Episode 072: The Power of A.S.K.

Today I am sharing my system for quieting your Monger (inner critic) and hearing from your Biggest Fan.  Gain peace, productivity and be happier.

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Hey everyone, I am so excited to be back. It has been quite a while before Thanksgiving before I did a podcast. I have missed you all, and I hope you had a fabulous holiday season and had a good time with friend and family, and were able to find some peace and joy in your holidays. Today, I want to talk about the power of ASK. ASK is the abbreviation for the system I use to call in my biggest fan.

The system is going to be talked about in my out coming book. It’s coming out January 30th called the happy approach. In the happy approach, I talk about this idea. Because the book is coming out the end of this month, I wanted to give you all a sneak peek into what the system is all about, and what I mean when I say ASK.

Today, I’m going to go over just kind of a brief introduction to ASK. And then over the next couple weeks, I’m going to be diving into each letter in more depth. And so, you can get a sneak peek before the book comes out on January 30th, and hopefully, you will want to buy and learn more about the system. I am so excited about this ’cause it is one of those things that every time I practice it, I’m like “Oh my God, this works!” I’m just shocked that the system that I came up with really works.

It is something I developed, yes, but the idea of it is nothing new. Personal development and self-help, it’s all pretty much the same. You have to feel your feeling; you have to get into your body, you have to see the big picture, that stuff is universal. This system works for me, and my clients who tend to be more type A, super driven, carry a lot of stress, carry a lot of expectations for themselves. Their Mongers  just really run the show. And so, this ASK system is for those of us who are overwhelmed by our Mongers. I have found, and my clients have found that it really works.

That’s the thing I’m most excited about. Because for years, I tried to do it the way everyone kept telling me to do it. To be grateful and to think positive and to argue with my Monger, tell my Monger how much I loved her. That just did not work for me. So, I have spent some time trying to find something that would. And so, I came up with ASK.

ASK is three parts. A, acknowledge what you’re feeling. S, slow done and get into your body. And K, kindly pull back to see the big picture. How it works is when you are getting attacked by your Monger, and that’s a big step right there. Just to be able to hear yourself getting attacked by your Monger. In the book, I have a lot of resources on how to start recognizing your Monger. But we’ve talked a lot about the Monger here, and a lot of those myths and all that stuff. Hopefully, you have a little bit of a head start on what your Monger sounds like.

When you start hearing your Monger, the first thing I do is I usually say, “Okay, I need to hear from my biggest fan.” So, I ask to hear from my biggest fan, and the first thing I do is acknowledge what you’re feeling. This is a huge, huge step that for those of us who have been raised with suck it up buttercup and soldier on, the acknowledging what we’re feeling piece is challenging. I actually wrote something about this on Facebook this week because everyone’s been talking about the Oprah speech, which was absolutely amazing the Golden Globes.

Everyone keeps talking about the idea of speaking your truth and how powerful that is. And I have big time red flags that go up around that. First, if we’re going to practice speaking our truth, we need to practice listening to other people’s truths as well. It is one thing to speak your truth; it’s another thing to have it be heard. We as humans, just really need to practice our ability to listen to that. But that’s for another podcast. What I think is, when we’re speaking our truth, we need to start speaking out truth with ourselves. I’ve talked about this here about labeling what we’re feeling and owning it, is a podcast episode I did a few months ago, and that’s what I’m talking about. Acknowledging what you’re feeling, I’m feeling sad, or I’m feeling scared right now, or I’m feeling overwhelmed.

A great example of this would be, this is an example actually from a client this week. She was saying that her Monger was telling her, “You really should get some work done.” It was a Sunday; she wanted to watch the Golden Globes, she didn’t really want to do some work. Her Monger was like, “You need to be working, what’s your problem? You should be working from home.” We went through the ASK process and she was like, “Well acknowledging what I’m feeling, I’m feeling annoyed that my Monger is talking to me.”

And I was like, “Yeah, but go a little deeper and acknowledge what you’re feeling. You’re feeling scared that you’re going to lose your job. You’re feeling overwhelmed with all the work you have to do. Angry that you have so much to do,” etc. etc. I asked her to go a little deeper beyond I’m just feeling tired or I’m just feeling annoyed at my Monger, to be like, “Wait, I’m feeling scared that I’m behind and I’m going to lose my job. I’m feeling overwhelmed with all the work I have to do. I’m feeling angry that the deadlines are approaching, and I don’t know what’s up next.”

So, to dig a little deeper with the acknowledging what you’re feeling is, is key. But when you’re first starting this, if you can just say, “Oh no, I’m tired,” or “I’m overwhelmed,” or “I’m scared right now.” ‘Cause we tell ourselves, “Hurry up, move on, get it together, what’s your problem?” We don’t acknowledge what we’re feeling. That process of acknowledging what you’re feeling starts to slow your body down and get into what’s happening. And then you could move on to S, which is slow down and get into your body.

And slow down and get into your body is simply one of the weekly rituals that I’ve talked about here every week. One of the ideas of wiggle, or dance, or touch your toes, some way of getting in your body. That just forces you to slow down, the power of that is incredible to me. The power of slowing down and getting it to our bodies is truly life-changing, even if it’s for 10 seconds. 10 seconds, 20 seconds, it doesn’t have to be five minutes. If you do five minutes, that’s great. But for a lot of us, that’s just so overwhelming to do five minutes. And so, the idea of acknowledging what’s going on, slowing down and getting into my body for 10 seconds, and then K, kindly pulling back to see the big picture.

We’ll go back to my client example who acknowledges what she was feeling, and she’s feeling scared that she might lose her job. S is slow down, she got into her body, touched her toes or whatever, and then K, kindly pull back to see the big picture. Well, the big picture could be, “Okay, I’m ahead of the deadline.” The big picture could be, “I’m behind the deadline, I need to get more time in where can I get that time in?” Or maybe, “I work better in the morning. So, I’m going to get up early in the morning and hit that.” Or, “Maybe I’m going to start asking for help at work and get my coworker to join in and help me figure this out.”

The power of pulling back and see the big picture is, you can give yourself some options that aren’t necessarily, “Oh my gosh, I have to do this tonight. I have to work tonight at 9, but I want to watch the Golden Globes.” And our Mongers push us so hard without really seeing the big picture, because out Mongers live in black and white. To them, it’s work now or you’re going to lose your job. When in reality is lots of options there. Ask someone for help, do it at a different time, maybe crack down on your distractions that you would have at work and really focus more when you’re doing your work. There’s a lot of options. That’s the concept of ask. When you hear your Monger, Acknowledge what you’re Feeling, slow down and get into your body, and kindly pull back to see the big picture.

Now, a lot of times, when you hear these ideas, the first thing people will say when you’re spinning out on anxiety is, you need to slow down and get into your body. The reason that is not the first step in this process is because that’s the last thing we want to do. Truth be told, that’s why I’m so amazed every time I get into to my body that it works so well. Because I don’t want to do it. And so, Acknowledging what you’re Feeling  gives you a little teaser, a mental exercise, a way to ease into that process of, “Oh wait, I’m putting myself first, I want to hear from my Biggest Fan, so I’m going to acknowledge what I’m feeling.”

Those of us that the system works for love analyzing and justifying and can get good at that intellectualizing. Acknowledging what you feel allows us to do a little bit if that practice before we have to slow down and get into our bodies. And then, once we can slow down and get into our bodies, that gives us the chance to pull back and be able to see the big picture. Which is where the key is to unhooking that black and whiteness of the Monger.

That’s the idea behind the Happier Approach, ASK, Acknowledge what you’re feeling, Slow down and get into your body, and Kindly pull back to see the big picture. Like I said, over the next few weeks, I will be diving into each one of these concepts a little deeper so that you can figure them out and practice them in your own life. And if you want to pre-order the Happier Approach book, you can simply go to, and you can download an audio version or a Kindle version, or a print copy, and we’ll send that out to you on January 30th.

If you pre-order, the coolest thing of all. If you pre-order, you will be automatically joined into the Happier Approach mentoring program. Which is a chance to have me work with you in a group, and kind of hold your hand through this process and help you unhook some stuff that’s coming up and as you’re reading the book,  answer your questions and give some deeper insight into the process. That is free to anyone that pre-orders the book before January 30th. As you can tell, I’m super excited about the book, and I can’t wait for it to hit the shelves on January 30th.

Okay. Usually, I do the weekly ritual challenge at this stage of the game in the podcast, and I’m going to be pausing that for 2018 and just giving that a little bit of break. Obviously, I still believe in the power of the weekly ritual, because it’s slow down and get into your body. Last year, my challenge was to do a different weekly ritual very week, and that happened. This year, I just really want you to be practicing getting into your body and figuring out which of the weekly rituals from last year you enjoy the most. I will be practicing those as well on Instagram and sharing how that is going for me. I hope you can tune in there and see. My Instagram is nancyjane_livehappier.


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