from the


from the Top of the Mind


from the
Top of the Mind

“Dr. Crawford’s presentation was the highlight of the conference and a much needed reminder for all of us (especially nurses) to keep it all balanced. Bill’s psychology background surely protruded through his messages and I know it was well-received by all!”

Nancy Perovic, RN, BSN
University Of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL

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“Feeling powerless is a signal that we have given our power to people or situations that don’t deserve the gift.”
~ Bill Crawford

Claiming (Or Reclaiming) Our POWER

This is being written as we transition from 2020 to 2021, and I feel it’s safe to say that many people are feeling anxious, stress, frustrated, and powerless. While understandable, given what the world has gone through in 2020 with COVID-19, I would like to offer some thoughts on how we can regain our power, or sense of self-efficacy, with a five-step model that actually spells POWER.

The “P” stands for Purpose, and in my book (“Life from the Top of the Mind”), it is designed to raise awareness of what I call our “Highest Purpose.” This concept speaks to the qualities and/or characteristics that we bring to life when we are coming from the neocortex, or upper 80% of our brain… basically who we are when we are at our best. I encourage those who are wanting to claim or reclaim their power to make a list of at least 20 of these qualities so that we are clear about our value in terms of who we are, not just what we do. Plus, it gives us a criteria to use when applying the rest of the POWER model.

The “O” represents two concepts, awareness of “Our Past” and what I call “Our Piece of the P.I.E.” “Our Past” speaks to the importance of understanding how powerful old habits can be, and to becoming clear about which ones we want to continue, and which ones we want to change. “Our Piece of the P.I.E” refers to our Perceptions, Interpretations and Expectations which form our beliefs and exert tremendous influence in whether we engage the lower, reactive brain (brainstem) or the clear, confident, and creative neocortex, what I call the “Top of the Mind.” We have all heard the phrase, “Perception is reality,” and therefore if we want to influence our reality, or how we experience the world, we will want to pay particular attention to “Our Piece of the P.I.E.”

The “W” stands for the “Wisdom of Serenity,” and has its origin in the Serenity Prayer. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Many people see this prayer as a plea for serenity, but I see it as a formula for success. First, of course, is the recognition that accepting what we can’t change, changing what we can, and knowing the difference are key elements in creating a successful life. Then, given that the prayer first asks for serenity, it speaks clearly to this quality being a precursor to acceptance, courage, wisdom, and change. Stephen Covey calls this the “pause button,” but whatever you call it, we all must have a way of stopping and checking in with the part of us that makes purposeful decisions (the Top of the Mind) if claiming or reclaiming our power and influence is our goal.

The “E” in the POWER model represents the importance of making purposeful choices about the energy that drives our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The challenge is that the middle brain (limbic system) tends to default to worry as a way to keep us safe. This may have been effective in the distant past when survival was indeed our top priority. However, today, in order to thrive, we need the energies of awareness versus worry, optimism versus pessimism, and even love versus fear. The question we want to ask is: what would we recommend to someone we love in terms of the energy to drive their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors?

The final concept in the POWER model is the “R” which stands for “Responsibility.” Unlike most, I see responsibility as “our ability to respond.” In other words, given that we are wanting to respond to life versus just reacting, let’s make sure that we have that ability to respond by:

• Being more purposeful in the qualities we bring to life,
• Choosing our perspective in a way that supports these qualities,
• Acknowledging the wisdom of serenity that allows us to accept what we can’t change, and focus on what we can,
• Choosing the energy (awareness versus worry) that supports this way of life,
• And, taking 100% responsibility for our ability to respond.

As we become skilled at using the POWER model as a guide, we become more powerful, or influential in our lives and in the lives of others. No longer will we be powerless because we are needing someone or something outside ourselves to change. We will be harnessing the Top of the Mind and bringing more clarity, confidence, and creativity to everything that we do. If this sort of power and influence is what you want for yourself and/or those in your organization, I suggest you contact me, because until we take charge of how our brains process information and make decisions, we will be forever giving away our power in ways we would not recommend to someone we love.

~ All the best, Dr. Bill

Dr. Crawford's Info Packet

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