Changeability Podcast: Manage Your Mind - Change Your Life







December 2015
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31


We see the world, not as it is, but as we are or, as we are conditioned to see it.” Stephen R. Covey

The impetus for this week’s blog post and podcast was in part inspired by a conversation between the two of us.

We’d been to see a couple of films and Julian was feeling a little stupid that he hadn’t really fully got to grips with their plots. During a conversation he said ‘You know, at the heart of it – I think I’m not very bright.’ Of course, as soon as he said it he realised it was a limiting belief and on some level knew it’s patently not true, and yet on another level he realised this was in part what he believed about himself.

Having The Changeability Podcast and a personal development site like this tends to make you notice this type of thing but doesn’t make you immune from it, and here was an unhelpful belief rearing its ugly head.

That got us thinking about unhelpful beliefs, which in turn got us thinking about counteracting them.

The Stephen Covey quote mentioned above goes on to say something interesting;

“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are – or, as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms.”

How can we describe ourselves more positively and change our perceptions of ourselves, or make a paradigm shift in what we believe about ourselves?

It’s the end of December at the time of writing and recording, which makes it an appropriate time to consider the year past. One way to begin changing your self perceptions is to think about what you’ve achieved or what are you proud of in this past year.

Here’s a few things we achieved this year.

  • 52 episodes of the Changeability Podcast produced – showing consistency and stickability.
  • Won an award at the UK Podcasters Awards 2015 of Best self-help podcast as voted by you (thank you) and endorsed by a panel of judges.
  • Kathryn’s first big presentation and closing key note for a Shell conference in London on how to thrive in times of change.
  • The launch of a new podcast – Podcast Divas – which has just spent 8 weeks top of New & Noteworthy in podcasting and technology on iTunes in the UK.
  • Our first joint presentation to SIMS (Suffolk Internet Marketing Specialists) on The Power of Podcasting – The what, why and how of podcasting.

What about you? What are you proud of achieving this year?

Doing this exercise for yourself

  • Emphasises what you’ve achieved, so you see the year in terms of progress, rather than what you haven’t done.
  • Focuses on the positive rather than the negative, which we as humans have a tendency to do.
  • Counteracts your inner voice. Your inner voice or inner critic frames your perceptions. By concentrating on the positive, you frame the world in a more positive way, seeing it is in terms of your achievements and less how you’re conditioned to see it, through the lens of your limiting beliefs and childhood perceptions.

It doesn’t have to just have to be about things you’ve achieved this year? We started with achievements for the year, because of the timing - but it could equally be something you’re pleased with today. In many ways it’s more useful to do this on an on-going basis than once a year.

So what are you proud of today? Write down one or two things you like about yourself or you’re proud of doing or being, or pleased with how it went or how you behaved. You can do it daily.

It could be a characteristic, the way you think,a skill, an act of kindness, something you’ve produced, something you are e.g. a parent, brother, sister, child, friend, colleague. Being happy or smiling at someone. Maybe you’re a good listener, or you were there when someone needed to talk. Or you contributing to your community or entertaining people or are a good conversationalist. Maybe you just like the way your hair looked today or your outfit.

This helps counter-balance the lack self-esteem most of us experience - feelings of not being worthy or good enough, like ‘I don’t feel I’m very clever’.

But all meanings and labels are meaningless apart from the meaning we give them, and yet they colour our lives and have a massive impact on us and the way we feel about our lives, which impacts what we do.

The whole idea of cleverness is an artificial construct – something that only exists because of the meaning we give it. What on earth does being clever mean? Is it intelligence – if so what does that mean? It must be more than an IQ score which only measure a very specific narrow set of thinking skills, and which only matter in a certain context.

It’s all about the meaning you give it. If you don’t believe those things yourself they won’t affect you. Someone can tell you you’re as thick as two short planks but if you don’t believe it yourself, it doses’t smatter. It only matters because of the meaning you give it.

It’s time to reinvent the meaning by noticing the things you are good at, or like about yourself or are proud of. This is the contrary evidence to your negative beliefs that will boost your confidence and general sense of well being and belief in yourself.

We tend to focus on the future and what we need to achieve, our goals and aspirations – and indeed we’ll be looking at this soon – but it’s also time to recognise and celebrate your achievements, big and small, and the things you like about yourself and what you’ve done – today.

One of the films we saw this week was the last of the Hunger Games films (The Mockingjay part 2). At the end of the film Katniss Everdene says she copes with thinking of the horrors they’d been through, by making a list in her head of all the good things she’d witnessed, the good things that people had done and the kindnesses shown. And that’s what you’re doing, here but for yourself – about you.

I look into the window of my mind
Reflections of the fears I know I've left behind
I step out of the ordinary, I can feel my soul ascending
I am on my way, can't stop me now and you can do the same, yeah

What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It's never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?

You could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel proud?

From Proud sung by Heather Small and written by Wayne Anthony Hector, Steve Mac and Andrew Gerard Hill

Episode 73 of The Changeability Podcast

Hear us talk about all of this and more in episode 73 of The Changeability Podcast.

Thank you

Thanks for listening to the Changeability Podcast. We love having you here and appreciate you spending your precious tine with us.


10 things I’m proud of and the rewards of pride in your achievements - blog post

Let us know your comments

What are you proud of today? Let us know in the comments below.


Direct download: CA073.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:41am UTC

I just don’t have the time

If you find yourself complaining you don’t have time to do what want because you’re too busy, here’s 12 suggestions of how to free up your time and energy. They come from our guest on episode 72 of the Changeability Podcast, Rob Cubbon, who shares interesting insights into the drains on our time and energy that sap us of the will to achieve what we want in life.

If you recognise the name it’s because we talked with best-selling author Rob Cubbon in episode 58 about his book: ‘Free your thoughts: How I re-programmed myself for happiness and how you can too.’ We realised there was one aspect of the book that deserved wider coverage, so invited Rob back to discuss his advice on how to free up your time and energy.

The rationale

If you spend your time involved in negativity, you’re not using that energy and time for more positive pursuits.

Look at your habits, would you have more time and energy if you did without them.

What are these activities and habits we’d be better off without?

How to free up your time and energy

  1. Don’t watch the news – The news has the potential to affect your beliefs and colour your views. It can make you feel stressed and doesn’t on the whole galvanise you into action.
  2. Don’t buy or read newspapers and avoid the websites of newspaper or media companies – Newspapers and media companies perpetuate myths and prejudices, especially about other countries and religions. Furthermore, we tend to buy those that reflect our existing views of the world around us.
  3. Don’t watch TV – It’s a potentially huge drain on your time. Be aware of the, time you spend in front of the TV rather than just switching it on for the sake of it, or having it on in the background. If you particularly enjoy watching television, try being more conscious of the programmes you watch. Another strategy is to use a favourite programme as a reward when you have finished an activity. We live in an age where you can watch programmes when you want, so be selective in your viewing.
  4. Don’t compare yourself to others - All comparisons between yourself and others, in terms of success or indeed other criteria, is futile and a waste of time. You are not that other person; you are your own individual self. Your ultimate success is dependent on you and your endeavours, so compare yourself only to yourself and measure your own improvement over time.
  5. Ditch your friends – Well don’t ditch them all, but consider seeing less of those who are a negative influence on your life, sap your energy or hold you back. Travel can broaden your experience of others as can being part of a mastermind group, which brings you into contact with those who enrich rather than rob you of energy.
  6. Don’t blame anyone or anything – Blame is rarely going to do you good, it’s a negative emotion whether blaming yourself or someone else. You can benefit from finding out what went wrong and why in a situation, so it won’t happen again, but blame itself serves little or no purpose.
  7. Don’t worry or anticipate that more bad things are going to happen – Accept that things will happen to you but don’t focus on them. Because your focus will be on fear, and the anticipation of pain or worrying will stop you doing the things you want to in life. And so often the pain is never as you anticipate, so in this sense it’s an exercise in futility.
  8. Ape the characteristics of those who are happy and successful – If you see yourself being petty and judgemental, imagine the persona of who you are trying to become. Ask yourself if the trait you’re exhibiting at this present moment is conducive with that persona. If not, look to and mimic those that do exhibit the traits you see as admirable.
  9. Don’t complain – Complaining increases the stress on you and doesn’t free up your time or energy. It is sapping. Find a more positive language to describe what’s going on, rather than complaining. This in turn helps lift your thinking on a subject. Talk in terms of a solution rather than a problem.
  10. Don’t identify with abstract concepts – Avoid identifying yourself by concepts such as your religion, politics, or affinity with certain groups (like a football team). You are aligning yourself with something, which is not you and can ultimately be a cause of unhappiness. By aligning yourself with one group, you are in effect misaligning yourself from another group.
  11. Stop beating yourself up – Do what you can and stop beating yourself up about what you haven’t or should have done.
  12. Don’t take Rob’s advice – Rob’s final words offer an interesting perspective. His tenets sound prescriptive but ultimately are just suggestions to save your time and energy.

A final thought

We’re not saying you have to do any or all of the above, but suggest that these are potential drains to our time and energy. Of course ultimately it’s for each of us to decide what we want to do with our lives.

But maybe, when you catch yourself complaining about not having the time or energy to do something you’d like to, this list will serve as a reminder of where to look first to free your greatest assets - time and energy.

Episode 72 of The Changeability Podcast

Hear Rob and us discuss how to free up your time and energy on this week’s episode of the Changeability Podcast, as Rob joins us from a shared working space somewhere in the world.

If you’d like to find out more about Rob and what he’s done to change his life and work, you’ll find him at 

Resources mentioned on the show

  • Gretchen Reuben – The Happiness Project
  • Rob’s book - Free your thoughts: How I re-programmed myself for happiness and how you can too.

What’s next?

Which of the suggestions do you agree with? Which don’t you agree with? How do you free up your time and energy? Do you practice any of these suggestions yourself and why? Let us know in the comments below.




Direct download: CA072.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

“When you are not attached to praise or criticism an interesting freedom is yours.” Kute Blackson

We all find ourselves subject to criticism - not least from ourselves, but also from others. And we don’t like it. It makes us feel horrible - hurt, rejected, guilty, fearful, let down, misunderstood, angry, humiliated, insecure, embarrassed or unappreciated.

What you can do about it? You can’t always prevent it or stop it - but you can handle it, by changing the way you feel about criticism and how you deal with it.

“Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.”

Here’s 37 ways to deal with criticism. Read them or listen to episode 71 of the Changeability Podcast to hear us talking about 37 ways to deal with criticism and more.

  1. Listen to the criticism - Yes - really listen. It’s not about what are you hearing - but about what are they saying. Firstly, is it criticism? Secondly, is it justified - is it valid?
  2. Be aware of how you’re interpreting what you’re hearing when someone criticises you.
  3. Is it a misunderstanding or miscommunication?
  4. Don’t get defensive.
  5. Be objective - as if you’re a spectator, looking in on the situation as a neutral observer.
  6. Don’t make excuses.
  7. What’s the intention behind the criticism? What’s the motive? Is it to be helpful or hurtful? Or is it an opportunity to impose power or status? Is it to be rude or to benefit you?
  8. Is it for construction or destruction?
  9. If you’re not sure what’s meant or intended by the criticism, ask for clarification. Don’t try and escape as soon as possible but ask follow-up questions. It shows you’re interested in hearing what they have to say and will give you further insights into what is really being said, rather than what you think is being said.
  10. If you require further clarification or don’t necessarily agree but aren’t sure about it - ask for examples of the behaviour, work or activity being criticised - and seek clarity about what the desired outcome is.
  11. Take notice of the manner in which the criticism is being delivered, as this should affect your response. What is the tone behind the message? Is the person shouting, in which case you might be quicker to dismiss or challenge it? Is it a well thought through, measured and reasoned critique, which therefore deserves your measured, well thought through and reasoned response?
  12. Don’t be afraid or worried to challenge criticism where you think it’s unfair or unjustified. Not least to get to the real meaning behind it. One way of doing this is to speak it back to the person - saying what you think they’ve just said. This shows up inconsistencies in their argument, if they exist. Or make them explain it further.
  13. Give yourself breathing space. Take a moment to be calm and collected - or at least to collect your thoughts. Don’t jump straight in with a defence or get upset. If possible, take a few mindful moments - with a quick burst of non-judgemental mindfulness.
  14. When you find yourself responding to criticism by getting upset, uptight, hurt, angry etc. - ask yourself why you feel like this. Examine the underlying beliefs. Is it saying something about you? What are you afraid of - rejection, not being appreciated, not feeling good enough?
  15. Are you looking out for criticism? Are you a people pleaser? If so why? Is it because you fear you’re not enough or good enough for people to love you for whom you are rather than what you do for them?
  16. Are you expecting criticism? Are you waiting for it or dreading it? You know there’s some truth in it and hope that people don’t see it, but you think they might so you’re waiting for it. Is there a part of you that knows you haven't done your best with this work or behaved in your best manner? If so is it because you have unrealistic expectations of yourself or because deep down you know you’ve fallen a bit short.
  17. Know your strengths. List them. Acknowledge them. Believe in them and your abilities.
  18. Are you reacting badly because you have a lack of confidence in yourself or your ability to accomplish what needs to be done or to be liked and loved?
  19. Be confident and stand on your own two feet - so that when criticism comes you have the confidence to deal with it and graciously accept it or refute it with a good account of yourself and your efforts.

“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” Norman Vincent Peale

  1. Are you unhappy about some aspect of yourself? For example, your body image, your weight, your job, the way you talk, your relationship or lack of. What is it you feel vulnerable about yourself - because that’s when you’re likely to interpret comments as criticism. Even well intentioned comments that are just comments. The conversation of friends and relatives you take as implied criticism, like ‘when are you going to get married’ or ‘no man on the scene yet?’. But to them it’s a conversation filler. People say things without thinking of the consequence or intending to hurt but when we’re sensitive to the subject already we’re quick to assume criticism. Personal comments about the way we look, our hair, clothes or weight are perceived as criticism when we’re sensitive about them, even when it’s not the intention behind the comment. And if it is intended to be critical but you have confidence in these things you can brush them off.
  2. Smile or laugh. Even if you don’t feel like it, smiling a big wide grin will give you a moment and make you feel better. Even better if you laugh it off. That doesn’t mean to ignore it criticism where it’s valid, but to rise above it if it’s not, and deal with it if it’s important for you.
  3. Are you reacting to this criticism or seeing it as criticism because it’s pushing your buttons? We all have things that get us going - sometimes without us really even noticing or knowing why. These are the old wounds, often going back to childhood and associated with the people who know us best - our families. Sibling rivalry and interaction from years ago that linger well into adulthood but get hidden behind a veneer of maturity. Yet something happens and we’re right back to the feelings we had when we were 10. The way a parent or teacher talks down to us or treats us without respect, or the feeling we’d never be as good at something as our brother or sister. They all come back to haunt us when we relive the criticisms of years ago today.

“A child that lives with criticism learns to condemn.” Ronald Russell  

  1. Get rid of your buttons - then they can’t be pushed. Identify them, acknowledge them, forgive them, visualise letting them go.
  2. Is the criticism saying more about the person saying it, than you? For example, are they trying to impose some level of control over you to make them feel more worthy, or give themselves status or importance? Is it their inability to praise that makes them so ready to criticise?
  3. Don’t get sucked into their negative energy. Visualise yourself with an aura, force-field or bubble around you - repelling their negative energy.
  4. You are responsible for how you react to criticism. Don’t give that power away. Think about it and take back your power.
  5. Is their criticism relevant - if not don’t worry about it?
  6. Is there something else behind the criticism? Is the criticism hiding the real communication and true meaning of what’s being said and you’re hearing as criticism. Look for the underlying message. It might be a call for your attention from a friend, partner, parent or child when they criticise you for always going out, or accuse you of preferring work to being at home or spending more time with your mates than them. Maybe what’s really being said here is I want you to notice me, I want you to spend more time with me, I want your love and approval.
  7. Don’t take criticism personally - unless it is personal. If it’s made in good faith, for constructive reasons and the best of intentions then it’s not about you as a person, but about what you’ve done or how you’re doing it. Don’t see it as a criticism of the whole of you and everything about you.
  8. If it’s personal, negative and unjust, or a form of bullying, one up-man-ship or the symptom of a power struggle - don’t give it your energy and focus. No dwelling on it or mulling it over but move on to more positive pursuits and use of your time, energy and resources. The best way to stop think about something is to think about something else.
  9. Look for the positives in the criticism. Is it an opportunity to improve your work or relationship, to learn something about yourself or grow in some way?
  10. Have you heard it before? If so there may be some truth in the criticism and it’s time to listen, take note and do something about it.
  11. Learn to value criticism and not just praise. Acknowledge the benefits criticism can bring - like making you a stronger, more able or better skilled person.
  12. Criticism consists only of words and an opinion at the end of the day. Yes it hurts but let be the end of it – once the words are said they’re gone. Life and conversation moves on and so can you.
  13. Ask if you’re putting other people's opinion of you above the one that really counts - your own!
  14. Think about how criticism can make you better and practice asking for it and dealing with it.
  15. Thank your critic and give credit where credit’s due. Giving positive helpful criticism that comes from a good place is hard. It takes skill and empathy to do it well. It’s something we often avoid doing, even in the workplace where it’s part of our job, because it can be uncomfortable, so acknowledging where it’s done well is a win win.

That’s 37 ways to deal with criticism.  We’d love to hear any you’ve got any to add – leave a voice message, comment below or join our FB group.

Here’s a final thought about criticism; accept the truth – you’re not perfect.

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

Direct download: CA071.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:27pm UTC