Category: <span>Corporate Mental Health</span>

The Importance of Celebrating Your Progress: An Overlooked, Yet Powerful Motivator

Celebrating your wins, how to get motivated at work
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Do you ever take the time to celebrate your progress? For most, it’s barely a thought, only focusing on the outcome, but is this hurting your potential?

Suppose we continue to push this mentality of working hard and hustle culture without space for acknowledging just how far we’ve come? In that case, you leave room for the disappointment of perfectionism and actually increase the likelihood of poor follow-through.

Join me as I dive into this blog on celebrating your wins, valuing your worth, and leveraging that to motivate you or your team. 

WHY YOU MIGHT STRUGGLE TO CELEBRATE YOUR PROGRESS:

Do you ever take time to celebrate your success or accomplishments? Or even acknowledge the small wins in those around you?

I can picture you saying, “hmm….I don’t know” or “haven’t thought about that.” Well, think about what the message to yourself is or your organization when you don’t do that.

We are often so caught up on the daily to-dos and the pressure of unrealistic demands that we actually forget to notice what we’ve accomplished, or acknowledge the accomplishments of our peers sharing office air or zoom rooms around us. Well, I don’t think we forget, I think we are conditioned to discount the small wins as “not good enough” because we haven’t reached that destination, completed the project, achieved the goal, or received praise for it. 

However, something powerful happens if you take the time to think about what it takes to get to your end goal and the tasks you’ve managed to pull off along the way.

When I trained for the NYC Marathon a few years back, 26.2 miles was the outcome. Still, there were many important milestones along the way- like actually deciding I could run that far (absolutely not a distance runner), hitting key milage like 13.2, 15 miles, 18 miles, and positioning myself for 26.2. What was more important at race day wasn’t the race itself but what it took to get there. Each time I hit a milestone, it reinforced that this was possible, and I also saw the shifts in friends and family around me and their excitement that this was actually happening. All of the above was motivation to complete one of the most challenging events in my life, next to birthing babies. 

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THE POWER OF PROGRESS IS FUNDAMENTAL TO HUMAN NATURE

Whether you are trying to bring in a big sale, develop a high-quality product or service, forge a new path in life, or get a handle on your anxiety, acknowledging everyday progress can make all the difference in how you feel and perform. That same concept of having and acknowledging the small milestones is not just a great way to motivate yourself, but also your team. If you can help them see the value of the steps, they have accomplished and find ways to acknowledge that as their leader, you are building their intrinsic ability to perform (and maybe even like what they are doing).

self reliance, building motivation, progress over perfection

The power of progress is fundamental to human nature. Think about the excitement of parents encouraging a child to take a few steps as they learn to walk and the level of trust that child feels in themselves and the external motivator to take that step. Then the joy of the accomplishment. That celebration is an inspiration for that impressionable tiny human to keep walking until it turns into a full-out run. That concept of internal self-reliance is one we have to foster through our personal self-development. However, externally, a powerful and underutilized motivator by managers and leaders is praise.

We never stop being that little kid that responds to external praise, guidance, and support. 

REMIND YOURSELF OF THE GOAL

I collaborate with clients to set goals and meaningful milestones because it’s the GPS for our work. It’s a sign of progress that we are going toward their goals, and for my clients, it becomes a focal point for the work. It’s easy to get distracted by the expectations of others or the disappointment we feel if we aren’t working fast “enough” or we aren’t where we should be. Those steps become a blueprint for reframing our focus and keeping us motivated.

BUILD A STRONGER SUPPORT SYSTEM BY SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN YOU.

As I’ve hinted so far, part of your success is dependent on your ability to slow down and acknowledged your progress, or to embrace even the small wins. I encourage my high-achieving and driven women in business to enjoy the journey regularly as we look at developing a flexible growth mindset. Their drive can easily distract from the small but significant gains. 

Another critical factor is who is on your team to provide external support? Does your team even know what you’re working on, and are they equipped to recognize those steps and high-five you along that process? You want a team that can nourish your progress and see it as essential to the larger objective. If you want to achieve bigger goals, build a support system of people with whom you can share your goals and who can also believe in your journey and recognize your progress.

Progress is a complex formula of how we view our support systems (organizations, management, workers, family, or friends) and how confident and equipped we feel in our abilities and ourselves. These join forces to either push us to higher levels of achievement or stunt our growth, contributing to resistance like overthinking, procrastination, stress, and inaction.  

Stop minimizing your wins. It’s part of your progress and worth celebrating.

You are worth celebrating. 

DO THE WORK: AN EXERCISE TO BUILD MOTIVATION

Let’s switch gears and do some heavy lifting to practice the ideas we’ve discussed so far.

An exercise to build your motivation in ten minutes

Take a moment to reflect on this question I recently shared with several of the leaders doing a recent mindset workshop: 

  1. What beliefs about yourself do you have that may not be a fact?
  2. When you think of your goals, what are some of the thoughts that come up around them that create obstacles to action?
  3. How does the expectations of you based on your identity (such as gender or race) influence those thoughts?

Remember the work starts with your understanding of yourself and how your life experiences or expectations cause you to respond both internally and externally. Have you considered what parts of those thoughts or processes are getting in the way of your progress?

Let’s take a look at your progress: Take 10 minutes to brainstorm your wins for this week. Go ahead, set a timer, start writing, then come back to this piece.

How many wins were you able to come up with? Celebrate that.

Notice how it feels to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments. Permit yourself to feel the pride, joy, or even the discomfort that comes up with acknowledging yourself. Sit with that feeling for 15-30 seconds as you remind yourself you are worth celebrating, you are doing a great job, and you are fully capable of navigating the next step towards your goal. 

You can easily do this for the team as well. What wins did your staff or business hit in the past week? Who had a role in that? Celebrate them.

As you get into a regular practice of reassessing and acknowledging yourself, it gets easier to motivate yourself and build and support those around you. 

Well done.

Related Reads:

Quotes to Calm Your Anxiety

End Self Criticism and Learn To Like Yourself

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below on celebrating the small wins and your progress as a source of motivation. Or share your experience with the exercise above.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Psychotherapist, Coach for Women

Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R. Licensed Psychotherapist & Mindset Coach. Mental Health Consultant & Speaker

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anxious, communication

What Anxious Attachment Looks Like in Relationships

Attachment styles are based on a theory that your early connections in childhood with your caregivers directly impact how you approach relationships today. If we – as children – believe that our needs cannot and won’t be met by those closest to us, we are likely to exhibit attachment issues throughout our lives. 

big family in kitchen and man feeding baby in feeding chair
Photo by Vanessa Loring on Pexels.com

It’s an intriguing psychological framework to make sense of why you behave the way you do in intimate relationships and even at work. Yes, attachment patterns can impact our daily lives beyond our family.

A lack of attunement or connection between parent and child can contribute to anxious attachments in adulthood, which is the focus of this blog. Anxiety is one of the most common experiences, with  1 in 13 people worldwide experiencing anxiety, including children. Those who tend to be more anxious and worry extensively about relationships are probably engaged in an anxious attachment style.

Anxious Attachment Style

People with this attachment style are often insecure in their relationships, with a high need for reassurance from their partners to know that they are still wanted or loved. 

This style of attachment can also show up as:

· Overthinking and analyzing what others say or do 

· Negative view of themselves and anxious or stressed out about how others perceive them 

· Overinvested in relationships (at work and outside of that)

· Worry that you are “too much” or need alot from others

· Strong fear of rejection and evaluation 

· Sensitivity to abandonment or being left out

· Trouble working independently and a heavy dependence on their partner or team to finish tasks

· Often feel underappreciated or dissatisfied 

The Power of Anxious Thinking

Our thoughts (in this cause anxious thoughts and overthinking), can impact how we feel and respond. We often don’t realize this dynamic is quickly happening in our minds. 

Anxious thoughts

Where do I go from here?

If you recognize these issues in yourself or someone you love, the good news is attachment styles can change with time, effort and support. Self-development starts with awareness and approaching yourself with self-compassion and not criticism. 

Some tips to continue to strengthen how you show up in relationships: 

  • Continue to look for patterns of responding or shutting down. Write them down. Being mindful of them will make it easier to shift how you respond. 
  • Work on it with your partner
  • Realize that past experiences do not have to hold you emotionally hostage
  • Develop new ways of communicating and asking for what you need. The more you can express what you need, like saying I need regular reassurance, the more empowered you can feel

Psychotherapist, Coach for Women

Amanda Fludd,LCSW-R is a licensed Psychotherapist, Corporate Trainer, and Mindset Coach to support the mind of the woman behind the business. In all avenues of life we have to learn to navigate fear and get to the root of our anxiety.

Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission to fund our tea-drinking habits if you use these links to make a purchase. We only recommend products, tools, and services that we think would be beneficial to our audience.  

The Importance of Finding a Therapist Who Looks Like Me

When studying to become a therapist, they teach you that you must always be culturally competent, meaning aware of your personal beliefs and biases. We are asked to be knowledgeable about different cultures, have skills to manage our differences, and be mindful of our attitude towards other cultures. The real question is, is it possible to be culturally competent to all cultures?

 

The answer is no, which is why many people seeking therapy want a therapist who reflects their black and brown identities. A professional who can acknowledge unspoken expectations, and the rich tapestry of their culture, creating a safe space to know more.  

 

Trust is an important factor in mental health outcomes

 

Mistrust and the trouble finding a therapist
Mistrust and Misdiagnosis is Common For Marginalized Populations

Like it or not, the medical community is laced with disparities when it comes to race. Black people, for instance, are twice as likely to be hospitalized for care compared to white people and are often misdiagnosed. When working with a therapist who is not culturally competent, it leaves room for preconceived notions and conclusions that can have severe consequences on the emotional wellbeing of minority populations. This contributes to mistrust within the community and poor health outcomes in the long run.

 

Having a provider who deeply understands and can disarm those fears makes a significant difference for people of color seeking help. It’s no different than a woman seeking a female doctor for a specific issue because she feels more comfortable and better able to communicate her needs. We want to be careful not to generalize here, as even minority therapists need ongoing learning on the complexities of diversity, generational trauma, and systemic inequalities. However, even with that factor, diversity still matters. 

 

“My experience has shown that when you deal with culturally sensitive issues, you have no choice but to be as careful and as patient as possible. Every concern should be addressed properly. Otherwise, greater problems emerge at later times, when nothing can be done.”

 

—Mrs. Farzaneh Davari, UNFPA National Project Director, Iran

 

You may find the following reflections insightful, as shared in this piece by the Psychotherapy Networker regarding the experiences for people of color in the last year alone (but influenced by generations of disparities):

 

“We cannot accept people saying, ‘Get over it, it already happened, move on.’ I think this is a major problem—the lack of acknowledgment that we as a race have experienced trauma. We have to say it out loud, acknowledge it, and understand how this crime against humanity manifests. Only then can we truly address it, see it for what it is.”

 

 Zamantha Gobourne, LICSW

 Washington, DC

 

“I’ve begun telling students and beginning counselors to ‘lean in and look within’ at their own biases. Acknowledging personal biases and educating oneself about culture and ethnicities different from your own are ways to shift your thinking and become more open to differences. This can challenge and foster change.”

Shaketa Bruce, MS, LPC, NCC, CCH

 Atlanta, GA

 

“Understand that systemic racism contributes to Black people’s vulnerability to psychological, emotional, and social distress. It makes them hesitant to seek mental health services, especially from those who don’t look like them.”

Tytannie Harris, LCSW

 Chicago, IL

 

Here’s The Problem

 

According to the American Psychological Association, as of 2021 86% of therapists are White while only 4% are Black. 

 

There aren’t enough minority therapists to go around. 

 

Further complicating things, many insurance companies are unwilling to pay therapists their full fees- despite the caliber of work that goes into healing and the documentation to back it up. That means many shy away from certain plans leaving even fewer opportunities to receive care. 

 

Que the Pandemic 

 

Covid- 19 has placed a significant demand on an already strained system. Many individuals report a change in their mental health in the past year because of the following reasons:

 

. Death of a loved one

. Loss of employment/Income

. Quarantine (closures of schools, universities, jobs)

. Fear of being Infected 

. Returning to workplaces with no plan to address stress, anxiety, and burnout.

 

All of this and more directly contribute to increased rates of stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as sleep issues and an increase in alcohol or substance use. 

 

Data has shown that in January of 2019, 11% of adults reported anxiety or depression symptoms, while in January of 2021 that percentage went up to 41%. Black and Hispanic minorities face a more considerable disparity compared to whites during the pandemic. They have been hit harder in deaths, infections rate, stress, depression, and anxiety.

 

As our stressors continue to rise, we have to explore opportunities to revolutionize access to mental health services. The goal should be to create more spaces where people can simply be all of their complex selves, and feel safe doing so. 

 

Here’s a list of resources that can be useful in obtaining a minority based or inclusive therapist: 

www.blacktherapistlist.com/Directory

https://www.psychologytoday.com/

https://www.therapyforlatinx.com/

www.cliniciansofcolor.org

https://borislhensonfoundation.org/

https://www.therapistsforblackgirls.com/

 

In Addition:

 

 If you are in the helping professions (Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapist, Creative Arts

 Therapists, CASAC’s, Nursing, etc.) or just curious- Join us for an indepth conversation, Sound the Alarm: The Crisis of Mental Health in Communities of Color  on 10.19.21 hosted virtually by Molloy College: https://bit.ly/3jDWonC

 

** As a consumer– Call your insurance provider and ask why they don’t have more therapists of color on their panel. 

 

*** Tell your employer your wellness matters and ask why they don’t offer more onsite wellness programs. 

 

Piece written by Kilcy Martinez, York College Graduate School of Social Work Intern and edited by Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R, Psychotherapist & Mental Health Consultant. 

My Thoughts Nurture and Support My Success

If you have a tough inner critic or get caught in worry, stress, near debilitating anxiety, overwhelm or wrestle with your self-worth, then you know some of the symptoms of negative thinking first hand. Unfortunately, negative thinking can paralyze your best efforts. This piece will explore the topic of negative thinking and what you can do to change your thinking to promote a life and business that’s more fulfilling, joyful, and meaningful.

The next move you make in your life will be a reflection of what you think will happen. 

Most people don’t realize they are responding to fear (or others know they are clearly panicking) and catapulting themselves into worse-case scenarios. Scenarios that aren’t true but are pretty freaking believable like:

  • I’m not good enough to be here (ignoring your experience and degrees)
  • This isn’t going to work 
  • I failed, the business failed, I’m a failure
  • I can’t let people who depend on me see how I feel; they’ll never trust my ability to lead

“We spend all our time and money and energy trying to change our experience on the outside, not realizing that the whole thing is being projected from the inside out.”—Michael Neill, Author

If you don’t check your thinking style, it can have a strong and sometimes devastating impact on your relationships, health, business, and life.

 

The Link Between Thoughts, Feelings, And Behavior 

Your thoughts influence your mood and contribute to your actions. That makes our thoughts pretty darn powerful. Yet, like most people, you probably don’t spend a great deal of time reflecting on the way you think. After all, who thinks about such an automatic thing as thinking?

I do. 

 

My thoughts have a tremendous impact on my actions and my life, so I refuse to maintain a thought that takes me further from the life I have in mind. However, the reality is we live in a world of thought, with an average of 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts each day- mostly nonsense, with a dash of irrational thoughts. This makes the ability to reframe counterproductive thoughts an essential skill to overall wellbeing and positive outcomes. 

 

I often see this connection play out with clients who come in saying, “I don’t think I can take this business to the next level.” That assumption is a catalyst for feeling defeated, contributing to her second-guessing her years of skill and consequently avoiding the tasks she needs to grow her business. That shift in effort prevents her from really seeing the potential of her business and herself. So basically, if you think you are a failure and repeatedly engage in the same thought patterns and reactions, your behaviors align, and you are more likely to fail. 

Positive Thoughts Lead to Success

Most of us have heard that we are what we eat. In the same way, we are what we think. Thoughts are energy. They are vibrations. They are manifestations. They are statements about our world. Suppose you want a better life, a more prosperous, accessible, and successful life? In that case, it’s strongly connected to your ability to maintain a positive mindset. 

 

Do you have a problem with a part of your life? You have a problem with your mindset, and the real problem is your thoughts about that part of your life.

 

English philosopher James Allen wrote: “As a man thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.”

The good news is that you can choose what thoughts you act on, so invest that mental energy carefully. I have several goals that are important to me. Before I choose a course of action, I ask myself what do I really think about this task and what actions will support my goals. I favor actions that nurture my goals. I avoid thoughts that lead to actions that make my goals less likely to happen. 

 

A positive thought approach allows me to embrace a more favorable perspectiveIt supports and uplifts me. With that in mind, I take responsibility for my thoughts and my future.

 

Do your thoughts support what you want? Let’s assess. 

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. Are my thoughts predominantly positive or negative? How could I increase the number of positive thoughts I think about daily?
  2. What are some of the labels I’ve placed on myself? (I’m not good enough, I’m a terrible leader, I don’t have sufficient skills, I’m not the expert in the room, I can’t be a mom and boss) How accurate are these ideas?
  3. What would happen if I focused on maintaining positive thoughts? How would my life change?
  4. What do I think I accomplish by thinking negatively?

 

 Your thoughts have the power to nurture and support the life you want. 

Save this article. 

Reread it often. 

Pay attention to the thoughts you give attention to. Remind yourself that your thoughts become your beliefs, and those beliefs shape your life and how you experience it.

You are what you think.

 

Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R is a passionate advocate for positive workplace culture, supporting the ambitious mindsets of women, and improving mental health in all settings. The goal is to simply help you get out of your head, stress less, and focus on your success. 

Give Yourself a Break: The Gift of Self-Compassion

When you have a setback towards your goals, treat yourself as you would a friend: with kindness and understanding

Self Compassion Supports Motivation

Even with the best plan and intention, things can go wrong. For most people, their initial reaction in the presence of failure at work is to turn up the inner critic more harshly than we’d find acceptable by anyone else.  I have no idea what’s going on here or why I’m on this team. You’re an idiot; you blew that presentation. Get it together, you’ll never have another opportunity at this.  

We often assume that criticism will motivate us to do better. In fact, most highly productive and driven people seem to be quite unforgiving of their own mistakes.  

To Motivate or To Berate—That is the Question

We hold on to this belief that with enough self-abuse, it will change whatever we believe to be “wrong,” “inadequate,” or “imperfect” about us. Yes, that degree of negativity you drop on yourself falls under the category of abuse, and it really doesn’t move you any closer to your intended outcome. Self-criticism can be paralyzing, and it’s a response that has brought many to my couch as a psychotherapist. While I am grateful to have you, I would like to offer you this instead- what if you were to treat yourself with a bit more understanding and compassion?  

 

When things don’t go as expected, or a goal seems out of your reach, what would you tell a friend in the same situation? That is called self-compassion, and it’s an approach that allows leaders to increase their resilience and outthink their setbacks.  

 

The Science Behind Compassion 

There is growing research supporting things like compassion and gratitude, supporting its motivational power on a psychological level. It’s becoming a valuable tool for enhancing performance and improving professional development. Self-compassionate people set high standards for themselves, and in the face of setbacks, when they don’t meet their goals, they are more likely to regroup quickly. They are less likely to get hung up on mistakes or sidetracked by feelings of embarrassment, frustration, and disappointment. In fact, according to recent neuroscientific data, those who exhibit compassion are more likely to have the emotional resilience to combat suffering, anxiety, burnout, or stress, according to Frontiers in Psychology.     

 

“Unlike self-criticism, which asks if you are good enough, self-compassion asks what’s good for you?” – Kristin Neff

Let’s put this into action: 

 

I’m inviting you to try a short experiment. Bring to mind a situation when you didn’t achieve your goal. Please take a few moments to recall the response of your inner critical voice and note what it says and how you feel, especially in your body. 

Now, bring to mind the same situation and imagine what you would say to your colleague or good friend in the same case if they brought that same failure to you. Say the exact words you would tell them to yourself (that’s self-compassion). How does that feel in your body?

 

If you did this short exercise, you probably noticed the following:

Self-criticism made you feel:

· Small

· Incompetent

· Embarrassed

· Tense

· Wanting to quit or give up

 

 Self-compassion made you feel:

· Validated 

· Understood

· Good enough

· Relaxed and calm 

 

Self-compassion is a mindset shift leaders and managers can benefit from because it reinforces worth, optimism, personal initiative, self-determination, and a sense of control even in the context of the pressure to succeed. These traits tend to be contagious and have a consequent ability to foster resilient teams. Developing a self-compassionate self and team does take time but is possible with intentional effort. Organizations should look at ways to create space for conversations and resources around compassion and navigating stress and change in the workplace.   

A few additional ideas to foster the overall resilience of your organization:

Improve your self-talk. Practice responding to yourself in ways you would to support a colleague, embrace criticism from others as a means to personal growth, and engaging with others without judgment or in a tone that would hurt their feelings.

Bring in workshops to grow as a team. Create opportunities for staff to learn from each other, for leaders to take their teams’ temperature, and boost morale and promote better staff engagement.  Bring in professionals with fresh ideas or a similar option is to set aside funding to allow staff to pursue outside opportunities (books, webinars, training) that will support their emotional wellbeing. As they invest in themselves, they become a more incredible asset to your team.

Prioritize communication and mental health at work. Having regular meetings where people are encouraged to share not only work achievements but mistakes and experiences around that make workplaces safe for learning. Also, work to improve access to support services onsite (training, consultations, mindful breaks) and outside of work (like EAP). Making compassionate and supportive workplaces a priority reduces pressure, anxiety and improves an organization’s resilience to stress, burnout, and turnover.

It’s innovative approaches that focus on self-compassion and overall well-being that will determine if teams, individuals, and organizations can embrace a more adaptive attitude and thrive through challenging experiences and transitions.

In the comments, make sure to share with us how well you think organizations are embracing concepts like compassion and emotional wellness at work and whether you believe well-being training might be valuable to your team.

 

Amanda Fludd is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Coach, and Mental Health Consultant addressing the emotional needs of individuals and the work cultures that support them.

If you would like information on how to infuse mental health support at work and facilitate practices like self-compassion, schedule a call here to discuss program options.

 

 

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