Your Next Chapter Podcast Episode 50: Russ Harris – Rise up in the face of challenge

Rise up in the face of challenge

Russ Harris is the author of “The Happiness Trap, The Confidence Gap and the Reality Slap amongst many others.

I was first exposed to “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” through these books and am delighted to share his insights about how you can rise up in the face of challenges in this episode.

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Show Notes

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets it name from one of its core messages: accept what is out of your personal control, and commit to action that improves and enriches your life.

The aim of ACT is to maximise your human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life by:

  1. Teaching you psychological skills to deal with your painful thoughts and feelings effectively – in such a way that they have much less impact and influence over you
  2. Helping you to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to you – i.e your values – then use that knowledge to guide, inspire and motivate you to change your life for the better.

Thoughts from our discussion include:

  • Your mind is a double edged sword – it does its job of protecting your form anger very well… but this means we’ve evolved from predominantly fearful ancestors
  • Explore the concept of workability – is what you are doing now creating a fulfilling life for you? If it is – fabulous, no need to change If it isn’t… let’s explore alternatives
  • It’s an illusion to believe that just reading about new skills and personal development concepts is enough – you need to actively consistently practice them for change
  • Always remember the actions of confidence come first, the feeling comes later
  • Take time to define your values – if you are aware of what they are, you can experience instant success right now, living in alignment with those values
  • Mindfulness is not just about relaxation techniques – rather, it involves paying attention in a particular way
  • You need to make room for anxiety and self-doubt, not try to fight these feelings or fuse with them. They are simply a part of life

About the speaker

Russ Harris, author of the international best-selling self-help book 'The Happiness Trap', is an world-renowned trainer of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Russ's background is in medicine. As a GP he became increasingly interested in the psychological aspects of health and wellbeing, and increasingly disenchanted with writing prescriptions. Ultimately this interest led to a total career change - from medicine to therapy and coaching.

Since 2005, Russ has run over 500 workshops and provided ACT training for over 22,000 health professionals, including therapists, coaches, counselors, doctors, and psychologists. He has authored two ACT textbooks (including ACT Made Simple), and four ACT-based self-help books (including The Reality Slap).

He has also been co-author of a further two self-help books. The Happiness Trap, is now the most widely-translated ACT book in the world, with over half a million copies sold worldwide, and editions in over 30 languages.

Russ is also the co-director of PsyFlex: workplace health and wellbeing specialists. PsyFlex brings an ACT-based approach to the workplace, to build thriving organisations, resilient employees and supportive work environments.

Russ has a unique model for training, which he calls 'ACT Made Simple', because it covers so much material in a short space of time. (In fact, he even has even written an introductory text book on ACT, titled 'ACT Made Simple'.

He proudly proclaims each workshop a 'jargon-free zone' - and bases his training on three core values: simplicity, clarity, and having fun. His highly-acclaimed ACT workshops are brief, powerful, cost-effective and life-enhancing. Participants regularly report not only major improvements in their therapy and/or coaching, but also in their personal lives - and evaluation forms frequently praise his ability to make complex ideas seem very simple.

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