WHAT Did You Just Say? Communication Differences of Men and Women

off-the-mark-on-men-vs_-women“He should just KNOW what I want if he loves me,” she exclaims.

“I TRY to solve her problems, but she gets mad when she’s upset and I give her advice,” he declares.

And both of them think they are right. And both of them have a right to see it that way.

And both of them would be wise to learn to see it from another point of view.

Individuality notwithstanding, the stereotypes are somewhat borne out by research: men are generally problem solvers and women generally want intuitive, compassionate responses. To put it another way, when we approach our partner with a problem, we Continue reading

Our Own Worst Enemy – Self-talk

We are our own worst enemy.  Do you believe that?  After years of studying human development, psychology, working as a therapist & doing my own personal work I’ve come to believe this as truth.  We tend to save our worst, most hateful words for ourselves, not our enemies and then we wonder why we are stressed, anxious, depressed & isolated.

Think about it…whose voice do you hear in your ear when you make a mistake at work, “screwing up again”?  Who is it that beats you up when you don’t like what you see in the mirror “you’ve got to lose weight & stop being lazy”?  What do you say to yourself when you’re not able to live up to the impossible standards you’ve set for yourself “I really should get it together”?  The words we use within our own minds, our self-talk, matters a great deal more than we give it credit.  Our words have meaning. Continue reading

Inner Peace: A Natural Face Lift

“Soften your eyes. Relax your face,” I instruct my clients when we are working on deep relaxation in session. And the change is immediate and visible as the lines of tension fall away and a peaceful expression steals over them. When conducting this exercise with a roomful of people, the whole mood of the group changes. You can almost see everyone’s blood pressure go down! For you see, no matter how skillful the face lift, how costly the wrinkle cream, nothing can erase the look of stress, anger, sadness or chronic anxiety from a face when the soul inside is tense and troubled.  Inner peace is like a natural face lift. Continue reading

The Problem with Normal

What is normal?  What does it mean to be normal?

Merriam-Webster defines it as – not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle; conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern

Not deviating from a norm, conforming to a type…

How many ways do we see culture trying to shoe horn us all into preconceived patterns and norms that it deems appropriate?  In how we dress?  In how we talk?  In how we engage in the world around us?  In the clothes, cars and houses we buy?

The problem with trying to be normal is that it’s a mythEach one of us is unique, one of a kind!  There is no other person in the world, that has been or will ever be that is exactly like us.  Even if we work to conform to what the world says is acceptable we will still remain our unique selves.

Fighting our uniqueness is exhausting and unhelpful. You are who you are! The quickest way to peace and contentment is find a way to be ok with the person in the mirror.

Sounds great, huh? How do we do that?

  • Rather than focus on what everyone else is good at, focus on what you are good at
  • Identify your individual and unique gifts & talents
  • Acknowledge your areas of weakness and remind yourself that it’s part of being human, we all have them
  •  Don’t look to material things to fill the hole, it’s all temporary
  • Engage your whole self – mind, body and spirit
  • Get out and serve others, it can provide some well deserved perspective

From Self-Sabotage to Self-Confident

Is this you?

What is self-sabotage?  Psychology Today says “Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. These acts may seem helpful in the moment, but ultimately undermine us, especially when we engage in them repeatedly.”

Why do we self-sabotage? Is it bc we fear failure or maybe we fear success?  Then again it might be that we anticipate failure. Either way self-sabotage is something I know many of us can relate to and have difficulty overcoming.

We usually start out very motivated and goal oriented. We have established our direction and begin taking the steps to achieve it. We start to see success, maybe we start to recieve compliments and praise for how great we’re doing.  Then at some point a small quiet voice creeps in that says things like “this won’t last”, “I’ve just been really lucky”, or “I can ease up a bit now”.

Whatever those thoughts are for you, I think we can agree that as soon as we listen to that voice, and consider it we begin the old cycle all over again.  When we look up, a realization that we’ve stalled in our progress sets in; or worse, we’ve gone backwards and reaffirmed feelings of guilt, regret and maybe even shame.

Then the voice is there again telling us things like “see I knew it wouldn’t change”, or “why bother trying when the result is always the same?”  We find ourselves cycling through old tired patterns of behavior that we hate and that prevent us from doing all that we have the ability to do.

So what?

We have to fight against that small quiet voice that we’ve allowed to win too many times. We have to wage war on it by confronting it with the truth, being mentally prepared with statements of faith and truth.

We have to have accountability from those around us.  We need to let trusted people in on our plans and goals so they can help us.  Seek wise counsel to help achieve goals and overcome the negative self-talk.

We have to force ourselves to stay the course even when the pull to fall back is strong.  Remind yourself phrases like “good things come to those who wait” and “patience is a virtue”.

We have to, as one colleague put it, “do it afraid!” No matter how scary a goal can be or how strong our fear of failure we need to keep moving forward because if we stop, failure is then a guarantee.

Those of us self-saboteurs have to stop giving up and giving in. We have to push forward.  “No matter how big the obstacle!”, our small voice whispers.

If you find yourself continually struggling with self-sabotage and negative self-talk, we’d love to help you work through it.

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Great Expectations!

Check out our latest guest blog, Great Expectations, for Innovation 360, a counseling center helping people recover from addiction through an innovative combination of therapy and life development activities.