Posts tagged ‘Brenda Bomgardner’

Action Over Insight: Why You Should Be Asking “What?” ll By Brenda Bomgardner

Action Over Insight: Why You Should Be Asking “What?”
By Brenda Bomgardner

 

There’s the old saying that, “deeds are more powerful than words.”

It means that action is just as important, if not more so than simply talking.

Although finding insight and discussing your intentions are valuable, the more critical step is actually taking action.

It’s also the hardest as it means committing to a path, course, or direction.

Also, it means taking a risk, with the haunting possibility of failure. Yet, an action also has the greatest chance of success.

After all, if you choose to do nothing then there will certainly be no benefit.

Therefore, consider the importance of action and why you should be asking “what?”

Understand Action and Empowerment

When you commit to action and focus on the “what” you are empowering yourself.

You are the person who is choosing to do something. This is much more strength-based as opposed to letting others do things for you. Or, to allow events to direct you instead of you being the one to take direction.

If this is new for you then taking action may be intimidating or even scary. However, it is also thrilling and exciting to be the one committing to action. It’s led to some of the defining moments of our history.

For example, it was the simple act of refusing to move from a bus seat that sparked the modern civil rights movement.

Focus on the “What” Versus “What Ifs”

When considering action, it’s easy to get caught up in the “what ifs” rather than the “what.”

For example, you may spin your wheels considering all of the possible outcomes of a situation. Although both the positive and negatives outcomes exist, it’s not uncommon to solely focus on the negative ones.

In turn, this can quickly lead to inaction.

Instead, direct your attention to the “what” and doing the action.

Yes, considering the outcome of your decision is important. Yet, if you get too stuck on the “what ifs” then you will never actually do anything.

Know That There Is No Perfect Choice

Another problem that you might have is focusing on the “perfect” decision. If you don’t make the perfect decision, what could happen? The possibilities are endless, no doubt.

The reality is that there is no perfect choice. There is simply the choice (or choices) in front of you.

Therefore, decide what you can do right now. In short, choose your “what.” Otherwise, you will again be stuck in the zone of crippling indecisiveness.

Find Purpose with Your “What”

You may feel that you don’t have any purpose in life. Thus, you are listless, drifting about in the world.

This doesn’t have to relate only to your professional life or job. It could have to do with anything in your life.

Are you just waiting for something to happen? Maybe you’re waiting for life to come to find you, fulfilling your goals and dreams.

Waiting won’t fill the void that you are looking to fill.

Instead, the fastest way to discover your purpose is to choose your “what.” The reason is that your “what may take you down a path you weren’t expecting, leading to new possibilities that you never even considered.

Or, perhaps you discover that you have chosen a dead-end. So what do you do now? Make a new choice and take a different course of action.

Both paths are ways to finding your purpose.

Be Willing to Commit

When you choose your “what,” you are committing to something.

Despite commitment being a word you may frequently hear, do you truly understand its meaning?

Committing to something means a willingness to stick with it, even with the ups and downs. It means being in it for the long haul and being dedicated to the action.

It’s easy to be scared away from your “what” because of the commitment. Yet, committing is necessary in order to find success.

When you are asking “what,” you are directing yourself toward action. Even if you decide later on down the road that it was the wrong decision, you’re still on a successful journey to your purpose.

You can always make another choice. For now, being willing to commit to the “what” and to the direction you take.


To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page

Brenda Bomgardner is in her encore career. One of her greatest joys in her career is seeing people move beyond life’s roadblocks toward a fulfilling and meaningful life. She believes each person has a purpose in life waiting to be realized and that purpose continues to evolve over a lifetime. The path to reaching your life’s purpose is as unique as each individual. We all have dreams. Step by step she will walk with you on uncovering how to bring your dreams to fruition.  Brenda is a counselor, coach and clinical supervisor and specializes in practicing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which is a cutting edge evidenced-based processes. This means there is scientific research proven to show ACT works. Before becoming a therapist, she completed a successful 17 year career in Human Resources at a Fortune 500 company. On a personal note she loves the great outdoors, ATV riding, adventure travel and family.

5 Tips for Career Change and Stress Management ll By Brenda Bomgardner

5 Tips for Career Change and Stress Management
By Brenda Bomgardner

It may be that you’ve reached a point in your career where things have stalled. To put it plainly, it’s just doesn’t feel the same going into work anymore. How are you going to make a career change and manage your stress?

Do the projects you’re working on no longer hold your interest. And the office climate may be less than desirable. Stay calm and make a plan.

Keep your eyes open. A new opportunity may suddenly present itself. However, there’s risk involved. Rolling it over in your mind, you’re convinced that your current job isn’t great. Yet, it’s solid, reliable, and has great benefits. What should you do?

Taking any kind of career risk can be stressful. Still, there are ways that you can keep your calm and make a transition to a new chapter in your career.

Look for the Logical and the Meaningful Reason to Change

One way to stay calm is to think about this transition logically. Remind yourself all of the logical and meaningful reasons why this risk is worth taking.

For example:

A chance to grow with a new organization

Having more responsibilities

The opportunity to be a leader

Financial incentives

• The intellectual challenge

When you consider things from a logical perspective, it will allow you to make this move more smoothly. Otherwise, you’ll have more stress from the anxiety about this career risk.

Stay Organized and Focused

When making a career risk it’s helpful to stay organized and focused on the task at hand.

There may be projects that you need to wrap up before you leave. Or, there is a formal exit interview process that you must complete before you can transition out.

Make sure that you have all necessary documentation required before leaving.

While at the same time stay focused on your future and even start brainstorming what you want to accomplish when you get into your new role.

Be Your Own Boss as an Entrepreneur

Does your career risk involve becoming your own boss and being self-employed?

Certainly striking out on your own has its own inherent stressors. Will you generate enough business to pay the bills? Or, how will you find clients?

It can be helpful to connect with others who have made the same move and are now successful.

Check online for groups that meet in your community with an emphasis on entrepreneurship or self-employment. At the very least, it’s nice to know you’re not the first person to ever try this and that the risk is worth it.

Remember to Take Care of Yourself

When changing careers, it’s important to still take care of yourself. If you are starting your own business it’s easy to commit all of your energy and drive to getting things up and running.

Yet, you can’t be really successful if you aren’t taking care of yourself. You won’t have the stamina to keep going, and it will be harder to manage the stress involved with taking such a risk.

Consider then these ideas for taking care of yourself even during a big career move:

• Try to get enough sleep at night (about eight hours).

• Avoid excessive snacking or on-the-go eating.

• Choose foods full of nutrients, energy, and protein.

• Exercise regularly.

• Spend some personal time disconnected from electronic devices.

You’ll find that by practicing some self-care you’ll be calmer and also more capable of dealing with whatever comes up at work.

Have a Confidant, Mentor or Guide

If you are still struggling with taking this big career risk, then maybe it’s time you talked to somebody.

A coach who specializes in career development can be really helpful at these times. You will be able to get all those thoughts and worries off your chest with someone who really understands what this decision means both for yourself personally and your career.

A fulfilling career often means taking risks. However, the stress and worry that comes with those risks can be tough to manage. By using the ideas above and also talking with a therapist, you can make this career move go more smoothly.


To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page

About the Author: Brenda Bomgardner is in her encore career. One of her greatest joys in her career is seeing people move beyond life’s roadblocks toward a fulfilling and meaningful life. She believes each person has a purpose in life waiting to be realized and that purpose continues to evolve over a lifetime. The path to reaching your life’s purpose is as unique as each individual. We all have dreams. Step by step she will walk with you on uncovering how to bring your dreams to fruition.  Brenda is a counselor, coach and clinical supervisor and specializes in practicing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which is a cutting edge evidenced-based processes. This means there is scientific research proven to show ACT works. Before becoming a therapist, she completed a successful 17 year career in Human Resources at a Fortune 500 company. On a personal note she loves the great outdoors, ATV riding, adventure travel and family.

Feeling Stuck? – How to Stop Spinning Your Wheels ll By Brenda Bomgardner

Feeling Stuck? – How to Stop Spinning Your Wheels
By Brenda Bomgardner

Life doesn’t always find us cruising in the “fast lane.”

We make unexpected twists and turns.

Though sometimes this can be a good thing. Often, we discover fantastic opportunities that we never imagined.

However, in other instances, you find yourself getting stuck in life.

Instead of progressing the way you wanted, you are spinning your wheels.

This could be for a variety of reasons, such as not finding yourself where you want in your career.

Or, your relationship causes you to feel stuck. Either way, there are ways that you can get unstuck and get moving again.

1. Stop What You Are Doing

The first thing to do is stop what you are doing and pause. Of course, this is a metaphor that applies to your life. I am not suggesting that just because you don’t like your job, you should stop going to work!

However, you can pause when it comes to your life in general. Take a step back and reflect on what’s going on. Sometimes we focus so hard on making something work, we miss out on the big picture. Sometimes persistence at going for the gold works as you eventually break through a barrier. Other times persistence keeps you stuck and spinning your wheels.

Remember, if you want to stop spinning your wheels the first thing to do is take your foot off of the accelerator. Give yourself a brake – break. Take a breather and let things percolate.

2. Take Some Space

Next, take some space for yourself by creating distance between your day-to-day life. Why? Because the demands of our daily lives can distract us from getting perspective.

Now, you don’t have to retreat to a monastery in the mountains for months on end. However, what if you just took a day to yourself to reflect and think? That’s right percolate. No TV, no cell phone use. Just yourself and your thoughts.

A drive in the countryside could work. Or, spending the day at a local park. The objective is for you to slow down. I have a saying, “An ounce of solitude gives you a pound of serenity.”

3. Use Freewriting and Journaling

Have a thought? Take that thought and write it down on paper. This doesn’t have to be a formal essay. It could even be just certain words or phrases that occur to you.

Writing helps to organize what you are thinking and to have something to refer back to later.

Allow your mind to drift by considering the following topics:

Where are you now?

Where are you headed?

What were your original goals or objectives?

How do you feel?

Give yourself broad questions but be specific in your answers. Consider whether or not you truly are content or are wishing to make a change.

4. Make a Goal

If you want to get unstuck, start by making a goal towards the direction you want. This doesn’t have to be a big step. You don’t have to quit your job overnight and go from being a banker to an artist.

However, if this your desire long-term, why not start off by creating some art in your free time? Join a local group of artists as you might find out about the business of art. Volunteer at a museum.

Small goals are more manageable than broad ones. Plus, they allow you to start making changes from spinning your wheels to moving in the direction you desire.

5. Get Professional Coaching or Get an Accountability Buddy

These are great first steps towards getting unstuck. Yet, to create effective change, find a professional coach who can help. An accountability buddy is a sure fire way to keep movement in your life. It only takes one other person to make a difference. It’s important your meet on a regular basis.

If an accountability buddy is not working a professional coach can help you to maintain the momentum you’ve started and to make sure that the changes you make last. Plus, a coach can be a great support for when you feel stuck. They are trained in skills to create movement.

That way, you don’t find yourself spinning your wheels instead, and can maintain your progress.


 

It takes time to get unstuck, but you don’t have to be spinning your wheels forever. Making some small changes can help get things back on track.

Plus, a professional coach will be able to help you ensure that those changes are lasting. Please, contact me today if you’re at a place of feeling stuck in your own life.

To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page

About the Author: Brenda Bomgardner is in her encore career. One of her greatest joys in her career is seeing people move beyond life’s roadblocks toward a fulfilling and meaningful life. She believes each person has a purpose in life waiting to be realized that evolves over a lifetime. And the path to reaching your life’s purpose is as unique as each individual. We all have dreams. Step by step she will walk with you on uncovering how to bring your dreams to fruition.  Brenda is a counselor, coach and clinical supervisor and specializes in practicing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which is a cutting edge evidenced-based processes. This means there is scientific research proven to show ACT works. Before becoming a therapist, she completed a successful 17 year career in Human Resources at a Fortune 500 company. On a personal note she loves the great outdoors, ATV riding, adventure travel and family.

To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page, https://brendabomgardner.com/brenda-bomgardner/

Feeling Out of Control? – How to Manage the Aftermath of Trauma ll By Brenda Bomgardner

Feeling Out of Control? – How to Manage the Aftermath of Trauma
By Brenda Bomgardner

The last few weeks or months haven’t been easy. Mass shootings around the world, in our own back yard. It’s traumatic. Current events may trigger past trauma experiences for you.

Ever since you experienced the trauma, it’s been hard to sleep at night. Then, when you have conversations with other people, you may have started to notice that even little things just set you off.

Feeling angry and moody all the time, you may be afraid that you are losing control of yourself.

Are you going crazy?

No, not at all. Your mind is still processing and coping with what you experienced. Which, unfortunately, takes time.

Yet, there is still hope. Consider then these ideas for how to manage the aftermath of trauma.

1. Understand That What You Experienced was Traumatic

For some, it may seem easy to brush off the experience and move on. It doesn’t matter what it was—a car accident, the death of a loved one, or some other incident altogether.

In some cases, like those who work in emergency medical services or the military, seeing and experiencing trauma is part of the job. However, just because it’s “typical” doesn’t mean you should brush it off either.

One of the first steps for managing the aftermath of trauma is simply to acknowledge that what you went through was traumatic. If you sweep everything under the rug, you are only setting yourself up for more problems later on.

2. Talk About What You Experienced

This is something that you’ve probably heard a lot. Yes, talking about and processing your trauma may sound like a broken record.

Yet, processing is critical for managing the aftermath of trauma. Bottling things up doesn’t work in the long-run. That’s because eventually those feelings, emotions, and thoughts will come out at some point in your life.

When that happens, it likely won’t be at a time or place of your choosing. By talking about your trauma you are able to control how those feelings and emotions are released.

Look for groups involving people who have undergone similar experiences—friends, colleagues, or support groups. Being with others like you can help break the ice, allowing you to feel safer in talking about what happened.

3. Be Aware of Dark Thoughts

Oftentimes, if you experience a trauma, it can lead to some very negative thinking.

For example:

• Low feelings of self-worth

• Questions about why you survived when others didn’t

• Feeling like your life has no meaning

It’s typical to have these kinds of thoughts after a trauma. However, understand that they may feel incredibly strong, causing you to take actions that you could regret later on.

If you feel that your personal safety is in jeopardy, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

4. Practice Radical Self-Forgiveness

What makes self-forgiveness radical? Thoughts of depression or even suicide require radical action. Be willing to forgive yourself about what happened.

It’s not uncommon for people who experience trauma to believe that it was their fault. Most of the time, you were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

It’s human nature to try to rationalize events or actions that seem irrational. Yet, that’s not always possible.

The best that you can do is to accept what happened and to let go of any attachments.

For example, many say “if only I had done things differently.” The reality is that kind of second-guessing only causes more unnecessary emotional pain.

5. Take Care of Yourself

After experiencing trauma, many are tempted to “get back in the game,” so to speak. They are eager to return to work or continue their lives. That’s because they want to return to a sense of normalcy.

Remember, it takes time to heal from trauma and it’s important to take care of yourself.

For example:

• Allow yourself time to process and absorb what happened.

• Create space to grieve your loss.

• Do things that bring you joy and are positive.

• Get re-centered so you can move forward.

If you have the option to take time after experiencing a trauma, do so. Even it’s only a few weeks, the time you take to work through what happened is well worth it.

Trauma can definitely have a negative effect on your mental health. If you are struggling with managing the aftermath of trauma, try the above suggestions.

However, if you’re still having trouble, don’t hesitate to get professional help from a therapist who understands trauma therapy. Please, contact me today to learn more about how I can help you.


To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page,  https://brendabomgardner.com/brenda-bomgardner/

However, if you’re still having trouble, don’t hesitate to get professional help from a therapist who understands trauma therapy. Please, contact me today to learn more about how I can help you.

5 Keys on How to Manage Painful Thoughts or Memories ll By Brenda Bomgardner

5 Keys on How to Manage Painful Thoughts or Memories
Brenda Bomgardner

If you’re like many people dealing with painful thoughts or memories, you may try to go about your daily routine but they keep butting in.

The haunting thoughts frequently make it hard to concentrate on your work or to even enjoy a relaxing night at home with the family.

Some people try to wish them away, hoping to forget about the pain once and for all. Of course, many people find this temporary reprieve through drugs, alcohol, or other negative ways.

However, utilizing mindfulness skills can help with managing these thoughts and memories, and to resolve your pain better than any vice.

Consider these five important key points.

1. Accept That You Have These Thoughts or Memories

The first step in a mindfulness practice towards managing painful thoughts or memories is to accept that they are there.

You can’t run away from them, nor can you dull them with substances or usher them away using distractions. As you may have already realized, they find their way back.

Yet, accepting that these thoughts and memories exist can help to resolve the pain associated with them.

Furthermore, with acceptance comes openness and peace. You are no longer expending the mental energy to fight back those thoughts.

Granted, acceptance does require courage—the courage to accept that they exist and are not suddenly going to conveniently vanish.

2. Be Willing to Face Your Memories

Once you have accepted that your thoughts or memories exist, be willing to face them. Much like the first step, this also requires some degree of courage. Still, it’s not as impossible as it may have seemed in the past.

Keep in mind that facing every negative thought or memory all at once could be a bit overwhelming. It helps to start small and tackle them in stride.

For example, focus on one memory for starters. Remember, facing your memories does not mean fighting them. Rather, it’s a process of coming to terms with these thoughts and resolving your pain.

3. Let Go of Attachment

Next, begin the process of letting go of your attachment to those memories.

Attachment implies that you find some importance or connectedness to the thought or memory. This is true even if they are painful and cause you a lot of emotional pain.

By detaching, you are separating yourself from the memory. This allows you to look at the thought or memory more objectively. Then, you can let it go and allow it to drift away.

One example of doing this is the “Leaves on the Stream” exercise. Quite simply, you imagine a stream with leaves. Each leaf represents a memory. You can observe the stream carrying those memories away down the stream.

5. Forgive Yourself

Often, when you hold onto painful memories or thoughts it’s because of feelings associated with guilt or shame. As a result, reliving the memory acts as a form of self-punishment.

For example, someone who experienced trauma related to war may “torture” themselves by asking “why did I survive?” They feel guilty that they lived but their comrades did not.

A key to managing painful thoughts and memories includes the decision to forgive yourself for what happened.

Tormenting yourself won’t change things or alter the past. However, forgiveness does let you move forward and embrace the life you have now.

Everyone has memories or thoughts that they’d rather forget. Yet, for some, these thoughts and memories cause so much mental anguish that it’s debilitating.

If this is you, consider trying these five keys to managing painful thoughts or memories.

However, if you are still struggling, recruit the support of a friend, a trusted family member, clergy, or other trained professional.


To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page,   https://brendabomgardner.com/brenda-bomgardner/

However, if you’re still having trouble, don’t hesitate to get professional help from a therapist who understands trauma therapy. Please, contact me today to learn more about how I can help you.

How to Understand Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ll By Brenda Bomgardner

What’s It All About? – How to Understand Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

By Brenda Bomgardner

 

If you’re like many people, you may have an inner voice telling you things like you’re worthless or that no one wants you. Every day, an exhausting battle may rage inside of you.

Sometimes you try to push back against all those negative thoughts, but they come crashing through anyways.

In fact, trying to counter your negative self-talk only seems to make things worse. Spiraling down quickly, it often feels like there’s no relief in sight.

Now, imagine that there’s a way to counter the effects of negative thinking without pushing back or repressing your thoughts.

That’s what acceptance and commitment therapy is all about.

What Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

Unlike other coping skills—where you try to avoid negative thoughts or drown them out—acceptance and commitment therapy involves shifting your thinking to more productive outcomes.

This is accomplished by:

• Becoming more aware of your actions
• Recognizing what you consider to be your own values
• Making a commitment to act

The idea behind acceptance and commitment therapy is to face those negative thoughts in a more productive way.

It can be very difficult to drown out or counter negative thoughts, especially if they have been deeply ingrained into your thinking. However, acceptance and commitment therapy empowers you to choose what to do about thoughts.

Decide on Acceptance and Take Action

When you practice acceptance and commitment therapy, you utilize a process to make decisions independent of your negative thoughts.

For example, let’s say that you struggle with feelings of low self-worth based on negative experiences in childhood. When you think “I am worthless” you suddenly now have a choice. You can decide whether to take action right now to address this negative thought and might enter into a battle with the thoughts. You might try to counter the negative thought with a positive thought. You can spend a lot of time and energy in the battle and feel like you’re spinning your wheels and the thought keeps coming back. Here’s the deal. You can battle with your thought or you can act on creating behaviors that infuse your life with meaningfulness and fulfillment. You can act independent of your thoughts and/or feelings. You can accept a thought or feeling as a process your mind does based on your learning history and work towards making behavior changes.

Make a Commitment

Another important part of this process is making a commitment not to push back against those emotions, thoughts, or feelings.

Often, what causes people emotional distress is their attempt to push back or fight thoughts or feelings they find distressful. However, this frequently only causes them even more unnecessary pain and suffering.

When you commit to stop pushing back, and begin to be willing to accept your feelings you can begin to approach these issues from a new perspective and make changes based on what you truly value.

Why Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Helpful?

Perhaps the biggest reason why acceptance and commitment therapy is helpful is that you are no longer trying to avoid painful thoughts or feelings.

If you have thoughts about your low self-worth, you may be tempted to “numb” those thoughts through drug or alcohol use. On the other hand, you may try to bottle those thoughts and feelings up inside. Any attempt to release them causes you loads of emotional pain.

Let’s face it, this may temporarily work for you. But avoidance doesn’t really solve the larger problem. You still carry uncomfortable and unwanted emotions around you, and eventually, it will come out one way or another. Acknowledging to yourself that you have and experience painful feelings and thoughts transform them.

How to Practice Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

To practice this technique, it’s helpful to work with a therapist who understands acceptance and commitment therapy.

While it may be hard to discuss painful memories and difficult emotions with anyone, a therapist will be able to support you through the process. They can also help you find alternatives for viewing these thoughts and emotions so that they need not be compounded by the fight against pain causing distress for you.

If negative thinking is an issue and fighting those thoughts is causing you problems, consider acceptance and commitment therapy. You’ll likely find that by finding acceptance and committing to changing your thinking based on your own personal values, you will find relief and peace of mind.


To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page

About the Author: Brenda Bomgardner is in her encore career. One of her greatest joys in her career is seeing people move beyond life’s roadblocks toward a fulfilling and meaningful life. She believes each person has a purpose in life waiting to be realized that evolves over a lifetime. And the path to reaching your life’s purpose is as unique as each individual. We all have dreams. Step by step she will walk with you on uncovering how to bring your dreams to fruition.  Brenda is a counselor, coach and clinical supervisor and specializes in practicing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which is a cutting edge evidenced-based processes. This means there is scientific research proven to show ACT works. Before becoming a therapist, she completed a successful 17 year career in Human Resources at a Fortune 500 company. On a personal note she loves the great outdoors, ATV riding, adventure travel and family.

To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page, https://brendabomgardner.com/brenda-bomgardner/

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