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The Hidden Dangers of People-Pleasing

I know how this is going to sound. But I’m going to say it anyway. Be careful of being nice. The problem is that we do “nice” in ways that are actually detrimental. The misconceptions about how to be nice are the key issues. One of the main problems is that a lot of kind people believe it’s essential to please everyone. Now most of us are aware that being a people-pleaser is hard on the person doing the pleasing. There is the exhausting work of always saying yes, trying to read minds, and always doing what the other person wants. It’s sometimes hard to get nice people to change just based on this, “it’s not good for you” argument. So I go for two other cold, hard truths about people-pleasing. 1. When you spend energy pleasing everyone, you inevitably     . . . read more

5 Tips to Get You Through the Inevitable New Mom Identity Crisis

This week I’m over at What to Expect talking about pregnancy, motherhood, and identity. Find out about the surprising moment of panic that led me to discover how to overcome the new mom identity crisis… (click here to link to the post). It was great to be featured on What to Expect and to add my story to the Word of Mom blog. I believe it’s important to have real stories of pregnancy and parenting. The reality is more messy than the cute pics of babies and families on Facebook suggest. Chaos, craziness, and general mayhem is as much a part of child-rearing as adorableness and laughs. I think it’s good to be more authentic and this promotes being more reasonable in our expectations of ourselves and our children. What do you think? Did you have a new mom (or     . . . read more

Change and Motivation: Overcome the F#ck-It Factor

A post for grown ups only due to realistic (okay, okay… inappropriate) language. Change is hard and maintaining motivation over a long period of time is a classic human difficulty. I believe that if you are going to invest in a key life change, you want to think about starting in a way that will set you up for long-term success. Building a strong foundation for change requires intentional thought. Why? Because sooner or later the usual suspects come knocking on your door: stress, fatigue, pressure, social situations, burn-out, and lack of preparedness. When that moment comes, and it always does, two little words stand between all your hard work and the impending self-sabotage. Fuck it. Those two words cue the U-turn into setback city, often to get lost and not re-emerge to changeville for a long time. Real change     . . . read more

Motivation and Change: Are You Ready and Able?

This is a series on motivation and change. You can catch up with the first and second posts, which I recommend. When you decide that some change you have been contemplating is “worth it,” the next step is to decide if you are ready. You are ready if you both want to and can devote at least some of your resources to the project. If I want to start painting my shed, I at least need some paint, a paintbrush, and an afternoon. I also need to know how to paint. The next question is: Do you know how to make this change? The bigger the project, the more important that you really consider this question. It might be okay to just experiment painting the shed. But if I’m going to town on the entire house, I might really want     . . . read more

Motivation and Change: Is it Worth It?

This is the second blog in the motivation series. You can catch up with the first one here. It seems to me that everyone likes to be motivated, so it may disappoint you to know that you can’t be motivated to do everything. The overachievers out there hate to admit this, but there is only so much time, energy, and focus. Our mental, physical, and emotional capacity has limits. Trying to push past these limits is unhealthy and problematic (more on that another time!). When you are thinking about making changes and working on feeling motivated, a crucial step is to get real with your capacity to make the change. First you have to decide how important something really is to you. Not how important you think it SHOULD be, but how important is truly is. I don’t care who     . . . read more