Navigating Change with Psychological Strength

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Because of the way our minds operate, human beings struggle with change. No matter whether the change is a net positive or net negative change, whether it’s big or small. All change causes some degree of friction and difficulty. And we’ve all weathered a LOT of it in the past few years.

On today’s episode, we’re diving into the topic of change. First and foremost, we’ll talk about why change is difficult for us. Turns out, you’re not weak! You don’t lack resilience! You’re simply a human being with a mind, and our human minds HATE change. Tune in, and you’ll learn why.

Overcoming negative thoughts is key to developing mental strength. However, spending time with uncomfortable emotions to feel mentally strong may be good for your mental health but challenging to achieve.

Then we’ll dive into one of the models of change that I really like as a way of understanding how we as human beings move through change. We’ll talk about the difference between a “change” and a “transition.” We’ll talk about the fundamental principles of the mind that are impacted when we experience a change and how we ultimately move on to get to the other side of a change.

Finally, I’ll offer a handful of resources to help you navigate your own change or to help others navigate theirs. These are proven, valuable techniques for supporting yourself and others during some of the most volatile times.

We’ve all been through a lot, and there’s likely more change to come. But, it IS POSSIBLE to thrive through change with the right tools.

Additional Resources:

  1. Try out Emotion Sifting by visiting this blog post:
  2. Learn more about the science of self-compassion with this episode from the podcast vault:
  3. Ready to design your work life? Check out this blog post for some tips:
  4. Be one of the first 5 people to review this episode of the podcast and email a screenshot of your review to and get a free copy of my Life Design Transformation Blueprint! Submit your review here:

Cultivating Psychological Safety

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Have you ever been in the position of being the only man / woman / non-binary / person of color / non-native speaker / etc in the room? How did that feel? How comfortable did you feel? How free did you feel to be your true, authentic self? How psychologically safe did you feel?

Today, we’re speaking with Stephanie Roldan about the topics of psychological safety and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I).

Stephanie Roldan is the Director of Lean Culture at Rosendin Electric. She leads Rosendin’s Respect for People and Continuous Improvement culture, simplified as “Lean Culture.” This responsibility includes developing, setting, and leading the strategy on creating an inclusive environment and sense of belonging for employees. She serves as the Chairperson for Rosendin’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and sits on the Board of Directors for the AZ Foundation for Women.

As a woman in the construction industry, Stephanie knows first-hand what it feels like to be “the only” one in the room. She also knows the importance of cultivating a psychologically safe culture and the impact it can have on bringing people together. The impact it can have on helping us all to feel like we can fully express ourselves. And the impact it can have on creating a more equitable workplace.

During our conversation, Stephanie and I have a deep conversation about the experience of being “the only” one in the room. We talk about the importance of psychological safety and how norms around our social groups influence the way we show up and the way others react to us. We talk about the importance of being curious, cultivating connected relationships, being open, and sharing our own stories as a way to create increased connection and empathy. We talk about this and so much more. You won’t want to miss this important conversation.

Additional Resources:

  1. Episode 0016: Develop the Mind of a Superhero
  2. SHRM DE&I Resources
  3. Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn

This topic not only deals with psychological safety in the workplace, but also to create a culture where your team is safe and feels comfortable in the work environment. Members of a team should feel they won’t be punished for seeking change and problem solving or making a push for adjusting organizational behavior. Learning innovation and growth techniques to increase psychological safety can be difficult, but it’s imperative to build a workplace safe for interpersonal risk especially as more workers transition to a work from home.


Peak Mind Pro: What Is Psychological Strength?

What exactly is ‘Psychological Strength,’ and why is it such an important set of skills for your team to develop? This is the question we’ll dive into in this post.

It probably comes as no surprise that our mind is the lens through which we experience and interact with the world. Every situation we encounter, favorable or challenging, is first run through our mind to help us interpret it and to set up our response to it. 

Here’s where things get interesting. In between our mind’s intake of that situation and our response to it lies something we call ‘The Gap.’ The Gap represents all of the inner happenings whereby our mind is:

  • Interpreting the situation
  • Adding context
  • Making predictions
  • Generating an emotional response
  • Crafting your next moves


Without Psychological Strength

Here’s the issue: For most people, ‘The Gap’ is filled entirely with our mind’s reactive thoughts and emotions. This reactivity runs on some of our mind’s most basic processes, such as:

  • Seeking out and finding threats in our environment (in an attempt to keep us safe)
  • Predicting the future or other’s behavior or thoughts (regardless of whether we’re right about those predictions)
  • Confirming our pre-existing beliefs (even if those beliefs are inaccurate)
  • Relying on mental habits constructed long ago (that likely aren’t helpful anymore)

When we rely solely on our mind’s naturally-occurring, knee jerk thoughts and emotions, it’s much more likely that our behavior will be reactive, leading to less optimal outcomes. 


With Psychological Strength

But, here’s the good news! When used correctly, ‘The Gap’ represents an opportunity. The opportunity to insert a new set of skills called ‘Psychological Strength’ that help dilute our mind’s natural reactivity. 

These skills don’t happen naturally – they require training and practice (just like learning to swing a golf club or shoot free throws). But, the impact it has on the way we experience and interact with the world can’t be understated. 

It allows us to see the world in a less biased, more balanced way. To take intentional and effective action. It allows us to THRIVE instead of merely getting by.

Read on to learn more about the components of Psychological Strength.


What is Psychological Strength?

Psychological Strength is a set of knowledge and skills that have been shown to increase resilience, psychological flexibility, effective and intentional action, happiness, and thriving. 

It includes skills in 7 areas: 

  • Mindfulness
  • Emotions
  • Thoughts
  • Habits & Biology
  • Relationships
  • Self
  • Life Design

All of Peak Mind’s programs, workshops, and educational content focuses on these core areas to help people make meaningful shifts in their lives.

Take just a moment to imagine how you and your team could benefit from skills in these areas. How much more effective, engaged, and productive would you/they be? How would your culture improve? The impact really can’t be understated.


Tool to Try

You’re going to start building mindfulness skills by Minding the Gap. 

This technique will help you begin to explore your mind’s automatic reactions.

Think back to a recent difficult situation you experienced, particularly one in which your behavior was more reactive than you’d like. Really go there in your mind and recall the experience as vividly as you can.

Now Mind the Gap by mentally pressing pause and taking note of your internal reaction. What was going on inside of you before you reacted? Ask yourself these questions:

  • What thoughts, assumptions, predictions or expectations were going through my mind?
  • What emotions came up?
  • What sensations can I notice in my body?
  • What what actions did I feel urged or driven to do?  

A core skill in psychological strength involves adding a mental ‘speed bump’ to these situations. An intentional pause whereby we observe our own internal experiences before we react. 

Think ahead to an upcoming situation that you anticipate being difficult. Set the intention Mind the Gap – pause to observe your own internal experience before saying or doing anything. Even 10 seconds of observation can make all the difference in the world. Resolve to do this each time you experience a difficult situation. The more you practice, the more second-nature it will become.

“You have power over your mind. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
– Marcus Aurelius

Myth-Busting Resilience

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Today, we’re myth-busting the topics of resilience, thriving through adversity, and post-traumatic growth. We’ve all heard about these topics, but unfortunately, the belief that we walk away with is that true “resilience” means we can skip through the truly challenging times that life throws at us.

It’s simply not true.

Resilience does NOT mean you somehow don’t experience the stress, anxiety, or negative emotions that are perfectly natural consequences of a difficult or challenging time. In fact, during truly challenging times, we worry more if you aren’t experiencing those effects.

Rather, resilience, thriving through adversity, and post-traumatic growth have more to do with what happens as a result of a challenging situation. That’s the focus of today’s episode. Today we talk about how to support yourself through challenging times, but mostly, we talk about what to do afterward. What we make the situation mean. How we grow from it. What we learn. Who we BECOME.

This is a powerful episode, and I hope you’ll share it with someone who might benefit from it.

Additional Resources:

  1. Emotional sifting: Helpful blog postEmotion Wheel

Psychological resilience scales as challenges increase. Depressive symptoms and signs of mental illness can create the scar tissue that helps us deal with stressful situations and psychological distress. Like building immunity generally, developing the coping skills and problem-solving techniques to create true emotional resilience is painful but leads to long-term benefits.


The Super Power of Psychological Flexibility with Diana Hill

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There are a few things I hear from clients more often than anything else. “How do I move forward when I’m afraid?” or “How do I stop my inner critic?” or “I feel stuck in my old ways and am having a hard time changing.” These complaints may sound like big, difficult problems, and they definitely feel that way when you’re the one experiencing them. But, the antidote to each and every one of them is one foundational concept: psychological flexibility.

Psychological flexibility is a concept that has risen in the field of psychology over the past decade or so, spearheaded by the work of Dr. Steven Hayes, the founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Today, we’re speaking with another practitioner of ACT and psychological flexibility, Dr. Diana Hill. In this conversation, we talk about what psychological flexibility is, and how it applies to so many different situations in our lives.

We have a particularly deep conversation about how it applies in situations where we’re striving. You know those times – you’re fixated on achieving a goal or accomplishing a lot. You’re grinding. You’re working so hard. But, is it always a good thing? If you’re the type of person who is driven to achieve, you’re not going to want to miss the back half of this episode.

Additional Resources:

  1. Learn more about Dr. Hill by visiting
  2. Episode 161: What is Perfectly Hidden Depression with Dr. Margaret Rutherford
  3. Episode 143: How to Liberate Your Mind and Pivot Toward What Matters with Dr. Steven Hayes
  4. The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris [affiliate link]

Psychological health covers a wide gamut of emotions. Anxiety, depression, joy, and love can make it difficult to maintain positive mental health both in the short term and the long term. But making a committed action to quell difficult thoughts or feelings and operate at higher levels of mental core processes requires the psychological flexibility outlined in this podcast.


What is Psychological Strength?

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CUE THE CONFETTI! Friends, this is episode 200 of the podcast, and in honor of that huge milestone, we’re diving DEEP into the different facets of psychological strength. 

You see, when we talk about ‘building psychological strength,’ we’re really talking about developing yourself in 5 core areas so that you’re better skilled and equipped to handle anything life throws at you. 

2020 has shown us just how V.U.C.A. life can be (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous). We all need to work on the skills and abilities that set us up to be able to thrive, no matter what life throws our way. 

How would that feel? 

Imagine it! How would it feel to have the confidence that, no matter what, you have the skills to move through any challenge and thrive?  

That is what psychological strength is, and today, to celebrate this exciting milestone, we’re diving deep. 

We are talking about the tools to improve your mental toughness and face challenging times or crucial life events by developing mental strength. But much like improving your physical health, mentally strong people have to leave their comfort zone, and work on building mental strength just like they would with physical exercise. Good mental health will help you overcome challenges and improve problem-solving if you spend time and effort working on it.

Thank you to each and every one of you who has downloaded an episode of this podcast. If you haven’t subscribed, please hit that button in celebration of this exciting day. Thank you for being on this journey with us and for recognizing your own worth.  

During this episode, we mentioned our flagship program Ascend. If you would like to learn more information on that program and get in before we raise the price, visit .