Webinar presenter Brenda Dietzman answered a number of your questions after her presentation, Finding Your True North: Letting Your Purpose Guide Your Career. Here are just a few of her responses.
Audience Question: Will the Packers win the Super Bowl?
Brenda Dietzman: Well, you know, it depends on who will play on that day, right. With COVID you just don’t know. But yes, yes, the Packers are going to win. Absolutely.
Audience Question: At what point does an individual realize that they need to seek outside help to help realize their life mission and sense of purpose?
Brenda Dietzman: Yeah, I think we can always gain wisdom from other people, and that can be from a friend who’s wise, I call on my friends quite often to give me some wisdom about the direction and about how to be a little bit better every day. It can also be from a coach, or I think one of the things that you find in the business world is business coaches and life coaches and things like that. You don’t see that so much in law enforcement. I think that that’s a shame because I think that those people specifically are designed to educate, to help you develop that plan. And often, what we think about when we hear about outside help, we think about a therapist. And I can tell you, one of the things that I have flat out told my therapist is that I have a pretty awesome life, but I want to make it better. And I remember the little look at her face when she lit up, and she was like, well, let’s do that because I’m sure that most of the clients that come in either have a problem, or are getting ready to get divorced, or something like that. So, having that challenge of making an awesome life a little bit better is kind of a fun challenge. So, I think we can draw on wisdom. I think it’s from everywhere, from books, from podcasts, and really understanding, and this is huge. One of the things that I had an issue with is that I didn’t think that the rules applied to me like that, that I didn’t have to sleep, right. I could power through and that usually involved fast food and Mountain Dew. Alright. But when I actually accepted that, I knew I was human, and that the rules did apply to me. I started listening to those rules and applying those things to me and learning from them. So, I think wisdom can come from everywhere, and a lot of it depends on your financial ability to pay a professional, whether it’s a life coach or a therapist. But we can get wisdom from a lot of different places. So, I would encourage you to find it, wherever you can, whenever you can. And hiring a professional, whatever that looks like. Those are the people who are trained to do that, and to help you get there, maybe a little bit quicker than you could on yourself, on your own.
Audience Question: Any suggestions on websites or resources to help us find one of those professionals that are really going to click with us?
Brenda Dietzman: Yeah. Finding a professional, you can always go out and look on like psychologytoday.com, I think is a good, good place to look for different therapists. The best thing that I can tell you is to talk to people who kind of have their act together and see if they have any suggestions. Especially when it comes to a paid person, a professional person, whether that be a life coach or business coach or a therapist, and finding what is helpful for them. And then when you find that person, interview them, right? Don’t just go in there and just accept that is your person, because sometimes you don’t click with a therapist. Because of different things that have happened in my career, I’ve been to see three different therapists in my life. two of those were mandatory that I go after some shootings and things. And I did not click with those people. And it was not helpful. But the therapist that I have now is my people, right. She is spot on for me. So definitely work through and find that person that works best with you. And, so, yeah, that would be my suggestion on that.
Host: I would echo pretty much everything that you said, Brenda. I belong to a couple of groups of small business owners here, and they are oftentimes, as you mentioned, oftentimes the best resources to get some ideas for coaches and other people to speak with, so you’re absolutely spot on.
Audience Question: Do you have any suggestions on how to build trust within ourselves?
Brenda Dietzman: I think acknowledging the wins, I don’t think that we pat ourselves on our backs enough. Those little things that we do, we ruminate on the things that we screw up, over and over and over again and those drag us down. How awesome would it be to physically, literally, right, pat yourself on the back because that does something physiologically to you? I don’t have time to go into it right now, but literally doing that in acknowledging those wins, and the times that we’ve held ourselves accountable to being a little bit better every day, to take that grocery cart back, to smile, to take a breath, to respond instead of reacting to something, to reading a book that helps us understand why we are, the way that we are a little bit better, so we understand how we tick, to really celebrate the wins. We do not do that enough. And if we do that more and start acknowledging how often we win than what we lose, that helps build that trust, that you are going to continue down that path to be a little bit better every day.
Audience Question: How can you maintain the level of energy needed to truly live a great story without failing or coming up short or becoming addicted to Starbucks, right?
Brenda Dietzman: Exactly, caffeine is our drug of choice. You know, listening to yourself and building those resources around you. I know that if I don’t get up if one of the first things I do is if I don’t meditate right away. I know that that day is not going to be the day that it could be, right, it still might be a good day, but it wouldn’t be the day that it could be because I didn’t get my intention set. I didn’t refocus myself on what my actual plan was. The plan that I’m working on in my life. So, you know what? We all get tired sometimes. We are in grief sometimes, we are in sadness, sometimes. We’re lonely sometimes. We’re, you know, just at that point where surviving is what we do. But then those times that we can grow, and we can learn, that’s where that growth occurs. Just accepting that some days I’m going to be awesome. And then some days it might be neutral or might just drink eight more ounces of water than what I did yesterday. And just making those little better choices and being and giving yourself grace at that moment.
Host: I so agree, you know, and as non-intuitive as it seems, I know one way to pick myself up, frankly, is to just jump on the treadmill, or the elliptical sometimes, working out. Again, it’s not intuitive if you’re using energy, how can this create energy? And it does, for me, at least.
Brenda Dietzman: Dumped a lot of good chemicals into your body so.
Audience Question: How can we completely remove ourselves from our work? I often find myself not doing this. I’m worried about needing to go out on a call. I’m always on the edge and not able to fully relax when I’m not on duty. Suggestions?
Brenda Dietzman: You know, I think understanding priorities, and really investing in other areas of your life and growth. I think the other thing is that focusing on and living intentionally that I am going to focus on this one thing. Another thing that you can do, and this is very physical and very literal, but, like, I work on a computer quite a bit during the day. Shutting it down when I’m done. Shutting it off. Just that act of just closing the laptop lid takes me from this mode into this mode. So, physically doing something that closes the door on that aspect of your day. And then when you first start to feel tension with, stop yourself, listening to your body, and doing something, whether it’s jumping on the treadmill, or going on a date night, or spending time with your dog, or whatever it is, and maybe doing some breathing exercises that relaxes that tension that you feel that helps you refocus back on what you are doing at this moment might be helpful.
Audience Question: How do you balance between the need for being there with your family, having a successful career, and providing for your community?
Brenda Dietzman: So, both of them are so meaningful, and they’re both, you write big rabbit holes for us, right? Because the missions that we have as organizations and as the professions that we have. There’s so much meaning, and there’s so much purpose. So, you know, if not, me, who? And an understanding that there are other people out there that are there. So, when I was worried about that family, as a beat Deputy, and I was worried about that family, or that, that woman that I went out on a domestic violence call. And I would wake up, and I’d be like, “Ah, I hope she’s doing okay.” But understanding that there are other people on duty at that time, they are going to help her if she needs help, I think it is powerful. But because we all live in a world where our occupations are so meaningful and so purposeful, it’s hard sometimes to separate ourselves from that, because we get so much satisfaction at compassion satisfaction that we talk about it in my resilience class. That’s a thing. That’s a drug. That is what makes us get up in the morning, is to help people. And when we go out and physically help people, emotionally help people, whatever it may be. That is life-affirming to us. And sometimes, maybe a little bit harder to do at home, but we have to, again, live intentionally having a plan, setting those intentions, building that trust in ourselves, to actually separate ourselves a little bit from work and be at home as well.
Audience Question: A person in the audience said that they were grieving the loss of family members and their supervisor gave them the phone number for our Employee Assistance Program. They contacted the grief counselor and she immediately called me back. And just please, if you’ve got those resources available to you and you need help, please do consider reaching out and getting those.
Brenda Dietzman: The person’s really spot on there. There is a lot of grief in this world right now and not just because of death, but because of the lack of connection or the lack of good, maybe even long-term health with ourselves or a family member or a co-worker. And that is a loss. And that is grief and I know people who have lost people during the pandemic. They haven’t had been able to have funerals because especially in early 2020 you know nobody knew what this pandemic was and that’s hard. There are some good books and if you reach out to me, one of the books that I will add to the book list that I will send out. It’s actually a book that I’m reading right now about grief, so it’s been very helpful for me on some things so, I will add that to the list because there’s a lot of grief for a lot of different reasons in this world right now.
Audience Question: Brenda, do you have any thoughts or suggestions on utilizing fasting to both reduce weight and increase energy and focus?
Brenda Dietzman: Oh, well, unfortunately, my friend Wendy Hummel can’t hop on here, she’s kind of my guru on this. Something that I’m actually exploring right now is intermittent fasting and how that works on the body. One of the things that I talk about in some of my other classes is creating a curiosity journal. So, when somebody says something like fasting. Now, we’ve all kind of been hearing about that. Well, that’s a whole subject in and of itself and there are physiological advantages to doing that. How you fast and how you do that depends on your body type, depends on a lot of different things, your schedule. So, absolutely look into that. But when somebody says something, even something that I said today and you’re like, we’d like to know more about that, like sleep. For instance, I mentioned to Google why sleep is so important? Create a curiosity journal that maybe you don’t have time right now to look into. But write it down. And then, when you have a, what I call a time pocket, maybe five minutes or 10 minutes here or there, you Google that, or you ask somebody about that. And you understand the why behind why it is important, or why it works. Because that why, might provide you the motivation to actually do it. So intermittent fasting has some great advantages to it. Absolutely, talk to your doctor, read about it, learn about it because there are different techniques behind it. But spot on. I love it, try it out, Let me know what you think.
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