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Psychologist in Human Performance. Writing about positive psychology and the science of mind to better understand human potential. Owner
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It’s always nice to begin with something free in this short newsletter.

I have a training course on Udemy that I’m giving away to Explore the Limits followers for free. You have the weekend for sign-up so don’t wait too long.

If you are interested in becoming better at goal setting and want to learn some helpful positive psychology techniques take a look at the following link — did I mention, it’s free!

Positive Psychology and Positive Thinking to Survive and Thrive

Who are you now, and who are you capable of becoming?

Art Hauntington — Unsplash

We are all at times overwhelmed by life and lacking in what is needed to take on something new. But according to new research in the field of positive psychology, building psychological capital can help.

PsyCap, as it’s typically shortened to, can help you manage who you are now and who you want to be.

And unlike other forms of investment, it has no financial risk and is almost always guaranteed to pay great dividends.

What is PsyCap?

PsyCap is about building the mental resources required for doing what you want and realizing your potential. After all, according to research, when your psychological…

Switching off your inner critic

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A lack of self-esteem could be ruining your chances of success and even happiness. And yet, while essential for your psychological wellbeing, it is highly unreliable.

Research confirms that what you think of yourself is likely to be far from how others see you and how you really think, behave, and feel.

Whether accurate or not, self-esteem does not have to hold you back. Yet, unless you focus on changing it, if you are insecure as a child, you are likely to be so in adulthood.

When you learn to switch off or refute your inner critic, you can stop…

And introspection may not be helping

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Knowing about ourselves is more vital than we may realize. After all, research has found that a lack of self-knowledge is associated with poor academic achievement, increased emotional problems, and most importantly, bad decisions.

And yet, perhaps surprisingly, people are relatively unaware of how little they know about their behavior and what motivates them and remain clueless regarding the truth behind the choices they make.

Indeed, introspection may not provide the direct line to self-knowledge that we might expect. Instead, viewing ourselves from alternative perspectives–seeing ourselves through the eyes of loved ones or even work colleagues–may be more helpful.


Applying the assertiveness formula

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Haven’t we all been there. We say ‘yes’ when we mean ‘no’ and fail to speak up while shouting in our heads.

If you are giving in to the demands of others and ignoring your own needs, or failing to speak up when you have something to say, it may be time to work on your assertiveness.

Yet, there could be several reasons your assertiveness is letting you down:

  • Are you trying to fit in?
  • Are you unsure of your worth?
  • Are you unclear on how to assert yourself?
  • Or are you avoiding rocking the boat or being disliked?


Deep empathy can be damaging

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Giving too much to others and empathizing too deeply–whether personally or professionally–can take its toll.

That doesn’t mean we should stop, but we must practice self-care to avoid emotional exhaustion and compassion fatigue.

After all, if we reach burnout, we are unlikely to help anyone, even ourselves.

Compassion fatigue is common among many physical and mental health care providers yet receives little attention from employers or the media.

And yet, it is real and highly damaging, leading to:

  • Chronic physical and emotional exhaustion
  • Loss of empathy
  • Depersonalization
  • Irritability
  • Mental and physical health problems

Working conditions, volume of work, and personal…

While authenticity can be derailed, it can be restored

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Authenticity, or being true to ourselves, is not only crucial to our well-being but also essential to outstanding leadership.

While oppressive environments and people can block authentic behavior, there are ways to break free and be ourselves.

According to research, authenticity is often driven by context and the individual’s relationship with it, including the following environmental factors:

  • Degree of trust
  • Deployment of power and politics
  • Degree of challenge
  • Not taking things for granted
  • Being brave and unafraid of failure or being different

Coaching can help us better understand and even reframe that relationship.

After all, “we are born authentic,” the…

Thinking about thinking is your brains most powerful tool

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Metacognition–being able to think about our thinking–is one of our defining features. The capacity to reflect on ourselves, such as how we feel, perceive, decide, and believe, is essential to who we are.

In his new book, Stephen Fleming, one of the world’s leading experts in neuroscience, explores and explains the power of the reflective mind to help us with lifelong learning.

Understanding metacognition and using our reflection skills can help us in education and enhance our ability to acquire the skills we need throughout life.

Not only that, we can learn how to do it better.

Great questions can…

If you believe you can, then you probably will

Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Helping people to stop unhealthy or damaging behavior is far from easy.

And yet, having the right conversations can motivate change.

Motivational interviewing is highly effective at counseling individuals. It can overcome ambivalence, enhance motivation, and get people ready to stop old habits and adopt healthy new ones.

Powerful and backed up by a wealth of research, motivational interviewing can help people talk themselves into making positive changes in their lives.

The acronym DARN is often used to focus change talk, using questions such as:

  • Desire: What are you looking for? What do you want to achieve?
  • Ability: How do…

Jeremy Sutton, PhD

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