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Don't Blurt – Believe... in yourself. Thursday April 7, 2016

Every single day is filled with numerous opportunities to respond to someone else's behaviour, to make decisions, to offer advice, to be of help to others and to give the world the best of who we are.

Yet in today's condensed 140-characters-culture, there's a certain amount of pressure to be able to have the answer, to 'know' what to do, to be the expert and appear all-knowing, FAST.

All too often we race to impress, obligated in fact and respond quickly out of what can be our limited view of the situation or is it our own ego to be 'better'.

Rarely do we take the time to even consider we may not have enough information, ask simple questions, or seek alternative and wiser perspectives. I'm sure we can all recall a recent situation when we felt compelled to respond in haste, only later to discover a different response may have been more appropriate. In fact the best response may have been to say 'I don't know', rather than feel the 'need' to appear knowledgeable.

It's sometimes easy to forget that taking a few moments to step back and reflect on the situation might bring about a better decision, more clarity, more balance and sense to the issue at hand. Or that maybe we don't need to have the answer at all and that our role is simply to coach and empower others to find their own answers. If only we took the time to serve others and not to 'sell' ourselves.

Part of the power of mindfulness or the use of HeartMath, is that they help us slow down and respond with a wiser, deeper intelligence, not a rapid-fire reaction to something we haven't allowed ourselves to consider more carefully.

Humans are the only anima on the planet to be able to have a gap between stimulus and response. We can create a gap and have that freedom to choose our response from all that makes us human.

Next time you're bombarded with information, or asked a question, take the extra minute and see what a difference it can make. Taking the time first, can save time and really demonstrate that you care, to ensure the best possible outcome and growth.

Others will appreciate it.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Adam Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 7:18am

Wise words Les!

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:10pm

Thanks Adam

Hopeful One Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 7:30am

Hi Les- you write well my friend and you have highlighted something which we could all do with- circuit breakers to give us time to respond and not react. Reaction is nearly always in my opinion a 'flight ,fright or freeze" response emanating from the amgdala squirting its stress response harmful cortisol.Respond comes from the cortex which not as fast as the amgdala which is a 'one gear" system. So what circuit breakers do I have to buy that vital time? These vary with the situation but one of my favourites is" The answer is No but carry on" This throws the questioner of guard because its either irrelevant of makes them pause long enough for me to prepare a response.

Onward with today's laugh sortie.

A man returns from a foreign holiday and is feeling very ill. He goes to see his doctor, and is immediately rushed to the hospital to undergo tests. The man wakes up after the tests in a private room at the hospital, and the phone by his bed rings. "This is your doctor. We've had the results back from your tests and we've found you have an extremely nasty STD called G.A.S.H. It's a combination of Gonorrhoea, AIDS, Syphilis, and Herpes!" "Oh my gosh," cries the man, "What are you going to do, doctor?" "Well we're going to put you on a diet of pizzas, pancakes, and pita bread." "Will that cure me?" asks the man. The doctor replies, "Well no, but... it's the only food we can get under the door."

LillyPet Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 8:35am

"The answer is no, but carry on" made me laugh H! :)

Skyblue Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 12:57pm

I always find your comments really helpful, H. Thanks again. And for the giggles, too. xx

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:13pm

Hi HO - the best 'circuit breaker' for many is simply - 'let me think about that and get back to you'. Too many people feel the 'need' to give an answer there and then and thus allow themselves to be pressured. Give youself that vital 'gap' (mind the gap) by saying your'l give them an answer, but later, when you have had time to think.

Richard Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 8:51am

Nice one, Les!
Peace and Love, Richard.

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:13pm

Hi Richard = thanks and P&L to you sir.

Sally Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 8:59am

Great piece of writing, Les. I shall come back to it for inspiration and ideas. I was immediately attracted to the title ( it sums me up!) and so found myself nodding mentally in agreement at what you had written, eg. " All too often we race to impress......"
A friend gave me a key ring on which was written Slow down Sally.
I wonder why?!! ( I totally know why!)
Thanks very much, Les.
How are you these days?

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:17pm

Hi Sally - Aye Slow Down Sally - sounds like a song title :-) I am well just now thanks.....out the other end again! Presently ski-ing high up in France with blue skies.....which I appreciate SO much more and richly appreciate.....after months of darkness..........wonderful.

LillyPet Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 9:01am

Hi Les,
In a group meeting it's alot easier for me to listen and consider a response. 1-1 conversations tend to be more fluid. My responses tend to be considerate, I try to choose my words carefully.
Under high stress though, if I feel I'm under attack or being blamed, as HO says, the fight or flight kicks in and it' has been rapid fire defensive blurting, no matter how much I had resolved to be mindful and not rise to provocative comments beforehand.
Instictive survival reactions are hard to intercept. I guess the best that I can do is, as soon as I become aware that I'm doing it, to pause and at least take a breath!
I like the idea of circuit breakers. "The computer says no" might be a good one! LP :))

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:19pm

Hi LP - Aye - if you feel triggered in any way, stop / step out / go to the loo / whatever to control that 'inner voice'. Know and control self, before lead and enable others. So what is your 'circuit breaker' going to be? Use it ASAP....start a new habit.

Lexi Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 9:38am

i love this post today Les. A friend going through a hard time once told me that she was tired of people offering up solutions: she just wanted to be heard. And so I try to do that now - listen, be there, and not be too quick to jump in with ways that I think can take away her pain. I do have a tendency to want to come up with an answer quick regardless of whether it's right because I feel "put on the spot" but whenever I stop myself and sit in that uncomfortable pause (uncomfortable because I want to fill the vacuum with words!) I do feel like I am serving others and even learning something myself. So thank you for the reminder today.

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:27pm

Hi Lexi - Thank you. In our deepest moments we simply wish to be heard for who we are - not givne trite answers or ego driven 'I've dome better' comments. Let me offer you the Listen poem again.....can never be read too much. //// LISTEN When I ask you to listen to me - and you start giving me advice - you have not done what I asked. ////// When I ask you to listen to me - And you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, - You are trampling on my feelings. ////// When I ask you to listen to me - And you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, - You have failed me strange as that may seem. ///// Listen! All I ask is that you listen. - Not talk or do – just hear me. - Advice is cheap: 40p gets you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper. - And I can do for myself; I’m not helpless; Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless. /////// When you do something for me, which I can and need to do - for myself, you contribute to my weakness. //////// But, when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, - No matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince - And can get about the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling. - And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice. - Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them. ////// Perhaps that’s why prayer works sometimes, for some people - Because God is mute, and he doesn’t give advice or Try to fix things. “They” just listen and let you - Work it out for yourself. /////// So, please listen and just hear me. And, if you want to talk, / Wait a minute for your turn, and I’ll listen to you. /////// Anonymous

LillyPet Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 6:59pm

Hi Les, I think that this is a valid point for some people some of the time. None of the things we discuss absolutely apply to everyone all of the time. I happen to like answers, things to try, suggestions, new tools. Surely sharing those is part of the beauty of moodscope? Rather than try to stop people from offering help to ease my pain I am open to what they offer, take from it anything that might be useful and not take the rest on board. Interesting discussion Les. LP

Les Fri, Apr 8th 2016 @ 7:38am

Hi LP - yup no 'right' way. For me the key is 'Seek first to understand and then be understood'.

Sheena Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 10:54am

So true Les - an excellent summary of EQ - which I think reflects well on the HeartMath (was that 1990s?) You are so right that we are all over encouraged to self sell rather than listen and appreciate the actual opportunities

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:31pm

Hi Sheena - Thank you............. The true function of a teacher is to create the most favourable conditions for self learning.... True teaching is not that which gives knowledge but that which stimulates pupils to gain it. One might say - he who teaches best teaches least. ///// John Milton Gregory

Skyblue Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 10:56am

This is brilliant, Les. I've been aware lately that when in an exciting and stimulating conversation, or when feeling that I can help the situation, I can be over zealous with my thoughts and opinions and later discover that people have really taken them on board. Sometimes this is good, and sometimes I second guess myself and wish my words had been more enlightened. Like Lexi, I'm trying to focus more on listening to people, and listening to my own heart, before responding. To become conscious of that gap you talk about is to be in the present moment and it is from here that we access our deeper knowing. Thanks! Great post. xx

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:34pm

Hi SB - Thanks for your kind comments - just watch that you do not finish other people's sentences :-) If however you speak from the heart - you have to stop your mind diving in with the answer or explanation.

Zareen Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 11:05am

Hi Les, I find the points that you make very helpful thanks.

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:35pm

Hi Zareen - thank you :-)

Ruth Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 11:51am

I used to 'shoot from the hip' nearly all the time. It made me feel good and I rarely thought about what might help the other person. Having been diagnosed with bipolar and sarcoidosis sometimes I feel like coshing, not nice sorry, the person opposite me who is giving me the benefit of their wisdom. In two cases it was therapists who were the guilty parties! I regret my know all tendency. When I slip nowadays at least I'm more aware and can apologise. Thanks very much for a timely reminder Les.

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:36pm

Hi Ruth - Sel-awareness is the start of all change.......then you can alter your behaviour if you are seeking to constnatly develop and grow.

Frankie Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 12:38pm

Ah Les, you have reminded me of one of my late father's favourite sayings - thank-you! "It is better to be thought a fool, then to open your mouth and confirm it!" Frankie

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:37pm

Hi Frankie - Good one.

Marmaladegirl Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 3:41pm

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to REPLY...

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:39pm

Hi MG - Agreed......such a shame that peole need to be heard to feel important...cleverness V wisdom.

Rex Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:17pm

I wonder how useful it is to get/read generic inspirational affirmations? Is the idea that those who post here see that there are other people who are using Moodscope? Are any of you suspicious of the tracking of your moods and whether or not the analysis system is valid? Do any of you know how to cheat the system?

Les Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:44pm

Hi Rex - why would you even think that? Cheat what system? Surely on Moodscope if you cheat the sytem the only person you are cheating is yourself..?? If anything feels valid for you - then it is. I cannot talk for others and the reason I write here is simply to offer thoughts that may help others - create a community where people feel safe to share thoughts at difficult times when I/we/you struggle even to 'move' from a bed that feels safe.....and yet mostly isn't.

Anonymous Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:56pm

Hi Rex. I know what you mean by cheating the score system. There has been some discussion here on Moodscope about this. I know that most people who track their moods on a daily basis and derive great benefits from it, do not cheat the system. Caroline will advise on the mood tracking charts, how it began and the science behind it. I know that many moodscopers show their charts to their therapists and medical practitioners. An interesting point you make Rex about this aspect of Moodscope. I can see whwre you are coming from re. the charts. The daily blogs are written by a variety of people who are members of Moodscope and the people who read them, such as myself,take out of them what attracts them personally to the messages. You could write a blog Rex about how you are feeling right now and what helps you? Julxx

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:48pm

Hi Rex, thanks for your comment. From the feedback we get from our Moodscope users, they find the daily emails very useful and one of the reasons is because they are written by other users - people who understand because they are going through similar experiences.

Regarding the tracking system. This is an approved adaptation of the PANAS test developed by Dr Watson in 1988 which has been fully validated and we use this adaptation with the approval of the American Psychological Association.

I'm not really sure if there is any point in cheating the system as the only way to do that would be to lie about how you feel, therefore the only person you would be cheating is yourself.

Hope the above helps and I hope you are finding Moodscope helpful.

Kind regards. Caroline Ashcroft, Moodscope

Anonymous Thu, Apr 7th 2016 @ 5:57pm

Ha! Caroline was writing at the same time as me!! I knew she would provide an intelligent answer. Julxx

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