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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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Now displaying: June, 2019
Jun 26, 2019

All of us are going to experience adversity in our lives, and undoubtedly, it will cause some despair and grief when it happens.

Most of the time, we don’t get to choose whether we’re going to experience something difficult. Things simply happen.

However, what we do get to choose is whether we stay in that place of despair…..or whether we thrive through it.

This week, you’re going to meet Alisa Jones.

Alisa had her first seizure and was diagnosed with ecstatic epilepsy when she was 40-years old. Suddenly being a person who has seizures created an interesting set of obstacles and rules, but also an interesting set of possibilities. In the new book, Gotham Girl Interrupted, she shares a collection of comedic essays about life with epilepsy as a single mother in Manhattan.

This episode will give you the inspiration you need to THRIVE through uncertainty and adversity.

In this episode we cover:

  • The importance of not giving in to despair - When Alisa was diagnosed with epilepsy, she had a choice to make. She had to decide whether she was going to give in to the despair that she initially experienced or whether she was going to lean into the opportunity that was in front of her to help educate others on a condition that is very misunderstood.

  • Channeling your beginner’s mind - So many times, we rush through life to the point that we miss the moments in our lives that deserve to be savored. Being mindful of small details around you can help you calm you mind, it can snap you out of the passive mindset we typically operate in, and put you into a more active state of mind to live in the NOW.

Jun 19, 2019

Have you ever wanted to reinvent yourself?

Have you ever felt like the path you’re on used to be what you wanted to do, but it just isn’t anymore?

And if so, have you ever felt like you needed permission to make a pivot like that?

If any of that resonates, this episode is for YOU!

This week, you’re going to meet Melissa McGraw. Melissa
 created The Creative Potential after being burnt out working for someone else. Through her own struggles, she realized she had something to offer.

With passion, she formed the go-to source for entrepreneurs with a creative side to have practical action steps on how to build their business successfully.

Beyond a discussion about entrepreneurship, this episode is a discussion about REINVENTION.

In this episode we cover:

  • How it’s never too late to reinvent yourself and do something that makes you feel more ALIVE! ….and how you do NOT need anyone’s permission to do so!

  • Your mind is your biggest asset or your worst liability…and you get to decide which route it takes. Your mind evolved to keep you alive, not to help you THRIVE. It takes intentional work to make your mind work in your favor and set up a day-t0-day life that is vibrant and aligned. Head over to www.peakmindpsychology.com to learn more!

  • Entrepreneurs - at its heart, business is simply a solution to people’s problems. Every successful business simply pairs 2 things: an audience and a solution to a problem they have. Thinking about business in this way will help you craft your SEO, and it’ll help you talk about your product or solution in a way that resonates with your potential customers.

Jun 17, 2019

“Just think positively!”

“Why can’t you look on the bright side?”

At one time or another, almost all of us have been going through a tough time and have had someone say something like this to us.

It has become so pervasive that a term has been coined to describe it: toxic positivity.

This is when encouraging someone to simply “look on the bright side” without taking into account the circumstances they’re in becomes more harmful than helpful.

Here’s the thing: a big chunk of psychological strength involves intentional exercises that are positivity-focused or gratitude-focused.

So, is the entire concept of psychological strength just another form of toxic positivity?

Oooooh, hell no.

In this episode, I am on a serious soap box about the importance and power of building psychological strength and how it’s vastly different from toxic positivity.

I touch on:

  • TIMING: The time to build psychological strength is NOT when you’re currently in crisis. That’s akin to trying to learn how to shoot free-throws during the NBA Finals. The intentional work happens outside of the times when the pressure is on or when life is testing you. Timing is everything.

  • BIASED THINKING: One of the big issues with toxic positivity is that it’s asking you to ignore the difficulty you might be going through and pretend that everything is going well. That’s just unrealistic. In contrast, the tools and techniques that we use to build psychological strength capitalize on the fact that our minds are already biased toward the negative. And, by intentionally using mind-balancing techniques (similar to free-throw practice), we can balance out our thinking to make it more reflective of the reality we’re living.

  • TIMES OF CRISIS: I also have a special message for those of you who might be in a time of crisis or who might be experiencing one of those testing times of life. I hope these words give you comfort and hope for the future.

Visit www.peakmindpsychology.com to learn more about building psychological strength!

Jun 12, 2019

One of my very favorite quotes is by Henry Ford:

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.

Now, that all sounds nice, right? Sure, April, failure is the opportunity to begin again. That sounds lovely.

However, when the rubber hits the road, most of us enjoy failing about as much as we enjoy having dental work done.

But here’s the thing, the longer I’ve been an entrepreneur, the more I have come to truly understand how necessary and inevitable failure is in this journey.

And that’s what we’re focusing on this week with my interview with Sophia Sunwoo.

Sophia is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree in Social Entrepreneurship, a Forbes 30U30 All-Star Alumni, an ELLE Magazine Impact2 Awards Pitch finalist, and a Fred Alger Finance Award winner.

Sophia built her first company when she was 19 years old and sold it before her 23rd birthday. (Yes, you read that right.)

She also co-founded Water Collective, a non-profit founded to fix and prevent broken water projects in the developing world by building community ecosystems of water maintenance care.

Since 2012, the organization has secured clean water for over 76,000 people in West Africa and has been recognized by Forbes, DevEx, African Business Review, and ELLE Magazine.

Here are some highlights of this conversation:

  • Being naive can work in your favor. When you begin a new goal, especially if it’s a big one, being a little naive about what stands in front of you can work in your favor. So many times, if we know what the barriers are that we’ll hit, they keep us paralyzed. If we know how hard it’s going to be, we may not start. But, if you begin with a bit of naïveté, you might just be more likely to succeed…simply because you started.

  • Failure can be a necessity. In the same way that you build physical strength by working out at the gym, there are things you can do to build psychological strength. Failing repeatedly can help you become stronger and more able to handle difficulty down the line. Failure is NOT a sign that you’re not cut out for something. It’s inevitable, and it’s necessary.

  • Designing your own career. Sometimes people feel like you only have 2 options: have a 9-5 job or be an entrepreneur. There are infinite paths you can take, many of which lie in the grey area between the 2 obvious paths I called out before. I encourage you to think about the characteristics your career needs to have to make you happy, and then ask yourself “How might you” accomplish that? Check out this interview for more detail on how to do this.

Jun 5, 2019

How well do you know yourself?

I mean, truly know yourself?

How well do you know the innermost aspects of your true self, including the things that subconsciously influence you?

This week, we’re talking all about self-awareness…how to develop it, and what it means to live in a self-aware state.

We’re also talking about what that self-awareness allows you to do: LIVE AS YOUR TRUE SELF!

This week, I’m chatting with Ginni Saraswati, and if you can find a brighter light in the world, I’ll…I don’t know…do something gross. I’ll eat a bug. l

Truly, Ginni is an incredible woman, and you’re not going to want to miss our conversation.

Ginni is the founder of Ginni Media, a boutique podcast production company, and she is the host of The Ginni Show.

Here’s what we chatted about:

  • How can we be our true selves? Ginni and I had a really deep conversation about her experience as a lesbian and coming out to her family. In the end, it was fear that kept her from telling her family who she really was so that she could live authentically. However, the paradox is that fear holds us in an inauthentic state that can be psychologically damaging. You won’t want to miss this conversation.

  • Self-awareness is always step 1. Being self-aware means understanding yourself at a deeper level….and being honest about it. Sometimes these revelations can be incredibly difficult for us to admit to…but its crucial. If we want to live authentically (to my earlier point), you have to be aware and honest about who you are.

  • Happiness is so important! Focusing on your own happiness is NOT SELFISH! We all have one life to live. If you aren’t living life with an eye toward what’s making you happy, you’re wasting your precious time here.

  • Have the audacity to believe you can be more than you are now. The size of your dreams and goals do NOT get to be dictated by other people. If you have the inclination that you might be capable of reaching something big…you’re probably right. The audacity to reach for HUGE, SCRAY GOALS is what propels me forward, and if there’s one thing I can give you, it is the audacity to be your biggest self.

Go get ‘em tiger!

Jun 3, 2019

Fill in the blank: I’m the type of person who __________.

Are you the type of person who takes risks? Makes a lot of money? Needs the support of other people? Is brave?

The way you instinctively answer these questions can tell you a lot about your self-identity, and this is what we’re zeroing in on for this special mini episode of the podcast.

Here’s what we’re digging into:

  • What is our self-identity? From a Cognitive Psych perspective, we’re digging into what our self-identity actually is and how it was formed. As it turns out, our minds are powerful, but not that sophisticated.

  • How our self-identity shapes our behavior. Your self-identity is one of the things that draws a line around your comfort zone. It keeps you safe, but it also holds you back. We’re digging into how that happens.

  • How to reach your true potential, in spite of your self-identity. The self-limiting parts of our identities can keep us from reaching our true potential, but there is hope! This is why I’ve created a free download you can snag for yourself. Click here to get your copy --> www.aprilseifert.com/podcast/0118.

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