On episode 37 of the show, I have Sarah Gregg, a psychologist, coach and author of two highly-practical books – Find Your Flow and her upcoming book Choose Happy which is being released next month. We talk about the science behind gratitude, what rules and routines can create flow in your work day and how you can actually make decisions to be happier.
- Connect directly with Sarah Gregg on Instagram and follow her useful daily tips here @thepowertoreinvent
- Sarah’s website detailing all her work, coaching and workshops on flow and happiness here
- Find Your Flow book – an awesome highly-practical book to burn from within more each day by entering your flow state.
- Choose Happy – Sarah’s upcoming book here.
Transcription of the interview:
Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:00:28] On this week’s episode, I have Sarah, Greg. A psychologist, coach and author of two highly practical books find your flow and her upcoming book choose happy, which is being released in may next month. We talk about the science behind gratitude, what rules and routines can create flow in your Workday.
[00:00:49] And how you can actually make decisions to be happier. The full show notes and videos of other interviews are firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash interviews. So listen all the way through. And enjoy
[00:01:02] your brand is called The Power to Reinvent and Burn From Within is really about career changes about redefining your life, essentially what your brand’s name is, the power to reinvent.
[00:01:15] Where did that name come from Sarah? And how have you reinvented yourself?
Sarah Gregg: [00:01:23] Yeah, great question. A lovely kind of start to the interview, I think did put a bit of context around it. So the power to reinvent was really born out of my own personal journey that at 33, nearly 34 years old, married and for a couple of years, three bedroom house in the Cotswolds .
[00:01:44] Look like I had a life all figured out. That was the point when I decided that it wasn’t working that things just didn’t feel right. So life looked good on paper. And I think if you were to, go back to friends and family at that stage, they would say that there wasn’t a problem. But inside something felt off, it just didn’t feel right.
[00:02:08] I felt unfulfilled and just disconnected from myself. And so I went on a bit of a journey of reinvention and that’s where the name came from. However, it has evolved in a big way because I think the biggest aha moment of my whole journey to date has been that I don’t need to change myself that actually.
[00:02:33] It’s the rules of happiness and success that need to be reinvented. And when I look back, I can see how the rules that I followed generated the results that I got in my life. So rules and results are always reflected. So the rules that I lived by for example, was “I’ll be happy once I once I lose the weight, once I get that job promotion, once I, earn this figure, once I buy that car, have that object”.
[00:03:01] So because of that rule, I’ll be happy when that automatically dictates that I’m not happy now. And I can’t allow myself to be happy now. So that was my life. It was a constant pursuit of happiness, always on the go, always searching for more, always trying to fix myself and be better and improve.
[00:03:23] And actually what this journey has taught me is it’s brought me back to the wholeness that we have, everything that we need to be happy to be successful that we can have happiness and success as part of the journey, but a huge part of going on that journey to reinvent yourself heavily involves reinventing the rules that you allow yourself to live by, even small things in my life.
[00:03:47]I used to think. If you said no to people that, that made you a bad person. So of course, if that’s the rules that I live by the result is that I have no boundaries and I’m a people pleaser. My diary is filled with other people’s priorities and not my own. So bringing that awareness to not only what I want and who I really was, but also how the rules that I was living by were restricting me from experiencing that reality that I wanted to have.
[00:04:17] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:04:17] And so you took some time out, you were working like training businesses, I think high growth businesses. Talk me through, that stage in your life. In the corporate world being very busy with lots of meetings and all sorts of priorities.
[00:04:33]And then you actually took some time out. How was that decision made and how did you start to reinvent and start redeveloping, these routines, these rules to actually, find yourself again and be happy.
[00:04:51] Sarah Gregg: [00:04:51] Yeah. So my job was with a big university in the UK.
[00:04:56] I worked as a business coach. It was really my dream job. I worked with high growth businesses, startups, and did some consulting work with European Commission. And it really was my dream job. My background’s in psychology. I’m a psychologist member of the British psychological society, NLP practitioner.
[00:05:13] And my dream was to work with corporates in a really fast pace, innovative environment, which was everything that I had. And the job necessarily wasn’t the problem. It was all the behaviors that had, that had made me successful up until that point. Business was my it was like a drug. It made me fail alive and great. I loved nothing more than to be, frantically running into meeting with my folders, piled up high, jumping into the car to race off, “Oh, can’t book in because my diary is so full”. It made me feel important. That’s what busy-ness did for me.
[00:05:52] It gave me, it was like a status symbol. And I loved it, but the price that I paid for that was, I lost myself and life was always on the go. And I rarely took moments to actually sink in and enjoy happiness. And I remember in work, they offered mindfulness classes. And I remember going to this mindfulness class and it was like my worst nightmare sitting alone with my thoughts for 10 minutes, I had to leave.
[00:06:29] I just, I couldn’t stand it. And it was great until it wasn’t that’s the only way I can describe it. It was great until it wasn’t and. Things started to happen in my life. I think circumstances arise and I think it starts off the universe gives you a little whisper that things are off. And then eventually it turns into a roar or a scream.
[00:06:51] And that was very much my journey. And I started to really become more aware that I didn’t really know who I was and not even really know what I liked to do or what I enjoyed. And I wasn’t really sure if I was enjoying my life. And I felt really confused. I remember going to a motivational seminar and the lady who was running it, said, okay, now write down three things that you love to do just for you.
[00:07:19] And I sat with this notebook in front of me, going I really don’t. I really don’t know. And as I watched this kind of arena full of people, scribbling down and filling up the page, I wrote down the three imaginary hobbies that I had on my CV from I was 16, which was like reading, writing and swimming.
[00:07:41] That’s all that I could think of. And it was in those, in that moment on various other moments that I had the realisation I guess that I was living the life that I should lead. The one that was expected for me, the blue print that I had followed since school get your qualifications, get the job, get some other form of training, get the promotion, get another promotion and work your way through life.
[00:08:07] And actually that, that didn’t, that wasn’t working for me. And I wasn’t happy, but the void, comes. When you don’t know, you know that’s not making me happy, but the question is what does,
[00:08:22] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:08:22] yeah. I remember reading that in your book, find your flow and that question , can you name three activities that you like to do in your leisure time?
[00:08:30] This is about what you do for no other reason than activities that, that make you happy and give you a sense of purpose. And. I think to be honest, a lot of people that would be asked that question might not be able to answer that truthfully it, the answers would be. What they should write like, Oh, I should probably write reading and maybe something to do with personal development.
[00:08:54] There’s we had this discussion of self-help but the whole concept, the presupposition of the industry of self-help of personal development of self-improvement is on the notion that you are there to be fixed and you are there to be improved because if you don’t improve and there’s something wrong with you.
[00:09:14] And what I love about your book in particular is. Stripping that all away and just focusing on within you and what is actually the essence of you and what makes you happy? Forget about society, forget about what work tells you to do. Obviously you’ve got to do these things, you call them, I think high value priorities is that right in your book.
[00:09:36] And it’s important to schedule those things. And we’ll talk about that in a minute, but this whole concept of actually like you, you can be happy just being you and what I love about find your flow, your book is that there, there is actually a structured approach behind. Finding flow and also being happy without following other people’s expectations.
[00:10:00]Just to be busy. One exercise that you talk about early on in the book and a concept actually that a lot of people talk about. But many people are resistant to doing is practicing gratitude. What’s the. Significance of that, maybe from a scientific point of view.
[00:10:20]And also if you don’t bother to do it and don’t make it like a routine, does that matter? And if so, why.
[00:10:31] Sarah Gregg: [00:10:31] Love it. Gratitude was one of the first steps of my own journey was to be grateful in the now and to notice the small things that made me happy. And I get the resistance because I was resistant.
[00:10:42] You feel like a bit of a fraud, it’s Just something else to do on your list. Okay. I’m grateful for the sun, but you don’t necessarily feel that gratitude because you’re so disconnected from allowing yourself to feel happy. So I think if you feel that resistance one. Completely and utterly normal.
[00:11:00] And I think to release the resistance it’s to get behind the intention of why you’re practicing the gratitude. It is not to make you a better person. It is not to fix your broken life it’s so that you can experience the small moments of joy and remind yourself that happiness. Exists in every single day.
[00:11:21]Even if it is the small things, like your cup of coffee, a family member, a nice chat with a friend. What it does is it draws your awareness into the fact that happiness exists now and it’s fully accessible to you. And I think we struggle with it because we treat it as something else to do on our list.
[00:11:42]I practice gratitude now. So does that mean that I’m fixed? Does that automatically make me a happy person rather than viewing it as a tool to improve your experience of life? And that’s what gratitude does. So from a psychology point of view when we practice gratitude, first thing in the morning, we cultivate our morning mood.
[00:12:00] So morning moods are proven to be very fragile. You’ve got to be careful with how you start your day. That’s how the say and got out of the wrong side of the bed. That’s where it comes from because from a psychology perspective, you know how you wake up in the first 10 minutes of your morning, can actually impact the entire emotional trajectory of your day.
[00:12:20] So there’s a study that I cite in the book about two groups of people, one that watches just three minutes of negative news, first thing in the morning and another group that watches three minutes of solution-focused news, first thing in the morning, and actually the group, that watched just three minutes of negative news, but let’s face.
[00:12:39] It is pretty easy to come by. First thing in the morning, you don’t necessarily have to go look for it were statistically 27% more likely to report being in a bad mood. At the end of the day. So eight hours later. What gratitude does is it takes. Back control of your mood and your emotional state.
[00:13:00] So it reminds you and teaches you to experience that happiness is something that you can control to a certain extent. It rewires and restructures. Your brain it’s going to give you a lovely hit of dopamine first thing in the morning, it’s proven to reduce inflammation in the body because your body is in a more relaxed.
[00:13:19] state it improves relationships with other people. It’s proven to help add boost your immune system on your sleep all from just writing down three things that you’re grateful for. So again, if you’re resistant to it, I totally got it. It can feel a little bit cheesy and a little bit. Both almost to start off with, but remember why you’re doing it.
[00:13:41] You’re not doing it to fix yourself or because you’re an ungrateful person, you’re doing it to improve your experience of life. You deserve to fail elements of joy and happiness each day. You deserve that when you wake up in the morning that you’re a stacking the odds in your favor, that you’re going to be in a good mood at the end of the day.
[00:14:02] Now, if you can take those elements and bring them back inside of your control, right? Then you all of a sudden become the person that has helped directing and control their experience of life.
[00:14:13] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:14:13] Yeah. Yeah. And I, what I really love about the book is. It like each chapter, it, each section really talks about, the science behind each concept of finding flow, for example, gratitude.
[00:14:27] And you just shared there about, where gratitude comes from from a scientific perspective and why it’s important. And then you beautifully have just really super simple practical. Three steps like or four, four steps of what you can do to practice gratitude and and all these other.
[00:14:47] It’s like really simple, but like useful methodologies of finding flow. One of the things that you talked about in, in your book is the concept of, and the significance of goals of setting goals, and also making sure that the tasks and goals that you set a challenging enough. Now a lot of people.
[00:15:08]And maybe you were included in this when you were in, in the corporate world that they don’t set goals personal goals. It’s they’ve got a lot of things to do at work and that’s their focus and they don’t necessarily have they don’t set aside the time to be consciously aware of what they want and personal goals.
[00:15:28] How how significant is setting a goal for your life and how do you know if that goal is challenging enough or not challenging enough.
[00:15:40]Sarah Gregg: [00:15:40] Yeah. So in terms of setting goals for your life, it’s not necessarily about the achievement of the goal, but goals just make life more interesting that it opens up the possibility.
[00:15:51] So you begin to wonder and get curious about, what, if I could do this what would that be like? What if I could experience this? My goal was to become an author. I really wanted to write a book and never in a million years. Did I think that would. Ever happened like ever.
[00:16:09] And if it did, it would probably be like 20 years down the track. But when you set a goal on your line and you take small actions that are in align with that goal, Then circumstances begin to align with you. Your life becomes more interesting. Thoughts, feelings, actions, and emotions begin to move into this congruent alignment.
[00:16:30] So you just feel more at peace with yourself. So the opposite. When we don’t have a goal is we’re often in a state of resistance where we’re trying to figure out in our heads what it is that we want to do, and that wastes a lot of time. So one part of you, you might want to go work out in the gym.
[00:16:47] And another part of you really just wants to put on Netflix and, stick their feet up on the sofa. And when we’re in that resistance, we’ve got two conflicting parts that are at war with each other. That failing, you’re neither enjoying the Netflix show. Nor are you at the gym you’re lost in this in-between land.
[00:17:06] And that’s really what we experience a lot of in life. I know that I. Should journal because it will make me feel better and, help me in life. But I also can’t be bothered, and so I wrestle with myself and I don’t do either. What a goal does is that helps direct and focus our energies and attention.
[00:17:24] So we tell our brains , this is what matters and our brain naturally then orders, information, feelings, and emotions to be in alignment with that. And that’s what makes us feel good and elicit flow. The second part of the question is a really challenging one, which is hard. I know what the level of challenge is, right.
[00:17:44] For me. And that’s really when we need to get more out of the thinking brain and drop more into our bodies and just recognize what the feelings and sensations are now. Like for me, when I first started that was really challenging because I lived very much in my mind and didn’t really know how I felt within my body, but the more you pay attention to that.
[00:18:07] So for example, If the goal is too challenging and it’s moving you into anxiety. So you might notice that you are feeling overwhelmed that your body’s a little bit tense and tight, but you’re worrying and you’re struggling to focus your attention. They would all be indicators that maybe you need to drop the level of challenge down.
[00:18:29] Now, the great thing about being a human being is we don’t. Actually have to necessarily drop it down and take action. You can play about with it mentally in your head because the brain doesn’t understand the difference between imagination and reality. So then visualize for a moment. Okay. What if I took a smaller step?
[00:18:47] What does that look like? And then how does my body respond to that. Oh, you might notice your shoulders dropped on. You feel a bit more relaxed equally. If the goal is too easy. And you’re not doing anything , because, we all have those goals, right? The one email that we need to send that somehow we don’t, we could have done it on Monday, but some hope we left it to the Friday, just because it’s easy.
[00:19:11] We’ve sunk into boredom and disinterest in a way, if you notice in that then it’s hi, to make that level of challenge a little bit greater so that it’s more exciting and more engaging and in flow, it’s the sweet spot that lies in the middle. It’s like the Goldilocks zone, right? It’s not so hard that oppose us up into anxiety and not so easy that it causes us to be disinterested.
[00:19:35] Rather, the level of challenge is just right. The skills to challenge ratio was right. You probably can do it, but it’s going to stretch your ability. And that’s how we grow as individuals . We grow down into the depths of ourselves.
[00:19:48]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:19:48] Yeah. I guess the concept of being consciously aware of our feelings, our emotions, when we’re doing a task, when we’re progressing in a goal and checking in with that, like regularly checking in Oh yeah, I do it sometimes through, through journaling or even just talking to people like that.
[00:20:07] That was quite stressful. That task since then. And I know I was going towards my goal, but wow. That was quite hard. Just regularly it’s like stock taking of how you’re feeling like the level of challenge you’re at and adjusting accordingly, there are tasks that everyone does to some extent in their day, that might be stressful, that might get annoying.
[00:20:29]But they have to do because of work or because of, having kids or or whatever that they do. And you talk about in your book about acceptance of these kind of tasks. Tell me a little bit about how can people accept those tasks and also even make them more enjoyable by how they think about them.
[00:20:54] And also one followup question from that is what is the effect of doing that on you.
[00:21:00] Sarah Gregg: [00:21:00] Yeah. So we bring it to life with a bit of an example, in every day I’ll use one from my every day. Something that I absolutely loath , which is everything to do with admin taxes. Spreadsheets absolutely cannot stand it.
[00:21:15] I hear it. I really don’t like it, but yeah,
[00:21:21] I can’t stand it. And. When I approached that task, in ordinary kind of circumstances, I’ll I would have often approached it with resistance. So I will set up a laptop. No, that I have to do it, but the internal dialogue in my head is I want to do this. This is terrible. I hate this. Why am I so bad at this?
[00:21:44] And it’s almost like shooting a second arrow in yourself. The task is already not enjoyable, but you’re continually like stabbing yourself with this second R O making it even less enjoyable when we come from a place of acceptance, it’s just a nonjudgmental place. I don’t like the task that I’m doing and that’s okay.
[00:22:04] Life is messy and complicated. You not necessarily going to love everything that you do, but. You don’t have to punish yourself for the things that you don’t love to do and make it even harder than what it is. So what acceptance does is it just stops a war with what is it stops the war with the present moment.
[00:22:23] So rather than wrestling with that spreadsheet and hating every second off it and getting frustrated at myself and at other people and slam on the computer dying. Yeah. I just accept it. It just is. I have to do my taxes at this moment in time. That’s my job to do hi. Can I take the weight out of this task in some way?
[00:22:44] So for example, we know that if we play about with the level of challenge and flow, that it can make it a little bit more enjoyable. So sometimes with, inputting things into an Excel spreadsheet, I’ll set myself a little time challenge. How many things can I input in a couple of minutes and then see if I can beat it.
[00:23:01] And then all of a sudden the task becomes a bit more, enjoyable. Or I’ll set myself up in a really nice environment. I’ll make a nice pot of coffee and put a little chocolate bar at the side. I’ll play some nice music in the background and because I’m just accepting it all of a sudden, then my energies are directed more towards how do .
[00:23:18] I make this more pleasurable for myself rather than how , can I hate every moment of this? And then carry that frustration around with me for the rest of the day.
[00:23:29] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:23:29] Yeah, I actually did this the other day. I do decent freelance copywriting and there’s certain clients that give, that gave me work and some of the work I don’t enjoy as much.
[00:23:40] And before I used to be. Doing the work and actually took me a lot longer to do because I was my narrative in my head was I hate this. I don’t want to do this. I was trying to procrastinate as much as possible to not do that work. And actually because of that, because I didn’t have the acceptance of, Oh, I don’t know if I enjoy this.
[00:24:00] I don’t really enjoy this that much because I didn’t have that acceptance. I couldn’t let go of it. There was so much energy going into resistance. That it was a distraction from actually doing the task and the quality of the work was not as good. And now I approach it by like you said, setting up my environment, like knowing that tasks are a little bit more challenging, setting up my environment more favorably, like listening to certain music that really gets into the mood and scheduling a break in between to talk to a friend and get me in a good mood and start laughing about it.
[00:24:36]What I’ve written and things like that. And it really helps it like not only kind of productivity, happiness quality work. And, but I never actually thought about the concept being because of acceptance. And I haven’t, I don’t do this regularly.
[00:24:52] This is probably something that I think about doing occasionally. And after reading your book, I. I really made a mental imprint of wow. Acceptance. Oh, how can I shed you acceptance for these kinds of tasks? Cause it really makes a difference. It makes a difference to, productivity.
[00:25:11] And I guess my followup question to that would be if you are a manager or a leader, How can you motivate your staff to be able to find that flow for those difficult tasks?
[00:25:29] Sarah Gregg: [00:25:29] Yeah, that’s a really great question. I think sometimes it’s bringing into your awareness that there’s a different choice.
[00:25:36] So having conversations like this, for example, there will be some people that it is so simple, it’s like, Oh yeah, of course I could make it easy for myself, but sometimes we don’t think like that. We think we’ve got to struggle through the tasks that we don’t like. And we’re like martyrs to the chore.
[00:25:52] So sometimes with employees, it’s as simple as understanding. and bringing into their awareness that they could make it a little bit easier, but also working with the different strengths of your team. So if there is a member of the team who like I have, my husband loves the spreadsheet, like he loves them.
[00:26:10] I can’t stand them. He loves yeah, that’s his thing, make and formulas, if you have a member of your team that you can outsource that to, and that’s going to elicit flow for them, then work with the dynamics of the team, understand how you can maybe ask that person, okay, you love presentations.
[00:26:29] This guy hates it. Can you just trade over how about , you do expenses and you take over the presentation. And then that way each kind of person gets to feel more of their flow and gets to use their own unique strengths. But I think the key with all these like activities that we’re talking about, is it’s showing yourself that you deserve to be happy that you’re worthy of happiness and that you don’t have to work for it.
[00:26:52] It’s not a reward of your actions. It’s not, I struggled through the spreadsheet and that somehow makes me a good person and I’ll be rewarded for my actions or it’s about showing yourself that you can. Design and structure your day in a way that is likely to increase the levels of happiness and flow and success that you feel as opposed to feeling like you’ve got to just, keep, going full pelt and struggling through life.
[00:27:20] And hopefully at some stage, you’ll be able to relax and slow down and you’ll arrive and it will all pay off. I think these are the gentle reminders that happiness is here and you can create an environment that makes it. More inviting for happiness to show up.
[00:27:36] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:27:36] Yeah. Yeah. I one of my first guests on the show his name, Seb Terry, he wrote a book called 100 things and he, he basically set a challenge of doing a hundred things that he wanted to do before he died and traveled the world in doing them.
[00:27:50] And. Crazy story. He ended up getting offered a TV series by ESPN he’s from Australia. So he moved to America, did a TV series, got a book deal. And it changed his life. And it’s started a movement. And when I interviewed him, one of the most powerful things that he said to me and I keep thinking about it almost every day is Matt, you can decide to be happy.
[00:28:13] You can decide to be happy. And that kind of really hit me because we make decisions every single day about, stuff that we don’t care about and things that other people expect of us. But that concept. You can decide to be happy and increase your level of happiness yourself. You can choose activities and things to do and structure your time in order to be happy.
[00:28:41]And that brings us onto like your next book. Your book is called, choose happy, right? Yeah. Choose happy. So where did that concept come from to actually write an entire book on that? And I haven’t read the book because it’s not even out yet put out yet. And I’m very excited.
[00:29:01] W when is it, do you know, is there a kind of date,
[00:29:04] Sarah Gregg: [00:29:04] 4th of May? I think the 4th of May this year. Yeah, 2021.
[00:29:08] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:29:08] Awesome. You’ve got to sell from me for sure. What, so what made you decide to write an entire book called choose happy and what does it give people?
[00:29:18] Sarah Gregg: [00:29:18] Yeah. First of all, I think choose happy either.
[00:29:22] Some people will love the title or some people hate it. So let me clarify exactly what I mean by choose happy. Cause I don’t know about you, but there is nothing more frustrating than when you’re having a bad day of someone telling you to smile and you’re just like, Oh. I want to say a curse word, but I’m not going to, but let’s just say go away public politely and our heads mentally say go away.
[00:29:44] And so you can feel a bit like that when you’re feeling dine and someone goes, but you can just choose to be happy. You can just decide. And you’re like really can I? . But the reality is we can, and happiness is may be just a few choices away. So it’s not necessarily going to be that instant flick of a switch.
[00:30:01] So when we talk about choosing happy, really it’s trying to find strategies and choices that will edge us closer to happiness and ease some of the crazy frustration that we feel in our everyday life. So that’s what choose happy is about it’s about showing us that, negative emotions, aren’t bad, they exist for a reason, evolutionary psychologists, know and study that we feel fear and anger and sadness because they can help us.
[00:30:31] See the areas that aren’t working in our lives or things that we maybe need to adjust in teams, they can be a really good clarifying force, a consult us into action. So choose happy comes from a place that no emotion is good or bad, and actually negative emotions have their role. But there comes a point when we spend too long with those negative emotions and we begin to ruminate and begin to become immersed in the problem.
[00:30:58] So choose happy is about edging ourselves towards happiness, about recognizing why is fear there? Why is anger there? Why is comparison there uncertainty and then how do we understand that emotion a little bit better. And how do we choose. And reach for a happier choice. So in the book I designed a little.
[00:31:20] I love models, simple models, simple as I can make some of the psychology theory the better. So it’s called the happiness ladder. And if you imagine when you’re in like the dark pit of emotions and , you’re just having a crappy day. If you imagine happiness, more like a ladder. First rung of the ladder.
[00:31:37] You’ll just recognize your emotions. I feel sad rather than I feel sad about feeling sad. It’s just accepted, this is how I feel. This is what’s going on. What is this emotion trying to tell me? And then when you understand that a little bit more it’s about reaching. Than for a more empowering choice and then responding with that action.
[00:31:57] So at each kind of rung of the ladder. You’re working yourself out of that pit of emotions, but it is a choice and we don’t have to struggle through life and we can ease our own our own mental moods and wellbeing through the choices that we have. So aligning your choices. With the way that you want the feel and the way you want to experience life increases that control.
[00:32:22] And that actually gives you control back often we’re in the pursuit of happiness. So we’re,taping belongings and status symbols, our selves, hoping that will make us feel enough rather than. Regaining that inner control to always know that you’re in control of your happiness, even in the darkest times, happiness might just, show up like a little flicker, like a little glimmer of hope that will keep you going.
[00:32:46] That’s still is happiness. It’s a form of happiness. So yeah. Choose happy is about high, tiny changes and our choices can create happier results.
[00:32:56] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:32:56] Yeah. And you talked about recognizing emotions and and actually like emotions are that they are our body’s signals a lot of the time to do something different.
[00:33:07] It’s Hey, I have this emotion, this emotions bubbling up. It’s your body saying? Matt come on. There’s something up here, like start to interpret this message in whatever way you can. And Yeah, like certainly with career change, like a lot of clients I have and people I’ve interviewed on the show, they have a wave of negative emotions often for a while.
[00:33:32] And until they start to take stock and reflect on those emotions and interpret them actually, and try and figure out where they’re from and what it’s trying to tell you one of the best Pieces of advice I got from a coach was how to interpret an emotion. And the question to ask is what do you need to believe in order to feel this way?
[00:33:56] So if you’re feeling anxious about something and it might be to do with your job or your boss, for example, and if you just a lot of people just ignore their emotions by yeah. downing a glass of red wine at the end of a stressful day, or they just can’t quite put their finger on why or unhappy, or, have become negative information.
[00:34:17] And they’ll just get a lot of people get busy as well. They’ll just get busy with work or, do on told number of. Negative behaviors and it’s or positive behaviors, but too it’s a, too much an extent. Like NXS how with emotions, for example is there a way to, track emotions or plans so that your emotions gradually get.
[00:34:44] More positive and you can become happier. Like, how is that possible?
[00:34:52] Sarah Gregg: [00:34:52] Yes, it is possible. I can share a little kind of insight on it. I think what’s important to remember is we’re just working with different parts of ourselves and every behavior has a positive intention. So I think when we understand that we become less fearful of ourselves, so when I know.
[00:35:08]I’m frightened of maybe leaving my job because I don’t know what’s on the other side, but I feel this pull that’s called to fear is not a bad emotion. It’s just trying to keep you safe. So your job is to maybe, listen to that part, but then bring a different part forward, bring courage and self-belief forward, bring your resourcefulness forward and let them form a team, and actually that’s where your wholeness and like beauty comes through. In the journal system for flow. One way that I use it is to really work with those parts and bring forward the emotional States that I want to feel and that’s through scripting. So there’s a part of the journal system called total flow.
[00:35:47] It’s based on imagery, scripting the technique used by elite athletes to enhance their performance and their sense of flow. And really what you’re doing is you’re training your attention to what you will see here and face throughout the day. Okay. So if I’m giving a presentation for example, or I’m running a workshop and I want to feel a certain way, I will script that.
[00:36:06]I will say I feel really confident as I approach that task. And I hear my voice is strong and it’s assertive. And I notice how the room responds and their heads nod. And I feel really happy. With how that workshop went. I noticed how , I take the time to feel proud of myself and how . I say to myself internally, you did a really great job now.
[00:36:35] How I’m using that script is to train my emotions, but also the activate my internal reward system, because often we are. Oh I’ll put myself in this category. I am like a gold star junkie. I love nothing more than somebody telling me that I did a good job, all the about that praise, but that’s to my own detriment because nothing anybody says is ever enough.
[00:36:56]I want more. So by scripting in those emotions, by scripting in that reward system, I train my brain to focus more on those failings and equally, if that doesn’t happen, there’s no guarantee that I know I’ve gone off track a little bit. I know that maybe I’ve maybe read the room wrong in some way, or, the presentation like wasn’t as good and I can take that feedback and improve it.
[00:37:21] But scripting is a really good way. For you to work with your emotions rather than against them?
[00:37:28]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:37:28] Yeah. I actually read a book and I can’t quite remember who writes it or what the title was, but it was a coach, a tennis coach. He coached all sorts of like really elite athletes and business people as well. And he talked about, an inner voice or a like a quiet voice where how you speak to yourself in activities really affects your performance and your happiness and all that kinda stuff.
[00:37:56] And like with tennis in particular. To get play players will do double faults and players will lose points. And that is predictable. That will happen. And by being able to have a pattern and a script to prepare in your head so that when that does happen, rather than saying, Oh, you’re why have you got another double fault?
[00:38:17] You idiot, you are prepared for that. And you say Matt don’t worry, that’s a double fault because you’re going to nail that next time, or he’s done many ACEs in your career. So let the next one will be an ACE. And it’s that script. That is, it happens unconsciously, but quite being able to actually prepare for a lot of situations in life, are gonna happen.
[00:38:41] There are Repeatable scenarios at work with family with loved ones. Being able to mentally rehearse that and say, what you gonna say about it and see what you want to see can make a huge difference. And I, and personally, when I read that in your book, that reminded me of that concept and I don’t do that enough.
[00:38:59] I really don’t start scripting out things. What do you think People would be most useful for people to script out for their everyday life. I just talked about tennis and double faults being example, tennis world, but in everyday life, maybe for people that are going to work or I guess have an ordinary job and an average life or, an average day, what, like certain things do you think scripting could be useful for?
[00:39:29] Sarah Gregg: [00:39:29] So what scripting does is because your brain then knows what to anticipate for the day ahead, you relax into your day. That’s what enables flow to happen because your brain already knows. The how you anticipate the day to go. And so it begins to align with that. So there’s a couple of like really good kind of like tips I can give.
[00:39:49]Number one, if you have an unwanted habit or behavior that you’re trying to overcome, Let’s say for example you tend to leave the house to go to work, a little bit late on, you’re like in your car, with your coffee and you’re frustrated and you always seem to run into the office, all over the place.
[00:40:08] Or if you’re working at home, as many of us are, and I, and you climb out of your bed at the last minute, when you you rush and you don’t like that part, like that part of you is you don’t like it. You can use script in, for example, when you get up in the morning to write I.
[00:40:22] know that sometimes I can leave things a little bit too late in the morning. And I recognize that this causes me frustration. So today I see myself just take an extra five minutes to get ready. I noticed how I. Check the time. And I noticed how I’m very mindful and patient as I move throughout my day. Now what you’re doing there is you’re not setting unrealistic expectations.
[00:40:48] It’s not that you’re scripting. And I get up at 5:00 AM and I do my yoga and I have a green juice. And everything’s amazing when we go back to that level of challenge, that’s too much of a stretch. If you’re rolling out of bed, I’m rushing off to work. It’s too much of a stretch. It’s too challenging to say, you’re going to move from that to that.
[00:41:06] So you’re working with the different parts of yourself through the script, and then your brain moves into alignment. It gets all the different parts of you on the same page, because you’ve recognized back to that. Recognize the feeling I recognize the part of me is like that. However, today I noticed myself do this other different thing.
[00:41:23] And what amazes me. And the readers of the book, because this is the one section of the book I get so many messages on is at the end of the day, when you come back and you’ve read what you have scripted, how much your day actually went in that flow without you realizing. So I’ll script my day, each day.
[00:41:42] And I don’t really think about it afterwards until I do my nighttime reflection, and I’ll read back through what I’ve done. And 80% of the time, my day has followed in that order in some way. And it’s just really interesting. So script unwanted habits script, how you want to feel.
[00:42:01] Often, we think about the things that we want to do. So we’re like a to-do list, I need to do the taxes and we need to get the shopping and need to pick up the kids, I need to submit that client proposal, but we don’t ask ourselves How do I want to feel in that experience.
[00:42:17] Because that’s how you experience your day. Not by ticking it off. It’s how you feel in that experience. So tapping into that and thinking, okay when I do the taxes, I want to feel acceptance and I want to set up a nice environment. Just like we talked about, when I submit that client proposal I want to feel confident and excited, about what that could bring back.
[00:42:39] And then all of a sudden, you’re integrating this wholeness into your day, and it becomes much more about being a slave to your to-do list and ticking everything off and then falling into your bed at night. I’m more about how you want to fail and experience your day. What emotions do you want to elicit?
[00:42:56]What feelings do you want to have and tapping more into that?
[00:42:59] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:42:59] Oh, I absolutely love that. I love tapping into your emotions and feelings about something in the future and matching that actually shapes your future, that shapes your destiny by doing that, which is incredible. Sarah, you’ve gone through quite a transition you’ve reinvented yourself and actually had this amazing journey to discover how you find your own flow.
[00:43:22] Now you’re helping others. What would you say now? Your purpose is in life. And how do you think that’s different from maybe a few years ago before you reinvented yourself and started The Power To Reinvent?.
[00:43:36] Sarah Gregg: [00:43:36] Yeah, I think my personal purpose, as opposed to anything business related is to fulfill my potential and to have an adventure.
[00:43:47] That’s all, I don’t necessarily know how that’s going to look, but what I love about life now is the joy of experience in it. I’m no longer on this journey that I have to do this and I need to reach that milestone. And it’s got to look that way. The joy is like in my personal life and kind of professional life is creating things, is having the joy and the experience of each day is going and following these little threads of adventures and opportunities that arise rather than feeling like I have to have all the answers and just align in with things that bring me joy.
[00:44:24] And the more I. Do that and allow myself to feel worthy, to do that. And to actually say, I don’t enjoy that thing. So you know what you don’t get to be part of my human experience. You’re out , all the things that I love You’re in!, let’s just go and see where it can bring us that, that if I can keep that.
[00:44:45]I’m well aware that there’s still patterns of behavior apply in my own life that can sabotage that. I totally know that I do not claim to have life figured out, but the more I can stay true to that and align with the things that make me happy, align with the things that enabled me to be who I really am, as opposed to who I should be.
[00:45:06] Then the more I can just enjoy the adventure that is life. So that’s my personal purpose.
[00:45:12]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:45:12] Beautiful. Absolutely love that. Where can people get in touch with you, Sarah? Connect with you get your books and do you offer any workshops or a company coaching or anything like that?
[00:45:25] Sarah Gregg: [00:45:25] Yep. So you can find more by the. Business offers. I offer workshops and coaching, and I’m just about to have an online course coming out in a couple of weeks. So you can find more about that at the website, the power to re-invent dot com. That’s P O w E R to re-invent dot com and Instagram handle it’s the same.
[00:45:45] Instagram is the best and easiest place to find me. So it’s @thepowertoreinvent and you can find information about the books on the website, but they’re called find your flow. Or choose happy and they both have their own little websites cause they’re so special. So it’s choose happy. The book.com and find your flow.
[00:46:03] The book.com.
[00:46:04]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:46:04] And I’ll include all of those links in today’s show notes as well. My final question, Sarah. Now I definitely see you as someone that is living with passion. You’re very passionate about what you do. You just described your purpose and actually were quite clear about that as well and confident in that.
[00:46:21]And you have a really great balance in life, you’re. You’ve been traveling the world similar circuit to me, or about to go to, I think Taiwan incredible, like living the sense of adventure, which is part of your purpose. So I would say, you’re passionate, you’re purposeful and you’re living with balance.
[00:46:38] I call that those three things to burn from within what’s the one thing that’s made the biggest difference to you, Sarah, to burn from within
[00:46:47] Sarah Gregg: [00:46:47] permission to all ow myself to do it and the courage to do it . I think so many of us feel that burn from within. But we’re worried about what will people say? What does that mean?
[00:47:05] How will it impact relationships and actually to burn from within just means giving yourself permission to follow that passion, not necessarily have all the answers to know where exactly it’s going to bring you, but to just release them, let go, and just follow it.
[00:47:24] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:47:24] Yeah, permission that, that word has come up numerous times with guests and And actually just knowing that you do have permission like permission is granted and and it’s yours to go for it and make decisions around that around purpose and around passion is so important.
[00:47:42] And what I love about your book is that, there are bite-sized. Exercises and small little steps that you can do each day to get conscious about what makes you passionate and what you enjoy and what brings you into flow. And just doing these small things every day. It can lead to huge sparks and to be able to burn from within to actually.
[00:48:07] Live a life that you love and and be happy. Sarah, thank you so much for an awesome conversation and I let’s keep in touch and yeah, that was, it was a great interview.
[00:48:19] Sarah Gregg: [00:48:19] Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.
[00:48:20]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:48:20] So awesome. Having Sarah on the show she’s truly burning from within and had a tremendous transformation herself after that realization that she was living the life expected of her. In the motivational seminar just a few years ago. You can connect with her directly on Instagram, at the power to re-invent and also the links to both her books. Find your flow and choose happy.
[00:48:45] Uh, on her website, the power to reinvent.com. And if you enjoyed this episode, go right ahead and leave a review for this podcast. By going to rate this podcast.com forward slash burn from within that’s rate, this podcast.com forward slash burn from within. And stay updated with more inspiring interviews by heading the follow or subscribe button now on your player.
[00:49:08] Until next time. Live with passion, purpose, and balance and burn from within.