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Get "Back in Charge!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Get Back in Charge!

If you don't define yourself for yourself, you will be squeezed into other people’s reality of you and eaten alive.
—Audre Lorde


Looking over my past few newsletters, I realized that I've been writing a lot about the troubling times we find ourselves in. The faltering economy. The real estate crisis. Record unemployment. All serious problems to be sure. So serious that it would be disingenuous to ignore them.

That said, none of these troubles are reason to put ourselves in a holding pattern or -- even worse -- regress to survival mode. And -- as regular readers know -- the brain is very good at convincing us to tune out hopes and dreams and focus on survival, if that’s what we are telling it to do!


The truth is, we’ve all faced difficult times in the past and we will all face them again. The trick is not to lose ourselves in the chaos of the moment, but to acknowledge the chaos we are experiencing, re-state the facts of our situation—don’t get lost in the story we are prone to tell—be proactive and, as many self-help gurus argue, “create our own reality.” It’s not easy, it does take practice, but those who succeed will reap the rewards of happier, healthier, and more creative lives.

For instance, I am well aware that the U.S. publishing industry is one of the most troubled sectors in business today. Still, I just released my newest book, “Back in Charge!” Sure, I could have shelved it until we saw more prosperous times, but I wanted to move forward in a proactive way.

I’m focusing not on all the reasons I shouldn’t be releasing a book today, but on the many, many reasons that there has never been a better time for this particular work. Case in point, an early chapter of “Back in Charge!” focuses on how anyone can -- like I did -- look beyond the negative and create a positive reality.

The first step is in realizing that we -- as conditioned human beings -- generally see what we expect to see For instance, if you are convinced that your boss is critical of your every move, you may be disturbed when she asks the simple question, “What time did you get in this morning?”
Immediately, your mind races. She’s not pleased with my performance. She thinks I am lazy. She’s always looks for the worst in me. Can I do anything right?

Sound familiar? Now think about the exchange. Your boss didn’t say anything disapproving, but the comment became negative in your mind because of your preconceptions. That’s the way the conditioning of our brains works, and it extends far beyond our perceptions of friends, family and colleagues. If you decide, for instance, that you will fail to achieve a goal or that you’ll fail to find a job that pays as well as the last one whether because of the economy, a lack of confidence, or whatever, be assured that your brain will help you fail.

What’s the solution? For starters, try this exercise from “Back in Charge!”

Make a list of things you desire that have always seemed out of reach. Now, pick the most inspiring one and instead of focusing on the negative, think about some of the reasons you might succeed. For instance, reference someone similar to you who has already achieved what you’re aiming for. You may not immediately convince yourself that the goals are achievable, but the more you focus on the reasons you can succeed, the closer you’ll come to actually doing it.

This is just one short exercise from “Back in Charge!” The 143-page book contains many, many more, each designed to teach you about your brain and the methods you can use to unlock its wonderful potential. Included with the book are two CDs packed with companion experiential exercises, so you can take what you learn and put it into practice in the car, at the gym or wherever you travel.

In these difficult and challenging times, let’s get “Back in Charge!”

Wishing you focus, fitness, & flexibility in mind and body.

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