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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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Now displaying: Page 2
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! 

Oct 28, 2020

Anger. Sadness. Guilt. Embarrassment. Shame. Resentment. These are all painful emotions that most of us don’t enjoy feeling. 

They can be so difficult to bear that, many times, we work at all costs to avoid them. We fall prey to the “Good Vibes Only” Instagram posts that tell us to pretend we’re happy all the time. 

It’s not possible to be happy all of the time. 

In fact, it’s not even GOOD FOR YOU to be happy all of the time. 

In this episode, we’re diving into the more painful, difficult side of our emotional experience. We’re wading through the complexity of our more unpleasant emotions to talk about the valuable role they play in our lives. 

Specifically, we’ll talk about 4 important things your painful emotions do for you.  

We’re all human beings, which means we’re complicated little animals. We have big, emotionally-expressive lives, and that’s a GOOD THING! That’s what we’re digging into this week. 

Toward the end, we give you a framework for thinking about your unpleasant emotions when you experience them. Hopefully this helps you understand yourself a bit more and be more self-compassionate in times when you need it. 

Throughout this episode, I mentioned a free resource for you to help you regain feelings of balance and control when life feels overwhelming, when your perfectionism kicks in, or when the future has you feeling worried. Visit www.peakmindpsychology.com/support to get immediate access to this free resource. Join nearly 1000 other people who have checked out this resource as a way to help regain balance during a chaotic time. 

Oct 21, 2020

Tell me if you relate to any of these situations: 

  • You walk into a room and forget why you went there. 
  • You forget names or stumble over words as you speak 
  • You have an endless to-do list running through your mind of things you can’t forget to get done 

If any of these sound familiar, you’ll want to catch this week’s episode. This week, we’re talking all about cognitive load and decision fatigue and how to reduce mental clutter and create more spaciousness in your mind.  

In this episode, I give a deep overview about what cognitive load and decision fatigue are. We talk about the brain science behind why they happen and how they’re a very natural response to a very old brain attempting to operate in modern society. 

I give such a deep overview, because I want you to know that you’re not a failure, you're not weak, you’re not deficient in some way if you drop a ball or forget something. You’re a human with a brain. That’s it. 

Finally, we go into the 4 R’s of reducing cognitive load to create more mental spaciousness: 

  • Reduce  
  • Replicate 
  • Regorganize 
  • Act Rapidly 

I hope this episode helps you understand your mind a little better and helps you develop a sense of compassion for yourself as a human being just trying to do the best they can.  

You’re doing great. 

Throughout this episode, I mentioned a free resource for you to help you regain feelings of balance and control when life feels overwhelming, when your perfectionism kicks in, or when the future has you feeling worried. Visit www.peakmindpsychology.com/support to get immediate access to this free resource. Join nearly 1000 other people who have checked out this resource as a way to help regain balance during a chaotic time. 

Oct 14, 2020

Brace yourselves, friends. It’s election season. 

We’re officially in the full-swing of election season, and most of us are FEELING IT. The gluttony of information, constant negativity, divisive content, and the importance of the outcomes has us feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or even checked-out. 

There are a lot of blog posts and podcast episodes focused on the different mental biases that come into play during the political season. This is all important content, but it is not what we’ll be reviewing today. 

Instead, today’s episode is focused on ways you can lean on your psychological strength to thrive through this season. To avoid some of the anxiety and worry that can arise. To feel more balanced and centered during a time that threatens to upend even the strongest of us. 

We’ll begin the episode by talking about some key reasons why you might be feeling out-of-sorts during this time. We’ll cover our mind’s tendency to focus on topics in a black and white fashion, our tendency to focus on negative information, our bias toward creating ingroups (us) and outgroups (them) and our illusion of control. 

All of these tendencies are very natural and normal occurrences, but they make our experience during election season particularly difficult. 

Toward the end of this episode, we’ll turn to things you can do to support yourself through the coming weeks. This information is particularly important for those of you who might find yourself in an advocate or activist position. If you are fighting for something important to you, you need to take care of yourself in the process. We’d love to arm you with some tips. 

Friends, take care of yourself in the coming weeks.  

Oct 7, 2020

Have you ever wondered why we judge? Or, how about why we feel afraid to be who we really are? Or, why we see other people going after big goals and achieving things they want to achieve, but we feel stuck. 

As it turns out, there is a common core: a lack of self-trust. 

Today, we’re speaking with Blake D. Bauer, author of the international bestselling book ‘You Were Not Born to Suffer.’ Blake is an expert in the realm of self-love and self-trust, and he takes a unique approach by using mindfulness as a way to begin to develop both. 

I’ll tell you, mindfulness and self-trust are two of the most impactful, foundational psychological strength building techniques, and I’m thrilled to have had the chance to dive into them with Blake during this episode. 

We had such a robust conversation about: 

  • What mindfulness is! It sounds so simple, but the concept of mindfulness gets so over-complicated in the media today. Blake breaks it down for us.
  • How to understand the core of many of our problems as a society today and the role that a lack of self-trust and self-love plays. 
  • How to cultivate self-trust on a daily basis 
  • How all of this feeds into psychological strength 

As someone who works on these skills every single day, it was so refreshing to speak with Blake. He’s another person who understands the impact that psychological strength can have in your life, and his compassion for helping others do the same is so evident in this interview.  

Other resources you might be interested in are: 

  • The Peak Mind Starter Pack – a free resource for digging into some of the basis principles of psychological strength 
  • An Unteathered Soul – a book that dives into many of the same concepts we covered in this interview 
  • Transcend – another book that dives into the importance of fulfilling our own needs so that we might be able to be of more value to others. 
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