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Building Psychological Strength

More and more, people are seeing the benefits of building resilience, building confidence, building mental toughness and flexibility, and moving past fear and anxiety in their lives. April Seifert, Ph.D., hosts this powerful podcast that will help you build psychological strength through interviews and information from some of the world's leading experts in the fields of Psychology and Life Design. It's time to go beyond merely surviving. It's time to thrive! This podcast is brought to you by Peak Mind: The Center for Psychological Strength.
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Building Psychological Strength
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Jan 20, 2021

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, resentful, exhausted, or stretched too thin, it could be a sign that you’re overfunctioning.  

Overfunctioning is when we take on more than our fair share of responsibility inside of the context of the system we’re in. Whether it’s our family system, our work system, or another context. When we overfunction, we take on the burden of responsibility that others could shoulder.   

And we suffer because of it. 

Today, we’re diving deep into where overfunctioning comes from. (HINT: It’s actually a natural, normal, typically helpful mental process gone awry!). We talk about how to recognize it, what the implications of it are, and most importantly, how to begin to make a shift into greater balance and ease. 

FREE DOWNLOAD: During the episode, we mentioned a free “self ethnography” download. Simply visit www.peakmindpsychology.com/blog/0212 to get your free self ethnography pages. 

We also mentioned our programs Ascend and Self Care [by Design]. These are both great options if you want to begin to do the work of balancing out your life to get out of an overfunctioning situation. You can learn more about these programs at www.peakmindpsychology.com/programs. 

Jan 18, 2021

Last Monday, we talked about the importance of experiencing success when you're trying to create a new habit. But, how do you truly appreciate those successes? By tracking them. The simple act of tracking your own behavior and the accountability it provides can be the slight nudge you need to help you stay on track when you otherwise wouldn't.

Take our latest psych strength quiz absolutely free. Visit https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/quiz

Jan 15, 2021

Tell me if you've ever experienced this. You're working on your business or setting a new goal, or planning for a product or service launch, or forecasting revenue for the year, and your mind steps in. It says, "Who are you to think you can achieve that?" or "Why do you think you're qualified when so many others are better than you?"

Imposter syndrome runs deep in entrepreneurship. Not only that, but when we feel like an imposter, it zaps our confidence, and we tend to set goals that are below our capability. We make decisions that are safe, rather than ones that are a calculated risk that could move our business forward. Essentially, imposter syndrome sets us up to underperform.

Even more, most of the advice I hear on the internet and in other domains is actually really ineffective, albeit good-intentioned. This is why we're tackling the topic of imposter syndrome on the podcast today.

Jan 13, 2021

When was the last time you felt ashamed? Did you feel inclined to talk to someone about how you were feeling, or did you keep it to yourself? As you think back, were you feeling ashamed about something you actually had control over or were you accepting shame for something outside of your direct control?

Does shame ever play a role in influencing your behavior when you realize that you’ve changed your mind on a belief you once strongly held? Do you ever feel shame toward other people when they seem to “flip-flop” on important issues?

What about at a societal level? Do you see the influence of shame in any of our core institutions? The legal system, perhaps? Or the school system?

These are all of the questions we’re addressing during this week’s episode, which is an in-depth conversation with Nick Jawarski, the host of the podcast “Shame Rules!”

Nick became fascinated by the complex ways in which shame impacts us at both an individual and a societal level. He attempted to cover it in an episode of a podcast, but he quickly realized it deserved its own show. 

In our conversation, we begin by diving into what shame and guilt are and how they impact us individually. We talk about the role they play in keeping us from growing and learning new things, particularly in the age of social media. 

Then, we take an interesting turn to talk about the near-universal role that shame plays in our broader institutions in society. We’re talking about things as fundamental as the legal system and our public school system.

Not only will you leave this episode with a more in-depth understanding of the ways in which shame might impact you on a day-to-day basis, but you’ll begin to see it everywhere in society. I know I did!

I can’t wait for you to meet Nick Jawarski and to check out his new podcast, Shame Rules! https://www.shamerules.com/  

Head over to www.peakmindpsychology.com/quiz to see how you rank on our healthy selfishness quiz and get access to a free set of tools. 

Jan 11, 2021

Friends, it is January, and if you're like so many other people, you're probably working on a new goal. Many times, we set huge lofty goals, only to feel awful later on when we "fail." This year, try setting the bar low. Set it so low that it's almost impossible NOT to achieve it.

Take our newest quiz at www.peakmindpsychology.com/quiz

Jan 8, 2021

Each year, I make changes to invest in the podcast to make it even more valuable for my audience.

We currently release a quick, 1-2 minute, actionable episode every Monday to give you a new tool or tip to try out. We release an in-depth episode every Wednesday focused on helping you build psychological strength to improve your life experience....but there's one set of questions I get asked ALL THE TIME that I haven't yet addressed on the podcast. Business questions.

As it turns out, there's a TON of psychology involved in being a business owner. Sales, creativity, persisting after failure, goal setting, work-life balance, and so much more.

So, to lean into the podcast even more in 2021, I'm experimenting with Friday business-focused episodes. I hope you'll join me for episodes to help you build psychological strength and become more effective, confident, and successful in the world of business.

Jan 6, 2021

Sometimes, the amount of work and responsibilities we have on our plates is just too much. Between work, caring for others, taking care of our homes and physical space, and attempting to squeeze in a little bit of self-care, it can all feel overwhelming. 

But, what if you could approach it with an entirely different philosophy? 

What if you truly understood and believed that your space did not have to look perfectly put-together? 

What if you realized that you don’t exist to serve your space and make it look perfect, but rather, your space exists to serve you? 

What if you realized that the chores, or better yet, the care tasks, you do around your home are simply functional tasks. Doing them well, or not so well, perfectly, or incompletely, does not say anything about you as a person and your worth or value. 

What if you dropped all the guilt and shame about it and allowed yourself to simply do only what absolutely needed to be done? 

Enter KC Davis. I encountered KC Davis on TikTok, and I was instantly struck by her message of ‘Struggle Care.’ Through her empathetic and engaging content, she teaches us that care tasks are functional, not moral. That shame is the enemy of functioning. That we can allow ourselves a human moment and be absolutely ok with it. This, and so much more. 

Her new book “How to Keep House While Drowning” gives an approachable, tangible, not overwhelming overview of her philosophy of struggle care, and it’s exactly what we all need during a time when we’re juggling too much or battling barriers to getting our care tasks done. 

No matter what, you are valuable, you are worthy, and none of that value and worth is dependent upon what your home looks like. 

Learn more about KC at: https://www.strugglecare.com/  

Click here to learn more about our most recent program, ‘Self Care [by design].’ For just $29, you can design your own effective, customized, guilt-free self-care routine to support you in being your best every day. https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/selfcare  

Jan 4, 2021

For a limited time, get 20% any of Peak Mind’s programs. Commit to building psychological strength in 2021. You deserve it!  

Visit the links below and use the code HAPPYNEWYEAR to get 20% off at checkout. (Offer ends on 1/6/2021) 

ASCEND: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/ascend 

LIMTLESS: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/limitless 

SELFCARE [BY DESIGN]: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/selfcare  

Dec 30, 2020

As you look back on the past year, are you happy with how you spent your time? How about as you look forward. Do you feel confident that you have a crystal clear picture of how you want your days to look and feel in the coming year...as well as how to make that happen? 

One practice I’ve been doing on a semi-annual basis for the past few years is a calendar audit. This is a time set aside for us to intentionally look at how we’re spending our time, and set some general ground rules to bring our lives into better alignment as we look ahead. 

To that end, this week’s episode is a bit different. It’s actually a hands on episode where we guide you through the 10 steps we take to conducting a calendar audit and ending up with an “ideal week” that serves as a compass for how you make decisions about how to spend your time going forward.  

None of us will ever hit our ideal 100% of the time, but imagine how great an intentional B- will feel if it’s in the direction of your ideal.  

As we close out 2020 (April throws confetti), we wanted to give you the gift of time through this powerful, hands on episode. We hope you find it valuable! 

One more gift for you! For a limited time, get 20% any of Peak Mind’s programs. Commit to building psychological strength in 2021. You deserve it!  

Visit the links below and use the code HAPPYNEWYEAR to get 20% off at checkout. (Offer ends on 1/6/2021) 

ASCEND: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/ascend 

LIMTLESS: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/limitless 

SELFCARE [BY DESIGN]: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/selfcare  

Dec 28, 2020

Feeling burned out? This might be why. Take our new quiz at https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/quiz 

Dec 23, 2020

Perception is reality. Truly.

Our expectations about how the world works and what “should” happen next provide a powerful lens through which we see the world.

Perhaps no one knows this better than today’s guest. Today we’re speaking with Steve Haffner, a professional magician. Steve intimately understands the power of our subconscious expectations, and he exploits them to create magical experiences for his audiences.

His is entertaining, but it also provides a powerful lesson in self-awareness and self-discovery to help us live our lives to the fullest.

Steve had a successful 30-year career in information systems as a Vice-President of Performance Measurement Systems for a healthcare information corporation. Seemingly on a whim, he walked into his boss’s office and quit to become a professional magician.

What seemed like an abrupt decision was actually a realignment of Steve’s life to his authentic values. A reinvention that brought him into alignment with who he truly was and the contribution he wanted to make in the world.

During this interview, we talk about:

  • The fact that our own perception, regardless of whether it is accurate or not, is our reality.
  • The impact of mental biases and short-cuts on shaping the lens through which we see the world.
  • The critical role that our personal values play in shaping the direction of our daily decision-making (big and small).
  • And, how to use your values to “confront the lizard” and make more intentional decisions.

This interview is entertaining AND informative. I know you’re going to love meeting Steve Haffner.

Dec 21, 2020

Feeling burned out? This might be why. Take our new quiz at https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/quiz 

Dec 16, 2020

QUESTION: What organ does the heart feed first? This critical organ in our body has the important job of sending oxygen and nutrients to our entire body…so where does it send it first?

ANSWER: The heart feeds ITSELF first.

Think about that. The heart’s job is to nurture every single other organ and tissue in our body, yet it nurtures itself first by way of the coronary arteries. It’s as though the heart knows that if it isn’t ok, the rest of our body doesn’t stand a chance.

What about you?

Do you nurture yourself first? I bet not.

In a million large and small ways, we’re taught that focusing on ourselves is SELFISH. That it’s something we should avoid and be ashamed of. That we should strive to tirelessly give to others, many times, at our own expense.

But, what if selfishness is actually HEALTHY? 

Turns out, it can be. Recent research in psychology has uncovered the concept of healthy selfishness. This is when we recognize that our own needs are just as important as everyone else’s needs. We take our needs as seriously as everyone else’s needs…just like the heart.

In this age of burnout where all of us are stretched way too thin, I encourage you to listen to this episode and take our new quiz to assess your own level of healthy selfishness. It could very well save your life.

Head over to www.peakmindpsychology.com/quiz to see how you rank on our healthy selfishness quiz and get access to a free set of tools.

Dec 14, 2020

Feeling burned out? This might be why. Take our new quiz at https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/quiz 

Dec 8, 2020

It’s a fact of life that we’re all going to experience adversity and suffering in our lives. So many factors and events are outside of our control, and despite our best efforts to create the perfect life, tragedy still occurs.

But, psychological research shows us that it is possible to grow from tragedy, rather the simply be consumed by it.

This week on the podcast we’re speaking with David Roland. David is a writer, presenter, and psychologist from Australia. For much of his career, he worked as a clinical and forensic psychologist, and on the outside, he had a perfect life.

After experiencing PDSD, depression, and ultimately a stroke, David devoted this latter half of his career to helping people move through suffering and grow as a result of adversity.

In this conversation, he offers some things for us to think about in terms of how we cope with trauma and tragedy and how we might ourselves grow when we’re faced with life’s challenges. Not only that, but he offers such empathetic and kind advice about how we can be a supportive companion to others who might be experiencing suffering, rather than the awkwardness and distance we so often feel compelled to feel when others are going through something difficult.

Life will not always be perfect. We all will experience adversity in our lives, and it is absolutely critical that we develop skills for coping with it and growing as a result. You won’t want to miss this powerful episode.

Learn more about David Roland and his books at https://davidroland.com.au/.

At the beginning of the episode, I mentioned a new quiz that we’ve recently released to see how you rank on 2 new factors that contribute to burn-out, overwhelm, and the feelings of guilt we tend to feel when we take time for ourselves. You deserve to feel calm, balanced and supported in being your best self. The first step is the self-awareness of the factors that might be working against you. Head over to www.peakmindpsychology.com/quiz to see how you rank on these 2 new cutting-edge factors and get access to a set of tools to help you move through it.

 

Dec 2, 2020

There’s no denying it – life is going to hand us adversity. Time and time again, we will be challenged by our circumstances, and many times, those circumstances won’t be in our control.

When I was 13 years old, I went blind for the first time, and I will admit, I let victim mentality take over at first. I let a number of false beliefs control my actions, and I watched as my once full, vibrant life began to shrink. Until, one day, I decided not to play the victim anymore. I decided to acknowledge the situation I was in and take the next best step.

Radical responsibility is what allowed me to do that, and in this episode of the podcast, we’re diving deep into what that means. We’ll explore the topic in the context of some of the most difficult events life can throw at us: grief, loss, uncertainty.

I hope you leave this episode with a set of tools to help you become more intentional in the face of absolutely anything life can throw at you. It was during the most difficult challenges that I learned these lessons, and I want to share them with you.

I mentioned a few resources during this episode. If you’re interested in learning more about my 1:1 coaching practice, you can visit www.aprilseifert.com. You can also visit this link to get a free 30-day trial of Sam Harris’ ‘Waking Up’ app, which I use every single day (and don’t get paid anything for sharing): https://dynamic.wakingup.com/redeemMonth/240086

Because self-care is so critical, we’re thrilled to announce our newest Peak Mind program: Self-Care [by design]. This program will guide you through a step-by-step process to create your own guilt-free, effective, custom self-care routine to make sure you’re taken care of. Find out more information at www.peakmindpsychology.com/selfcare . At only $29, this program is accessible to nearly anyone who is ready to make themselves a priority.

Nov 25, 2020

Are you the type of person who can naturally and deeply feel the emotions of others around you? Do you find it easy to relate to other people’s emotions and anticipate how other people might be feeling in different situations? Do you naturally think about others and the impact of your behavior on their emotions? 

If so, you’re likely a highly empathetic person, and this episode is for you! 

You see, naturally having a high degree of empathy is an absolute super-power. You have insight into context and detail that other people miss. You’re also an incredible asset to others around you. They benefit from this super-power of yours because you’re so able to relate to them on a deep level. 

However, many highly empathetic people can find themselves feeling flooded and overwhelmed. Burned out. Resentful when others aren’t as able to anticipate their feelings and relate on the same deep level. 

In this episode, we’re talking about the 2 sides of empathy, with the hope that it helps you understand yourself a bit better. 

We’ll also talk about some practical things you can do to help support yourself if you happen to be a highly empathetic person. In particular, self-care is even more important for you. Having a guilt-free, effective, tailored self-care program is an absolute necessity for you. 

Because self-care is so critical, we’re thrilled to announce our newest Peak Mind program: Self-Care [by design]. This program will guide you through a step-by-step process to create your own guilt-free, effective, custom self-care routine to make sure you’re taken care of. Find out more information at www.peakmindpsychology.com/selfcare . At only $29, this program is accessible to nearly anyone who is ready to make themselves a priority. 

Nov 23, 2020

There's a reason why you're burned out...and it's not what you think. 

Psychologists have recently uncovered 2 new factors that contribute to burn-out, and they'll probably surprise you. 

Once you know how they apply to you, you can start making changes to feel less overwhelmed, less worried, less GUILTY, and less hard on yourself.

Click here to take the quiz to see how you score on these 2 factors.

Nov 18, 2020

CUE THE CONFETTI! Friends, this is episode 200 of the podcast, and in honor of that huge milestone, we’re diving DEEP into the different facets of psychological strength.

You see, when we talk about ‘building psychological strength,’ we’re really talking about developing yourself in 5 core areas so that you’re better skilled and equipped to handle anything life throws at you.

2020 has shown us just how V.U.C.A. life can be (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous). We all need to work on the skills and abilities that set us up to be able to thrive, no matter what life throws our way.

How would that feel?

Imagine it! How would it feel to have the confidence that, no matter what, you have the skills to move through any challenge and thrive?

That is what psychological strength is, and today, to celebrate this exciting milestone, we’re diving deep.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have downloaded an episode of this podcast. If you haven’t subscribed, please hit that button in celebration of this exciting day. Thank you for being on this journey with us and for recognizing your own worth.

During this episode, we mentioned our flagship program Ascend. If you would like to learn more information on that program and get in before we raise the price, visit www.peakmindpsychology.com/ascend

Nov 16, 2020

There's a reason why you're burned out...and it's not what you think. 

Psychologists have recently uncovered 2 new factors that contribute to burn-out, and they'll probably surprise you. 

Once you know how they apply to you, you can start making changes to feel less overwhelmed, less worried, less GUILTY, and less hard on yourself.

Click here to take the quiz to see how you score on these 2 factors.

Nov 11, 2020

We all know that we need to set boundaries in our lives in order to protect our own time and energy, but wow can it be hard to do! Sometimes we feel selfish for cutting other people off and not allowing them the time, energy, and resources we know we just can’t provide.  

However, as tough as it can be to set boundaries, it’s absolutely necessary. 

In this episode of the podcast, we’re speaking with Carley Hauck. Carley is a learning architect, leadership development consultant, author, speaker, and serves as adjunct faculty at Stanford University and UC Berkeley Haas School of Business teaching on the subject of leadership and business as a platform for positive change in the world. 

In this episode, Carley talks about: 

  • The power of naming our emotions and how it can help us move through unpleasant emotions. “Name it to tame it” 
  • Emotional intelligence & the fact that there are no unacceptable emotions 
  • What compassionate boundaries are and how to set them 
  • The role anger plays in setting a boundary 

Finally, Carley gives a step-by-step way to approach setting compassionate boundaries to begin using them as a way to protect yourself, particularly in times that are as volatile and ever-changing as our current situation. 

The bottom line, you are an asset to everyone in your life. And because of that, you need and deserve some protection. Setting intentional, compassionate boundaries is one key way to do just that. 

https://carleyhauck.com/shinebook/ 

Take part in Carley’s 2-part free workshop at https://carleyhauck.com/consciousleadershipworkshop/  

www.leadfromlight.com 

Nov 9, 2020

There's a reason why you're burned out...and it's not what you think. 

Psychologists have recently uncovered 2 new factors that contribute to burn-out, and they'll probably surprise you. 

Once you know how they apply to you, you can start making changes to feel less overwhelmed, less worried, less GUILTY, and less hard on yourself.

Click here to take the quiz to see how you score on these 2 factors.

Nov 4, 2020

I want you to think about the last time you experienced adversity. Big, small, it doesn’t matter.  

Most of us have a pretty easy time coming up with adversity because we face it ALL THE TIME. In EVERY facet of our lives.  

Our relationships, our careers, our day to day life. We experience adversity all the time. 

Unfortunately, our mind’s natural tendency when things get difficult is to try to avoid. To chatter at us, to try to influence us to have a drink, distract ourselves, or procrastinate until the problem goes away. We attempt to avoid, and we miss out on the opportunity to thrive through the adversity and grow stronger as a result of it. 

Today, on this episode, I want to dive deep into the topic of psychological flexibility. This is a skill that has been shown to help people, not only move through adversity, but THRIVE through it and grow as a result of it. 

Specifically, I want to dive deep into the 6 facets of psychological flexibility and give you some tips and tricks for applying them when you’re in a challenging situation in the future. 

This skill is something you learn, not something you check the box on. This means, you’re likely to be pretty bad at it at first. That’s ok! It’s going to feel awkward. But, as you keep practicing, you’ll get better, smoother, more natural. And, the power of this skill will go to work for you. 

Stick around to the end of this episode. I open up and talk about my personal experience giving my TEDx talk last year. I don’t remember very many other times in my life when I was that anxious and afraid. It was the 6 steps that I share in this episode that got me through it. You can watch my TEDx talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTnSX4sYQhU  

I want the same for you. I want you to be able to confront your toughest situations head on, and thrive through them. 

I know you can. It just takes a little practice. We’re here to support you. Good luck! 

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