Episode 14: You Are Enough

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Key Takeaways

This week’s episode is a bit more raw. I’m sharing some personal insights I’ve gained from my experience with anxiety.

Resources

Elizabeth McCravy’s Podcast: Breakthrough Brand Podcast

Follow on Instagram: @samanthamichelleosborne


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Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast. I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free. Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 13: This is Supposed to be Hard

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Key Takeaways

This week,  we are talking about negative thoughts. These thoughts, have a lot of names, in fact, I’ve used a lot of different names for them on this podcast.

Automatic thoughts, thinking errors, cognitive distortions.  The name isn’t important. The important thing is that the name points to a concept that, when understood, can be really powerful in helping you feel and behave in the way that you want.

The cognitive behavioral model says that we experience events, that trigger thoughts that trigger feelings that trigger behaviors. If we can intervene early in the chain, we can effect what is down stream.

Negative, automatic thoughts or thinking errors are the second link in the chain. I love teaching people to identify and alter these thoughts because it has a profound impact on the way that they feel and how they behave.

One common mistake/ struggle that most people have when they learn to identify and change their thoughts is they experience frustration when they have the thoughts.  They will often come back to the next session and think that they have failed because they didn’t eradicate all of their negative thoughts during the week.

It's similar to people learning to meditate.  They’ll say things like -- “I tried to meditate but it didn’t work. I had so many thoughts. I couldn’t stop them”.

But thoughts are a key part of meditation. The goal isn’t to STOP your thoughts. The goal is to notice them, recognize that they are just thoughts and lessen the control that they have on your life. When you practice meditation, thoughts have less power to distract or dictate the focus of your attention.

Learning to change your automatic thoughts is the same. The goal isn’t to eliminate these thoughts. The goal is to understand how to evaluate and alter them as they arise.

In fact, it often helps to anticipate that you will have negative thoughts. To expect them. Then, when they appear you aren’t shocked. You say to yourself-- “yep, just as I expected, my negative thoughts are here. I have a plan for this.”

This idea can seem really scary at first. “What, you are telling me to accept my negative thoughts about myself as part of the process? That’s insane”.

Well, it isn’t madness, and it actually might really help. My guess is that fighting with your thoughts and shoving them down and pretending like they aren’t there hasn’t been super effective. I know it hasn’t been effective for me (at least not in the long run).


Expecting negative thoughts has several benefits.

#1 It reduces suffering. You are already suffering by experiencing the negative thought. Thinking “I’m a failure” sucks! Being frustrated with yourself for having that thought, increases the suffering you are already experiencing as a result of that thought. Letting go of the self-judgment for having the thought in the first place may make you feel a lot better. It’s less work to untangle a second thought chain about your self-judgment.

#2 It helps us create distance between ourselves and our thoughts. You say “oh here are these thoughts again. Sam said this would happen. This must be normal. Other people must experience this too. If other people experience thoughts like this then I’m not a weirdo. This is just a thought.”

You are identifying these thoughts as something that is part of the package of depression and anxiety. A lot of people experience this and there is a clear path to move forward and make a change.

That’s very different from  “OMG I am so anxious. This is so uncomfortable, I can’t handle this.I’m so weird and broken and different from everyone else. This must mean something about me”

#3 We are prepared.  I used to be really freaked out about having depressive or anxious thoughts.  I was constantly on the lookout for them but also weirdly blindsided every time they happened to me. I always thought “oh no. Here we go again. What am I going to do”.

Now, I expect that I am going to have these thoughts. It’s not so much, What if? It’s when. Probably today. Probably when I have to give a speech. Probably when I have to have a hard conversation with a client or a coworker. Probably when I drive in crazy traffic.

I’m not freaked out when they come because I reasonably anticipate them and I have a plan for what to do when they show up.  

I identify the the thought. I ask myself a couple of key questions when they show up like “Is this a thinking error or is there validity to this?” “Is this a problem that I can solve?” “What would I tell someone I care about who was experiencing this situation?”

Then I focus on telling myself the truth. “I can experience any emotion that comes up.” “It’s really normal to have anxious thoughts because my brain is trying to keep me safe. I see that this isn’t real danger so I can proceed.”


If I spot that my thought is a thinking error, I will try to address that specifically.

I’ve talked about how to do some of these techniques more in depth in previous episodes. If you are interested, take a listen to Episodes 1,3, and 8.  

Ok. So to recap, Negative thoughts aren’t necessarily “normal” but they are a typical manifestation of depression and anxiety.

Anticipating these thoughts helps us reduce suffering, create distance between ourselves and our thoughts and be prepared with a plan for how to deal with them when they arise.

Alright everyone. Thanks for your time and attention today. I love the privilege of speaking with you each week. I’ll talk to you next week!


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Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast. I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free. Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 12: One Simple Shift to Boost Your Mood

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Key Takeaways

Welcome back to another episode of the Creative Psych Podcast.  Today I’m sharing a twist on a productivity classic.

I’m talking about turing a “To Do” list into a “Ta Done!” List or what Gretchen Rubin has called a Ta Da! List. 

A traditional To Do list focuses on all of the things that you need to accomplish and a Ta Done List focuses on all of the tasks that you have accomplished.

This twist is effective because depression and anxiety can often leave use feeling overwhelmed and stuck at home and at work.  Tasks pile up and the symptoms that often come along with depression and anxiety (fatigue, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating and making decisions) make it difficult to take the first step of tackling a "to-do list".   

Staring at a long list of things to do, you may worry that you won't ever be able to get it all done or that you aren't good enough for the job.  If you think back to a couple of episodes ago-- those are automatic thoughts that are triggered by a particular situation --- in this case, having a lot to accomplish. Those automatic thoughts may lead to feeling overwhelmed and anxious.   Overwhelm and anxiety are not super productive mental states.

You just end up feeling too bogged down to move forward.  So you do nothing which further exacerbates the problem.

As an aside: If you are keeping a To Do list (which is a perfectly fine way of managing tasks), I really recommend keeping a master to do list and pulling off three things to do at a time each day.  Research indicates that we can’t really accomplish more than this in any given day anyway. Staring at that giant list really distorts our understanding of what’s possible. It creates this expectation that we can accomplish 10 things so we feel disappointed in ourselves when we don’t cross everything off.  

That's why I recommend keeping a master list and pulling three things off each day. If you get those three things done and there is still time in the day, return to the list and add a few more items.  This technique helps manage expectations and can help increase focus and combat feelings of overwhelm.  

OK Back to my more central point.

People with depression and anxiety often fall prey to the thinking error of “magnification and minimization”. Generally, we magnify things that we are doing wrong (or in this case not doing or have left to do on a to do list) and  minimize or deny all of the things that we have accomplished. It’s essentially a negative bias toward seeing our screw ups and not noticing what we are doing right.

Next time you find yourself questioning your ability to manage the task at hand, try shifting your attention in a more positive direction.

Instead of focusing on all of the things that you have to do, try focusing on all of the things that you have already done.  

Before beginning each work day, make a quick list of all the things you accomplished the day before.

Your list might look something like this:

  • Sent marketing email promoting future training

  • Filmed two sections of training webinar

  • Completed slides for upcoming live training

  • Returned 3 phone calls

 

Keeping a "Ta Done!" list can benefit you for a number of reasons.

It is encouraging: Working on large projects or ongoing tasks that don't have an end date can make you feel like you aren't getting anywhere.  

Keeping a list of things that you have accomplished helps you see that you are taking meaningful steps toward a larger goal.  Instead of starting off the day feeling overwhelmed and stuck, you can look at your list and feel productive and proud.

This is also a great exercise to complete at the end of the day if you often leave the office feeling drained.  The "Ta Done!" list helps you practice gratitude for a job well done.

 

It can help you get more done: Keeping a "Ta Done!" list can help you take action throughout the day.  The list puts you in friendly competition with yourself to accomplish more than the day before.  The list transforms productivity into a positive game. Instead of trudging through a mountain of tasks, your tasks now become items you can add to your list of accomplishments for tomorrow.

Keeping a larger "Ta Done" list can have a similar effect on your overall career.  If you find yourself feeling down because you are not where you want to be, or you don't think that you have accomplished enough, make a list of what you have already accomplished.  You may be surprised at how good it makes you feel.

I did this when I was just starting out in my business. I was feeling so overwhelmed and discouraged because I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I didn’t have systems and processes set up, and I wasn’t seeing the number of clients that I wanted to see.

Honestly, my expectations were just way out of whack. I was holding myself to a standard that wasn’t realistic for the amount of time that I had been in business. But,I was also totally minimizing and denying all of the awesome stuff that I had accomplished up until that point.  Keeping a Ta Done! List brought things back into perspective for me, and helped me keep going.

 

Here is an example of what a  big picture “Ta Done” list could look like:

  • Finished my degree

  • Landed my  first job.

  • Moved to a great city

  • Earned  a promotion

  • Created  a website

  • Wrote an awesome “about me” page

  • Went to two networking events (which was really hard for me at the time)

  • Invited someone  out for coffee

  • Created a basic paperwork packet

  • Was seeing a few clients a month

That is just a small sample of all of the things that you could track.  Many of my clients are shocked at all they accomplish when they start tracking it .  

They are amazed that they are making real progress toward some of the big long term goals that they have for themselves.  What are 10 things that you have accomplished so far this year? What about today? Make a list and share it on Instagram I'd love to celebrate with you!


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Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast. I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free. Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 11: The Power of the Right Question

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Key Takeaways

Hey Everyone! Welcome back to another episode of the Creative Psych Podcast.  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to rate and review. Your feedback means so much to me.

Featured review! This week’s review comes from Beth and she says “This podcast truly has the ability to change lives in a drastic way, and there is no better person to host than Samantha. She is honest, fun (and funny) and real. What a treat to be on the receiving end of and practical help from someone “like me”. Would recommend to anyone who is working toward a dream, business or goal. You won’t regret it!

Thanks so much for your kind words Beth.

Let’s dive into this week’s episode. It was inspired by a quote.

“The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions” .  

John Demartini

We’ve already learned that shifting our thoughts has a powerful impact on how we feel and what we do.   

The model starts with a trigger>> that generates thoughts>> that generates emotions>> that generates behaviors.    

You are probably bored of hearing me say that --- most of my clients are bored by now. That is kind of the point. You want to know these concepts deep down in your bones so that when it is time to use them it’s second nature.

Questions are just another type of thought.  Instead of saying I’m so lonely you ask yourself “Why am I so lonely?”. Instead of thinking “I’ll never be successful” you ask  “Why am I such a failure?”

These questions are going to generate problem focused answers. “Why am I such a failure” will generate answers like “I don’t know enough to be successful, I’m not a numbers person, I don’t follow through with tasks. I get distracted easily”.  You end up feeling overwhelmed, anxious and stuck. This leads to paralysis. If you are a failure ---- how could you get yourself out of the situation that you are in anyway.

Instead, try asking yourself questions that are focused on the solution or your desired outcome.

Instead of “Why is no one following me?” (on Instagram not is a creepy way) ask “How could I engage with people in my community in a way that is fun for me?” or “How could I provide value to the people following me?”

Instead of “Why don’t I have any clients?” ask yourself “Where are my clients spending time before they connect with me? What could I do to help educate potential client’s on my products and services?” “Who has a ton of client’s in my space? What are they doing to generate leads and convert people into customers?”

Instead of “Why am I so disorganized?” ask “Are there any areas of my life where I am organized?” “How could I translate that into this other area where it is more difficult?” “What systems could I create that would be easy for me to stick to?”  “How could I make this easier?” “Who could help me?”

When we shift our focus from looking at the problem to looking at the solution, we have more positive emotions and we are more likely to take positive action based on that positive energy generated from those emotions.

Better questions generate better results.  Ok, I’ll talk to you next week!


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Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast. I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free. Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 10: How to Radically Improve Your Productivity with One Simple Tool

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Key Takeaways

This episode is going to be short and sweet. We are focusing on how using Timer’s can increase your efficiency and break through perfectionism.  

This tip is based on Parkinson’s Law which says that work will expand to the time available for its completion.  If you give a task 20 minutes, it will take 20 minutes. If you set aside 30, it will take up 30. This is especially true for perfectionists who want to squeeze in one more edit or one more note to ensure that it’s “perfect”.  

If you have a deadline for a project, you usually complete the project on the final day of the deadline.  If you say to yourself , “This can get completed whenever” ,it usually doesn’t get completed. In fact, you may not start on it at all.  Again, totally true for perfectionists who have analysis paralysis or fear turing something imperfect in before a deadline.

Enter timers.  Timer’s help you increase efficiency by dictating the time that you  are going to a lot to a task. It creates time pressure and it ensures that you don’t have time to overthink a task. You are focused on finishing the work in the allotted time.  

Let’s look at an obvious time black hole as an example: Instagram. Instagram engagement is really important for most creatives, and getting on the app can easily bend time.  If you set an open ended goal to engage on Instagram, you may end up spending hours scrolling and commenting. If you goal is to engage, try setting a timer for 30 minutes and see how many people you can DM or how many posts you can comment on or like during that time. When the timer goes off, log off of the app and start another task.

The same strategy can apply to more thoughtful work too.  The next time you sit down to write a blog post or draft an email, decide on the amount of time you want the task to take, set a timer and get to work. You may be surprised at the amount of work you can get done when you are racing against the clock.  

Remember, Brooke Castillo says

“ You want to produce at the level of B-. Here’s why that is. B- work can change people’s lives. Work that you don’t produce at all does nothing in the world.”

What she is saying is that it’s important to start. It’s important to produce something. What you make matters and if you are wasting your time trying to be perfect or using your time in -efficiently by procrastinating and filling your time with “working on things rather than producing things” you are missing the mark.

The goal is to actually produce work and share that work with the world. And the more efficient you are, the more accepting of your own human imperfection, the more you can create.


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Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast. I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free. Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 09: What you REALLY Need to Know to Create Customers for Life

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Key Takeaways

A couple of weeks ago, I shared an episode all about how we move through the change process. I talked about how we go from not thinking about change to maintaining habits and all of the steps in between.  If you haven’t listened to that episode (episode 6), i recommend pausing this episode and returning to this one later. That episode will cover the basics that are needed to understand this content.

In that episode, I focused primarily on educating you about the stages of change and what you could do to help yourself move forward. After the episode launched, I realized that I missed an opportunity to talk about how we can help our CLIENTS (and potential clients) move through the change process too.

If we understand basic principles of change, we can use this information to support clients and move them from disinterested to committed fans for life.

To show you how, I thought I would use an example from one of my favorite brands, Primally Pure.  

Primally Pure is a natural skin care line “with a passion for real, recognizable ingredients”.  I personally love this brand because all of their products are full of simple, easy to understand ingredients --- and they work!

But I wasn’t always a customer that cared about “safer skincare”. So how did they help me make the transition from not caring about what I put on my body at all to devoted customer?

Let's start with one of the most difficult stages of change to move through, pre- contemplation.

In this stage of change, client’s are often unaware of their need for a particular product, much less the product itself. So how do we go about raising awareness for a need for our product. You can do this by providing education and information on your website, but it’s often more effective to try to think about where your ideal customer is already hanging out and speak to them there.

Primally Pure does this by connecting with influencers to share about their products. I first learned about Primally Pure through the “Colorful Eats” podcast. Caroline  Potter and Justine Campbell hosted a weekly show about nutrition and wellness. On the podcast they shared about how many products that we use day to day could be contributing to poor health by disrupting our body’s hormonal communication system. They mentioned a lot of the things that I wanted to change (low mood, anxiety, general body pain) could be impacted by changing what I put on my body as well as in my body.   They shared a few of their favorite safer skincare brands (primally pure was one of them). I wasn’t sold, but I filed that away in my brain.

A few weeks later, I saw a post that Jenna Kutcher shared about the five things that she did to improve her fertility. She talked about changing her skin care to improve her hormonal health. She shared about primally pure too.

Another one of my favorite bloggers shared a similar story. At this point, it was getting hard for me to ignore the connection between hormone health and topical products. So I did some research.

I found tons of articles and read a few books that made this connection too.  I even asked my doctor about it.

Primally Pure didn’t do all of the heavy lifting (I recommend doing independent research into anything that you are unsure about), but their influencer network got the ball rolling. The information provided piqued my interest and encouraged me to do my own research.  

Then that moves us to Contemplation. I bought into the idea that what I put on my body had an impact into my mood (sort of), but I wasn’t ready to make a change. How did I know this stuff was really going to work? Was it really that big of a deal?

Enter hundreds of articles on Primally Pure’s blog that answered a lot of my questions, and really solidified that I did need to make a change.

Here are a couple of examples,

Why You need to break up with your lipstick”Activated Charcoal: What is it and why your skin needs it”  “What’s in your deodorant and why you should care”.

All of these articles helped provide education and tipped the decisional balance toward change.  They achieved the goal of contemplation which is to decrease ambivalence and help customers decide that change is necessary or that they need a product or service like the one you are offering.

After reading a few of their articles, I was in the preparation stage. Remember, in this stage, the goal is to educate customers and provide them with the knowledge or skills they need to move forward into action.

Again, I turned to their website for information. There I found a series on  “How to balance Hormones Naturally” , “How to cleanse your skin with oil” “What you need to know about using natural deodorant”

In each one of these articles they answered questions that I had about making the transition to natural products. What did I need and what special information did I need to know to make the transition successful?

When I was finally ready to make the jump to natural products, Primally Pure was an easy choice.  They had helped me along every step of the change process, and they earned my trust through education.  Their website was simple and easy to use, and they even offer a subscription service to frequently purchase products like deodorant so I never run out.


SUMMARY

Overall, this company is a great example of how we can authentically support clients along every step of the buying process. We can make them aware of their need by hanging out in places that our ideal customer is likely to be. We can provide education on why making a change or investing in a product or service  is worthwhile. We can continue to educate them on how to make the transition to working with us. We can support them by making the buying process simple and easy, and we can offer our clients continued opportunities to buy from us.

I’M HOSTING A GIVEAWAY!

Anyone who leaves a rating and review in the month of March will be entered to win an Activated Charcoal Deodorant from Primally Pure!

To enter, simply leave a review during the month of February (2019) and I’ll randomly choose a winner at the end of the month.

This is just my way of saying THANKS! for all of your support.


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Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast. I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free. Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 08: 5 Easy Strategies to Challenge Limiting Beliefs

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Key Takeaways

LIMITING BELIEFS

Way back in EPISODE 1  I talked about thinking errors that could be holding you back in business.  If you haven’t listened to that episode, I encourage you to reach back into the archives. It’s a really fun one and it sheds a lot of light onto some of what we are going to be talking about today.

If you have listened to that episode, then you know that thinking errors are irrational thoughts that are reinforced over time. They are “unhealthy or unhelpful” versions of automatic thoughts. These are the thoughts that are just floating through our heads all day every day. And these thoughts are generally situations specific meaning that if someone cuts you off in traffic, you have automatic thoughts that are tied to that event which inform your feelings and your behavior related to that event.

If you get an influx of clients, you will have automatic thoughts related to that. If you have a series of weeks with no new business you will have automatic thoughts about that.

What’s interesting about these thoughts is that they are the OUTER layer --- the surface of what is going on much deeper down in our minds. I don’t mean literally deeper down, but I do mean metaphorically

If you picture in your mind a set of three concentric circles, Automatic Thoughts (of which thinking errors are a part) are in the outer ring.

One layer deeper down are thoughts researchers refer to as “Limiting Beliefs”  John Acuff refers to them as “Secret Rules” in his book FINISH and the life coach “Brooke Castillo” refers to them as “stories”.

Limiting beliefs are conditional rules  about ourselves and the world that keep us constrained to particular feelings/ behaviors and serve to reinforce the next layer in the ring on circles(core beliefs/ identity).

They might be if/then or Do/don’t or can/can’t or they might be predictions about how other people will act.  For example, “If I work hard, then I am worthy of the money that I have”. “If I am thin, people will like me”. “I’m not a number’s person” “I don’t follow through with things”. “I’m really disorganized”.

These beliefs about ourselves and rules about how the world works make is difficult for us to change our behavior and change our circumstances.

If you are constantly telling yourself that you are “not a number’s person” then you will have a difficult time keeping up with your business and personal finances. Every time you sit down to make a budget or pay bills, you will tell yourself that what you are doing is too hard or too complicated. You will have a lot of thinking errors that come up and prevent you from starting to turn your financial situation around.  

The good news is, that these limiting beliefs are just beliefs. They can be changed to promote new feelings and new behaviors that you are seeking.

Here are a couple of steps you can take to start turning things around.

Step 1: Identify the belief that is causing the problem.

If we continue with the financial example you might sit down to make a monthly budget and you say to yourself “This is really hard.” “I’ll never be able to do this.”

This is the outer layer of thoughts. These are just the initial “thinking errors” that appear.  The first step is to dig deeper to identify the belief behind these thoughts. As yourself, why do I think that this is hard? Why don’t I think I will be able to do this?   When you have answers to those questions, ask why again. Ask it again. Keep asking why until you come to something that feels like the core of the issue.

In this case, that might be “I’m not a numbers person”

Step 2: Understand where that belief comes from.

So you say to yourself “I’m not a numbers person”. Where did that start for you. Did you have a difficult time with numbers at school? Did a parent or teacher tell you that? Did you start to believe this after you failed a couple of times at doing math problems. Have you always had trouble with finances?

Step 3: It’s just a belief. It’s not the “truth” of something.

A key concept to understand in this step is the difference between growth and fixed mindset. Fixed mindset says that you have a fixed or limited capacity to do, be or learn. You are either good at math or bad. You are either organized or disorganized. You either love exercise or you hate it.  This is very BLACK AND WHITE thinking (one of the thinking errors we talked about in episode one). This kind of thinking keeps you stuck.

The growth mindset says that you can do, be or learn anything.  You can learn to become good at money, organized and a lover of exercise. You are capable of growth and change.   

In this thirds step, you look at the beliefs that you have and recognize that they are likely part of the fixed mindset and they are keeping you stuck. Holding onto the belief that you are “bad at money or not good with numbers” keeps you stuck in that place.

Step 4: You will replace the limiting belief with a truth.

You can learn to manage money. You can learn to be more disciplined with finances. It’s ok to make mistakes. Little by little progress adds up to great gains. It doesn't’ have to be perfect to be impactful.

In this step, you ask yourself, what do I need to belief to see the results that I want.  Remember the model starts with a trigger> you have a thought (that is supported by your beliefs)> that thought creates and emotion and those emotions lead to behavior.

If I want to behave like someone who is a financial mogul, what do  I need to believe when I sit down to create a budget?

Step 5: PRACTICE

You put your new beliefs into practice by attempting to act if they were true. What would a person with this belief do? Then, when negative thoughts arise, you remind yourself of your new belief and you keep moving forward.

Let’s say that you’ve decided that your new belief is that you are financially competent. You believe that financially competent people set budgets. You set a budget and you follow it for half of the month. Your automatic thoughts may be “I’ve failed.  See, I am bad with numbers”.

You stop, remind yourself that you are financially competent. You remind yourself that you are learning a new skill and that you can learn to manage money well. This leads you to try again.

You will likely need to do this process over and over again until you have solidified this new belief.

SUMMARY

Ok, so to recap. Thinking errors arise from limiting beliefs that we have about ourselves and the world. We can learn to change these beliefs by identifying the belief, discovering its roots, recognizing that beliefs can be changed, replacing it with a more helpful belief and then practicing this new belief until we feel that it has become solid.


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Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast. I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free. Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 07: Systems to Help Improve Your Productivity

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In this weeks’ episode we’re tackling one of my favoirite topics— SYSTEMS!

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Key Takeaways

Professional Systems

Email

  • Out of Office Auto Responder

    • This lets client’s know that you have their message in your inbox and that you will reply in a certain amount of time.

    • This is also a tool that you can use to answer frequently asked questions or point people to specific resources.  

    • Example:


Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I've received your email and I will do my best to respond within 48 hours.  Please keep in mind that I do not respond to email over the weekend.  If you're an existing client and  writing about time-sensitive or urgent information, please call me directly at 828-970-1651.  

I look forward to speaking with you soon.  


  • Canned Responses

    • All the praise hands for canned responses. This is a tool in GMAIL that lets you type a few words and populate an entire email.

    • I think that if you are writing an email more than once--- make a canned response for this today! You will save yourself so much time

    • Some good examples for when this is useful --- Initial client inquiries --- this can answer questions about the basics of working with you and it can point them to your scheduling tool or client management system

    • If you have an online course or sell a product and get the same questions over and over --- canned responses are great. Hey we are out of that size but we should restock in x time. You can personalize them if you want but you can also just spend time up front crafting fun emails

    • Examples:


Hey-Thanks so much for reaching out, 

It takes a lot of courage to take the first step, and sending me an email tells me some part of you is ready for change.

If you are ready to schedule your first appointment, you can do that by clicking HERE. I'll send you a few documents to fill out, and I'll collect initial payment information.  

If you have a few more questions and would like to set up an initial consultation call, you can do that by clicking HERE and selecting "initial consultation".  These calls are free of charge and offer both of us an opportunity to get to know each other. 

Here are a few common questions that might help:

Do you accept insurance? I am in network with BCBSNC. I am out of network with all other providers. I can explain more about using out of network benefits if that is something you are interested in.  

Do you offer a sliding scale?  I have a limited number of sliding scale options available for those who qualify through Open Path Collective.  

What type of therapy do you offer? I primarily use Cognitive Behavior Therapy and you can read a bit more about that HERE

When do you offer appointments? I offer appointments on Monday and Thursday evenings and I have limited availability on Saturdays.

Best,   

Sam


Client Management System

    • Keep track of your clients (what they purchased, birth days, preferences for communication)

    • Send Contracts / Receive Contracts

    • House Emails

    • Send follow ups and invoices

    • Take Payments

Batch Like Tasks

    • Instagram posts together (30 days of posts, you could hire a photographer to take tons of photos of you, subscribe to a stock photo website like Haute Stock and use a tool like Planoly to schedule out all of your posts. It can even manage stories. They even let you auto post now so it could truly be something that you set and forget.  

    • Emails at a certain time of day or times of day.

    • Recording episodes

    • Editing etc.  

System for Managing Finances

    • Profit First --- Simple and easy to use

    • Bench to track receipts

    • CRM might keep track of transactions --- it also sends invoices.  

Tools

Trello

Google Drive/ Dropbox

    • Keep files organized


About+Photo+.png

Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast. I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free. Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 06: Move Forward with Your Biggest Goals (The Change Process)

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In this weeks’ episode we are diving into the change process. We are talking about all of the stages that we go through when we change, and what we can do to ensure that we keep moving forward on the goals that matter most.

Stages of Change is part of the Transtheoretical Model developed by Prochaska & DiClemente. You can read more about their model here.

Listen in iTunes

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Key Takeaways

Stages of Change

Pre-contemplation:

In this stage of change, you are unaware of a need for change. You do not directly connect your consequences with your actions.

Action Step:

The goal in this stage is to raise awareness of your need to change. This may be difficult to do on your own, and you will likely need to enlist help. If you have been struggling with a problem or symptom for a long time, ask a friend, coach or therapist to point out patterns or connect dots that you might not see for yourself.

Contemplation:

This stage is characterized by ambivalence. You are aware that your actions are leading to undesired consequences, but you are unsure if the risks of change are worth the benefits.

Action Step:

The goal in this stage is to resolve ambivalence. You can do this by conducting a simple activity. Draw a grid and write in “Pros of Changing”, “Cons of Changing”, “Pros of Staying the Same” , “Cons of Staying the Same”.

To tip the scales toward change, focus on the what you will gain from changing and what you will loose from staying the same.

Preparation:

This is the research stage of the change process. Here you are attempting to learn everything that you can before taking the next step.

Action Step:

Here we want to focus on equipping you quickly.  Think about how you could accelerate learning to help you feel comfortable making change. Do you need skill? Could you hire someone to do this for you? Could you hire someone to help facilitate your accelerated learning? Do you have the systems or infrastructure in place to change?

Action:

Yay! You are doing the work.

Action Step:

Congratulations! You’ve done so much work to get to the point of doing the work and now you are here. Don’t underestimate this accomplishment. Many people never make it to this stage. Don’t give up at the first sign of struggle. In this stage, focus on refining your plan and stay open to new ideas to help you continue your work.

Maintenance:

For many, this is the most challenging stage. This stage of change is characterized by maintaining gains you made in action.

Action Step:

Just like in action, you will need to continue to use your skills and remain open to new ideas so that you can continue to grow and flex and maintain your habit as your life changes.


About+Photo+.png

Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast. I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free. Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 05: Thriving in All Seasons of Business

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Key Takeaways

Acknowledge the season that you are in and behave accordingly.  

Just like the farmer doesn’t plant in the middle of winter, we aren’t serving ourselves by fighting business’ natural rhythms.  

If you are in the holiday rush, launching a new product, photographing tons of weddings, or on boarding new clients, it’s best to acknowledge that is the season you are in and adjust your behavior to support a stretch in workload.

If you are taking time off, in a slower time of the year, or  booking fewer clients, acknowledge that and rest, tend to home projects you've delayed, or take a vacation.

Go with the flow

If you are in a busy season….

Remember, you are in this season by choice.

Acknowledging your choice in the midst of the business will allow you to see the options you have to support yourself and your workload.

Tell someone you are busy (and what they can expect)

If you are in a busy season, important people in your life should be aware of that and aware of what you need and what you will or won’t be doing
Resource: “Finish” by Jon Acuff

Hire Help (personally or professionally)

We can’t make more time, but we can expand our capacity by hiring out tasks or creating systems using apps or other technology. What are you doing that is draining your time? What do you do over and over again? Could any of these tasks be hired out or systemized?

Put Off New Ideas

If you find yourself procrastinating or getting distracted by your next big idea, schedule it into the calendar for the future. It will be waiting for you when you slow down.

Say No.

Saying no to something good, allows you to say yes to something great. Your calendar is a zero, sum game. If you say yes to something that means you are saying no to something else. Think carefully about your yes.

Continue to Take Care of Yourself


Just because you are busy doesn’t mean that you can ignore your own health and well being. You still need to take care of yourself if you want to make it through a busy season with energy to enjoy a time of rest and dormancy. Set regular office hours, prioritize sleep and fuel your body well.

If you are in a slow season….

Rest

Seriously, rest. Take a vacation. Restructure your office hours to accommodate a slower pace. Embrace the season you are in.

Make Adjustments for the Busy Season Ahead.

Use the slow season to gain additional education, hire employees, revamp your website or develop systems to support busier seasons.

Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast.  I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free.  Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 04: Boundaries in Business

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Key Takeaways

“You set up and enforce boundaries so that you can start to trust yourself” - Brooke Castillo.

1 Set Regular Office Hours

Setting regular office hours communicates clearly to yourself, your clients and your loved ones when you are “on” and when you are “off”. It lessens anxiety and limits confusion.

2 Batch Days

Create a focus or a theme for your day.

Ashlyn Writes Youtube “Getting More Done By Batching Content”

3 Tell People How You Will Communicate

Let people know when and how you will communicate with them. Set up an autoresponder to remind clients of these boundaries.

Feeling fear about setting and enforcing boundaries? Listen to Episode One for some support in sorting through these fears.

About Photo .png

Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast.  I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free.  Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 03: 4 Strategies to Push Past Perfectionism and Do Your Most Important Work.

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Welcome back podcast people! In this week’s episode I’m sharing about one of my favorite love/hate subjects. I’m breaking down some of my favorite strategies for pushing past perfectionism to do the work you were called to do.

iTunes: Subscribe

Stitcher: Subscribe

Key Take Aways

The World Wants to Hear From You

“Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams. The world needs that special thing that only you have.” — Marie Forleo

You have something special to share with the world. Don’t let the fear of not being perfect hold you back from creating the thing that you are supposed to give to the world.

Just Start

Use “little by little” exposure techniques to practice being uncomfortable and build confidence. Slowly escalate the difficulty or risk of the tasks you are doing to move toward your ultimate goal.

Dig Deep

Why do you fear not being perfect? What thoughts or feelings are really holding you back from starting? What’s the worst that could happen? Could you withstand that? Remember, you can do hard things.

Be encouraged by your hero’s failures

Realize that you aren’t alone. Even people that you think are AMAZING are not perfect, and they worry that they aren’t good enough. Everyone feels like they aren’t “good enough” every once in a while. You can read more about imposter syndrome HERE.

Let’s Connect!

Instagram: samanthamichelleosborne

Email: samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com

About Photo .png

Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast.  I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free.  Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 02: A Personal Story: CBT Basics

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Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast.  I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free.  Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

Episode 01: Thinking Errors That Could Be Holding You Back

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In this week’s episode we are covering five common thinking errors that can hold you back, and what to do about them.


Resources:

Feelings Wheel

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Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast.  I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free.  Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!

The Creative Psych Podcast: Trailer

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Over the past few weeks as I have prepared to launch this podcast, I have been reflecting on my journey to this point.  Looking back, I realized that I have been dreaming of creating a podcast for the better part of two years. I reviewed old journals, read text messages and talked to my coach.  I looked back at an early version of my Power-sheets, a goal setting guide and journal, and I had “Start a Podcast” as one of my big ideas to pursue.

My ideas about what or who I wanted to talk to shifted here and there, but the overarching idea remained the same.   I have something to share, and I want to use podcasting to share it.

I’ve been living with depression and anxiety for the better part of a decade. My story is similar to many of my client’s stories. I had a good childhood. I was very successful in school. I am successful at work. I have relationships that bring me joy, AND I have been depressed and anxious for most of my twenties.  

Before going to school to become a therapist, I really believed that there was something wrong with me. Why couldn’t I just be happy?  “What’s the big deal, it’s just a dinner party. Don’t be so anxious.” “Calm down already!” “You can’t lay in bed all day” “Why are you getting so upset?”  

As I gained education, I began to understand that the way that I was feeling and thinking were “normal” for someone with depression and anxiety, and I simply needed to learn the tools to manage my symptoms. I learned that what I say to myself, the actions that I take and the way that I take care of myself has a major impact on how I feel and how I behave.  I’ve learned tons of tools to alter my thoughts and change the way that I experience my depressive and anxious symptoms. Over time, I gained control of my moods and was able to have more reliable energy.  

Then, I decided to start a private practice. This pushed me further out of my comfort zone than any other time I could remember. I was challenged in ways that I didn’t anticipate, and the skills that I had developed to take care of myself  weren’t measuring up to the new situations I was pushing myself into.

Again, I challenged myself to learn more and master new techniques for self-coaching and self-care.  

I still feel anxious, but I am able to practice courage. I still get depressed, but I bounce back faster (and I feel more “sane” during my down episodes).  I feel more in control of my mental health. My experience of my life is totally different as a result of the tools and techniques that I  practice.

I believe things can be different for you too.  

As an avid listener of podcasts, I know that I am not the first person to share what I know on the air. Heck, I’m not event the 1,000th.  I don’t have any grand ideas that I am new, or different, or revolutionary, but I’m not going to let that hold me back.

So often, I am not impacted by what is being shared, but by the person sharing, and my guess is that many of my listeners will feel the same.  

Each week, I’ll draw on my expertise as a board certified therapist to share actionable education, practical strategies and encouragement to help creative entrepreneurs improve their mental health and achieve their biggest business goals.  

I’d love it if you joined me on this journey.

Don’t want to miss an episode?

Subscribe to my email list to get updates on when episodes air.  

Carolyn Marie Photography

Carolyn Marie Photography


Hey! I'm Samantha Osborne, a board certified counselor and host of the Creative Psych Podcast.  I launched this show to help people just like you move from stuck to free.  Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or email me at samantha@samanthamichelleosborne.com. It makes my day to hear from listeners!