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In Podcast

By Andy Mort

#093: Blocked or Empty? Get Moving [Podcast]

On 24, Sep 2014 | No Comments | In Podcast | By Andy Mort


Movement and creativity are close allies. When you’re feeling uninspired or stuck, what do you do? 

In this week’s episode of the podcast I talk about why motion is key to loosening up our creative process, broadening perspective, and bringing life to our living.

In an article called ‘When You’re Feeling Uninspired’, Jeff Goins talks about the difference between being blocked and being empty.

He says: Depending on what’s going on today, there may be two reasons for your feeling uninspired:

One may be a real case of what Steven Pressfield calls the Resistance — your own laziness, outside distractions, or some other negative force keeping you from making a difference. If that’s the case, then you only have one choice: show up, do the work.

However, if you’re feeling empty, be careful. You could waste hours sitting in front of a computer screen or with a guitar on your lap. If this is the case, you may need to step away and go do something that fills you up — play with your kids, listen to music, go for a run.

Emptiness I by Erich Ferdinand (via Compfight)

Emptiness I by Erich Ferdinand (via Compfight)

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How Are You Affected When You Have to Say ‘No’?

On 22, Sep 2014 | 2 Comments | In Gentle Rebellion, HSP | By Andy Mort

How do you feel about saying ‘no’ when someone asks you for something? When they go for the hard sell? Does it affect you?

Where we live we are frequently visited by people representing charities, knocking on doors and asking for commitment to give them money.

Maybe this happens where you live too.

Photo Credit: Let Me In by Manu Magalhães (via Compfight)

Photo Credit: Let Me In by Manu Magalhães (via Compfight)

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Why You Need to Become a Student of Yourself

I’ve heard a few times recently in peoples’ writing about highly sensitive person traits and coping when you are easily overwhelmed by the world, that HSPs should modify their goals, ambitions and expectations of ourselves, to align with it. I was wondering whether you have any thoughts on how we reconcile this sometimes fraught-relationship between our ambition and our temperament.

I’m not sure I buy into the idea that there are certain paths that highly sensitive people shouldn’t pursue if they feel pulled towards them, but equally I know from my own experience that there are certain things like touring that leave me completely shattered and emotionally beaten up at the end. But the idea of turning my back on my music is just not an option.

Do you have any ideas for how we can manage these contradictions because I’m sure many of the members can identify with this?

The biggest thing you can do to reconcile this, to minimise the differences between the massive highs and lows/ups and downs, is to BE AWARE.

Know yourself, be a student of yourself. Continually learn about yourself.

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In Podcast

By Andy Mort

#092: Well, it’s Easy to Destroy, Defame, and Tear Down [Podcast]

On 17, Sep 2014 | No Comments | In Podcast | By Andy Mort


It turns out that it’s pretty easy to destroy good work. 

All you have to do is…well, nothing really. You just leave it. Stop. Let nature take its course.

About 6 months I wrote a blog post. I was taking my running more seriously, working towards a goal I wanted to acheive…running a half marathon.

I had embarked on a program, building up the distance I was capable of running, adding half a mile each week. I would get out and run 2 or 3 times at each distance and then add another half mile. It was great, and I was building good momentum. I got from zero to four and a half miles.

But then distractions happened. ‘Life took over’ and I need to be honest with you…

I drifted away. I stopped. I found excuses to passively destroy the fruits of my effort.

Well it’s now about 4 months since I last ran as a part of that program…I just got back from the gym and I could only manage one mile. It was a push. That single mile hurt like hell. All that good, sweaty, hard work had been torn down by inaction.


Photo Credit: Fast Man by Nikos Koutoulas (via Compfight)

How do you want to be remembered?

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Are You on the Path to Burnout?

On 12, Sep 2014 | 2 Comments | In HSP, Interview, Introversion | By Andy Mort

It’s about taking a little time to reflect. Don’t be in ‘go go go’ mode where you’re just really busy. Guage where you’re at. How are you REALLY feeling. Not just on one day. But how are you really feeling cumulatively?

Journalling is a great way to document this. You can flick back over and see ‘oh, I haven’t liked this project for the past three months, so maybe that’s why I’m not very happy’. Then the proof is in the pudding, you are confronted with that cumulative truth.

It is important to give yourself space to see over-arching trends in how you feel about things. You don’t necessarily realise quite how you feel until you go through that exercise of reflecting.

There are temporary feelings. For example you could absolutely hate music for a day or two but then come back and realise it’s just a rough patch. The important realisations are long term and it sometimes requires you to step back so that you can see them.

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The 3 Biggest Hurdles That Stop You Achieving Your Goals

On 05, Sep 2014 | No Comments | In Creativity, Interview | By Andy Mort

Why is it important to set goals?

Without a goal we don’t have anything to aim for. This was my problem and the source in many ways for my nervous breakdown. It’s why we can become so dissatisfied and unhappy. We need goals as carrots to dangle in front of us, targets to pursue and go after.

A fulfilled life is also an intentional life, rather than just drifting through. Otherwise what is the goal? Retirement? It is really sad and depressing to think that retirement is a goal.

That we live our lives just so we can see out our years in a rocking chair. We are meant for so much more and we have gifts, talents, and abilities that need to be used. If our focus is to just ‘take it easy’ then they are in danger of going to waste.

Focussing and Finishing

If we’re all honest most of us struggle to maintain focus and acheive goals, especially once the early excitement wears off. What would you say are the three main hurdles to people maintaining the pursuit of their goals:

1. Fear

Tells us we’re going to fail from the get go. Or that our goals are not noble, worthy, or attainable.

2. Not Getting Enough Encouragement

If we’re alone with our fears then we’ll never be able to do it. There is not much hope in that picture.

3. Lack Community

It’s really difficult for introverts and those who have been hurt to go and pursue community, but we need it if we want to finish projects. We need others around us. A writer needs a great editor, a designer, and a team of people to support and share your work. A writer being one of the most isolationist roles – you definitely need community around you.

This is taken from an interview I did with Jim Woods about finding your Work-Life-Creative Balance as a Gentle Soul, and Overcoming Fear to Accomplish Your Goals. 

If you’re interested in watching the whole of our conversation then swing by and join us in the Member’s Haven where there is new and exclusive content every week to help inspire, encourage and equip us introverted and highly sensitive people live the life we want to lead.

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Why You Need to Destroy What You Create

On 01, Sep 2014 | No Comments | In Creativity | By Andy Mort

Do you want to build a snowman?

Do you want to dig a hole?

Do you want to make a sandcastle?

I was sat on a beach recently, watching a man and his son building a sand fort. They had dug out the middle and were building the walls higher and higher. There was a sense of relentless pride that spurred them on to continue building, and they were working very hard.

But then the inevitable happened. The sea came in, and it began battering down the sides until eventually all the work that they had done was completely destroyed. They upped their work rate and tried saving it by throwing more and more sand on it, yet their efforts were futile and within 10 minutes all evidence of their work had completely disappeared.


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Have You Created Stories About Your Introversion?

On 29, Aug 2014 | No Comments | In Interview | By Andy Mort

Amongst the general public the myths tend to be regarding introversion as shyness.

I remember going to a special event a couple of years ago and sitting next to the wife of a colleague. She asked me what I do, so I told her about my business. Her response was to say ‘but you’re not introvert, you’re talking to me‘.

I felt like saying, ‘well we do talk you know!‘ But that’s a demonstration of a lot of the misunderstandings in a nut shell.

My clients and the people I consider closer colleagues, it’s less about the myths now because a lot of that is being dispelled by people who have a lot of curiosity about this topic. It’s more about the stories that we make up about being an introvert.

Even though we know it’s about energy/in and out orientation to the world there is still a tendency to make up a story around it that has to do with; ‘I’m an introvert so I’m not going to be a very good public speaker’, or ‘I’m an introvert therefore I don’t think well on my feet’, or ‘I’m not good at networking because I’m an introvert’.

There is an intellectual understanding that has started to come forward, but there is still an emotional piece that has to follow that.

This is taken from an interview I did with Beth Buelow about how to survive and thrive as an introvert in the public eye. 

If you’re interested in watching the whole of our conversation then swing by and join us in the Member’s Haven where there is new and exclusive content every week to help inspire, encourage and equip us introverted and highly sensitive people live the life we want to lead.

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Get Out of That Introvert Funk that you Find Yourself in

On 25, Aug 2014 | 2 Comments | In Introversion | By Andy Mort

Do you ever get those days when you just feel down for no reason?

It can seem impossible to shake off the negative feeling that is dragging you into a funk.

I have been in one of these lately. All the usual solutions had been attempted but failed, and I couldn’t identify the source of that feeling. I was just feeling down, you know as you sometimes do. I had been particularly busy, extended myself creatively, and there was a cloud of uncertainty surrounding my work going forwards. I was just not feeling great about myself; I was unfocussed, feeling unproductive and in a spiralling funk (I’m not talking about the good, sexy, wah-wah kind of funk).

Anna by Ultra Sonic Photography (via Compfight)

Anna by Ultra Sonic Photography (via Compfight)

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Tips on Speaking Publicly for Introverts

On 22, Aug 2014 | No Comments | In Interview, Introversion | By Andy Mort

My criteria for turning something down is about whether the event itself is going to be worth the expenditure of energy. It might sound harsh, but at some point because I need to be able to protect myself and my energy I need to decide whether it is going to be worth it to drive, prepare, and deliver.

If I don’t think it’s going to be worth it then chances are it wont be for them either, so I want something that’s going to be a win-win.

What I do more than necessarily looking at it from the perspective of ‘do I have down time’ is when I have a speaking engagement I don’t schedule anything else that day and preferably I don’t schedule much the day before either. This is partly because I often tweak right up until the last minute, but also because I want to get myself into that space.

So it’s more about how I’m managing my energy AROUND the event that’s important.

Obviously it’s never enough just to rock up, speak, and then leave. There is waiting around, networking, chatting to organisers, punters, and others. There is a lot of energy expenditure around the engagement itself.

Have you developed any good techniques for this aspect of public performance? Any insights you can share about how to be painlessly sociable around the event itself?

Of all the aspects of public speaking this is almost the more challenging. It’s not necessarily getting up and doing what you do, it’s the before and after.

I learned one thing that is particularly useful for introverts. One time I had a speaking engagement and was staying overnight in the same hotel as the engagement, as it started early the next morning. I went from my quiet cacoon of a room, walked through the hotel, down the elevator and was immediately confronted by bright lights and chatty women greeting me, all out of nowhere.

Transition Time

What I realised from this experience is that it’s important to have transition time. Don’t go from the safe, quiet place where you think you need to hunker down for protection, but recognise that having some interaction before you have to have the interaction is helpful.

When you show up make sure technology doesn’t get in the way of the performance/speaking. Get it all sorted with someone to help you. This alleviates a lot of stress so you can focus on things like finding the bathroom, getting a drink if you need it, finding the people you need to say hello to. If you focus on these people first you can allow them to introduce you to people gradually.

Don’t try to meet everyone, but it’s always nice to meet a couple of people so that there are familiar and friendly faces that you can see when you get up on stage. Knowing names can bring a more personable dynamic to your speaking because you can refer to what someone has said before hand, which serves to put people at ease.

Once you are comfortable then give yourself some space and quiet. Develop preparation rituals and work out what puts you in that place where you are ready to perform. The mind responds to all kinds of memory triggers.

This is taken from an interview I did with Beth Buelow about how to survive and thrive as an introvert in the public eye. 

If you’re interested in watching the whole of our conversation then swing by and join us in the Member’s Haven where there is new and exclusive content every week to help inspire, encourage and equip us introverted and highly sensitive people live the life we want to lead.

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