General

Navigating Your Natural Tendencies When You’re a Highly Sensitive Person

Being a highly sensitive person (HSP) comes with gifts -- such as greater empathy -- and some challenges. For instance, HSPs tend to get overwhelmed by their environments. We’re bothered by everything from big crowds to bright lights. (In an earlier piece we shared five ways to navigate this overwhelm.)

HSPs also are keenly aware of their shortcomings, and they’re especially critical of themselves, said
Continue Reading

General

When “I Can’t” Thoughts Run Your Mind and Life

Everyone experiences “I can’t” thoughts -- as in: I can’t go back to school. I can’t get a promotion. I can’t be successful. I can’t get that job. I can’t ace that test. I can’t write a long research paper. I can’t run that race. I can’t give a presentation in front of everyone at work. I can’t find love.


We think we can’t do all sorts of things. As psychotherapist Chris Boyd, MA, said, “There’s truly no limit when it comes to ‘I can’t’ thoughts.” In fact, he once heard a quote that “80 to 90 percent of our thoughts are repetitive, useless and negative.”
Continue Reading

Family

Learn to Love Yourself First

Most psychologists will agree that being loved and being able to love is crucial to our happiness. Sigmund Freud once said, “love and work ... work and love. That’s all there is.” But for many, the search for love causes a great deal of frustration and unhappiness. And what about self-love and its significance to our quality of life?

Whether you’re single, happily in a relationship, or in an “it’s complicated” couple, it’s our relationship with ourselves that sets the foundation for all of our other interactions and is the secret to having fulfilling and healthy intimate relationships.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Networking for Introverts: 4 Secrets to Meet New People

Networking can be, at times, awkward and even produce anxiety. The thought of reaching out to people you don’t know to build potential business relationships can seem daunting. How do those “super connector” social butterflies carry themselves with such confidence while others stammer and stutter?

As it turns out, there’s a psychology to relationship building that will not only help you feel more secure when meeting new people, but will also transform your stack of business cards into meaningful connections that may advance your career.
Continue Reading

Bullying

Mindfulness and the Subtle Art of Letting Go

This is kind of embarrassing, but I'll tell you anyway: I used to be a chubby kid and I hated when adults called me fat.

To make it even worse, I had moderately long hair, so people often would mistake me for a girl. Nothing wrong with being a girl, but my child self just couldn't handle other people's realities.

Looking back now, I seriously don't remember any adults who called me fat. I know they did...
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Living in a Bigger Story

Out beyond the shadows of our old thinking, a wholly different world appears. A world that delights in our explorations, our need to join with others. A world that welcomes and supports our endeavors. The world knows how to change and grow. ~ Margaret J. Wheatley & Myron Kellner-Rogers, A Simpler Way
We love epic stories, those invoking the heroic journey. We resonate and identify with larger-than-life characters, not simply because we are fascinated with their exploits, but because we are drawn to the archetypal qualities they represent. And that allows us to tap into the inner resources we can discover in our own inner treasure chest:
Continue Reading

College

4 Times You Should Say No to Additional Responsibilities at Work

Think about your average work week: How many of your daily tasks fit into the original job description you were hired to do? Chances are that, over time, out of an eagerness to prove yourself, you’ve taken on a number of responsibilities that fall well outside the realm of your core role. But how much of this newfound accountability is contributing to your professional advancement -- and how much of it is just running you ragged?

Top performers can be a prime target for additional requests because they enjoy challenge and frequently seek out new ways to demonstrate their skills. But do you find yourself saying yes every time your boss asks you to take a stab at a project that’s in no way related to your core competencies simply because you want to look like a team player?
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Why We Hide

The wise Seth Godin recently posted a blog titled "Hiding." He included these words: "We hide by avoiding things that will change us ... We hide by asking for reassurance. We hide by letting someone else speak up and lead ... We live in fear of feelings."

Shame is the hiding emotion. Here are some of my thoughts on the origin of hiding:

Continue Reading

College

How to Get Over Your Fear of Talking about Money (And Get the Pay Raise You Deserve)


Talking about money can be difficult, even scary. It’s a topic that makes many people feel uncomfortable. Whether you’re negotiating higher pay in response to a new job offer or vying for a promotion in your current role, discussing salary is downright stressful.

You’re afraid of getting turned down, making things awkward, or even offending your manager. So, you make excuses as a way to sidestep the conversation. You tone down your requests -- or worse, you don’t...
Continue Reading

Addiction

4 Disorders that May Thrive on Loneliness

Identifying and diagnosing a mental health issue is never an easy process. Most mental health struggles do not take place in isolation, and many of us have negative thought or mood tendencies that, while challenging, do not qualify as a disorder.

As a relationship coach, I’ve found that loneliness is one of the tendencies that often come along with a diagnosed mental health disorder. While correlation is not causation, it seems that loneliness could be more of a cause than a symptom in some of our commonly recognized mental health issues.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Finding the Illusive Optimism Hidden Inside Us All

"Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them." -- Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD)
In the film “Adaptation,” stressed-out screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has a twin brother, Donald, who’s seemingly perfect. He’s everything Charlie’s not. No, Donald’s not the most handsome or successful guy in the world. What Donald has in spades is optimism.

He’s not afraid to try something new and he’s no stranger to failure. He’s not defined by how others perceive him, and he doesn’t let their opinions hold him back. He doesn’t anticipate the worst-case scenario, so he doesn’t live his life paralyzed by what-ifs.
Continue Reading

Industrial and Workplace

When You’re Told You Don’t Have What it Takes

What do you do when you're told you don't have what it takes? Maybe it's at school, or even something as important as your major. Maybe it's in the midst of your professional training, when you're already well on your way. Or maybe it's advancing in your career or at work.

Wherever it happens, how do you react to such counsel? Do you shrivel up, throw in the towel, and start looking for a new major, job or career? Or do you resolve to show that person that you do indeed have what it takes, and double-down your efforts?

Continue Reading