life get to be too much.”

When I started writing this post I certainly didn’t feel very good, but I knew that writing it would make me focus on things that would be helpful and as a result I would feel better, and I do!!!!!

So thank you to Carol at Writeful Mind for helping me to have a Feel-Good Friday.

I wrote the poem “CROSSROADS” to remind me that if we want our lives to change sometimes, despite our discomfort, we have to make a choice to take a chance

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How willing are you to make a choice to take a chance?
  • How do you cope with the discomfort that accompanies change?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

POEM FOR TODAY

SDI26681

CROSSROADS

Sometimes we reach a crossroads, we must make a choice, and we

Know deep down that it’s important, and we’re ready finally

To move in a new direction, leave the old landscape behind

And set off in search of something we are ready now to find.

We have put our faith in values for they’ve proved that they’re our friends

And we’re prepared for some discomfort, for we know discomfort ends

And delivers us a something that’s the loveliest it can give,

The tranquillity that says, “You’re living as you’re meant to live.”

And so if we are at a crossroads, let us pause a while to see

If we finally are ready to make changes finally,

For though we may have reached this juncture many times and backed away,

It could be that they’ve prepared us for a better choice today.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “CROSSROADS” please pass it on, and do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

ACT talks a lot about “experiential avoidance” and I have referred to it in previous posts too, including ACT and Committed Action.  It is definitely NOT a good thing!

In fact Dr Steven Hayes says of it in his wonderful book

“Experiential avoidance tends to artificially amplify the pain of presence and is the single biggest source of the pain of absence, since it is avoidance that most undermines positive actions.”

He goes on to say, “Of all the psychological processes known to science, experiential avoidance is one of the worst.” (Hayes, Masuda, et al. 2004).
As you can see, definitely NOT a good thing!

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and Challenges

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q: How can I win more confidence?

A: By becoming willing to take on challenges

It’s Day 4 of the Blogging 101 Course and the going is getting tough.  This, we are told, is when the tough get going!

Today’s assignment asked us to identify our audience and then publish a post for our “ideal reader”.

Who is my “ideal reader”?  Well, I suppose it’s anyone who wants to “Live Well and Stress Less”.  I should think that just about includes anyone and everyone!  So my target audience is pretty universal, but it’s the suggested solution, ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), that may seem a bit more limiting.

I don’t want that to be the case, but I am going to stick with ACT.  Why?  Because I know quite a lot about it so I am confident talking about it and recommending it, and I think it works.

Over the years I have tried a variety of different things to try to reduce my stress levels and, after much trial and error, I have come to the conclusion that ACT works for me.  This blog is selfish in one way and altruistic in another.  It’s selfish in that writing about ACT regularly reinforces its message for me, so I can Live Well and Stress Less more often.  It’s also altruistic in that I genuinely believe that ACT can help others to Live Well and Stress Less too.  If my blog helps them to do that then amen to that!

Today’s Blogging 101 Assignment also asked us to do something different, to include a new to me element.

Well here goes.  I am going to try to embed a video with an inspirational song that I love, which just happens to be about, you guessed it, overcoming CHALLENGES.

This is going to be quite a challenge for me!

And it is a challenge that has defeated me!! For now, anyway.  But I will return to it.  I am afraid I am going to have to make do with linking to the song, “The World’s Greatest”, R Kelly.  I can’t get the video to work after having tried for an hour!!!  Enjoy the music anyway!

A quick update!

The video is working!!!!!  Do click it, you get the lyrics as well as the song, and they are brilliant.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope when life throws up its challenges?
  • Are you willing to take the helm when the sea gets rough?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others.

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

TIP FOR TODAY

POEM FOR TODAY

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CHALLENGES

We say we would be confident, we say we would be strong,

Then resist the chance to practice when a challenge comes along,

When we get to flex our muscles, have a chance to grow a bit,

We become all agitated and we have a hissy fit!

“Oh no!” we cry in anguish, “I don’t want to deal at all

With the problems that life tosses me, the ills that me befall,

I want confidence abundant, but I didn’t realise

That when it came a-knocking it would come in a disguise.

It would dress itself in challenges and put me on the rack

And with each step I took forward it would seem I took two back,

And my mind is sending messages that fill me with alarm

‘Til I remember that’s its function, it grew up predicting harm.”

But it’s then I feel a confidence grow in me just a touch,

Just a fragile bud that’s barely there, it’s true it isn’t much,

But with just a bit of practice and a willingness to learn

I see a challenge is a chance for me some confidence to earn.

And although we didn’t want it, we will see when we look back

That our confidence got stretched each time we lay down on the rack,

And there’s something rather wonderful in knowing we can’t lose

Every time we face a challenge, and that challenge we then choose.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed “CHALLENGES” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT ……….

ACT stands for Acceptance Commitment Therapy.  It challenges us to accept our thoughts and feelings and still commit to change.

This has been one of the hardest and most challenging blogs I have yet written.  I am exhausted with trying to overcome the video challenge!!

Any tips gratefully received!

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just for today I’m going to go and pick up my grandson and take him swimming instead of struggling with this anymore.  I accept that just for today it has me beat, so I’m going to go off and enjoy my time with my grandson.

TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY!

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT and Taking Action

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q: How do I know if I am making progress?

A: If you are carrying on regardless!

Carrying on regardless!  What a challenge!  In the face of life’s traumas, in the face of life’s difficulties, in the face of disapproval and criticism and rejection and, and, and ….

The list goes on, and that’s even before we get started on the way that we sabotage ourselves, our own negativity, our own defeatism ….

And yet, if we could just carry on regardless what a wonderful thing it would be.  Not to get shunted off course by everything that happens, to be masters of our own ship, captains of our own fate. Sounds good doesn’t it?

In fact, this is what Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is all about. Giving us the skills to respond more flexibly to what happens to us both externally and internally.  Giving us more choices, teaching us how to opt for behaviours that will move us in meaningful directions, encouraging us to observe our thoughts rather than become slaves to them.  In short, helping us to carry on regardless irrespective of what the world throws at us, irrespective of what our own Mind is telling us.

I wrote the poem “CARRY ON REGARDLESS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How good are you at carrying on regardless?
  • How do you cope when life throws up its challenges?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others.

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

TIP FOR TODAY

POEM FOR TODAY

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CARRY ON REGARDLESS

 

If we want to make progress then we’re going to have to try,

Make a move in a direction to discover by and by

What waits for us in the future, and if change we want to see

Then a dream is insufficient, change will need activity.

We will have to leave the shadows, step out brave into the light,

And not scurry back defeated the first time we have a fright,

We will have to bear discomfort, face up to it fair and square

And if Mind starts making trouble, then that trouble we must bear

And just carry on regardless, there’s a mantra we can say,

“In the face of negativity I will not slink away!”

For the prize is not the future, it is every time we choose

To move forward to our passion for then no way can we lose.

And so let’s say a prayer for progress, and let’s say it now out loud

So we remember when Mind’s whining, that though whining is allowed

We won’t be paying it much attention, for they’re just words after all,

And in comparison to a passion words are really pretty small.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed “CARRRY ON REGARDLESS” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT ……….

ACT stands for Acceptance Commitment Therapy.  It challenges us to accept our thoughts and feelings and still commit to change.

So instead of saying,

“I want to change, BUT I am too anxious”,

we learn to say,

“I want to change, AND I am anxious about it.”

This subtle verbal and cognitive shift is the essence of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

It is actually very liberating.  Why?  Because it suggests that we can take action without first changing or eliminating feelings.  Rather than fighting the feeling attached to a behaviour, we can learn to accept it and observe ourselves having the feeling, but still take action.

One of the first self-help books I read many moons ago was Susan Jeffers “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”.

I haven’t read the book for years and I certainly can’t guarantee that its contents are authentic Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), but the title certainly is!  “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” is a great way of describing ACT!

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne