No one is perfect. And we all have numerous characteristics that comprise our personalities and abilities. But for some, that nagging voice in your head that points out your flaws might be drowning out your ability to truly reflect on and appreciate all you have to offer. The first step toward building a permanently positive self-image is first to recognize, then conquer your self- defeating beliefs.
I recently read an editorial in Philadelphia Magazine about parents demanding too little from their children. The author opined “we have caved in to the foolish idea that being a good parent means being nice to our children, and making their youths as pleasant and free of stress as possible. We want them to win at everything, from dodge ball…to grades, no matter if they’re lousy on the playground or lazy in the classroom.” I agree with the sentiment that modern parents are often too concerned with protecting their children from the sometimes-unpleasant realities of life; and in 38 years of practice, have seen the consequences of these good intentions play out in every conceivable way. As children grow up and go out on their own; bosses, coworkers, spouses (to an extent) and others they will have contact with may no longer put your child’s happiness and self-esteem high on their agenda. And happy or not, this is a huge wakeup call for which many children are not yet ready.
When it comes to adult children who have “failed to launch”– either returned home after being away to college, an attempt to leave the nest to live on their own or who have never moved out to begin with—there is generally a variation of one or both of these two scenarios: For some of these young adults, the current economic climate has prevented them from getting jobs and having the financial security to move out on their own. Some may choose to go back to school, and/or do a reevaluation of their long-term career goals. In this case, they are in a transition period, to hopefully figure out what to do with their life given the reality they face. They are simply using their “safety net” because they are not yet ready to support themselves (they might even be accruing debt) and the safety net is there.
Do you have many dreams you’d like to make come true? If there’s so much you want to do but in reality, so little time to do it, the feeling of overwhelm itself can actually hold you back from accomplishing any of your major goals. If this increasingly prevalent state of mind speaks to you, here’s a simple strategy to help you see results materialize in the shortest time possible!
Believe it or not, fear can be a good thing. If our ancestors didn’t feel fear and react to it properly, they wouldn’t have protected themselves when they saw a dangerous predator coming after them, and we would not have survived. Thus, the survival mechanism of fear has thankfully survived, or the human specieswould not have. In our modern society, we rarely— but sometimes— need our fear responses to save our lives, such as when a dangerous person meaning harm is stalking us. Nevertheless, when this happens, we can fortunately use the fear response to fight or flee.
I’ve rarely had as much reaction to any of my blogs or articles as there was to an article I posted here last week: Can an Affair Make Your Relationship Stronger? While affairs certainly don’t always have a positiveresult, the point of the article was to offer another option and help couples heal from a crisis that often prematurely ends marriages and love relationships.
Have you been on what feels like hundreds of dates, but found no one who fits the bill? While this might at times feel discouraging, the truth is if you were willing to accept almost anyone, you probably could have a relationship tomorrow. Think about it-if the only thing you chose about a person was their gender, how long would it take to find your next relationship? You could probably be in some kind of a “relationship” this time tomorrow. But thankfully, this isn’t the case for most people. While we all have certain criteria we want in a partner, mindfully fine tuning just what this is, can be the key to finding what you want and feeling empowered until you do!
Do you find that setting standards too high by trying to do things too perfectly is a source of stress for you? While doing your best is certainly a virtue, perfectionism— that is settling for nothing less than perfect— has a major down side. The problem is that many people mistake perfectionism for working their hardest, or trying to do their best. But these two things are really not the same at all. Perfectionism is a bad habit and one that you can quickly kick!
If you’ve recently found out your partner has had an affair (or perhaps you’re the one who has), your first reaction might be to assume it’s inevitable that the relationship will end. With the emotional rollercoaster you might be experiencing, this can seem like the only logical outcome. And if you’re someone who usually plays by the often black and white rules of society (or relationships), it may be difficult to see it any other way. In some cases, an affair will put the spotlight on certain differences that are irreconcilable. But on the other side of the pain, lies the possibility that an act of infidelity can actually make your marriage or love relationship stronger! Step one is to get past the rage, the finger pointing and the blaming. Then, there might be something to learn that can reignite your relationship and remind you of the reasons you got together in the first place. Think of this as the wakeup call.
The ability to be assertive and say ‘no’ is a communication skill we all learn at a very young age. If you’re a parent, you know better than anyone that once this word enters a child’s vocabulary it’s used very often. However, as an adult, ‘no’ is often much more difficult to say. As life gets busier and obligations increase, the ability to say ‘no’ is increasingly more important. If you can learn to assert yourself, it can be the difference between chronic overwhelm (aka, not having an enjoyable life) and spending far more time with the things you enjoy and that fulfill you the most.