Motivation and Inspiration Articles

7 Ways to Navigate Self-Doubt

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

7 Ways to Navigate Self-DoubtEveryone experiences self-doubt. It’s one of the most common concerns psychotherapist Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, encounters in her therapy and career counseling.

Self-doubt shows up in different ways. It might manifest as seeking advice or validation for decisions because we don’t trust ourselves, she said.

It may mean minimizing yourself, such as saying that a personal idea was something you read online “to avoid rejection in case others don’t like your idea.”

Important: Do Not Overfeed (Yourself or Others)

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Female_betta_closeupLast weekend, we had a lot of excitement. My nine-year-old daughter got a betta fish, which she named Esther.

When we were talking to the clerk about how to care for the fish, she told us, “Be sure not to overfeed your fish. Just two pellets.”

When we read the little instruction book that came with the bowl, it said, “Do not overfeed your fish.” On the bottle of fish food, it said, “DO NOT OVERFEED.” So it seems clear to me that people have a real tendency to overfeed their fish.

Which got me thinking — why is it so fun to feed animals, birds, people? Even when it’s not such a good idea.

You Can’t Force Things

Monday, October 13th, 2014

You Can't Force ThingsIt’s been tough getting to sleep the last few nights.

I’ll go to bed and turn off the light and then the thoughts start pouring in. I’ll worry that I didn’t do the right thing in any number of situations during the day. I’ll worry about the work I have to do the next day. I’ll worry that no matter what I do, I’ll never be closer to my dream of buying a house in the mountains.

It occurred to me last night while I was lying there, though, that you can’t force sleep. If you try to fall asleep and see that you’re not, that’s just one more thing to worry about. The sleep will come; it always does. There’s no point in trying to force it to happen.

Room for Misery & Room for Joy: My Story

Friday, October 10th, 2014

misery joyMost people who have been sober longer than a year are asked to give a “lead” — to tell their story. Mine was structurally simple, covering what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. Having only drank for three years, my addiction story is pretty straightforward: I stopped guzzling down mood-altering beverages.

My depression story, however, is not.

There are too many circles and uneven ends to fit into any neat, compact narrative. It seems as though the longer you dance with the demon of depression, the more embracing you become of different health philosophies and the more tolerant of unanswered questions.

Is it open-mindedness or desperation?

I don’t know.

Learn to Love Your Body with These 3 Simple Steps

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Body Image

Happiness comes from embracing the authentic beauty of our bodies and here’s how!

We’re all exposed to the bombardment of images of women’s bodies, from television, movies, the internet, billboards, packaging and magazines — young, predominately white, thin, hard, flawless faces and bodies.

The images with which we’re assailed to sell us things are not authentic. They’re manipulated, photoshopped and radically changed — eyes made bigger, necks longer, skin smoother, legs thinner and on and on.

Counteracting Negative Self-Talk with Supportive Statements

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Counteracting Negative Self-Talk with Supportive Statements How we talk to ourselves affects everything. It influences everything from how we feel about ourselves to the decisions we make. Negative self-talk can sabotage and undermine our efforts in any part of our lives.

For instance, if you keep telling yourself you’re unworthy or incapable — “I can’t do this! I’m not smart enough!” — you might not pursue a promotion or ask for a raise at work. If you keep telling yourself you’re undeserving of love — “I have too much baggage!” — you might not date or date people who mistreat you. You might stay in toxic relationships, and let others walk all over you.

Compare and Despair: On Losing Jealousy

Monday, October 6th, 2014

PointeShoesWhen I was 11, I auditioned for a ballet school. Miss Jo, the founder of the program, and of The Dayton Ballet Company, came to the auditions and sat next to my mom.

“Your daughter has beautifully arched feet,” she told my mom. “Although we wish all dancers had high arches, it will make it more difficult for her to learn pointe. Keep her out of the advanced classes so that she doesn’t become discouraged.”

3 Insights from Artists on the Creative Process

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

3 Insights from Artists on the Creative Process “Creativity is a gift, from life to us,” according to Tom Sturges in his book Every Idea is a Good Idea: How Songwriters and Other Working Artists Get It Done.

It exists in various forms and flavors, but all of us have it. And when we tap into our creativity, he writes, it is then that “we are most human.”

What to Do About Seasonal Affective Disorder

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

What to Do About Seasonal Affective DisorderFor me it comes on in the fall. I don’t really know why. I much prefer the cooler, grayer weather to the hard sun of summer. But around September of every year I start to feel the weight of the world.

It’s not so much depression as it just a general feeling of being fed up with everything, of not wanting to deal with the frivolous and not seeing the point in the day-to-day stuff I have to do.

The Psychology of Journaling

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The Psychology of JournalingI would hazard a guess that the majority of writers keep a journal and that they have kept a journal from the moment they could write. If writing is in your soul, there is a fundamental need: to express, to expose, to exorcise — freely and often, across all forms.

Throughout my writing life — which started when I got my first pencil and learned (painfully) how to trace; and has since religiously continued — I have kept a journal, putting pen to paper as often or as rarely as circumstances, events, situations and emotions dictated.

Want to Break that Good Habit Just Once? 5 Tips to Avoid Backsliding

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

pieslicesI’m working on Better Than Before, a book about how we can change our habits. The most fascinating subject ever.

In it, one thorny question that I tackle is: How can we make an exception to a good habit, without disrupting that good habit altogether? After all, sometimes we do want to break a habit — to take advantage of a rare opportunity, say, or to celebrate.

The Heartbreak of Mental Illness

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Heartbreak of Mental IllnessI was talking to a friend the other day who is a clinician at a home for people with mental illness, and I told her I know what it’s like to suffer. She said something that struck a chord, though: she said she thought it was more a case of heartbreak than anything else.

I had never heard it described that way before, but I knew exactly what she meant.

I can remember when I was first diagnosed. I was so crushed by the label of schizophrenia that I could hardly will myself to do anything. I was in fact, heartbroken.

Recent Comments
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