During this crappy time in our lives (there is never a good time for a Pandemic, right?!) I turn to one of the most positive people I know, Barry Oulton. This 18 minute chat really uplifted me and I think it will help you all.
– How to view a problem as an opportunity
– The importance of love (verb)
– Importance of power posing
– Importance of Exercise
Link to Amy Cuddy video so we can all ‘do Amy’ haha
Instagram – @drbarryoulton
Twitter – @drbarryoulton
Click below for full episode transcript:Jaz's Introduction: It's going to be a quick little birth session to help dentists because the reason I thought of you Barry was when all this kicked off and there was doom and gloom, I'm usually quite a positive person, and I didn't react very well personally in myself, a bit of going through all the stages of denial, stages of grief.
I was in denial, then I was getting really depressed and upset about things, and I sort of thought to myself, when was the last time I’d felt this bad and not to take it the wrong way Barry, because I think you know where I’m coming from, but the last time I felt this bad was when I was on your course.
Well, it’s on me! Yay!
Sort of. So just for the benefit of the audience listening and watching right now, what I mean is the reason I felt the last time I felt this bad in life was when I was on Barry’s course is because Barry really brought home and taught me the value of your mindset of the way that you see the world.
Cause one of the exercises, one of the first things you do on your course is the way you see the world, so you walk across the corridor, and you see the world, as if it’s a beautiful place. And then you do that walk across the corridor and walk back. And then you see the world as if it’s dangerous.
And then you walk across and that same walk, but the world was completely different. And that’s the last time I felt this much doom and gloom in life. So I thought you are the best person to come and just give us a five, ten minute nugget on what can you say? What can you say to everyone? Dentists, nurses, therapists, but what can you say Barry? What’s your message? How can you help us?
So the first thing to say is, there is a lot of doom and gloom, isn’t there? That if we only focus on the negative stuff, then you’re absolutely right. To talk you through that exercise that we did, we put on some metaphorical glasses, right? The first pair was that the world is a dangerous place.
So, I left you on a high, because the first one is, the world is a dangerous place. And through that mindset, through those lenses, what you’re seeing is everything that fits into that mindset. Now a mindset can also be called a belief. So, if I have a belief that all men are bar stewards, then you will only really see men doing things that fit into that framework.
You’ll only really meet men that fit into that framework. The world is a dangerous place. You look around the room, you’ll only see tripping hazards, electricity, danger all around you. And so encouraging you to change your mindset is like putting on a fresh pair of glasses. A pair of glasses that is, the world is full of beauty and love.
And I look around and I see electricity, connectivity, the ability to see your lovely face and have this conversation. And sunshine being outside, whereas you could see sunshine as being carcinogenic to the skin, or it’s how you process information, and it’s putting on the mindset. Now, it doesn’t take away the fact that SH1T is happening out there.
We are in a very uncertain time in our profession. Being that most of us, certainly you and I, are self-employed. Some of us own our own businesses. I own the Confident Dentist Academy. I have staff that I have to pay for. There are some very worrying times. And so what I have done for myself is mentalised my day for the times to think about the tough stuff and then set times of day to have a different mindset and see things in a different light. So do you remember we did problem challenge opportunity? Do you remember that?
That was in pairs, wasn’t it?
No, no. So let me take you through this, right? If you could think right now, in fact, let’s do this, Jaz.
Right now, think of a problem in your life. Wife’s temperature could be it, right?
It is, yeah. So, as I told you, my wife’s coming down with a little bit of temperature, just over 38, and now we’re like, whoa, is it coronavirus? And all that sort of stuff.
Okay, so let’s, we can’t change, realistically, there’s certain things that we can’t change, right? We have to let certain things take their course.
So let’s think about that as a problem. And what I want you to do is I want you to think in your mind’s eye, who is that a problem for? How is that a problem? What sort of things does that create for you and your son? And all the other things that it involves and impacts on. And I want you to share with me now, Jaz, words that describe what it’s like to have a problem. Give me some words. What’s it like to have a problem?
This specific problem that I have.
Well, you’re not going to share that problem, but that problem, give me some words that describe what it’s like to have a problem, to be stuck.
Okay. Sure. Sure. It’s doom and gloom. It’s uncertain. It’s difficult. It’s overall negative. It’s a draining of your energy. It is very much all bad things.
Yeah, worrying, scary, frustrating, all of those things, right. Okay, so what I want you to do, do you remember, you’re very young, I’m older than you, do you remember what an Etch A Sketch is?
Do you? Okay. For those that are watching that are younger than Jaz, an Etch A Sketch is an iPad with a couple of knobs on, and we would draw with magnetic fibres, wouldn’t we? Do you remember that? How do you clear the screen of an Etch A Sketch? That’s it, you shake it. Right, so what I want you to do, is I want you to clear the screen like this, Jaz.
That’s it, good enough. Right, I want you to take the same situation, and I want you to think about that situation again, but I want you to think about the situation as a challenge. So it’s the exact same situation you’ve got and now rather than the way we had it before it’s now a challenge How is it a challenge? What does a challenge bring to you? What kind of things do you use to describe having a challenge?
When you’ve got a challenge, I think you’ve got a goal, you bring strategy into it, you bring in mechanisms in terms of how can you actually break down the challenge? How can you make the best out of it?
How can you be progressive? So that’s when whenever I want to hit a challenge, I want to just overcome it. So automatically. like a typical bloke, you just want to fix the problem.
Perfect. So what I’d like you to do instead of fixing a problem is overcome a challenge because the way that you’ve just described the very same situation is completely different when you described it as a problem and now as a challenge.
Right? Now clear the screen. Thank you, I need the noises Jaz you have to do that. Love it. Okay, mate same situation only now. I want you to see it as an opportunity. So now sit there and think right this situation that I’ve got, what is it an opportunity for? Who is it an opportunity for? The immediate thing that springs to mind for me is daddy son time, bonding, new skills, all this stuff that you could do with him, but you begin to think about, right, what’s an opportunity for? Because there’s certain aspects of the situation we cannot change.
And if we focus on the things that we cannot influence and we cannot change, we’re going to end up feeling pretty crappy. If we focus on the things that we can influence and also these new opportunities that are available to us to enhance our lives, somebody else’s life, I’ve just finished, I’ll show you this, I just made paneer for the neighbours, fully only I made two kilos of the stuff so that I can, with my gloves on, I can deliver to local neighbors.
One of the best things I think you can do when you’re having a tough time is give to others. If you give to others and you’re thinking about other people who oftentimes are worse off than us, that kind of gives you a perspective that, hey, it could be a lot worse. And it doesn’t change the situation, but it certainly begins to make you feel more resourceful because at the end of the day, when you’re up against adversary, what you need to be is resourceful.
And thinking about things as an opportunity creates resource. Who have I got that I can involve in this opportunity? So let me give you an example. I have had everything I’m looking at my year planner, I’ve had everything blown out of my diary for six months. There is no income. And that is for the confident dentist or my lecturing, trips to Paris, Glasgow, Ireland, all sorts of places. No income. And I’ve still got staff to pay for. I’m in my dental practice, no income.
And so, if I focused on that side of it, now I have to address that. Let’s not get me wrong. I have to address that. But if I just purely focused on that, I’d end up being really down and depressed. It’s important that I give some time and energy to that and then I’ve sat going right what is this an opportunity for I’ve got a lot more time to create content to write courses to go out into the community to volunteer for the NHS to be careful I’ve just taken down gloves and viral wipes and some paneer down to the local shop, because the guy there is serving the community and I just went down and said you got no gloves, you got no masks, here’s some gloves, here’s some masks, here’s some lunch.
And just pulling together as a community. So that’s the first thing I would say is, begin to look at the language in your own head that you’re using to describe the situation that you find yourself in. It’s a large step to go from problem to opportunity. So if you break it in the middle and you go problem, challenge, opportunity, you find that you can actually start to come up with a completely different feeling towards the situation that you’re in.
A hundred percent agree, Barry. And this is something I’ve already said on the podcast already is that now, and in the messages that I’ve sent out is that a hundred percent agree. This is a crap situation, but it’s an opportunity, an opportunity for you to do anything that you want to do. Now you are doing absolutely wonderful, godly things.
The fact that you can make paneer is just, but then to distribute it to people who can benefit from that paneer and also all the content creation that you can be doing. And I think based on the problem that I have in my life right this very second, right now with my wife. Just having a little bit of a temperature now, and we’re just openly discussing that, and I’m cool with that.
And it’s an opportunity for me to care, because my wife’s such a great carer. It’s time for me to give back to her. I want to be able to care for her. I want to be able to- So tonight, me and my son sleeping alone. Usually it’s the three of us, and I’m so excited to be able to look after my son the whole night’s night and also be able to look after my wife and those out there.
And I’ve already said this is, use this as an opportunity to love and love is not, and your parents, your family, your friends, anyone, and love is not a emotion. Love is a verb. So that’s my main message really for you. It’s a, a great message. See, go from problem, challenge, opportunity, and I just want to add onto that. Find love in your life wherever you can and just pursue that.
Yeah, I totally agree, mate. And I think the more that we do for others, the more that we benefit ourselves. Another thing, can I, have you got time for this?
So, many years ago when I did Tony Robbins, this course, one of the things that I learned very quickly was that when I was feeling really crap, I might not be able to influence the external factors, but the ability that I had to ask myself some really good quality questions.
Oftentimes when we’re in the crap, we say things like, why me? What am I going to do? Why has this happened to me? I’ve got all of this stuff going on. I’ve got this, I’ve got that. And we ask ourselves questions that can only realistically come up with crappy answers. And a good exercise to practice and get into a routine of doing is asking yourself really good questions because the subconscious mind if it’s asked a question it has to search for an answer. So if I said to you why is it?
That this has happened to you, you have to search for an answer of well It could have been this or it could have been that and you start thinking all of the BS Reasons why this might happen. If I ask myself, right, what can I be grateful for right now? Life is tough There’s a lot going on. I need to sit for two minutes and just list what can I be grateful for. The thing about gratitude and anxiety or stress or worry is they can’t live in the same body You cannot genuinely be grateful, have gratitude, and feel grateful, and feel stressed, and angry, and worried.
So by asking yourself a really great question of what can I be grateful for, you have to search for the answers. Well, I’m grateful for health, I’m grateful for my wife and my kids, I’m grateful for this, I’m grateful for friends. And you start to, and then start to really think about those. The way that we think about those in our internal representation is to put yourself into that position.
Think of the things that you would see, hear, feel, connect with when you are in that situation of gratitude. And that removes the negativity, that removes this anxiety and worry. Now it doesn’t change the external factors. And yet, when we feel more centred, more at peace, we are better to handle those difficult, stressful situations.
So if you’re ever feeling stressed, just sit for a minute, peacefully, and go, right, what am I grateful for? What have I got? What can I give thanks for?
This is what we need now more than ever. To summarise this short little, thank you Barry for your time, to summarise this short little burst of an injection of positivity. We’re going to focus everyone. We’re going to focus on our mindset, which spectacles we wear. We’re going to turn our problem into a challenge, into an opportunity. We’re going to find and share love. And most of all, we’re going to be grateful. We’re going to find what are we grateful for so that because we cannot be in a grateful state and in a stressed, worrying state at the same time, and it’s a great thing you put there. Barry, I wish you and your family all the best. Yes, please, please, please.
One more thing, right? I’m doing a lot of mental health at the moment, and part of, one large part of my lectures. is talking about the, you’ll remember the model of communication in NLP, where we’re bombarded by information, we delete, distort, and generalize, it goes through our own unique internal filters, creating our internal representation.
That is a picture, a sound, a movie, some self-talk, and some feelings, right? They dictate our emotional states. And that also impacts our physiology. You don’t see anybody depressed and anxious walking around like this, arms in the air, chin up, chest out, shoulders back. You’ve heard the phrase, come on, shoulders back, chin up.
What I want people to do is I want to encourage them to go and watch a video online. by a lady called Amy Cuddy. Power pose! Yes, my man. Amy Cuddy. She’s a psychologist from Harvard University. And this is the scientific research that backs up the reason why we need to stand tall, heads up, because this decreases our cortisol and increases our endorphins.
And so in the moment that you’re also giving gratitude, what am I grateful for? Do yourself a favor, stand up and look up at the sky and put your arms in the air. Do it privately. So people don’t go, what the heck are they doing? And exercise, okay? I know that Boris has said get out once a day, but get out in the garden, do Joe Wicks at nine o’clock in the morning, get your bodies moving because motion creates emotion and if you’re moving it only increases the quality of the positive emotions within you.
So if you’re feeling a bit crap get up and jump up and down, stretch, watch Amy Cuddy, it’s from Edinburgh, TED Talk.
I’ll put a link up when I post this up, which will be in a couple of hours basically. I’ll put the link up, Amy Cuddy, fantastic video. And yeah, stop slouching everyone. I know we’re not in a great place at the moment, but we can only influence the situation in our own world by adopting a power pose and doing a bit of exercise.
Absolutely. So everybody get doing Amy. You know what I mean? Hashtag awkward.
Barry, thank you so much, as always.
It’s lovely to see you again, mate. You take care, look after the family, and I hope your wife’s okay.
Thank you so much.