Is critical self-talk, regret, or worrying stopping you from seeing your strengths, resources, or possibilities for your future?
Are you a driven high-achiever struggling to maintain self-care while juggling career, family, and caring for everything and everyone?
Are you seeking more meaning, passion, or joy in your life/career?
I'm Dr. Colleen, and I'm a Positive Psychology Coach. Today, I'm blessed to live a life I love, however for many years I lived with with perfectionism, regret, catastrophizing, anxiety, panic attacks, and low self-esteem. As I share in my TED Talk (below), it was Positive Psychology tools that helped me RE-SCRIPT my negative self-story and start living a different one.
What is a self-story? A self-story is comprised of all the things we tell ourselves in our minds, moment by moment, about who we are, why we are or aren’t good enough, what we are or aren’t capable of, and what possibilities the future can hold for us.
Through One-on-One Happiness Plan Coaching, we'll use Positive Psychology tools to design a detailed vision, goals, and actions to RESCRIPT any limiting self-stories, and redesign your personal and/or professional life for greater balance and joy.
How We Co-Create Your Happiness Plan:
(1) Relationships: Unhealthy patterns learned from past relationships can challenge current/future relationships. Uncovering and shifting these patterns helps us achieve the meaningful connections we crave.
(2) Career: We can sometimes find ourselves in jobs/careers that don't bring us a sense of fulfillment. When we illuminate our strengths, passions, and purpose, we can align our career actions with them and create greater joy.
(3) Financial: While money does not equal happiness, financial security helps ensure our basic needs are met and that we can live a lifestyle that supports our joy. Creating healthy money thoughts and habits can enhance our happiness.
(4) Living Environment: When our living spaces and environments are in chaos, our minds can feel chaotic. Understanding what environments bring us solace helps us plan ways to organize and create these spaces.
(5) Community Engagement: We can sometimes find ourselves feeling disconnected from our local and larger communities. Finding ways to volunteer/give back helps us express gratitude for all we have and find meaning in caring for our communities.
(6) Physical Health: Amidst busy lives we can put our physical wellness on the back-burner and develop unhealthy habits. Creating realistic, achievable physical wellness goals and habits helps us live a happy life.
(7) Mental & Emotional Health: Past disappointments and mistakes, daily stressors, and current challenges can take a mental and emotional toll. Learning new ways of thinking and being can help rid us of rumination, regret, catastrophizing, low self-esteem, and other negative emotional and mental states, and help us reach our other life and career goals.
(8) Intellectual Growth: Sometimes in our lives and careers, we can feel stuck in a rut of intellectual stagnation. Exploring and embarking on new intellectual growth adventures helps us lead more enriched lives.
(9) Recreation & Relaxation: It's easy to do only what we must on our increasingly busy to do lists, and its often our recreation and relaxation that get put aside. Rediscovering and reintegrating our passions and self-care practices is critical for our wellness.
(10) Spirituality: There are times that we can realize we want a connection to something larger than us. Exploring and using our greater purpose to do good in the world and express gratitude for all we have been given helps us live more meaningfully.
RESCRIPT-ing is how we create the changes that propel your happiness in each area of your life. When we imagine what we want our life to look like, we can begin thinking, feeling, and behaving in ways that move us closer to that vision, as well as begin limiting the thoughts, feelings, and actions that move us farther from it (RESCRIPT-ing).
The idea is not that we must achieve every vision in its exact form. However, when we contemplate that vision, we can make more informed decisions that are aligned authentically with who we are, what we want, and the story we want to live out. We'll RESCRIPT your self-story together :-)
Dr. Colleen's 8-Practice Method to RESCRIPT Your Self-Story
(1) R – Release Rumination: Do you ever find yourself replaying in your mind the challenges, traumas, or tragedies you’ve experienced in your life? Have you ever lost minutes or hours in this kind of spiral of negativity? We will work on catching your ruminating thoughts as they begin, releasing them, and concentrating your thoughts and actions instead on what you can positively control in your story right now.
(2) E – Engage vs. Evade: What growth-enhancing actions have you avoided because of fear? Fear that you weren’t smart enough, athletic enough, attractive enough, successful enough, brave enough? When we keep evading experiences out of fear that we are not yet enough, we never give ourselves a chance to feel enough as we are. We'll help you engage in growth-driven adventures you have been avoiding. You might surprise yourself, and at worst, you’ll learn something you can use in the next chapter of your story.
(3) S – Seek Strengths: Can you list 10 things you are great at and why? People are often quite skilled at rattling off their flaws, but frequently struggle to identity their talents. Seeking out our strengths is not egotistical, its critical for empowering our stories. We'll help you explore what you are great at, so you can use those strengths at work and in the community to do and feel good.
(4) C – Challenge Catastrophizing: Have you ever found yourself contemplating all the ways something could go wrong in your future? Have you let that worry stop you from moving forward? We often mistake worry for control, but instead of positively controlling our futures, we waste time scripting unlikely mental catastrophes. Together, we'll explore what evidence exists in your previous experience and current information that confirms your worst case scenarios, and what evidence suggests there will be no catastrophe at all. We'll help you script successes instead so you’ll be more equipped to plan how to achieve what you want.
(5) R – Restrict Regret: Do you ever berate yourself over decisions you’ve made or things you’ve said or done? We all have less than stellar moments. Nobody gets out of this life without mistakes, but beating yourself up over them repeatedly accomplishes nothing. We can’t change what we’ve already done. We can, however, apologize when warranted, learn, and do better next time. We'll work on restricting how much time you spend on regret, and instead using mistakes to drive your growth moving forward.
(6) I – Invite Imperfection: Have you achieved perfection yet? Me neither. And we’re never going to, because once we’ve decided how we define perfect, we keep changing the definition so we can never reach it anyway. We'll work on helping you invite imperfection in, laugh with it, and embrace it. Our idiosyncrasies are part of what keeps our stories so interesting.
(7) P – Pursue Passion & Purpose: If you could use your strengths to fix one thing in the world, in your community, in your workplace, what would it be? What would you do if money or fear of failure weren’t concerns? What activities do you love so much, you lose track of time doing them? What motivates and excites you? Once we have the answers, we'll help you do more of that, whenever, wherever, and however you can. We'll plan short- and long-term goals and actions to make your passions and purpose key themes in your story. A passion-fueled, purpose-driven story helps us feel great about who we are.
(8) T – Think Thankfully: What challenges or mistakes are you now thankful for in your life? What strengths, passions, and purposes are you grateful belong to you? What experiences or people in your world are you thankful for today? We'll help you integrate daily practices to use every part of your story as a source of gratitude. We'll train your brain to see the good within and around you. Thinking thankfully and practicing gratitude re-scripts our story from a tragedy to a triumph.
What is Positive Psychology?
The Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania defines Positive Psychology as “the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive” (2007).
Positive Psychology is NOT about feeling happy 100% of the time, ignoring weaknesses and problems, or never experiencing negative emotions like sadness or anger.
Positive Psychology IS about learning how to experience negative emotions and move through them more quickly and healthily, so they do not immobilize us. It IS about taking the time to embrace and savor the positive we hold within us, in those around us, and in the lives we are already living.