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Do You Have The Fear Of Success Syndrome?

What Is Fear of Success?


It’s exactly what it sounds like: the worry that things will go badly if you achieve what you desire. It can be especially hard to identify this fear in yourself because it’s so deeply tied to its twin, the fear of failure.  A careful look at your behavior, though, should enlighten you whether this common fear is holding you back, and what its origin is in your own life.

Do You Have Fear of Success? Common Symptoms

Do you find yourself procrastinating, nuzzling right up against a deadline instead of putting your best work on the table in time to mold it into an even better state? If so, you might be afraid of success.

Do you decide not to apply for a job or go after an opportunity because you’re probably not going to get it anyway? And along with that you rationalize, assigning a reason why you’d never win. Maybe you tell yourself the job will go to a younger person, so why try? Or you say they don’t ever choose your kind of project for that grant, so it’s a waste of time filling out the application. If you find you talk yourself out of things or turn down jobs you haven’t even been offered yet, you might be afraid of success.

Do you repeatedly get so close to success you can touch it, only to have something happen that fizzles it out? Yes, there’s the fear of success again. No, you’re probably thinking, I’m just unlucky. I don’t have control over these outside forces. And maybe you don’t. But how you deal with things when you’re heading full speed toward success is different than how you deal when you’re afraid. Self-sabotage is one of the biggest symptoms of fear of success.

Where Does This Fear Come From?

If you attempt success you’re automatically risking failure, and it’s perfectly natural to be afraid of failing. If you’re like most of us, you’ve failed before, so you know it feels awful and can make you wish you’d never stuck your neck out. This is where fear of failure and fear of success intersect. While that accounts for some of it, there are other reasons you might find success scary, most of them deeply rooted in past experience. Here are common questions underlying the fear of success.

Do I Deserve This?

Many of us carry a lot of negative voices around inside our heads, letting us know we’re not really “all that.” Maybe you got messages as a child, or even as an adult, that you weren’t the kind of person success happens to, that you weren’t good enough. These messages don’t have to be literal; they can take a subtle form. Let’s say when you were young you heard your parents comment: “So-and-so thinks he’s so smart now that he’s got that job.” For a kid, this sets a tone that people won’t approve of you if you step out of your station in life. If someone directly told you you’d never amount to anything, you could be carrying that person’s words around in your head, even if it was many years ago.

Maybe you were a poor student in your school days. It can be hard to let go of that self-image. If you define yourself as a failure, you may find your mind wants to prove itself right more than it wants you to be happy. The thought of succeeding can be scary when it means challenging deeply held beliefs, even if those beliefs are bad for you.

Do I Really Even Want This?

Success means change, and change is a challenge. The status quo can feel so much easier. After all, what’s a little discontent when compared with a complete restructuring of your life? Being successful usually means things will be different; it’s hard for them not to be. This form of fear of success is based in fear of change.

We all have a friend who turned into someone we no longer recognize after a big success. You might be afraid of that being you. But you have control over that, and you can learn from your friend’s mistakes. Don’t let success pull you toward being a workaholic or an egomaniac or whatever your predisposition might be. It’s possible to both pursue your dreams and become the best version of “you” you can be. In fact, the two go hand in hand.

What if I’m Disappointed?

Just as we’ve all failed, we’ve probably all had experiences where we accomplished a goal and found it lacking. It just didn’t give us the boost we were looking for. We may have discovered that what we thought we wanted wasn’t all that satisfying when we got it.  Or in contrast, we may have had a great experience with momentary success but found what came afterwards to be anticlimactic. This can create confusion, and confusion easily transforms into fear of success. Perhaps we’ve learned, through this, not to “get our hopes up.” The easiest way of keeping those hopes down, of course, is not to try.

Will Success Be Too Hard?

It’s true that if you succeed, more will be expected of you. There’s no question about that. Write a successful novel and everyone will be waiting for the next one, and don’t think for a second they won’t judge it against the first. If you succeed, you will be expected to keep on succeeding, and that’s a very scary idea.

For many of us, success as a concept is a source not of pleasure but of stress. Never mind the satisfaction that comes with accomplishing goals. Never mind the freedom a truly successful life can bring. Success feels like pressure, or even worse, like trauma.

If that sounds like too strong a word, consider this: psychologists say that, for many people, success can trigger the same emotions actual trauma does. The adrenaline rush that puts you on guard in a frightening situation and the excitement that comes with success can feel all too similar. That’s why so many people sabotage themselves in reaction to that feeling. In this situation, it feels like success will demand more from you than you can give.

Tips For Overcoming Your Fear Of Success

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If you find your fears are rooted in worry about failure, Google Abraham Lincoln. A quick review of his pre-presidential history reveals all manner of bad luck, failed businesses, and even a nervous breakdown that kept him bedridden for months. Do those failures still haunt our picture of him? No. They’ve been eclipsed by his success. Sure, you say, but I’m just me. He’s Abe Lincoln. But the fact is, he wouldn’t be, if he hadn’t arisen from his failures willing to try again.

Sometimes, in combating negative self-talk, you’ve got to take baby steps. If you find you can’t disagree when that voice tells you, “You don’t deserve success,” it may be all you can do to respond, “Maybe not, but I’ve at least got to try.” It sounds like a small thing, but it challenges the negativity, and that opens the door. Pretty soon, you’ll be talking back, telling those nay-sayers in your head that not only do you deserve it, you’re entitled to it.

If fear of change is lurking behind your fear of success, think back on all the changes you’ve already experienced in your life. How scary did they feel before and during the transition? But you survived. And the good news is, when the change involves success, you will more than survive: your life is on track to become immeasurably better. Remind yourself that humans are adaptable creatures. What better to “get used to” than success?

If you’re afraid of disappointment, that might be because you’re too narrow in your definition of what success should look like. Dawn Steel, one of the first female studio bosses in Hollywood, once said something along the lines of, “If the door is locked, try the window.” What’s the window? It’s another way in, another version of success.

If it feels like you’re banging your head against the wall, maybe you are. Heads are notoriously soft, and walls are notoriously hard. You may end up busting that wall down eventually, but your brain will probably be scrambled by the time you do, which doesn’t leave much room for excitement and passion. Stubbornly staying the course no matter what is a recipe for bitterness, and it’s just another manifestation of fear. Think of an athlete who says he can’t win the game without his lucky socks: if those socks shrink, and he still wears them, they might end up being the reason he loses.


It’s okay to be afraid, but it doesn’t have to stop you. Let go of what’s holding you back, trust yourself, and know that you can win without the lucky socks.

7 Benefits and Tips for Going to Bed Earlier

Will going to bed early tonight make ou healthier tomorrow? There are so many studies on sleep with different suggestions. The age-old advice to get 8 hours of sleep is still heard today. There is a lot of research around circadian rhythms, which in part tell us we should sleep in 90-minute intervals- which means 8 hours of sleep would be incorrect and disrupt our rhythm. The actual number would be 7.5 or 9. Check out this article more detail on the stages of our circadian rhythms.

However many hours you sleep, let’s consider the benefits of actually going to bed earlier tonight and every night. There are many benefits from going to bed early. People who get up at seven who think going to bed at midnight is good would probably benefit from going to bed at half ten and getting up slightly earlier. Read on for 7 of the top benefits of going to bed early tonight and every night.

1.Healthier Heart

Studies have shown that those people who stay up after midnight are much more likely to develop heart conditions later on in life. This arterial stiffening was not found in those who got into bed a few hours earlier.

2. Weight Loss

People who stay up later are more likely to visit the fridge for a midnight snack or two. Eating this late at night means that your body doesn’t have enough time to burn off the extra calories that are consumed and when you go to sleep your body will just store all of it. Eating this late also makes you more likely to skip breakfast which, as we all know, is the most important meal of the day. Our bodies operate best when we go 7 hours without eating in the evening.

3. Better Sleep

The later you stay up, the more likely you are to develop insomnia. This is due to the artificial light that we use at night such as lamps, tablets, phones or TVs. This light reduces the production of melatonin which is what we need to get a good night’s sleep.

4. More Productive Mornings

The earlier you get to bed, the earlier you are likely to get up in the morning. This means that you will be able to do more in the morning before you have to go to work – such as work out or take some time to yourself before the busy day ahead. Studies have also shown that morning is the best time for brain activity regardless if you are a “morning” or “night” person.

5. Less Drinking

The later you stay up, the more likely you are to be tempted out for a few drinks with friends. If you know you want to be in bed earlier then you are far more likely to decline the offer of ‘just one more’ in order to get to bed at a reasonable time. Less drinking on a regular basis will benefit you in so many ways.

6. More Energy

Sleeping at night means you are more likely to get a deeper REM sleep which we all know is the phase of sleep that refreshes and rest us. Sleeping later in the day means you won’t get this REM sleep as much, leaving you feeling like you haven’t slept the next day.

7. Less Caffeine Intake

Speaking of feeling more awake the following day, getting to bed earlier will mean you’re less likely to reach for the coffee the following morning. As we now consume more caffeine than ever before, and excessive consumption of coffee can lead to other health problems, cutting back on your morning coffee can only be a good thing.

Now that you know the benefits lets talk about tips for going to bed early.

Tips for going to bed early include the following

Set an alarm

Set an alarm to remind you of your intention, to go to bed early tonight. This will help you to stop show binging, getting lost in Facebook or other time wasters at night.

Shut down electronics

Study after study after study has shown that light given off by electronics affects the quality of our sleep. The studies show that the blue light that LED screens give-off, can slow or halt the production of melatonin, the hormone that signals our brain that it’s time for bed. Electronics should be shut down at least 30 minutes before bed. The earlier the better.

Avoid Caffeine and alcohol

Drinking caffeine or alcohol can affect your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Alcohol reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that occurs about 90 minutes after we fall asleep

Deep breathing

Start some deep breathing and relaxing techniques to get the ball rolling, before you goto bed. Not only will this relax you but start the bedtime process.

How early to unplug before bed, depends on how much time you need to wind down. Certainly, you will benefit from at least 30 minutes and feel much better with one hour.

If you aren’t getting to bed before midnight then you should think about these benefits and tips for getting to bed early. Think again about going to bed early tonight and reap the benefits tomorrow.


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Interview Suzanne Yvette Seg 1 | Purpose

Hi it’s Penny Zenker.  Your host of Take Charge of your Productivity.  On this show we explore your greatest potential. This week we are going to focus on Championship Psychology.  It is one of the three blades of the productivity windmill.  The other two are winning strategies and sustainable results.  No matter what we are doing in our personal and professional lives, the keys to success is focusing on psychology first.  A championship psychology forms the foundation for success.  Without it, you might get results in the short term, but ultimately it’s like swimming upstream.  To really get your productivity windmill turning and creating energy you need to point your force and your fuel in the right direction.  That means creating and maintaining a championship psychology for yourself and for your organization.  Now the real key to maintaining a championship psychology is being able to do this when it isn’t easy.  Right?  Such as when you lose your job or you declare bankruptcy, or got in an accident, or a divorce.  Maybe your company is showing record losses or your best customer just left.  It could be any of these challenging situations.

In order to best maintain a championship psychology and quickly manage your energy, you need to know the components and how you use them to your advantage.  You also need to have condition and new rituals, not habits.  Rituals that support you and your automatic positive response.

Today, I am joined by Suzanne Yvette who works closely with women veterans and breast cancer survivors.  Both groups of women face monumental challenges and she uses her message to help them not just overcome their challenges but to come out on the other side, even stronger.  Suzanne will share with us how she uses the critical elements of championship psychology and take people from surviving to thriving.  She is an author, speaker, coach and philanthropist.  She is not a stranger to those challenges herself.  Her story is about finding courage and strength from within even when the environment within you is falling apart.  While in the Us Navy, being widowed at age 26, while being 5 months pregnant she survived breast cancer.  Even in the toughest of times, you can overcome anything.  Why just survive when you can thrive?  On our program today you will learn four key components that make up championship psychology and understand the power of purpose and the energy that propels us.  You will understand the difference between surviving and thriving.  Suzanne you and I studied together.  I am so excited, and we immediately connected.  I am glad you are here to share your story and talk to our listeners.

S:  Thank you Penny it’s great to be here, what an opportunity. 

P:  I know you have been through a number of challenges in your life.  You could you share some of that?

Military woman with a purposeS:  When I first joined the navy at 18 in the 70’s, it was for a reason.  I look back on that and I think all I wanted to do was work on airplanes.  I grew up in an aviation family.  My father took me flying at a young age.  I became instantly fixed on how to get in the air and fly.  I wanted to do something exciting and see the world.  I knew there had to be more to the world than just California.  My father was in the Navy for a short while.  I decided that I would join the military and become involved with naval aviation.  Not many women were doing that.  I had to have this strong inner courage to face whatever came my way.  The guys didn’t want me in the squadron.  There were no schools for women at that time.  As the challenges came at me, I kept remembering that the bottom line is I wanted to fly.  I overcame the challenges as a young age and didn’t even think about it.  So, moving forward in the military career it was difficult but it was obtainable.  I got married in 1985 and my husband and I were both in the same squadron.  We were married in February and pregnant in August.  He passed away in December in a car accident.  I was 5 and half months pregnant and widowed.  I knew I had to raise my daughter.  I decided to get out of the Navy and stay and become a full time mother.  I had to make money.  I was introduced to sales at a very interesting seminar.  I met a gentlemen who wanted me to work for him.  I had no experience in sales but he saw something I didn’t see.  My reasons for getting into something again for being so off of the wall was to make money to raise my daughter.  That was great.  It was 20 years of great experience and I made money.  Then I was faced with stage 3 breast cancer.  I didn’t do very well in the beginning.  The fright and the possibility of death.  My daughter even came to me one day and said, Mom, are you going to die.  I said yeah, but not today.  And about that time, with those words, my language made me realize that I am not going to die, not today.  It gave me much more reason to fight.  Overcoming those obstacles always gave me something to look forward to.  I had something in my mind.  I had vision of where I wanted to be.  This was just a hiccup in that road. 

P:  As you are telling your story, each segments says how powerful purpose really is.  You did what it took.  It’s not always easy to follow our purpose and passion.  With all of the challenges of getting to fly, then the next phase was about making money to raise your daughter.  You had a strong purpose.   And then the fight for cancer, the same passion and purpose came through.  How powerful purpose is in our life!  Especially when we know it and can utilize it.  Do you agree?

S:  Yes, it got me through the toughest spots. 

P:  Today we are going to talk about the 4 areas and purpose is number one.  NO surprise, right?  I know a big part of what you are doing now is working with women who are transitioning out of the military and other things as well.  Can you tell us more about your experience in your transition from you were in the military to civilian life?

S:  It was interesting for me because when I went into the navy I went through boot camp.  Nine weeks of stripping me down from being a civilian to a sailor.  Nine weeks of intense training.  I was locked away and immersed in military rules and regulations.  You are doing your physical training, running obstacle courses, and marching.  After that, I got my final pay check and then they said see you later.  No intense reentry.  We did a four hour group meeting that somebody put on that said, ok here is how you will get your benefits.  Here is what you are entitled to and then you are gone.  I remember I got sick right out about a month after I got out.  I had a kidney stone.  I didn’t know where to go.  I didn’t have a doctor or anything.  I was young and healthy.  Somebody said to go to the VA.  I didn’t even know what that was.  This is where we need to work with our vets and to make sure they know what benefits are available and how to use them.  How do you walk into a VA hospital and be seen by a doctor.  We need to be more aware of helping our veterans and also transitioning them into financial stability and resume writing.  How to take the experiences you had as a combat veteran or a veteran of intelligence and how to take those words and change them into something a civilian equivalence.

P:  The military language isn’t going to be understood in a cooperate environment.  The language of productivity is getting specific and knowing what is important and how people understand things in that other context.  I could see that to be huge for people to take all of the military experience, which is so valuable, so someone who is a leader can make a leader in an organization.  To sell themselves and how to do that is so important and valuable. 

S:  We give ourselves a leg up once we join the military.  The corporate world is starting to see our veterans as leaders.  It’s important to speak the same language when we get out of the military.  We are also doing affordable housing projects and we are starting one here in Orlando to help women veterans.  I like to think that sometimes we women have different needs then men so we treat them accordingly.  I want to start a multifamily housing unit here in Orlando that accepts women and children so we can give these women a head start in to the future.  In that facility, we will do resume writing with HR people.  We will have guest speakers.  A lot of planned activities that will help transition from military to civilian. 

P:  You talked about women having different needs and there weren’t many women in the military in 1976.  What made you join the military?  Was it just flying?

S:  Growing up I was very lucky to live in an area near Pepperdine.  Outside of Malibu.  The scholarships that were awarded to me were to Pepperdine and that was too close to my house.  There was no way I was going to this school and my parents were going to have me live at home.  I applied to Syracuse in New York but my background didn’t fit with what they needed.  So I decided that I wanted to leave California.  It was a combination of a drive or desire to fly but to see the world and just get out of that little area that I grew up in.  I knew there was more.  I wasn’t afraid.  On my 18th birthday I went and signed up.  I came home and said mom and dad, you need to sit down.  I told them what I had done.  My dad said, oh Suzanne, I am so proud of you and my mom said, OH NO! 

P:  What I am really interested in is there were not many women in the military that time.  You must have had incredible courage.  How did you do that?

S:  When I first went in, I asked if I could fly flight crew.  They said no, we don’t let women fly flight crew.  I knew I wanted to fly so I put it a request and then finally approved all the way up the line.  But they put in the side bar, on your own time.  My regular job was in the day and when I would be on these airplanes with these guys they carried guns in the cockpit.  There were no facilities for women where we went.  I had to share a room with the guys.  All of that was just learning.  A learning curve to show me my courage.  I didn’t really think about it.  It was one of those things that I had such a strong desire to get to that end result.  The courage showed up alongside of it.

P:  By tapping into your purpose, you are tapping into your courage.  Purpose is one of those key components in championship psychology.  To tap into that and get clarity, it opens up a whole new world.  Its amazing how tapping into your purpose takes away fear and opens up that courage. 

S:  I realize that this was my pattern and my pattern is what brought me to this place today.  It brought me through being widowed and breast cancer.  I truly believe that the sooner you learn to tap into that purpose, the greater your life will be.

P:  Fantastic.  I know that you are providing coaching for women who are diagnosed with cancer.  To use your experience you can help others.  Tell us about that side.

S:  I started seeing that there was a sterile doctor, medical, big words, terminology and I really didn’t have an emotional contact or group.  I did the chemo every Friday.  What that did for me was it gave me a Friday afternoon of girls in the chemo room.  Those girls became my emotional partners.  My support.  Other than that, all of my friends were in different spots because they weren’t….I wasn’t present for them.  I realized that I needed to give support back.  With my coaching it is three phases.  If you are just going through breast cancer, if you just were diagnosed with breast cancer, or if you are survivor and you would like to live as a thriver.  We work on all three parts of the process.  So, when you are first diagnosed you have to have a heart of a fighter.  You have to be able to say I am going to fight like I have never fought before.  Having someone alongside of you, you don’t have to fight alone.  The other part is I work with the soul of a woman.  Now that you have lost your hair and are going through the chemo, who do you talk to?  Who do you ask, will I really go bald?  Who do you ask questions to that has your emotional side covered?  I work with women who are currently in remission or have been given the all clear that they are done with cancer.  How do you become a thriver?  How do you change your focus on just surviving?  Through my coaching I take women through, what is your passion?  What is your purpose?  What are we going to do to stay healthy?  What language do we use?  Do we consider ourselves survivors?  Those are the types of coaching that I do. 

P:  We will get more into detail later in the show around that.  Those areas that you mentioned are the areas of championship psychology.  There are so many synergies in what you are offering in your heart of a fighter method.  You can help those women tap into that championship psychology.  Those three areas are heart of a fighter, soul of a women, and body of a survivor.  I absolutely love that!  We are ready to take a break.  Stay tuned.

Interview Dr. Tom Duncan | Self-Talk

Hi it’s Penny Zenker your host of Take Charge of Your Productivity. 

Here we explore your greatest potential by tapping into the ten core elements of time and energy management.  Today we are talking language.  Language is one of the four elements that make up our psychology.  In my experience, language is the most important of the ten critical elements that make up Take Charge of your Productivity.  I have come to realize that language dictates the quality of life because its centered around the communication we have with ourselves.  To simplify how all of these elements come together, I came up as a windmill as a metaphor for productivity.  The windmill has a gear mechanism that works from within, the smoother the blades turn the more productive you tend to be.  In taking charge of your productivity there are three segments that are critical.  They are psychology, strategy and sustainability.  Without all three of these, your productivity windmill is underpowered.  It turns but is not turning optimally.  There are ten core elements that make up these three blades.

Today you will learn the influence that self-talk has on our mind set.   How you can use positive self-talk to better physical health.  And how to shift our language to a more productive mindset. 

We are joined by Tom Duncan Md.  He is a family physician.  A master neurostrategist.  Since becoming one, he has reduced the number of antidepressants that he prescribes to his patients by over 85%.  Wow.  He knows how to get to the root cause of his patient’s problems.  Often eliminating the need for prescribed drugs.  He now shares these practices and principles with audiences around the world through his energetic speaking engagements.  His book due out next year.  His book will be avaible in 2014 is called Eliminating Ants, Cants and But’s Breaking through the Pattern of Depression.  He is creating amazing results with his patients and audience and he is also a dear friend of mine.  How fun to have you here Dr. Tom.

Dr:  I am so honored to be here with you today.  I am thrilled to share these insights that I have come across the past twenty years. 

P:  I know you as a man with an incredible passion for healing people.  Can you share with our listeners what motivated you to become a medical doctor?

Dr:  I wanted to help people. It was that simple.  I saw the compassion that the people gave my father when he was suffering from lung cancer.  I was in the army program ROTC.  I went on active duty and worked with amazing physicians and physicians assistants.  I noticed there the difference they make in people’s lives.  After going to medical school, and the time I spent in school, learning western medicine, what I noticed was and not making it right or wrong, I saw myself treating the symptoms and not the root cause of what was going on.  Now I wanted to take a look at that.  How can I help people heal themselves?  That is what really motivated me to step up. 

P:  It’s so important to get to the root cause of the problem.  I am so impressed with an 85% reduction in antidepressants.  How is that possible?

Inner voice and self talkDr:  What is amazing in my practice is it’s a spectrum of suffering people.  They come in from a complete range of suicidal to we all deal with our humanity.  Struggling with finances, relationships and everyone is struggling with that.  What I noticed was a pattern of behavior that is taking place and I was wondering if I could share a personal story with you.  It was several years ago and I was struggling with who I was, what I wanted to be and just what is it that was my calling.  I was a practicing physician in the army.  It was going well but my personal life was in shambles.  I was developing symptoms of depression and anxiety and I went to my colleagues for help.  I was given medication to help with depression.  Then other symptoms happen and then more prescriptions.  Pretty soon I was on a cocktail of medication.  My health wasn’t very good.  I was extremely overweight.  Just not having a very healthy lifestyle.  Then I was struggling with a marriage going through a divorce.  Then the pinnacle of all of this Penny, was I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  How am I gonna take care of this?  All I could think of was having a neurosurgeon going through my mouth and to my brain to take out this tumor out of my pituitary.  I thought there has to be a better way.  That is when I started seeing these patterns.  Not only in myself, but in all of the other people coming to me.  I don’t think it’s genetic.  What is turning those genes on and off has got to be in the environment.  That is where I saw the power of self-talk.  Our self-talk is so important and I believe it triggers those environmental effects within our genetic code that can cause the genetic or the chemical imbalance within our brain that gives us symptoms of depression.  To get back to the question, how have I been able to reduce prescription is by showing people that they have a choice.  They are not at the consequence of everything around them.  They have control of two things in their life Penny.  Those two things:  1. We get to control our inner talk.  2.  The things that we put into our body.  I know you have Dr. Isaac Jones coming up who is amazing.  He is going to talk about cellular health and detox.  Today, I am going to talk about the effects of self-talk on healthy cells and how it generates overall health and vitality.  By addressing the self-talk and they are actually in charge where they can build an emotional muscle over time to become emotionally fit.  Where I talk with people in my clinic, I ask them if they can work out once and be fit for life.  And they say no, of course not.  Its the same thing as becoming emotionally fit.  You have to build and believe and become associated with it.  You build that muscle over time.  Its absolutely amazing to see people step into their own selves and own it.  They see that yes, they can do it.

P:  What’s great there is this is the number one important element out of Take Charge of Productivity, simply focusing on that muscle of language, you have been able to help these people to reduce their antidepressants.  That is incredible.  Tell us about your upcoming book.  Eliminating Ants Cant’s and Buts:  breaking depression.  What does that title mean?

Dr:  I love keeping it simple.  Many of your listeners or yourself are familiar with what not to wear.  Have you heard of that show?  What amazes me is watching how they take somebody who is doing beautiful things in their life as far as their vocation, but the exterior doesn’t quite match that.  They take them through a process and at the end they come out transformed.  They have beautiful hair and makeup and clothes that fit their body.  What’s amazing with that is that their self-talk makes shift as well to support their new self-image.  How that shows up with them is just truly amazing.  With my book, I help people take that journey from where they are at with their current self-image, and they build the little nuggets to where they want to take that.  They transform themselves. 

P:  I love that.  That program shows us that our beliefs are created through our self-talk.  Many people think they can’t change who they are.  If you take off what you are wearing and put on something else, you can believe what you want to believe.  It’s true.  Think about the way you feel differently when you are wearing sweat pants versus a suit.  Or you are dress in a tuxedo.  You get a completely different feeling.  I think that is a great metaphor for people to think about.  It’s as simple as changing clothes.

Dr:  I agree.

P:  I am excited for your book to come out.  I wanted to ask you about the concept of hierarchy of communication.  How self-talk impacts everything that we do.  Tell us specifically in your book how language plays a role.

Dr:  It’s simply how language creates our inner feelings, emotions and our self-talk.  We are either growing or we are dying.  So it’s the struggle I see with people.  Faith verses fear type of thing.  When people use language like I am a failure and I can’t succeed, that creates the fear factor.  It creates a protective effect within our body and we shut down the overall growth factor but we become into that fight or flight response.  We talked about this before, when emotions run high, intellect goes low.  Then it shuts down our immune system.  Then it releases the cortisol from our adrenal system.  It’s just in the protective mode.  So there is no energy creation during that process.  If you are going with more of a process where I am controlling the meaning to make it empowering meaning I am able to transform that energy and continue with those positive thoughts. 

P:  Through your book, you are teaching people how to achieve this.  Yes?

Dr:  You know what is amazing.  It’s as simple as driving a car with a stick shift.  The first time you get in and put it in first gear.  You let off the clutch perfectly and you drove smoothly.  Ha ha ha….No I actually went over a two foot embankment and almost ran over a truck.  My father made me get back in and drive it immediately, what a great gift.  The thing is now, over time as I exercise that emotional muscle, it’s just become who I am.  How I am able to show up.  Again, we all start where we are.  There is a beautiful place to be.  Just continue to visualize where you want to go.  Live with solution and measure results and keep building that muscle.  It is an easy thing to do when you look at it as a fun playful process.  You can think, I am just changing my shirt here.  The reticular activating system, once we become aware of it consciously, our conscious mind helps us scan that.  Focusing on what you want plays a huge role.  On the flip side, I will joke around and say to my clients, whatever you do, we are going to get series, I will put on my serious face:  Don’t think of a blue monkey.  They look at me like I am crazy.  I said, don’t you think about it.  They laughed because they did.  My point was to show them that even though I told them not to think about it, they went ahead and did it anyway.  I tell people about the pattern.  Saying I don’t want this and I don’t want that….you will get what you don’t want.  If you don’t have an idea of where you are going any road will get you there.

P:  It’s time to take a break.  Stay tuned as we get into more depth of language.

Hi everybody.  I am Coach Penny Zenker and we are speaking about the power of self-talk with Dr. Tom Dunkin.  Author of Eliminating Ants, Cant’s and Buts: Breaking the Patterns of Depression.

Dr:  Thank you so much for having me on your show.

P:  My next question is:  how do you define productivity and why?

Dr:  Not only am I a family physician, I also am part owner of a business.  It is near and dear to my heart.  My definition is simply an equation of productivity equals your energy divided by the resistance.  Energy equals the amount of time and effort it takes to accomplish a task verses the resistance of getting those tasks completed. 

P:  I like that.  Based on that equation, what are the factors and elements that have the biggest impact on productivity?

Dr:  What I truly see is the rapport within oneself.   Again, self-talk.  It’s the biggest takeaway from productivity.  What I see is not only within myself, but other people.  It’s a pattern of doubting of whether I can or can’t do it.  We spend more time holding onto old patterns that no longer serve us and fight that blue monkey.  Verses letting that go and focusing on what we do want.  That is what I see.  Its having that alignment.  I talk about that in my book.  How to align your conscious mind and unconscious mind.  Your mission, your vision and to practice that with visualization.  Then you can live that.  You can measure the results. 

P:  Is that the energy part of the equation part?

Dr:  No that is in the resistance part.  Energy is completely separate.  You have two ways to increase productivity.  You can either increase the amount of energy or reduce the resistance.  Reducing the resistance. 

P:  Ok, can you take a moment to talk about the energy side of things.

Dr:  Energy when it relates to self-talk, is how we feel about ourselves.  How do we actually see ourselves?  That is going on through our values, beliefs, past experiences.  When I talk about my vision I see myself as a healer.  Someone who is passionate about helping people and helping them experience their dreams.  When I say that, right now I have goosebumps from head to toe.  That energizes me.  That is the power.  That is the energy I am talking about when you are looking at productivity.  How do you see yourself?  How your language creates that juice inside of you that makes you want to serve somebody.  How can I become more?  How can I grow and give back and make a difference in this world today.

P:  I told the listeners that you are passionate.  They are seeing it!  Let’s go to the x factor.  You talked about the equation and you talked about the different factors that have an impact.  Is there one thing that you would say is the x factor?

Dr:  Yes, it’s the resistant portion of that.  Instead of adding more energy, it’s an option, and sometimes it’s easier to just let go of the things that no longer serve you.  The obstacles that I have seen are the ones we place in our own minds.

P:  Interesting concept.  Letting go of the resistance seems to be the most challenging aspect. 

Dr:  The difference between faith and fear here.  Even though we are not doing things that are serving us, it’s because it’s comfortable.  We humans don’t want to let go of something that is known even though it is no longer serving us.  If we focus in on our faith, that yes, there is something more, we can become more, I truly believe there will be a shift in our psyche that will support that.  That is where you have to believe and let go of the baggage.  One of my issues is with all of this energy and passion, sometimes I can be an emotional leader.  So I used to fight don’t open the fridge, don’t open the fridge, when I was upset.  I spend more time saying don’t open the fridge, instead of reaching in and grabbing food, I have a bottle of water at eye level.  I grab the water and keep moving.

P:  What a great strategy.

Dr:  I have let go of the thing that doesn’t serve me.  Instead of fighting against it, use it and make a healthier choice in the process. 

P:  You have created this strategy out of that and you know that is happening so you have taken your environment and set it up so that you have a better choice available.  From your experiences as a family physician, how does language affect our health and physiology? 

Dr:  You hear the commercials that say we are what we eat.  I am also a firm believer that we are what we think.  We wouldn’t pour kerosene in the gas tank of our car and wonder why it doesn’t run well.  We do that to our body sometimes I think what you see when you are not eating the right foods, sometimes your body will reflex that through disease.  You can be overweight or high blood pressure.  You really just don’t see the impact it has on the brain.  We have a tendency to neglect it and say it must not be true if we can’t see it.  But if you really truly think about it, the same thing that happens to us when we are eating unhealthy foods, the same thing is when we are not thinking healthy thoughts. 

P:  There is a direct correlation between our physical health and our mental health.  If we talk about the communication as a piece of our mental health, right?

Dr:  Yes.

P:  In my program I talk about the quality of our life is determined by the quality of our communication.  I don’t mean in the form of affirmations.  Saying things over and over again.  That won’t make it truer.  But really generating positive self-talk and quality questions to generate energy that are going to have a huge impact on our outcome.  From your experience as an md, how much of our energy comes from language?

Dr:  I think it is the hub of all of our energy.  From my perspective, energy comes from 3 different sources.  Instinctively from the food we bring in and also from the activity we have.  Physical activity will generate energy as well.  Our mission of who we are and then from our autobiography of what are the events in our lives and that all feeds through our self-talk and self-image to create the spark in the morning that wants us to go out to make a difference.  The strongest force in the human psychology is how we define ourselves.  Our self-image, our identity.  So when you see yourself as someone who is passionate and energetic, you step in and you own that shirt or tuxedo and it becomes who you are. 

P:  We gain some valuable insight about our identity last week. Larry Ackerman.  So for our listeners, if you didn’t listen to that program you will want to go back and listen to that.  Tell us, in your practice, how do you see using language with your patients?

Dr:  I had this unique gentleman, who is 69 years old.  Just the sweetest greatest guy in the world.  He comes in with his wife.  She is in tears.  His kidneys were shutting down from his diabetes.  His blood sugar was 250.  When I was talking with him, it was kind of like, he wasn’t owning it.  Bottom line, I said you had to get your diabetes under control.  He said, well, we will see.  I said, we’ll see?  That is not good enough.  You deserve better.  What is it about yourself from the past when you had to face a challenge, would you have said, we’ll see?  Do you really think with “the we’ll” see approach you will actually do that.  He said, no, I guess not.  I said how can you own this right now because not only do you deserve better, your bride deserves you as well.  What was amazing was to see that shift when his eyes lit up and he said, that’s right I own this and can do this.  I saw him just the other day and to have him walk in, he was lit up.  You could tell as a man, he owned himself.  His wife was just beaming at him.  You could feel the love that they were sharing.  He said, I have got this.  We checked his blood sugar, it went from over 250 down to 150 in seven weeks, Penny.

P:  And did you prescribe any medication?

Dr:  No!  And actually the medication he was on, he has goals to start to get off. 

P:  I have heard people say they can’t change who they are.  I know that people change all of the time, on a dime.  Just like this man you are referring to.  Often, it can be from an event, or it can be from simple questions at the right place at the right time.  Do you have any experience with asking the right question at the right time?

Dr:  I had a man come in.  Blue collar, salt of the earth, kind of guy.  He came in telling me he didn’t want any of my medications.  He said he was depressed and hated his job and life.  I said, wow, well welcome.  So what I found out was that he built guard rails for the state and so he was out working every day and really making a difference.  The love of his life was his two twin girls and to watch him talk about his beautiful girls, he would light up like a Christmas tree.  I go oh, so what is it that you do?  I build guard rails, it’s a dead end job.  I asked how are you serving people?  Through a series of questions, I got to the point of helping him realize that we was saving lives.  To watch him shift into that new thought process of how he sees himself.  I said, so not only do you save lives so other parents can go home be with their families, what else does it allow you to do.  After a few questions, he realized he is able to pay his mortgage for his own so that his daughters have a safe, loving place to grow up in.

P:  Perhaps you could share a story where it’s made a difference in your life.

Dr:  It was a day that I was talking with you.  As a busy physician, I see 25 patients a day with mountains of paperwork.  In the past, I used to label my paperwork as drudgery, and difficult and something I didn’t like.  You asked me a question.  You said, how is it that you can continue to serve your clients?  I went oh my gosh, you are right.  The light bulb went on.  I went I am continuing to serve my clients by doing this charting.  From that shift Penny, I have been able to work less because I get my work done on Thursday night before I leave.  I have time now to do other things that I enjoy.

P:  Could you share what was the strategy to that? 

Dr:  Within our charts, we have a picture of our client.  So, I would become interactive with my client and it became easier to for me to go deeper into each patient. 

P:  Time for our final break. 

Welcome back to the last segment of this week’s Take Charge of your Productivity.

I am joined today by Dr. Tom Duncan. 

P:  Tom, this has been an incredible show today.  I know they have walked away with a lot of value.  Where can we learn more information about you, your book and your programs?

Dr:  Thank you.  My website is under construction DrThomasDuncan.com

P:  I know you are releasing a new online healing program.  Could you share more about that?

Dr:  Yes, I was suffering from a brain tumor in my pituitary gland.  Through the process of visualizing the positive and turning off the negative.  I was able to absolutely heal myself.  I am creating visual programs that help deal with headaches, fatigue, sleep issues, stomach issues, etc.  It will allow people the ability to empower themselves so they too can heal themselves just as I did.

P:  What an incredible resource.  I can’t wait for that to come out.  I also understand that you are focusing more time on public speaking.  You are taking it on the road.  What are the topics that are available to speak on?  What audiences do you speak to?

Dr:  My audience is very diverse.  I see people on the entire spectrum from those who are suicidal to people who just want to become more. 

P:  Go back and listen to this program again because I love that equation that you brought up in the beginning.  You said it so eloquently.  The equation of productivity was the combination of energy and resistance.

Dr:  The combination of energy divided by resistance. 

P:  I wanted people to hear that again.  It is so powerful.  To summarize todays program.  Language is a key driver in energy management and directly affects the results we get or create.  If we ask ourselves and others quality questions, we get quality answers.  It is as simple as it sounds.  By changing your self-talk, you can change the quality of your life.  In my webinar membership program, I go into more detail on the hierarchy of communication.  How you can change that to optimize your confidence.  Regulate your emotions.  Feeling good about what you are achieving and your results which are ultimately how you measure your productivity.  You have heard here from Dr. Tom Duncan.  He provides amazing resources.  His site is DrThomasDuncan.com to get some amazing resources around the language component.  Please send us a message on Facebook, tweet on twitter, text us and really let us know what you think.  Go to my site www.facebook.com/PennyZperspective  and on Twitter you can reach me on www.twitter.com/pennyzenker  If you have any questions, please post them or send me an email.  Join us next as we talk to Dr. Jones, CEO of Designer Health Centers and the world leading detoxification expert.  He will share with us common mistakes people make and damage their overall health.  Until next week, this is Penny Zenker reminder to Take Charge of Your Time and Energy.  It’s a choice you can feel good about.


A Cold Shower Can Help be More Productive

How Can The Dreaded Cold Shower Make YOU More Productive?

What could a shower really have to do with your productivity? At first glance, it may seem silly, but in order to boost your productivity from where it is now, you may have to do things differently. You may be stuck or at a plateau, or maybe you get good results but know there is still more room for improvement, or perhaps you may be bored and need something new to keep you motivated. Wherever you are today, there is always another level.

Our productivity is a result of the things we do both physically and mentally.

Our body and mind affect and infect one another.

Have you heard about the numerous health benefits of bathing in cold water? Did your grandparents insist that you shower in cold water and stood guard by the geyser switch to make sure you don’t sneak off and switch it on! Maybe you tried it at a camp, like me, when you joined the Polar Bear Club and jumped into a cold lake or ocean in the wee hours of the morning, came out and rolled in the sand and then plunged again into the icy water again. Perhaps you have heard of practices by famous athletes, leaders and high performers.

Well, like it or not, standing under that gush of cold water or jumping into a cold pool of water does do some amazing things to the body.

Here are 8 benefits you could receive from cold showers or a cold plunge:

1. Improved Immunity

Bid goodbye to a poor immune system with regular cold showers. Studies across the world revealed that cold showers generate internal body heat. The process is called thermogenesis and this leads to strengthened immunity, better tolerance to pain and stress, combat fatigue and also wards off depression.

2. Boosts Blood Circulation

When ice cold water splashes onto the body, our adaptive system ensures that more blood flows to the organs. This protects the organs from the cold temperature. There is a marked hike in blood circulation while one is taking a cold shower.

3. Healthier looking skin

Cold water compresses the pores on the skin surface and hair follicles. Warm water opens the pores and lets the dirt seep out. Ideally, warm water may be used on the body to open up the pores and then dousing yourself in cold water promises healthy, glowing skin and hair. The improved blood circulation also adds a healthy sheen to your skin and tresses. Yet another reason to forget your chattering teeth and hop into the cold shower!

4. Alert Mind

Splashing cold water onto the face, definitely helps in getting rid of drowsiness. So why shouldn’t a shower in cold water do more than just get rid of lethargy and sleepiness! Yes, cold water showers do make you more alert and enhance general mental strength.

5. Time Management

As you step out of the icy shower in the morning, you become more alert and energetic, all set to face the day and its challenges. Though not one direct effect of cold water showers, if you are one of those people who wonder how to improve your time management skills, this simple change can bring about great improvement to those lethargic spells. A cold shower first thing in the morning will definitely make you more alert, efficient at work and enthusiastic.

6. Spike In Testosterone Levels

Just as hitting the gym records a hike in testosterone levels, a few minutes of showering in cold water also boosts testosterone levels. The testosterone levels remain elevated throughout the day. This increases your metabolic rate, burns fat, improves overall mood, competitive spirit and increases risk tolerance

7. Increase Tolerance

The thought of cold showers give us the chills; no doubt. It takes a lot of time to adjust to this daily cold shower regimen and the whole process is bound to enhance your level of tolerance and the ability to withstand any harsh climate with comparatively less stress and effort.

8. Post Work Out Benefits

Cold water has many health benefits, as long as you can stand it. Athletes like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James advocate cold showers with their own personal experience. They are known to take an icy shower after their workout regimen to soothe inflammation and ease the stress on body muscles, helping to combat sore muscles and joints.

To sum it up, the benefits of something as simple as a regular cold shower in the morning can effectively combat lethargy and fogginess of the mind, increase productivity and boost enthusiasm. How is that for unusual time management tips.

So let’s get out of the comfort of the hot water and hop into the cold shower every day in the morning to set your enthusiasm and productivity levels soaring!

ps. Full disclosure. I love the hot water. After researching the benefits, I can’t unlearn this. I can ignore it but that wouldn’t be productive. So I am going to do a 7-day challenge to see for myself to feel the productivity benefits I have shown here. I will post my comments on my results.

Who is with me?




3 Relaxation Techniques that Zap Stress

3 Relaxation Techniques that Zap Stress: Reducing Stress is Key to a healthy happy productive life. This is your chance as a new year approaches to make a promise to yourself.

Have ever you asked someone how they are doing and gotten the response that they are “busy” or even more perplexing, they are “crazy busy”? It can sound like overwhelm and stress and yet the more “Busy” we are the more “Busy” almost becomes a badge of honor we wear to seem important regardless how the underlying tone is that the person saying they are “crazy” busy” is overwhelmed and feeling anxious because of all that they still have luring over them and their to do list.

Sound familiar?

Over one third of Americans, experience extreme stress

You are at the extreme stress level when you are riding consistently at the 8-10 range, on a scale of 1-10, more regularly than you may care to admit.

You can take reduce stress and control of your “Busy” and your stress levels by understanding that:

Stress Is a Choice

Yes, there are those moments where you need and want to react with an adrenaline surge, however the everyday stress that occurs is nothing more than a mental mind game. You have the ability to choose how you react to your “Busy” level and the stress that occurs in day to day life. The ball is in your court.

The very familiar quote that “10% of Life is What Happens to You and 90% is how you react.”

You can control your reactions. I know it is hard, but so is the 80% of illness that is derived from stress.

The key is to use stress management tools that will help you relax and keep the effects of stress at bay. In my training programs, I teach relaxation techniques that calm the mind and body.

The best relaxation technique for you may vary and particularly if you have gotten so used to your body being tense that you are no longer aware of the feeling until you throw out your back or have a crick in your neck that significantly limits mobility. When you feel pain, the stress is acute.

When was the last time you thought about

what was going on in your body?

If it’s been a while.. or longer than a while, reconnecting with your physical self will bring awareness of the level of tension you are experiencing. To gain the awareness, practicing Progressive Relaxation Technique will help you recognize when you relaxed or tensing.

Progressive Relaxation Technique

Progressive Relaxation Technique is a simple exercise of conscious tightening and relaxing of different muscle groups. It’s best done lying down, however you can practice it anywhere by becoming aware of the tension in your body. Scan your body to determine where there is tightness or pain. Tighten different parts of your body and hold for a few seconds and then release. Take a few moments to be aware of the relaxed state that group of muscles are in. Move to a different area of your body and repeat.

Deep Breathing:

Deep breathing is one of the single most effective relaxation techniques for stress. There are plenty of different methods of deep breathing. The key is to make sure that you are breathing fully into the bottom of your lungs so that your belly, not your chest is rising. In general, most us breath shallowly and we are not oxygenating our brains enough. Breathing deeply into our lungs will re-oxygenate our brains, calm nerves and reduce muscle tension in as little as 2 minutes. You will know that your brain has been re-oxygenated if you feel dizzy.


One of my most favorite relaxation techniques is visualization. It is natural for people to spend more time thinking about what we don’t have, haven’t succeeded at, or what isn’t going right. That focus attracts more lack and more stress!

Sitting quietly for few minutes and focus on all that you do have and that which you want to bring into your life. Allow yourself to feel joy at what you desire. Anything can be possible when you are visualizing what you want. There are no limits.

As one of many stress relaxation techniques, visualization helps quiet the mind and physically relax the body. If focusing on any one thing for several minutes feels like a challenge, there are plenty of guided visualization available. You can choose something that is for relaxation only (think lying on a beach or being in the mountains) or if you want to visualize more success or abundance, visualization techniques are available for those as well.

Having a toolbox filled with relaxation techniques to assist you in taking control of your stress level and your “Crazy Busy” level makes being conscious of how you react far easier. These are relaxation techniques for anxiety as well as any other form of stress.

Use what works for you most effectively. The outcome may be what used to stress you out no longer affects you because you have made a different choice.

Coach, Speaker and Author, Emi Kirschner, CHHC, cracks the code for high achieving executives by showing them how their relationship with food and high stress levels keep them from achieving the next level of success. Emi’s compassionate, original style combined with her positive approach to coaching harnesses an inner energy for her clients that delivers results.

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