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Your words are my lifeline.  I sit down to your posts and as I read I can feel my acceptance of myself and my needs grow.  Your words validate my feelings about my life, motherhood, relationships and it is something I hold onto.  And during the times when I feel like I am not able to be a mother or a wife or a sister or a friend or whatever someone needs me to be, I go back to your words and find some peace…I send your posts to my husband when I need him to understand that I love him but I need …
D.R.
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
Niko
You’re so honest in your writing. It’s bold. It’s frank. It’s wonderful. I could definitely see the work you are doing here as a useful book. It could save/make a lot of relationships! — Jimmi Langemo
Jimmi Langemo
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister

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What We Measure, We Make Happen: Building Self-Discipline and Reducing Anxiety

I read a quote recently that said, “We manage what we measure.” It was from one of my favorite contemporary non-fiction

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

writers, Gretchen Rubin. I’ve been thinking about that.

Do we?

Do we even want to manage? I hate micro-managing. Managing a budget is no fun. Managing a household can be a drag. But what if we thought of managing as getting by or getting through, as in, “No worries. I can manage this myself.” Or… even better, what if we take managing to mean, making something happen.

Livestrong and prosper or at least tighten your glutes

I’ve been on a ‘get myself in order’ kick lately. I decided to dedicate a larger portion of my workouts to strength training. My muscle mass (mush?) had been sorely neglected in favor of cardio workouts or sitting on my ass. I figured it would be smart to build muscle and burn more calories while sitting on my ass.

I joined a squat challenge put on by Livestrong.com to help with my lower body strength building. I love the accountability and support. Livestrong’s Facebook page dedicated to the challenge, is a nice place to find support and camaraderie. Livestrong suggests we print out the 30 day calendar and post it on the wall to keep us motivated. I love that thing. I especially love putting a check mark next to each day I complete the set number of squats. Yesterday I did 140 squats. Today was a rest day, but it still gets a check mark. Woohoo!

Completing the squats each day and keeping track of my progress through the month, gives me a boost, a sense of accomplishment. My kids and my guy have noticed the calendar and my progress. That is motivating and validating. The physical effects of the work on my body, is a bonus too. I’m making this progress happen. I’m sticking to my goal to complete the challenge. Finishing something is a thrill itself, yes?

The best meditation tool

I also made a commitment to daily meditation. A friend recommended the phone app, Insight Timer, as a tool. I love it! There are literally thousands of different guided and unguided meditations to try. Each morning I wake up a little early to do at least a ten minute meditation. It is the first thing I do each day. It starts my day on a pleasant foot.

I usually do a guided meditation. For me, they are easier and I like to hear different voices gently leading me to awareness and presence. It also keeps it interesting. With Insight Timer, there is an endless supply of new options but you can also save your favorite sessions or mark your favorite teachers.

You’re part of something bigger

Added benefit, at the end of your session you can see who was meditating with you across the world or nearby. I usually click on the nearby tab to see who went inward with me in the surrounding area. I send at least two people each day a note that says, “Thanks for meditating with me.” I get notes from others that say the same thing. It is cool to feel like you are part of something.

Quiet your mind, earn a gold star

On another tab on Insight Timer, it tells you how many days you have meditated consecutively. I’m up to 20! You get a gold star under your name for every ten in a row you do. I have two gold stars and I really want another one. Keeping stats on my meditation works for me. It helps me make meditation a habit.

Measuring others, a different story? 

My boyfriend pointed out others don’t always like us to measure them, especially if it results in negative feedback. True. There is a delicate line to walk when it comes to managing and measuring others. While, we may be motivated by our own box ticking and goal setting, others may find our calculating and data collecting about them, annoying or controlling. It takes away freedom and brings in an element of fear, the fear of disappointing others.

Self-discipline leads to resilience which leads to reduced anxiety

Setting goals is proven as a way to make our lives more satisfying. If we set an achievement to accomplish and then measure purple flowers in pavement resilienceour progress in a validating but not oppressive way, we feel good. It’s self-discipline in action. It’s pushing ourselves a little bit every day to build self-respect and self-confidence. Moving toward difficult things and surviving, builds resilience. The more resilient we are the less things bother us and the more we manage.

May measuring make things happen for you!

What are you keeping track of? How much progress are you making? What could you measure? Does measuring make you more successful? 

 

Want to learn more about resilience and reducing anxiety? Purchase my book, The Quiet Rise of Introverts or contact me for personal or relationship coaching. 

 

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2 Comments

  1. michaelrbuley October 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Congrats on 140 squats — that’s awesome, Brenda!

    I like this version of ‘measuring’ stuff’: ‘What we pay attention to, grows.’

    True. Pay attention to money, and it grows — well, pay attention to earning more! Having more! Pay attention to our faults … they grow, or at least appear a lot bigger. Pay attention to the ‘faults’ (arrogant us!) of others, and they grow in magnitude in OUR minds!

    Pay attention to — and speak — someone’s beauty and strengths and cool things they are, and those grow in our mind, too — and in the mind of the one we love!

    Pay attention to laughter, and we laugh more!

    I’m not a meditation person. Whatever works for people. i would say be sure to measure … pay attention to … having laughter in your life, and lots of it.

    omg, measuring others with your stuff? No! You do YOUR thing, let ME do mine! No projecting!!

    Pushing ourselves, disciplining ourselves, is so very important … and not always easy. We only achieve something because of that discipline.

    Pay attention to what we want more of. Speak the things we WANT, and more of.

    Great post, Brenda!

    Michael

    • Brenda Knowles October 20, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Yes, what we pay attention to grows. I guess measuring gives us that added bit of focus which fosters growth, although I’m hoping my thighs get smaller.:) Wheee! It’s so easy to focus on the negative in our lives or in someone else, but that does nothing for our happiness. It only covers it up or takes up space in our spirit where positive stuff could be. Thanks for your thoughtful input dear Michael.

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