Take five minutes to get comfortable, they write, as if you're doing a daily meditation.
Breathe in and out, relax your body and focus on who—or what—is the source of anger and frustration in your life.
You probably like a bunch of things, love a few other things and worry that committing to any of them might land you in a fireball of failure. Next, list 10 times when you were moved emotionally. Then 10 of your greatest hopes, and 10 times you've solved a problem. How did your ability to convince someone of your idea correlate with an instance when you were moved emotionally?
In his book, Louder Than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice, Todd Henry, an author and consultant, has come up with a practice called "50 Notables" that helps you rethink your options. List 10 instances when people responded to your ideas. At the end of this process, you'll have 50 specific examples of your strengths, passions and dreams. How could your success at solving a problem be used to pursue a dream?
But to get a clearer picture, write down all your pros and cons. The key is to arrange both columns in terms of priorities. What to Try: For bullying activist Emily-Anne Rigal—the founder of We Stop and co-author of Flawd: How to Stop Hating on Yourself, Others, and the Things That Make You Who You Are —the process of figuring out who we are begins with a series of questions that recognizes our many identities—and labels. Answer a few more questions: Who would I be if I was a cartoon character? Who am I when I'm happy and engaged and doing something I love?
Take out a pen and answer the following: Who am I first thing in the morning? Looking over your responses may just lead to this unexpected breakthrough: Though you may contain multitudes, not one of them defines you.
What You Want: To stop having crazy-angry feelings that get you nowhere. In other words, when we zero in on the bad guy, we usually get mad, rant and don't do much.
Let's say you watch the news, and end up getting upset about illegal logging in Brazil. When we look at the victim, we find a way to help—and end up feeling empowered.
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It stops you from thinking about forgiveness as an all-or-nothing proposition at which you will either succeed or..likely... Let's say you forgive your back-talking sister about 60 percent. Imagine what it would be like if you forgave her 70 percent? Note the slight change in your body, the letting go of some of the hate and memories, the fears and old arguments. When you are finished with your sister, move onto other people in your life. What to Try: Life presents us with millions of choices every day, but when we have to make the biggies—do I take this job? The problem with that, writes Paula Rizzo, the author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to Be More Productive, Successful and Less Stressed is that no one ever really taught us how to make such a list. If you need further assistance, share the list with a friend, one who—you saw this coming—makes decisions you often admire.
The standard thought is that three pros and five cons means it's a no. What You Want: To stop thinking of yourself as the "bad one in the family," or "the good one" or whatever label was assigned to you at age three. "Different aspects of our personality come out at different times depending on who we're with, what we're doing, how much sugar we ate an hour ago," Rigal writes.
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