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The Worthiness Crisis

Okay, so this topic is bigger than a blog post can contain, but it’s a start. I’m so worried about this problem, I need to start talking about it every place I can. The problem: many people, and most notably young people, feel that their worth is in question. They (or really “we”) feel that worth is tied to things like GPA, salary, position, social class, appearance, romantic success, productivity, cleanliness, organization, keeping up with milestones, how cool you look on Facebook…pretty much everything. It’s always at stake. “Am I good enough?” is the question plaguing so many wonderful, lovely people everywhere. The interesting thing for me is that many people who look like they are succeeding on many of these measures are the ones who feel the worst. I think it’s because when you are acutely aware of what     . . . read more

Building Self-Esteem, Moment by Moment

I enjoy going to what I refer to as “the jungle gym for grown-ups.” It reminds me of recess time. I think adults need that kind of physical recreation too. Last night I was working on my clean (its a weight lifting move) and making good progress. Some of the ladies I work out with noticed. Several were appropriately congratulatory about my personal record. I said to them, “I feel good about that.” As a therapist, those are the moments I help clients identify. It’s about finding times where you feel both physically and emotionally good about something you have done. Many people want to work on self-esteem and confidence. I think the key is to take note of these moments and to be able to direct your mind back to them again and again. Next time I’m at “recess”     . . . read more

Motivation, Momentum, and Play

I’ve been inspired lately by someone who works tirelessly to grow and change. She wakes in the wee hours of the morning practicing new skills for hours at a time. Everyday there are profound differences from the day before. It sounds quite tiring, and it is (occasionally naps are required). But since she is not quite a year old, we call this dedication to change play. Play. That’s right. Learning new things and forming new neural networks in our brain to support these changes is the very stuff of child’s play. So if my infant daughter has this much ability to change, to work, to be dedicated to new tasks like walking, talking and feeding herself, is this true of all humans? Or do we out grow it? It appears that we actually get a little complacent. Once we have     . . . read more

New Year’s Resolutions Revamped

There is something really inspiring about opening a fresh, clean calendar. I can see why people make New Year’s resolutions. It’s a great time for reflection. It’s healthy to want to improve a thing or two in our lives and make this next calendar year better than the one before. However, I find people go about the New Year’s resolution in an unhelpful way. We tend not to know how to motivate ourselves to make changes. Here are some thoughts on making a better resolution for 2012: Choose something that benefits you on a daily basis. One mistake is that we choose to make a change that will only be felt months from now (I want to look great in that dress I’m going to wear next July.). Or we decide to make a change to please other people (I     . . . read more

Give Yourself Some Credit

In lieu of quick-tip Tuesday, I have long-winded tip Monday. It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, I’m afraid. But I have laryngitis and since I can’t talk very well, I need to use up my apparent quota of words in written form. At any rate, I would like to espouse the virtues of giving yourself some credit. It’s time to give yourself a big pat on the back and here’s why: Positive reinforcement is the best type of motivator. This is true of faithful animal companions, spouses, school children and ourselves. Noticing what we do well gives us motivation to do more of it and to keep improving. (Examples: Sit. Good dog, Fido! Nicely done with the vacuuming, honey! Good effort with the arithmetic, Sally! Way to go me, getting the bills paid and the dishes done     . . . read more

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