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What is Resilience?

What Can It Do For You?  Consider having a set of skills that could enhance your quality of life. Imagine the ability to be happier, hea...

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Excellence or Perfection?

 So what is your preference?
Mastery as a way of service
Positano Restaurant on Mt. Pleasant Ave.
in Toronto knows all about excellence.
They live and breath it in every thing they do.
 I've had some very interesting conversations over the years about this. Excellence to many of us is a continuous quest to raise standards, through process, experiences and outcomes. In part to me it is about a state of mind and values that over time can lead to some very successful outcomes. Not every day, yet a continuous process that helps us improve the experience and the outcome(s).
Michael Ballard
Perfection to many of us is a slave like commitment to perfection in all places and times. Impossible to live up to every day, yet  to some it is an attempt they make every day. People by design cannot be perfect. Nor can they act perfectly.

So, what is your choice? Excellence or Perfection? I'm not here to judge. Just have you consider which one is easier on your heart and head as you travel your path through life.

Until next time, Imagine Yourself with more Resiliency for Life.


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Thought Distortions Part 3

My Grandparents learned very early in life to use
 caution to NOT filter positives out of their lives. Despite
serious issues including lack of food they helped create a very
supportive and up lifiting family life for themselves and their children.
We take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. For instance, a person may pick out a single, unpleasant detail and dwell on it exclusively so that their vision of reality becomes darkened or distorted.
Black and White Thinking or Either Or Thinking also known as Polarized Thinking
In polarized thinking, things are either - or.” We have to be perfect or we’re a failure (Excellence eludes us) — there is no middle ground. You place people or situations in “either/or” categories, with no shades of gray or allowing for the complexity of each situation. If your performance is not  perfect, you see yourself as a dumb ass failure.
I learned in dealing with my chronic and acute health issues
that Over generalization and Jumping to Conclusions both
blocked happiness and potential abilities to better manage
the quality of my health experience.
In this style of thinking, we come to the conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something bad happens only once, we expect it to happen over and over again. A person may see a single, unpleasant event as part of a never-ending pattern.
Jumping to Conclusions. 
Without individuals saying so, we know what they are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, we are able to determine how people are feeling toward us.
For example, a person may conclude that someone is reacting negatively toward them but doesn’t actually bother to find out if they are correct. Another example is a person may anticipate that things will turn out badly, and will feel convinced that their prediction is already an established fact.
We expect disaster, no matter what. This is also referred to as “awfullizing,   magnifying or minimizing.” We hear about a problem and use what if questions (e.g., “What if tragedy strikes?” “What if it happens to me?”).
For example, a person might exaggerate the importance of insignificant events (such as their mistake, or someone else’s achievement). Or they may inappropriately shrink the magnitude of significant events until they appear tiny (for example, a person’s own desirable qualities or someone else’s imperfections).
So until next time Imagine Yourself with more Resiliency for Life.
Michael Ballard 
Book Michael to speak at your next event? Inquiry@MichaelHBallard.com

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Perspective & Thought Distortions Part 2

Who do you allow to
challenge your thinking?

Thought Distortions can also include:

Always Being Right.
We are continually on trial to prove that our opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and we will go to any length to demonstrate our rightness. For example, “I don’t care how badly arguing with me makes you feel, I’m going to win this argument no matter what because I’m right.” Being right often is more important than the feelings of others around a person who engages in this cognitive distortion, even loved ones.
Going to a calm place and staying there
can help us examine our thoughts.
Heaven’s Reward Fallacy. 
We expect our sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if someone is keeping score. We feel bitter when the reward doesn’t arrive.
So thought distortions can get in the way of our happiness, health and success in life. What do you do to keep yours to a minimum?

Until next time Imagine Yourself with more Resiliency for Life!

Michael Ballard

To contact Michael and book him for one of your events you can reach him at: ResilientMichael @ gmail.com (No spaces)

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Perspective & Thought Distortions Prt 1

Perspective, Thought Distortions & Cognitive Distortions 

Learning to filter our thoughts 
is a very powerful skill.
So here are some of the common Thought Distortions I see my clients have:

Keep Things in Perspective. Even when facing BIGStuff events that could include loss and grief, try to consider the stressful situation in a BIG picture point of view and keep both a short term and longterm set of outcomes in place.

Perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion. If you don't, it can lead to what some call Thought Distortions. 
Thought Distortions can be caused in part by a very narrow focus. We get pulled off side by our pain and grief.

Learning to not think everyone is against us is
 a very powerful & healthy mindset to achieve 

Over Generalization In this thought distortion, we come to a conclusion based on a single issue or a single incident or single piece of evidence. If something bad happens even just once, we expect it to happen repeatedly. A person can get caught in a cycle of seeing a one time only event as part of a never-ending pattern of negative issues in their life.
Jumping to Conclusions Individuals who jump to conclusions feel that without others even saying so, they know what others are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, they are able to determine how people are feeling toward them.
For example, a person may conclude that someone is reacting poorly toward them but doesn’t take the time to find out if they are correct; or a person may feel that things will turn out badly, and will be convinced that their thoughts are already an established fact!

These are just two of the mindsets we need to take care not to fall into.

So, until next time I wish you a life filled with Resiliency for Life! Just Imagine Yourself with more Resilience.

Michael Ballard


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Mind Traps

Avoid Mind Traps or Thinking TrapsWhen things go wrong, do you automatically blame yourself or others? Jump to conclusions? Mind Traps place us in very narrow self-limiting ways of thinking and feeling. They limit our options and our happiness. Life is to short to let our Mind Traps place us in less productive ways of behaviour. How will you challenge yourself to rid yourself of your Mind Traps?

I found reading the book Six Thinking Hats very useful in break free of Mind Traps. The book gets you to consider six ways to approach and consider our challenges in life.

So until next time, Imagine Yourself with more Resiliency for Life.


Michael Ballard specializes in helping people, schools, teams
organizations and communities learn how to become more resilient.

Contacting Michael
To interview Michael, book him for your 
next event or to contact him you can do that at:

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