Posts

Criticism

Sometimes when others criticize us, especially those close to us, or those in power over us, it is as if a fire alarm goes off in our brains. It can put you on the defensive very quickly. What if you could change this clanging into something that actually made you more productive? What if you could soften the sound to some gentle chimes that made you say, hmmm, what about this has me paying so much attention?

This is a matter of asking yourself the right questions. It is a way to receive criticism that you can teach yourself, instead of responding like it’s a three alarm fire. Here’s a few questions to get you started. But first a personal story.

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procrastination

There are many reasons why people engage in procrastination. Here’s my opinion of the top five, and how to get off dead center when you’re “in the stew.”

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inner critic

What do I mean by your inner bully? Simply put, it is self criticism. And why would you want to put a cork in that beast? And furthermore, why bother, since no doubt you think being self critical is a valuable habit that will improve your performance and keep you safe. The paradox is that the self criticism will stop you from doing something that you fear failing at, or that might result in a painful consequence like rejection.

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rumination

People who know me understand how I define anxiety. One version is rumination. This is when you are focused on the past, on memories about something that occurred. Perhaps it was a conversation that went wrong, or you are worried about someone’s opinion of you in those circumstances. Or it is this…

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curious

I am so fascinated by why emotions have such a low value in our culture. People are simply not aware of the power their emotions exert over their behavior. They do not investigate them. They are not curious about emotion. And Brené Brown’s research has shown that people who do investigate their emotions have learned to do so in one of three ways. How I wish they were as curious as this little boy staring at his fish!

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lonely

Being lonely is part of the human condition. We all succumb once in a while. Here are nine things when lonely you can do to change your mood. And remember, moods and feelings come and go. That is their nature. I would love your comments, and invite you to add the “tenth thing” to the list. You will have to read to idea #7 to understand the photo here!

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loneliness

Yes, loneliness is a bummer topic, and one of those that people respond to with the thought “NMP” (Not My Problem) and then change the channel. Yet it affects 25% of us in the USA, chronically.  With the chronic nature of it come a host of health issues that can increase the chance of early death by up to 26%, according to the guru on the topic, John Cacioppo, a professor and researcher on the issue for more than twenty years. Why is this so?

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loneliness

Did you know there is a difference between being alone and loneliness? Lots of people enjoy being alone and even need alone time to recharge their batteries. They don’t feel alone when they are by themselves engaged in an activity, from simply ‘being’ to being deeply engrossed in a hobby or pastime. They likely get into a kind of pleasant flow that makes the passage of time seem impossibly fast. The difference is that loneliness is a feeling, one of perception. You can feel lonely inside of a marriage or partnership, and you can feel lonely when surrounded by friends and acquaintances.

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rumination

Are you one? A super sensitive ruminator? A person who thinks deeply about things, maybe sometimes too much? Or perhaps you veer into the scarier territory of unwanted intrusive thoughts. These little torturers will keep you stuck for sure. The most ineffective action you can take is trying not to have your thoughts. My mantra to you is “Change your relationship with your thoughts and your beliefs about them.”

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entangled thoughts

Have you ever found yourself so wound up you simply cannot untangle what it is that is bothering you the most? Entangled thoughts make you feel like you can’t think clearly because you have an inner dialogue going on that you have created about some aggressive, relationship-ruining, sexual, logic-defying, bewildering, even violent content running through your mind. You may experience a healthy dose of guilt and shame alongside that content, because you wonder how on earth you can be a good or sane person and think this way.

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