Be the fire.

I have one intention in mind when I walk into a classroom:

 How can I warm up the room? 🔥

“Enthusiasm is contagious.”

In this short video I share the thoughts that go through my mind as I walk into a classroom and meet my psychology students for the first time. I also discuss the specifics of how I connect with and encourage students each new day.

What goes through your mind when you walk into a room?

Visit my YouTube Channel for more fun and uplifting videos.

Shifting from anxiety to excitement.

FF47F904-793F-44B5-A861-640A852104C0.gif

They say we only use 5-10% of our brain’s full potential.

A statement I tend to agree with.

Know thyself.

Understanding ourselves better, including our brains, is always the first step in tapping into what’s possible, within, and all around us.

61B6946B-DE4A-4A20-B991-797E686C1991

Hacking the brain.

Did you know that fear and excitement share the same set of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, glutamate, and acetylcholine.

  • Opposite emotions. Identical neurotransmitters.
  • Same neural activity. Different cognitive appraisal.

And the best way to shift from performance anxiety to excitement is to say one sentence on repeat.

738CB294-60BB-4CB8-9EBF-95F633EDC717.png

Journal of Experimental Psychology. 2014, Volume 143

Watch my latest YouTube video “Shifting from anxiety to excitement” to discover the simple phrase for shifting out of nervousness during high anxiety situations.

And learn why telling someone to “calm down” when they’re anxious rarely works.

Related Post: Are you left brain or right brained?

One small change.. 🧠

Changes everything.

Thriving Under Pressure — Leadership Training and Development

Fitness is more than physical.

Recently, I was invited to do a Leadership Training and Development Workshop at a local kickboxing club.

kickbox

The ultimate stress release.

This is where I go to cool my jets and find my joy. So, I was more than excited to take the leadership team’s mental fitness up to the next level!

From surviving to thriving.

During the mental fitness training session, I discussed how the 3 C’s of Thriving Under Pressure from my TEDx Talk could enhance the performance and well-being of the Kersey Kickbox Team.

Commitment – Challenge – Control

Using personality assessment, team mapping, and real-life examples, I harnessed the team’s many strengths to benefit both the club’s membership and the trainers themselves.

The best part of the training was how much we laughed. 💥🥊

But don’t take my word for it… Watch the video and see for yourself!

Come join my YouTube Channel by clicking here.

Give pain room to breathe.

How do you respond when a close friend shares a problem with you?

Mechanical engineer. 3d image isolated on white background.

Are you a fixer or a listener?

If you’re anything like me, my first instinct is to fix the problem.

To try and save loved ones from adversity.

To rescue them.

7D20CE10-7D2C-4369-AA19-A4CA8FD2FECC

To make them instantly feel better.

I suggest we do the opposite.

Instead of rushing in, we take a step back.

Ask them what they need.

AF808AB0-CC5F-416D-834E-127678C79D9F

Give their pain room to breathe.

In doing so, we validate the person and their experience.

Helping them stay true to who they are.

just be there

It’s ok to not be ok.

What comes – also goes.

Welcome it all.

Video of this post ⤴️

Come join my YouTube Channel too! 🎥🍿

Encouraging someone through life’s challenges.

How do we bridge the gap between expectations and reality?

D15ECA9F-D3ED-4F8F-8001-9846053C48FA

The idea we have for our life rarely, if ever, matches up with the life we end up with.

Which is often a blessing in disguise.

Yet something we seldom realize in the thick of difficulty.

Success is not a straight line. 

When dreams fall apart, feelings of failure and helplessness often set in.

This is the exact time when we need others to hold the light for us. To be an encourager. To show us the way.

STRATEGIES FOR EMPOWERING OTHERS

 Dreams ↔ Failure ↔ Destiny

1. Encourage people by sharing your own stories of difficulty and overcoming.

485AD016-062F-4B6D-9EA5-ABBABEA81866

This helps others understand that no one begins their success journey at the top of the mountain. And that each failure is an opportunity to rise up. Again and again.

2. Hold a safe space for loved ones to ‘not be ok’ when overwhelmed.

Rushing anyone through difficult emotions will prolong feelings of fear, threat, and danger.

Instead, we can flip the switch by leaning into “the overwhelm” and asking: “What are you trying to teach me?”

E9972354-B499-4B73-9BCB-CD96206FD3C2

3. The ultimate encouragement strategy is to believe in someone, especially when they don’t. 

This helps shift their mindset from not enough to overflowing. Creating a new heightened vision for life’s unexpected bumps and detours.

AA315253-A894-4B59-BDD6-30E086ECC9A8

You got this!”💥

TEDx Talk: Thriving Under Pressure.

tedx-talk-dr-dinardo

In my TEDx Talk I discuss how to THRIVE under pressure using 3 stress resilience tools: challenge, control and commitment.

The purpose of this talk and my blog is to help students develop positive coping techniques in fun, interactive, and uplifting ways.

By first focusing on what is right, before examining what is wrong, students can be transformed by their challenges and adversities.

If you like, please share this TEDx video with friends and family on social media. The wider its reach, the more people I can help thrive under pressure!

May Your North Star Light Your Way. 💫

Reading People: Lesson #1 Self Awareness

“The simple act of paying attention can take you a long, long way.”

F133652F-5AFA-44D4-9217-45222D54B14F

Intrapersonal Intelligence ⇔ Interpersonal Intelligence

The first lesson in reading people, using the principles of emotional intelligence, is to understand yourself more deeply.

What motivates you. What excites you. What angers you. What lifts you up!

As self-awareness is essential for both personal and relationship success.

If you can’t comprehend your own emotions and motivations, how will you ever understand the behaviour of others?

Understanding Yourself  ⇔ Understanding Others

7EAC2C83-D2D5-4E38-8F51-78A820E8B872

Self-awareness as a daily practice.

Notice how your emotions ebb and flow throughout the day.

One way of doing this is to schedule time at the end or beginning of your day for quiet contemplation and self-reflection.

Find your favourite place to relax and unwind. Perhaps in the garden or in a cozy chair by the window. Or on a walk by the trees. 

Alternatively, enjoy a 2 minute “Self Check In” at the top of each hour.

IMG_2369

Pause. Reflect. Breathe Deeply.

Journal. Meditate. Create. 

What you will find is the more consistently you pay attention to your own drives and desires, the better you will understand the emotions and motivations of others.

Simple self-awareness exercise.

In the video below, I share the simple exercise I use to enhance self-awareness in myself and others. Can you guess the EQ questions I ask students?

Your Turn:

How would you describe yourself in one word?

To hear my “one word” — check out the 1 min video above.  📌🎥


Coming Soon!

Reading People: Lesson #2 

Managing Your Emotions

Is it possible to see failure in a positive light?

F. A. I. L.

= First Attempt At Learning

With time, I have come to realize that failure has always been my greatest teacher. Each failure pointed me in a better direction. Helped me to develop strength and authenticity. Ultimately unveiling who I was and what I was destined to become. 

  • The failing grade I received on my first exam in graduate school taught me how to ask for support when I needed it most. No matter how shameful I felt or embarrassed I was.
  • The end of a long-term relationship taught me how to value my time alone and make tough decisions for myself. No matter how weak I felt or lonesome I was.
  • The lay off from a job I loved taught me how to let go, look forward, and trust in something so much bigger than myself. No matter how scared I was or irrelevant I felt.

D7DAECE0-C8AF-4DD1-963F-E0759290F22D

What determines our reaction to failure?

Learning from failure is the ultimate goal. That said, not everyone responds to failure in the same way, at the same time.

Our reaction to failure is determined by several factors, including:

  1. The timing of the failure.
  2. The magnitude of the failure.
  3. The attribution attached to the failure.
  4. The level of support during the failure.
  5. The self-efficacy and belief in starting over.

Ask someone how they feel about failure in the midst of it; life as they know it is over. Ask someone how they feel about failure one year later; life as they know it has been transformed.

The key to supporting someone experiencing failure is not to rush them through the healing process. Yes, in the long run, the gifts of failure outweigh the costs.  But we must be sensitive to how dark it feels in the eye of the storm. Only then can move towards the light.

43A82B67-CCD3-464B-911E-11E323E94CF3

Is it possible to see failure in a positive light?

Under the right conditions, failure strengthens us, adds to our self-knowledge, and enhances the quality of our lives.

  • If it weren’t for failure, I would not have met my husband John.
  • If it weren’t for failure, I would not be a psychology professor.
  • If it weren’t for failure, I would not have written three textbooks.
  • If it weren’t for failure, I would not be the person I am today.

🌷  Your Turn  🌷

  • If it weren’t for failure _______________.
  • If it weren’t for failure _______________.
  • If it weren’t for failure _______________.
  • If it weren’t for failure _______________.

What life lessons has failure taught you?

Signs are everywhere.

Signs pointing us in the direction of our dreams are everywhere.

Everywhere!

But we have to look UP to see it.

OPEN our minds to BELIEVE it.

FE08A8CD-3628-48EE-B405-82A9691D041E

Daily Visualization Exercise

The next time you see a 30 km, 40 km, or even 100 km sign — take it as an opportunity to visualize where (and who) you want to be at that age.

Additionally, use each “sign” as instant reflection time for contemplating: 1) what you need to do more of and 2) what you need to let go of to get there.

We only get one life.

Let’s imagine the best one possible!

52C1FF63-428D-4794-A39E-4A8CC4755B0D

Psychology 101: Ask Dr. D.

587A8485-4423-4989-8907-BA07626FF137

Getting to know my students is one of my favourite parts being a professor.

 Accordingly, I ask students a lot of questions.

So it’s only fair that students get to ask me questions too!

Why did you become a psychologist? 🎥

What’s most interesting about being a college professor? 🎥

I would love to hear your questions too! 💥