Please be patient. A whole new experience is on the horizon...

Start:Jul 02, 2020

Duration:10 Minute(s)

Goal: this Cognitive Trail will improve the ability to separate fact from fiction. (Perception vs. Reality).

Description: 'Perception vs. Reality' is part of The Next Step navigational series designed as a GPS for transition-age foster youth and other young adul ... Read More

Summary:

Step 1

If you've had a difficult past, then it might make you feel a little disconnected from people at times.

How often do you keep a distance from people at work, in your neighborhood, or at school?

Step 2

How worried are you that you'll be hurt or betrayed if you open up to a new person?

Step 3

Is it possible that your mistrust of people - while you came about it honestly - is causing you to misread people and situations now?

Step 4

Are you out of the situation where you had to feel disconnected as a survival tool?

Step 5

If you said, 'yes', then it's time to lay down a tool that's no longer helping you. In fact, it's hurting you. Will you advance to Step 6 now?

If you said, 'no', then please seek help in getting out of the situation as soon as possible.

Here are some numbers to contact:
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential.

Or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.

If applicable, will you make the call?

Step 6

When you realize it's time to leave your past behind, then you're ready to try a new approach.

In the next 24 hours, that new approach will be to have at least a 3 minute conversation with someone you may have misjudged - maybe even were cold or rude to - because you weren't ready to open up at the time.

When you see this person or are in a similar situation with someone like them, SLOW DOWN.

Say, 'HI'.

Put on that CONFIDENT SMILE.
(A confident smile gives you an air of authority and puts people at ease, which, in turn, puts you at ease.)

HEAD UP.
STAND TALL.
SHOULDERS BACK.
DON’T FIDGET.

Have you got this so far?

Step 7

If you're feeling a little awkward before talking to the person, visualize Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Queen Latifah or Zoe Saldana.

How would one of the characters they've portrayed handle an interaction with a new person? Be that character until your confidence increases enough to be yourself.

Can you handle that?

Step 8

LISTEN carefully to what they have to say.
BE INTERESTED in hearing them out.
CLARIFY what you think you heard them say if you aren't sure you're interpreting it right.

Apologize lightly if you misinterpreted what you heard. ("Oh, I'm sorry. I heard that wrong.")

ASK them something about themselves that feels natural to ask. ("That's a nice shirt. Where did you get that?")

When there is a natural conclusion to the conversation, LEAVE by saying something positive. ("See you around. Have a good day.")

Let us know how effective you think this approach could be for you.

Step 9

Head for the mirror.

When you get there, practice a confident smile and posture.

Loosen up. If it helps for a while, then 'wear' the actor or character in a movie that you're most comfortable emulating (modeling).

Rate how the exercise made you feel when you've finished practicing. A "1" not feelin' it and "10" would be "I'm on it."

Step 10

Before you leave for the day, keep in mind that you're not your past. Those were events.

You're a person with a distinct personality and purpose in life. That has not changed one bit. Focus on your identity and your future and the rest will follow.

You have a present and a future. You're in charge now. You deserve to see the good in people and to give them the chance to see the good in you.

You deserve to let down your guard and have a little fun.

You deserve the company of people at home, in your neighborhood, at school or at work who see the best in you and appreciate things about you that you didn't realize were there.

They're there.

How much do you believe this?

Step 11

You've got this.

See you tomorrow.

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