The Advisor Institute: Coach's Corner
What stories are you telling yourself?

Practical messages intended to help you elevate the success of your practice.

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      By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

      In my coaching work, it seems to me the stories that many people are telling themselves these days are actually exacerbating stress levels. I asked Noah Blumenthal, an accomplished coach and best-selling author of "Be the Hero," to share his thoughts on this.

      "There are unquestionably objectively stressful things in the world — a global pandemic ranking right up there among them. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost someone in this tragedy and I would in no way ever want to belittle the real grief that people experience and are experiencing in today's day and age."

      "However, the vast majority of the stress we experience is subjective stress. Stress we build in ourselves based on the story we tell about the situation that we are in. There are innumerable ways to think about the situation that you are in. There are ways to think of it as awful; there are ways to think of it as fortunate."

      "The brain is very trainable. Anything you do with consistency will teach your brain that it is important. If you spend a lot of time telling your brain that this is a stressful time and there is a ton of stuff to worry about, your brain will start looking for things that are stressful and worrisome. If you spend the time telling the brain every day to look for things that you are grateful for, you are training your brain to look at the world to find things for which to be grateful."

      Mindset and intentionality are a powerful combination in the pursuit of positivity. But how do we become more intentional and bring a positive mindset to the stories we tell ourselves?

      "One of the most powerful techniques to help change the stories we tell ourselves on a regular basis is gratitude journaling. Once a day, sit down with a notebook and write down three things for which you are grateful. Even when you are not gratitude journaling, your brain is on constant low-level lookout and alert trying to find stuff to remember for your next journaling session."

      Bottom line: Gratitude journaling is one way to chase positivity in the stories we tell ourselves and to become more intentional in building your well-being.