November 8, 2012 By Derek Lauber 4 Comments I am very passionate about leadership, self-development and personal growth and have been on my own personal leadership journey for the last 15 years. After my last bout of difficulty and challenge, I decided to look back and see what were the practices that allowed me to come out on the other side with direction, purpose and resolution. Creating choices and seeing other avenues to deal with my challenges and blocks was and still is the launching point to move forward.
The work required is the practice of slowing down thoughts long enough to able to see them from a different point of view. Through a process of creating presence and self-awareness, using self-observation and analyzing emotions, thoughts and language you can begin to see what has been prohibiting you from moving forward. Exactly how you do this is by following the above steps repeatedly…practicing until it becomes habit and second nature. Think about it,  if you could overcome your challenges and obstacles faster, what would that mean to you and to your life? To make this more digestible and to give you time to practice the steps, I am breaking this process out into a series of posts. I would sum it up like this: be present in the now to be fully conscious of your feelings, thoughts and emotions. Cultivating, in real time, the ability to know your thoughts, emotions and feelings in your mind and body opens the door to observing these thoughts and feelings and the resulting actions. Sit comfortably upright in a chair with your feet planted on the floor about hip distance apart and close your eyes.
To start, take a few deeps breaths and pay attention to where you feel them and for their quality. Start breathing with your hands on your abdomen and allow your abdomen fully expand when you inhale. Practice this for as long as you need until you start feeling more comfortable with abdominal breathing. Abdominal breathing is very important for our purposes as it focuses your mind on your breath, which in turn slows the mind and your thoughts. Once you have the feel for abdominal breathing, start focusing on your breath…one breath at a time.
As you try focusing on your breath, you may notice your mind wandering, don’t worry this is totally normal and expected, keep coming back to the breath. After breathing with your eyes closed for a few moments or minutes, open them and continue breathing.

First, notice what you see, look at the colors in the room, look at the sharpness and or the contrast. The order above is what I have found to be easiest as you begin to practice creating presence and awareness. In the next post we will dive into what is means to be a self-observer, how to practice self-observation and what to do with the data that comes of it. Booktopia - Change Your Thinking, Overcome Stress, Combat Anxiety and Depression, and Improve Your Life with CBT by Sarah Edelman, 9781600940521. This title is not in stock at the Booktopia Warehouse and needs to be ordered from our supplier. Practicing psychologist Sarah Edelman clearly lays out how to use CBT to develop rational thought patterns in response to upsetting emotions and situations. By following the practical, easy-to-follow exercises and examples, you can take control of your thoughts, emotions, and feelings, and find more positive ways of dealing with lifea€™s hurdles-and a happier you.
Change Your Thinking will teach you how to Fight negative and self-defeating beliefs to minimize your experience of upsetting emotions Recognize a€?thinking errorsa€? that cause you unnecessary distress Learn how to dispute thinking errors with your behavior and rational thoughts Prevent negative thoughts and emotions from occurring Acknowledge and face the obstacles that prevent you from obtaining your goals Achieve a more balanced and happier life Whether youa€™re faced with overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, frustration, anger, depression, or anxiety, CBT can help you change your thinking and make a difference in your life-beginning today. I’ve read countless self-help books and followed multiple improvement programs for the mind and body. This exercise led me to look back even further at other points in my life where I had challenges and how I overcame them. Depending on how tough I perceived the challenge to be or how big of rut I put myself in determined the amount of time and the amount of work required before these choices became apparent to me. What would it mean to your leadership to be able to execute more decisively and more clearly than ever? They are the cornerstones to the entire system and must be understood and practiced to really make the self-observation and data collection successful. To have presence and or to be present is being here (existing) at this exact moment in time. Your ability to reduce the speed of your thoughts by being present in order to view them objectively instead of acting immediately on them is how you create choice.
The tool I’ve used and the one I share with my coaching clients with great success in creating presence and becoming present is a simple breathing exercise.
With the first abdominal breath say 10 to yourself, with the next breath say 9 and so on until you reach 0, then work your way back up to 10. Do this for a few moments and just take stock of what objects look like without judging them.

You may just want to start with noticing objects or the few sessions, then after some practice move on to your body and thoughts. I want you to get in the habit of observing and writing out what you see, feel and experience.
He helps small business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business by creating a culture of leadership, empowerment, innovation and profit quickly with less pain and lasting results. Through both her private practice and continuing education programs, she teaches people to use CBT as a self-help tool. After digging through the data, what I discovered is a pretty simple system, which produces clarity around my emotions, thoughts and feelings, and gives me more choices. When you break out of your thought, feeling and emotional patterns, you can use your conscious mind to objectively create new pathways forward (aka choices). Once it is out in the open, you can use your conscious mind to make a different decision, choose a different thought and achieve a different outcome.
Your mind will be calmer thoughts will be slower and you will be able to more clearly define what you are experiencing.  After a few sessions, I challenge you to shorten the practice and try it with your eyes open, and then while you are standing, then practice where there is some noise or distraction.
She conducts workshops for mental health professionals, people working in government and private sector organizations, and the general public. Beginning this practice of presence and self-awareness will become easier with the goal of being able to go straight to the awareness of your thoughts, emotions and feelings in the moment.
All of which has led me down a path to become a certified leadership coach and to share with others what has helped me turn my life into a positive, productive and happy existence. With practice it becomes faster until it is second nature and you now have a way of thinking which radically reduces stress, time wasted and improves decision-making. It is in this space of awareness where you will begin the next step in our process to help see and deal with your thoughts objectively and that is self-observation. I am not going to ask you to dive into the philosophical beliefs of Buddhism or sit on a pillow; I merely request you keep an open mind and stay present.

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