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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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May 20, 2020

Stop. Stop right now. Consider for a moment the opportunity that stands before each and every one of us. 

Life is about to go back to “normal” after COVID. We’re about to go back to our jobs, begin shopping, interacting, and living in a way that is closer to the way we lived before COVID.  

However, we’ve been through a formative experience, and if you’re like me, you’ve learned a few things over the past few months. 

There are things you want to change. 

Alignments to be made. 

You’re ready to live the next chapter of your life by DESIGN, and not by DEFAULT. 

Friends, the time is NOW to do just that, and this episode will help you do it. 

This episode is the audio from a recent workshop we hosted for the members of our Starter Pack. Specifically, we walked through a 60-minute, hands on exercise to align the next chapter of your life with your unique values system. 

Now this exercise is just scratching the surface of what Life Design can actually do, but it’ll get you a heck of a lot closer to an aligned life than if you leave it up to chance...which is what most people will do. 

Don’t live this next chapter of your life by default. Dig in. Do the work. And live this next chapter by DESIGN. 

Join the Peak Mind Starter Pack by visiting this link & you’ll find the module containing the download for this week’s episode. Follow along with us, and let us know what you’re going to do going forward! 

May 13, 2020

As many of us are either reemerging after the pandemic or contemplating what our lives will be like as we go “back to normal,” many of us are thinking through the aspects of our “normal” lives that are worth going back to. 

Yes, the situation we’ve all been through has been difficult. We’ve endured tremendous hardship as a globe, but this adversity has likely illuminated changes you want to make in your life as you move forward. 

Effectively making those changes requires knowing exactly what you want…and asking for it in an effective way. 

Because of this, I’m so excited to welcome AmyK Hutchens back to the podcast.  

AmyK is an international award-winning speaker, Amazon bestselling author, and has over 10 years’ experience training, coaching, and consulting. With over 75+ speaking events per year for some of the biggest global brands. AmyK travels the world helping leaders become Master Communicators so they can lead, innovate, sell, and collaborate more effectively. One. Conversation. At. A. Time. 

In this interview, AmyK shares some key phrases and tips to construct a more effective conversation to get what you want. She also dives deep into our worth and the value of stepping into and using our own voice. She gives a powerful lesson about the importance of going on a “conversation diet” in order to create a more beautiful life experience, and we follow it up with a quick conversation about her brand new book: “Get It! Five Steps to the Sex, Salary, Success You Want.”  

I’m thrilled to welcome AmyK back to the podcast to help us all as we transition into the next phase of our lives. 

May 6, 2020

Today’s episode is a deep one. We’re diving straight to the heart of a set of topics that are responsible for more suffering, stress, and anxiety in people’s lives than any others. 

Today we’re speaking with Dr. Nima Rahmany. Dr. Rahmany is a chiropractor turned educator whose goal is to help people locate, understand, and heal their own inner suffering and trauma so that they might live better and connect to others on a deeper level. 

In this episode we talk about: 

  • Radical responsibility and how we all must take 100% responsibility for 100% of the situations we find ourselves in 
  • Intergenerational suffering and the ways in which our past trauma and experience dictate the ways we relate to our children and other close relationships around us, perpetuating unhelpful patterns. 
  • The involuntary or unconscious way many of us live – So much of our life is spent on auto-pilot, and Dr. Rahmany gives us tactical tools for breaking that cycle 
  • Triggers – What they are, the role they serve in our lives, and how we can become “trigger proof.” 

You’re going to want to listen to this episode twice. There’s so much value in it. Please take this episode as a wake-up call to be an active driver of your own life.  

Relevant Links: 

Peak mind is currently offering bi-weekly (2 / week) psych strength building workshops absolutely FREE. Sign up for the Peak Mind Starter Pack atwww.peakmindpsychology.com/startto get all the details about how you can join us and to access the replays from past calls. 

Apr 29, 2020

If you’re like me, you’re a “doer.” When something needs to be done, you do it. When someone needs help, you’re there. When you see something that can be improved, you’re on it. 

There’s a shadow side to all that “doing.” 

Many times, we take on more and more at our own expense. We feel obligated to tend to others’ needs at the expense of our own. We try to control and manage things that are in actuality not ours to control and manage.  

This is called “over-functioning,” and it’s one of the key topics we’re talking about in today’s episode. 

Today, we’re speaking with Mandy Barbee. Mandy is a hypnotherapist, the founder of Palladium Mind, and perhaps more importantly, a recovered over-functioner 

Mandy brings her personal transformation and her expertise to this episode to talk about a number of important topics that are likely influencing us right now: 

  • We talk about the committee of voices we all have in our mind that drives us to over-function 
  • We talk about self-sabotage. What causes it and how we can use it as input to move forward toward what we really want. 
  • We go in depth on the real role of self-care. It’s more than bubble baths and manicures 
  • And, finally, Mandy shares a free resource she’s put together just for us, which you can access here. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stretched thin, this is the episode for you. 

Peak mind is currently offering bi-weekly (2 / week) psych strength building workshops absolutely FREE. Sign up for the Peak Mind Starter Pack at www.peakmindpsychology.com/start to get all the details about how you can join us and to access the replays from past calls.  

Apr 22, 2020

We’re in an unprecedented time of “social distancing.” Many of us are experiencing the effects of spending time away from family and friends, and loneliness is one feeling so many of us are having. 

Because of this, I’m thrilled to welcome Peter Montoya back to the podcast. Peter was actually with us for a past episode that you can access here. Peter is a best-selling author, a keynote speaker, and the CEO of Thrive Union. Most importantly for today’s conversation, he’s an expert on social connection. 

In this very candid conversation, we talk about some important topics and share our own personal experiences: 

  • The importance of social connection and how much we actually need 
  • The different levels of social connection and how they influence our well-being 
  • How we can meet our social needs during this time of “distancing” 
  • What the silver lining of the pandemic has been 

No matter what your circumstances, I want you to know that I’m thinking about you and this community often. Please don’t be a stranger. Reach out and let me know what other topics you’d like me to cover during this time. 

I’m here for you! 

Peak mind is currently offering bi-weekly (2 / week) psych strength building workshops absolutely FREE. Sign up for the Peak Mind Starter Pack atwww.peakmindpsychology.com/startto get all the details about how you can join us and to access the replays from past calls. 

Apr 15, 2020

This episode was created for and is dedicated to our front-line healthcare workers.   

The responsibility you are being asked to shoulder amidst a time of incredible uncertainty and rapid change is overwhelming. We see you. We see the sacrifice you’re making. We can attempt to empathize with the emotional toll this must all be taking.   

When you play such an important role supporting others, it’s important that others support you. We support you. 

This week, I’m speaking with Lisa Wimberger, the founder of the Neuroscultping Institute. Lisa created neurosculpting using a combination of meditation and brain science to develop a hands-on technique that can reset and retrain your brain and your nervous system to down-regulate during times of stress. 

She originally created neurosculpting in 2007 to help first-responders cope with the incredible intensity of their jobs. Too many first-responders suffer emotional trauma and PTSD from simply doing their jobs, and the neurosculpting technique can help guard against that.  

You can see why I asked Lisa to join me for this special episode of Building Psychological Strength. I wanted to give our front-line medical professionals tools they can use to remain balanced during a time of excruciating pressure.   

During our conversation, we: 

  • Acknowledge the different situations healthcare workers are in and how stressful they all are, regardless of whether the “surge” has hit your area or not, 
  • We talk about what we can do as community members to support healthcare workers 
  • Lisa covers the role our nervous system is playing in this situation, including the way it is supposed to work, and the way it does work in a period of sustained stress. 
  • What healthcare workers can be doing to help down-regulate their nervous system during this time.  
  • Known ways you can tune your vagus nerve. 
  • The 3 keys to successful neuroplasticity 

This episode is packed with resources for everyone, but in particular, for front-line healthcare workers.  

We also highlighted a number of resources 

  • Peak mind is currently offering bi-weekly (2 / week) psych strength building workshops absolutely FREE. Sign up for the Peak Mind Starter Pack at www.peakmindpsychology.com/start to get all the details about how you can join us and to access the replays from past calls.  
  • Lisa’s original episode on the podcast where she dives in-depth into the neurosculpting approach 

Finally, Lisa announced the upcoming launch of her new neurosculpting app. Learn more at: www.neuropraxis.com  

Peak mind is currently offering bi-weekly (2 / week) psych strength building workshops absolutely FREE. Sign up for the Peak Mind Starter Pack at www.peakmindpsychology.com/start to get all the details about how you can join us and to access the replays from past calls. 

Apr 8, 2020

If you’re a parent, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that these are very difficult times. During this global pandemic, parents are being asked to simultaneously do multiple different jobs at the same time, and the expectations and evaluations we’re placing on ourselves can be crushing. 

I recently stumbled upon a meme on Facebook, of all things, and I knew that I had to reach out to its author to ask her to come on the podcast.  

Here’s an excerpt from that meme: 

Working, parenting, and teaching are three different jobs that cannot be done at the same time. It’s not hard because you’re doing it wrong. It’s hard because it’s too much. Do the best you can. 

Such compassionate words that so many of us need to hear right now. Words written by this week’s guest, Dr. Emily King.  

Dr. Emily King is a Licensed Psychologist and Heath ServicesProvider in private practice in Raleigh, North Carolina. She specializesin working with children and adolescents with anxiety, ADHD, and AutismSpectrum Disorders. Dr. King received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of North Carolina atChapel Hill. 

In this episode we touch on: 

  • The importance of self-compassion in times like these 
  • How you can use anchor points in your routine to help everyone feel more comfortable where they’re at in their day 
  • The unique needs that kids might have during these times and how we can help them thrive through them. 
  • What self-care looks like and how we can cultivate it to help us show up as our best 
  • How to cultivate more compassionate, open communication with our partners and spouses during this intense time 

I know you’re going to appreciate this conversation with Dr. Emily King. Please share this with another parent who might need some compassion during this time. 

Peak mind is currently offering bi-weekly (2 / week) psych strength building workshops absolutely FREE. Sign up for the Peak Mind Starter Pack at www.peakmindpsychology.com/start to get all the details about how you can join us and to access the replays from past calls. 

Apr 1, 2020

Peak mind is currently offering bi-weekly (2 / week) psych strength building workshops absolutely FREE. Sign up for the Peak Mind Starter Pack at www.peakmindpsychology.com/start to get all the details about how you can join us and to access the replays from past calls. 

If you’re searching for tools and techniques to help you maintain resilience in the face of the uncertain times we’re in, this episode is for you. 

A few months back, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ariel Garten, mindfulness expert, and Founder of the company Muse. Muse makes a brain-sensing headband that helps people meditate more effectively. 

Through my connection with Ariel, I was able to get an interview with this week’s guest. Patricia Karpas is a former media executive, the Head of Content for Muse, and the founder of Meditation Studio, a 5-star meditation app. She’s with us this week to help us understand the power of mindfulness during uncertain times like these and, more importantly, to help us get started.  

During this episode we talk about: 

  • What mindfulness means in these uncertain times 
  • The benefits of meditation both now and in our normal lives 
  • How your breath serves as an anchor in times of panic and chaos 
  • The impact of meditation on the way your brain responds to threats 
  • The importance of a gratitude practice 

We also highlight a number of resources for you: 

I hope this episode serves as an actionable tool for you to cultivate a practice that will benefit you now and well into the future. Please share this with someone else who might benefit.

Mar 25, 2020

As we move through these uncertain times together, I want to do everything I can to help you build and maintain the psychological strength you’ll need to thrive through this adversity.  

We founded Peak Mind to help you navigate times exactly like this.  

Life is not always perfect. Sometimes gratitude is more difficult to find. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is do our best to remain calm and keep a balanced mindset. 

Psychological strength can help you do just that. 

This episode is the first of a series of episodes that I plan to do to help you navigate the complex thoughts and feelings that might be coming up as we face the coming weeks and months. 

In today’s episode, I discuss a few things: 

  • First, we discuss the brain science behind why we all feel so anxious as our day-to-day lives are so different from the way they once were. You are not alone in your feelings. They are very normal and quite natural and adaptive. 
  • I talk about how our natural response to uncertainty is to try to control our circumstances. This helps explain why we as a group have responded in some of the ways that we have (hello, toilet paper). 
  • Finally, I end with a hands-on exercise that you can do to help find a more grounded, centered, balanced mindset during times that you might feel anxious or worried. 

The fact of the matter is, there is a threat out there. The corona virus is real. However, I hope that the information and exercise in this episode helps you remain calm and centered, even as you move through a period of great uncertainty and change. 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: 

As an additional resource, Peak Mind will be offering free, virtual psychological strength-building sessions to those people enrolled in our free Starter Pack module. We are offering these sessions to help build community and offer information, support, and actionable tools to help you move through the coming weeks and months. 

Head over to https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/starter-pack to sign up for free and be notified about the details of these sessions. 

Mar 18, 2020

What if I told you that it is literally possible for you to choose the way you’re going to feel in nearly every situation in life? 

As it turns out, decades of research into the connection between thoughts and emotions shows us that it is, and we’re digging deep into it this week.  

This week, we’re speaking with Dr. Sasha Heinz. Dr. Heinz is a Developmental Psychologist and Life Coach, is an expert in Positive Psychology, lasting behavioral change, and the science of getting unstuck. She is a graduate of Harvard Universitya former faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology programa working mom, and she has lived life on the frontline of the battle with perfectionism. 

This episode is such a powerful one because it has the ability to change your day-to-day life experience. 

We dig into: 

  • The link between situations, thoughts, emotions, and actions, and the order in which they happen 
  • We talk about the importance of cultivating emotional fluency 
  • We dive DEEP into guilt and the sneaky ways our mind propagates it 
  • Then we talk about what to do to change all of that 

I’m so proud of myself because there were about a dozen rabbit holes I didn’t go down in this interview in the effort of keeping us focused. Rest assured, Dr. Heinz will be back for another episode soon. 

Until then, please enjoy this interview and think about how you might use the tips in this episode to help improve your own emotional experience. 

Mar 16, 2020

Unless you’ve been living so far off the grid that a global pandemic can’t reach you anyways, you’ve heard about the coronavirus. You’ve probably also been affected in some way. Events have been cancelled. Businesses and schools have closed or shifted to remote options. Supplies at grocery stores have sold out in places, and the stock market has plummeted.

With organizations like the WHO and CDC issuing the need for safety precautions and various levels of government calling various states of emergency, it’s hard not to worry…or worry that you’re not worrying enough.

For more than a decade, Ashley's day job as a clinical psychologist has been helping people learn to manage anxiety effectively. Because so many people are feeling anxiety and worry, we wanted to share a few tips to help you keep your cool while staying safe.

Relevant Links:

Mar 11, 2020

Pop quiz! On a scale from 1-10, how uncomfortable does it make you feel to think about negotiating on your own behalf? 

Now, on a scale from 1-10, how uncomfortable does it make you feel to think about negotiating on someone else’s behalf?  

For a lot of us, the thought of asking for something for ourselves is TERRIFYING. The self-doubt kicks in so fast. “Am I being fair?” “Is my performance really worth that much?” “What if they think I’m difficult to work with?” 

So many of us have that experience, and that’s why we’re diving into the topic this week.  

This week we’re speaking with Ruzana Glaeser. co-founder of brightmeetsbrave.com, a website aimed to empower women to ask on their own behalf.  

Ruzana has experience negotiating for manufacturing and retail companies, in the US and abroad, for large corporations as well as small privately held firms. She has a direct yet collaborative approach to negotiations, enjoys working with women and speaking about how women can find confidence to negotiate on their own behalf and succeed! 

During this interview, we talk about: 

  • What gender roles and stereotypes actually are and the role they play in negotiations 
  • Our fear of backlash and what to do about it
  • How to cultivate a sense of self-worth to help you be more confident in the size of your ask 
  • The amazing role men can play in your negotiation 
  • Actionable tips for prep, execution, follow-up 

I encourage you to take a broad view of how negotiation plays into your life. The tips and information in this episode can help you in your job, in your relationships, and in so many other facets of life.  

Mar 4, 2020

Help us create our next core program by participating in our survey: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/survey  

Have you ever had to persist even though you wanted to give up?  

Have you ever had to admit to yourself that you have a limited capacity of energy or bandwidth and had to be strategic about how you spend your time and energy?  

Have you ever had to transition into a new identity and felt sadness at the identity and lifestyle you’re leaving behind? 

If you said ‘yes’ to any of those questions, this week’s interview is for you. This week, we’re speaking with Brian Weaver, entrepreneur, father, husband, and former elite amateur IronMan athlete. 

Brian spent years in the sport of IronManranking as high as No. 1 in the world for his class. He knows exactly what it feels like to have to persist when you want to quit. He intimately understands the strategy it takes to work within your limited amount of energy, and he’s masterful at setting up the strategies, systems, and supportive environments to help him achieve his goals. 

And we get to learn from him this week! 

In his episode, we cover: 

  • The strategic approach Brian took to create space in his busy life to compete in IronMan 
  • We talked about the importance of time management and a supportive network of people in helping you achieve your goals. 
  • He gives priceless advice on the importance of self-awareness and knowing where your strengths and weaknesses are so that you can strategically approach each of them. 
  • He also speaks in depth about how to manage your limited amount of energy in a given day using a brilliant metaphor about a book of matches. 
  • Finally, he talks about his experience as he has transitioned out of the sport and what it has meant to leave that identity behind.  

This episode is full of so much wisdom from someone who has competed at an elite level, and he breaks it all down to make it applicable to our daily lives.  

Feb 26, 2020

Some of you might know that I recently turned 40! Beyond the typical celebration, cake, and candles that come with any birthday, something stood out as unique about this one. 

The reactions of people around me when I told them the age I was turning. 

Some people were very positive. They wished me a “happy birthday,” and that was the end of it. 

But many people seemed conflicted about the number 40. Their reactions felt as though they knew that the number 40 means something for woman. An indication that I was growing old…and all that comes with that in our society. 

We’re digging right into the heart of that topic in this week’s episode with Stephanie RaffelockStephanie is an advocate for the positive potential of aging. She proves that women aren’t finished living their best lives at 50, 60 and beyond, but instead, hold to the promise to become the wise elders of our culture. Stephanie celebrates age and shows how it’s a privilege to grow old -- how every single day is a gift.  

We talk about some powerful topics in this episode: 

  • The importance of remaining relevant and making an impact throughout our entire lives 
  • Where we put our value as a person 
  • How we experience difficult emotions, and more importantly, the lessons they can teach us (you won’t want to miss this conversation) 
  • What it means to live life in a rapture of the experience 
  • The toxicity of the word “should,” and the underlying shame that fuels its impact 
  • What supporting other women really looks like 
  • And finally, the importance of asking yourself what kind of person you want to be remembered as and how you want to feel on your last day 

This is a deeply powerful episode. It’ll ask you to confront some of your biggest desires and fears as a human being, but in doing so, you’ll grow so much. I just know it. 

Relevant Links: 

Feb 19, 2020

I stumbled upon this week’s guest on Lewis Howes’ podcast, ‘The School of Greatness,’ and I was only about 5 minutes into that episode when I realized that she needed to be on our show as well.  

This week, we’re speaking with Dr. Margaret Rutherford, clinical psychologist and author of the new book “Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free from the Perfectionism that Masks Your Depression.”  

This is such a powerful episode because Dr. Rutherford’s work hits on some of the basic things we can all do to foster self-compassion and self-acceptance.   

In this episode, Margaret shares with us: 

  • Three different types of perfectionism and how they link to and mask depression 
  • The link between perfectly hidden depression and where we place our value as a human being 
  • The role that shame plays in perpetuating this cycle 
  • How to accept ourselves and develop self-compassion for our whole selves, not just our strengths  

Margaret also gives us a peek into the methodology she teaches in her book by offering 3 actionable steps you can take to develop even greater self-awareness in this area and move forward in the direction of ridding yourself from some of the shame you might be feeling.  

This episode is a powerful reminder of the importance of taking care of ourselves and loving our whole selves, faults and all.  

Relevant Links:

Feb 12, 2020

Sometimes, the most difficult issues to work on are the ones that are in our blind spots. The ones that are masked by external factors or achievements that make us believe that we’re ok….when we aren’t. 

This week, we’re talking about one of those potential blind spots: high-functioning anxiety. 

This week we’re speaking with Nancy Jane Smith. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor with eleven years in private practice and has spent 20+ years working as a counselor/coach. She has written three books on living happier, most notably The Happier Approach: Be Kind to Yourself, Feel Happier and Still Accomplish Your Goals. 

Much of Nancy’s work involves working with people who have high-functioning anxiety, which is an incredibly sneaky form of anxiety, and it’s not what you think. 

 

In this episode, you’ll learn: 

  • What high-functioning anxiety is. HINT: It’s not what you think! 
  • The role that achievement can play in masking it for so many of us. 
  • The ways in which high-functioning anxiety can cause problems in our lives 
  • And ways we can start to deal with it 

The end of this episode is jam-packed with actionable steps that you can take to begin quieting your mind (and still achieve your goals). You won’t want to miss it.  

As someone who resonated with so many of the characteristics Nancy shared in this episode, I’m so excited to share this information with all of you. I hope it helps. 

Relevant Links: 

Feb 5, 2020

You’ve heard me say it a million times. Your mind can be your most valuable asset or your biggest liability.  

This week, we’re diving into the fundamental mechanisms that set us up to go in either of those directions with one of the world’s leading experts on mind-hacking.  

This week, we’re talking to Sean Webbauthor of the book “Mind-Hacking Happiness” and an expert in the tools and techniques that teach us how to create our best life experience by building the psychological strength we need to move through life.  

Over the last 20 years, Sean has become one of the world’s leading experts in how the human mind works, particularly in the area of human emotions. His work is used by universities, companies, and the Navy SEALS to teach emotional intelligence, and his discoveries have proved so effective, that his work is currently being turned into programs to address addiction management and the mitigation of PTSD after early amazing successes within those applications. 

In this episode, we talk about: 

  • The 2 different types of happiness and the role they both play in our overall life experience.  
  • The adaptive role that our sense of self plays in our life. 
  • What meta-awareness is & how you can use it to help you hack your mind and notice when it’s working in your favor and when it’s not. 
  • What the equation of emotion is and how it impacts our emotional state from moment to moment and situation to situation. 

 You won’t want to miss Sean’s actionable tips at the end of this episode. They. Will. Change. Your. Life. 

 I’ll warn you, this episode goes a bit off the rails. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to speak with someone whose mission is so aligned with ours at Peak Mind, and we’re thrilled to partner with Sean Webb for this episode. 

Feb 5, 2020

You’ve heard me say it a million times. Your mind can be your most valuable asset or your biggest liability.  

This week, we’re diving into the fundamental mechanisms that set us up to go in either of those directions with one of the world’s leading experts on mind-hacking.  

This week, we’re talking to Sean Webbauthor of the book “Mind-Hacking Happiness” and an expert in the tools and techniques that teach us how to create our best life experience by building the psychological strength we need to move through life.  

Over the last 20 years, Sean has become one of the world’s leading experts in how the human mind works, particularly in the area of human emotions. His work is used by universities, companies, and the Navy SEALS to teach emotional intelligence, and his discoveries have proved so effective, that his work is currently being turned into programs to address addiction management and the mitigation of PTSD after early amazing successes within those applications. 

In this episode, we talk about: 

  • The 2 different types of happiness and the role they both play in our overall life experience.  
  • The adaptive role that our sense of self plays in our life. 
  • What meta-awareness is & how you can use it to help you hack your mind and notice when it’s working in your favor and when it’s not. 
  • What the equation of emotion is and how it impacts our emotional state from moment to moment and situation to situation. 

 You won’t want to miss Sean’s actionable tips at the end of this episode. They. Will. Change. Your. Life. 

 I’ll warn you, this episode goes a bit off the rails. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to speak with someone whose mission is so aligned with ours at Peak Mind, and we’re thrilled to partner with Sean Webb for this episode. 

Jan 29, 2020

I’m sure you’ve heard about emotional intelligence and how important it is to psychological strength.  

Today, we’re talking to an expert in the domain of emotional intelligence, and I have to say, it was such a deep, actionable conversation.  

Today, we’re talking with Rich Bracken. Rich is a motivational speaker, fellow podcast host, and an expert in the area of emotional intelligence. He travels all over the globe helping people and companies understand what EQ is, why it’s important, and most importantly, how to develop it. 

This is going to be a treat! 

Today’s conversation hit on so many incredible topics, like:  

  • What EQ really is. Rich gives the most clear, concise definition I’ve ever heard. 
  • How self-awareness is the first step toward developing emotional intelligence 
  • What triggers are, how to identify them, and how to “flip” them 
  • A word of caution about labeling emotions as “inappropriate” (I really learned something here!) 
  • How expressing emotions can deepen our relationships with other people 
  • The importance of reflective journaling, music, and setting good boundaries in developing healthy emotional intelligence 

 I absolutely can’t wait for you to hear this episode because EQ is something that impacts every single day of our lives. Enjoy! 

Jan 22, 2020

This week is a first on the podcast. This week I’m speaking with a Julliard-trained music composer. 

What does that have to do with psychological strength you ask? 

Well, in addition to being a talented musician, Cheryl B. Engelhardt suffered from monthly panic attacks that would leave her exhausted for days. After learning about the power of a morning routine including gratitude, mindfulness, and meditation, Cheryl decided to use her talents to help others. 

She created her new album “Luminary” as a way to help other people become more present and mindful. This beautiful album of piano and ambient music will help you focus and attain a state of flow. 

As a special gift, Cheryl agreed to allow us to include a full track from her album at the end of this episode. Stay until the end to hear the song “Earthshine.” 

Relevant Links:

Jan 15, 2020

Have you ever thought about all of the ways you show up as a leader in your life?  

Think about it.  

The most obvious is probably a leadership position at work or in your company. But, how about in your relationships outside of work? How about as a parent? How about as a romantic partner? 

All of these aspects of our lives, and even more than those I mentioned, involve elements of leadership, which is why I am so excited about this week’s episode. 

This week we are speaking with Noelle Cordeaux, CEO and founder of JRNI (pronounced “Journey”). Noelle is an expert in the ways in which Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching intersect to help people show up in a more effective way.  

She holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive & Professional Coaching, and her graduate studies include a Masters in Social Work and a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality. 

During our interview we talk about: 

  • The history of the field of Positive Psychology. The history of the field of coaching. 
  • Specifically, we have a deep discussion about the booming coaching industry and the difference between:  
    • Scientific coach practitioners 
    • Informed coach practitioners 
    • Pop Psychology practitioners  
  • We talk about leadership & the important way our nervous and endocrine systems are involved in our effectiveness. 
  • And Noelle highlights countless actionable steps we can take right now to be more effective in our next interactions. 

 One thing I don’t want you to miss are a set of key reflective questions Noelle urges us to ask ourselves: 

  • Is that a fact or a feeling? 
  • What’s the outcome that you’re looking for? 
  • Is this something you want to give your time and energy to right now? 
  • Will this matter in 1 year from now? 

This episode is meaty. You might want to grab a pen and a journal for it. I know I took away so much value from Noelle’s expertise, and I hope you will too! 

Relevant Links: 

Jan 8, 2020

If you had to guess what the single, most important factor is in determining your psychological well-being, what would you guess? 

Turns out, it’s social connection and personal relationships. 

Our connections to other people and our social interactions with them are an incredibly protective and powerful factor in developing psychological strength, and this week, and that’s why we’re covering it on this week’s episode. 

This week, we’re talking with Peter Montoya, the CEO of ThriveUnionThriveUnion is an organization that is committed to helping people go from meaningless isolation to purposeful belonging. Through their in-person, weekly meet-ups to their Life School, they’re arming people with the information they need to truly thrive in their lives. 

Can you see why I’m so excited?! 

We get into such valuable, actionable information in this episode. Including:  

  • The difference between high intensity & low intensity relationships and the degree to which we need each of them. This will blow your mind.
  • What are symbolic substitutes, and how are they influencing our ability to form real social connection? 
  • What boundaries truly are and more importantly, how to enforce them in a way that strengthens your relationships. 
  • The toxicity of being passive-aggressive and what to do instead. 

 I know you’re going to get so much value out of this impactful conversation with Peter Montoya! 

Jan 1, 2020

Hey, parents out there, this week’s episode is one you won’t want to miss.  

During a challenging time with your child, have you ever questioned yourself and wondered whether you were doing the right thing? Wondered whether it is better to engage with my child in this moment or ignore them? Wondered whether you’re causing psychological problems or distress when your child is crying or screaming at the top of their lungs.  

This week’s episode is for you.  

This week, we’re speaking with Dr. Karen Cassiday, Clinical Psychologist, former President of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and expert in the area of building psychological strength in children.  

In this episode, we get into some really valuable conversations about: 

  • What is the role / responsibility of a parent versus that of the child?  
  • The importance of directing yourself toward raising a kid who is a competent adult who can live without you. 
  • Why happy is not a good goal.”  
  • The difference between self-esteem and self-worth 
  • The science behind temper tantrums and how to handle them.  

I know you’ll get so much value from this conversation with Karen Cassiday! 

Dec 18, 2019

This week on the podcast, we're talking to a kindred spirit. Josh Trent is the founder of Wellness Force, a movement to help people improve their lives by helping them find physical and mental intelligence.

Here's the thing. Not only does Josh advocate learning about important topics like gratitude, meditation, mindfulness, the subconscious mind, and decision fatigue, but he advocates embodying this knowledge.

Showing up everyday with the intention of living this wisdom. Putting it into practice, and truly reaping the benefits of it.

Incredible, huh?

In my interview with Josh, we hit so many valuable topics, such as:

  • The importance of testing and experimentation and how it can lead you toward building the life you want.
  • The power of gratitude
  • Cultivating emotional intelligence
  • Avoiding decision fatigue
  • What the negativity bias is and where it comes from
  • The link between the impostor syndrome and the "spotlight effect"

Not only that, but Josh offers up an actionable set of tips about how you can begin to steer your life into alignment, with one simple action: a monthly emotional inventory.

You aren't going to want to miss this valuable and courageous conversation with Josh Trent!

Dec 11, 2019

Watch my TEDx Talk here!

Join a webinar here!

If you've been following me at Peak Mind or on social media, you likely know that I recently fulfilled a life-long goal by giving a TEDx Talk. It was an absolutely thrilling day, but there was a long road of hard work, unexpected issues, and tremendous self-doubt to get there.

On today's podcast, I want to take you behind the scenes to talk you through my journey.

Here's the thing: It's so easy to look at the final product of a journey like that and assume that the person just breezed right through the process. It couldn't be further from the truth!

Rather, my journey from application to final talk was one that required me to use every ounce of psychological strength I've built over the years, and I want to point out how it came into play.

I hope by sharing my experience, you gain some practical knowledge about how to move forward in difficult times using some of the techniques that I used. I also hope this episode gives you the motivation and permission to chase after your own giant goals!

If I can do it, anyone can. You've got this!

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