Self-Esteem Articles

What’s Holding You Back? 5 Ways to Break Free from Mental Barriers

Monday, September 15th, 2014

What’s holding you back? 5 Ways to Break Free from Mental Barriers  The power of fear never ceases to amaze me. It can control people’s entire lives and destiny! 

I was in Orlando, Florida, the day I realized that fear was just a made-up idea — a concept that is both very real for most people, yet not real at all. I was in my car, listening to an audio CD of interviews with self-made millionaires when the interviewee (in response to a question about how he got one particular business started) said: “I figured, if it wasn’t going to kill me or cause permanent bodily harm, what was there to lose really? So, we gave it a shot.”

That was a life-transforming moment for me. If it wasn’t going to kill me or cause permanent bodily damage, why not give it a shot?

How to Be Real Without Being Mean

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

What is Anger?The mantra to “get real” has become popular nowadays — and for good reason. We live in a society where images rule and authenticity is reserved for blue jeans and ethnic recipes. We’re trained to polish and parade a false self that we think will garner acceptance and accolades.

The isolation and disconnection that’s rampant in our society is based on a disconnection from our own genuine feelings and longings. We’re afraid to show what’s real, including our fears, insecurities, and yearning for love and intimacy. Instead, we may try to project a confident, self-assured, unruffled self that we think will win us friends and gain success. For example, we might conceal our hurt or sadness when our partner is late. Our built-up disappointment or resentment might leak out later over something trivial, which leaves our partner confused.

How to Love Yourself

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

How to Love YourselfI have a confession to make. I have a reminder on my phone that goes off every morning at 8 o’clock that says simply, “You’re awesome.” This might sound dumb but you’d be surprised how often I forget that fact.

This is just one tool in my arsenal of tricks that I use to combat the depression and paranoia that come with a mental illness.

I’ve been in some pretty dark places and I’ve thought many times about putting an end to things when I’m having a hard time, but then, every day at 8 a.m. my phone vibrates and I’m reminded that I’m awesome.

The Secret Lives of Women with ADHD

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

No Boundaries Juniors Pull On Maxi Tulip SkirtMany women with ADHD live with a painful secret: “Shame, unfortunately, seems to be the name of the game, for many women I have worked with who have ADHD,” said Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach.

Even women with advanced degrees in demanding, high-powered positions feel incredibly overwhelmed once they get home, stressed out by all the household details, she said. “They feel like they are living a lie — that their accomplishments are simply due to good luck.”

Outer-Directed Distractors and How They Benefit the Mind

Friday, September 12th, 2014

relationship-game-couple-playing

During a recent interview about my new book Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself, the interviewer asked me to suggest a practical anti-self-loathing strategy.

“Engage in activities that occupy your mind,” I ventured.

“I get it!” the interviewer interjected. “You mean helping others! Volunteering at a food bank or animal shelter! Cooking for sick friends!”

“Sure,” I said, swamped by her conviction and enthusiasm, eager — as my own self-loathing taught me — to agree.

How You Can Find Gratitude When You’re Overwhelmed with Grief

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

gratitude

It’s pretty easy to feel grateful when good things happen. Win the lottery or fall in love? Easy. But what if you lose your spouse, or child, or even your job, how do we find gratitude then?

Scientifically, we know gratitude is strongly linked to well being. People just feel better when gratitude is part of the mix. It’s the feel-good fuel that urges us on to higher and higher ground when life is going well. But does it have even more benefit when used when healing from grief, or anytime life knocks you on your bum and you are having trouble getting back up?

Subtle Signs It Might Be Time to See a Therapist

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Getting to the Good PartOften it’s not glaringly obvious that we need to seek professional help. So we wait until we’re experiencing crippling anxiety, a deep depression, full-blown insomnia or seething self-loathing to finally contact a therapist.

In fact, many people do. According to some research, people wait years or even decades before seeking help.

However, going to therapy early — before problems become deeply entrenched — means we can feel better faster, and start the process of healing sooner.

It’s the Little Things That Lead to Happiness

Friday, September 5th, 2014

let it go butterfly freeWhat’s the best part of your day?

For me, it’s waking up early and having coffee on my porch as I watch the sun rise. There’s just something calming about this little morning ritual. I never miss it, it’s truly one of the highlights of my day.

Of course there are other things that can brighten your mood during the course of your day that you might not think so much about.

Reactivity and Its Impact

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Reactivity and Its ImpactI recently presented to a large group of Direct Support Professionals, people who support individuals with behavioral challenges. I have conducted similar workshops for family members of those with serious mental illness.

We talk about stress management, self-protection, and the limits of compassion. We meditate together. But the topic that always garners the most interest is how the supporters’ own reactivity, or fight or flight response, can precipitate negative behaviors in the individuals they support.

Recently Dumped? Skip the Lies and Tell Yourself This Truth

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

post-breakup-tips

Some men are only after one thing: a power struggle.

Pulling your hair out, perplexed and frustrated as to why the man you love doesn’t seem to reciprocate your unrequited love? After all, you know that no other woman will ever be as caring and loving as you are with him.

Your friends have given up trying to convince you that you’re too good for him. He may have even told you that you deserve better. But despite his lackluster feelings for you, why can’t you stop trying to change him? Why are you holding onto the idea of “I’m the best thing that will ever happen to him?”

Understanding Rejection in Personal Relationships

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Understanding Rejection in Personal RelationshipsRejection is one person saying to the other — “Keep away, I don’t want you around me now. ” Such a message often hits exactly in the center of our ego and shakes our self worth.  Thus both giving and receiving a message of rejection has to be handled with sensitivity.

Thankfully most social rejections are subtle. Most of us, in the beginning of a relationship, choose less-risky ways to make a connection. Saying “Hi”, sharing a joke, participating in a yoga class together, all these activities can aid in the process of building intimacy. 

When You Feel Worthless

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

When You Feel WorthlessA sinking self-worth usually starts early. Maybe your caregivers criticized your every move, or maybe they criticized themselves and you learned to do the same with yourself.

Journalist Anneli Rufus struggled with self-loathing for over 40 years. “I hated myself unreservedly, as if it was required,” she writes in her latest book Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself.

“Why? Was I a murderer? A thief? Had I committed genocide or bombed the Prado? Was I mean? Did I have seven swollen, scaly heads? Whose children had I thrown down wells? Which city did I plunder? Had I put soap in a swimming pool or slaughtered fawns?”

No.

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