Why is Talking About Looks Damaging to Mental Health?

A woman holds her hand in front of her face

I’m a pretty confident gal. Actually, that’s an understatement. I am a seriously confident woman. I think I’m gorgeous, exceptionally talented, super interesting, and not least of all, very humble.

I’m lucky to have a fantastic mom, who always modelled body confidence, never talked about weight, and told me I was the most beautiful woman in the world (well, except for my equally beautiful sisters). My partners have never made me feel bad about my body. I go for a “queer, curvier Sophia Loren in 1964” vibe, and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

And yet…

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Why You Should Celebrate Small Wins

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Have you ever noticed how easy it is for us to feel down on ourselves? We generally don’t have a problem feeling guilty about what we perceive as poor performance. Whether the misstep is big or small, punishing oneself seems to come naturally for many. But when it comes to feeling proud about accomplishing something, it is easy to let the moment slip through our fingertips.

This discrepancy is a problem, as it decreases our motivation and makes it that much harder to achieve long-term successes.

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3 Ways Self-Sabotage Is Holding You Back

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“Are you afraid of success?” My therapist asked me, intently.

I let out a put-out sigh, and my defense immediately went up. “How dare she ask me that?” I thought.

I sat back in my chair, quickly allowing a movie reel of life events that could potentially cause her to ask me such a thing. I quickly realized her pointed question was entirely valid.

I was straddling a thin line between breaking through in my career and remaining stagnant. I had an inbox overflowing with opportunities to guest speak, press and media interviews, and a book pre-order list a mile high — all of which I had yet to reply to.

I sat back, reflected quickly, then replied with a snarky rebuttal:

“I’m a self-saboteur, you know.”

Continue reading 3 Ways Self-Sabotage Is Holding You Back

When You’re Trapped in the Shame Spiral, Try This

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It happens to everyone: something makes you feel so terrible, so embarrassed and ashamed — and you feel you will never be able to live it down. Sometimes you may not even have done anything, but someone condescended to you, wrote a clipped email or called you out on your behavior in a way that led to your feeling hopeless or wanting to hide.

Often it feels like no matter what you do in the midst of shame, you can’t move past that feeling, and you start thinking about other ways that you have disappointed or embarrassed yourself or others. This is called a shame spiral.

Continue reading When You’re Trapped in the Shame Spiral, Try This

5 Signs Your Fear of Failure Is Keeping You from Your Best Life

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Inside every human being is a desire to pursue wild ambitions and discover new possibilities. There’s a would-be entrepreneur, motivational speaker, freelance writer, stage performer, or off-the-grid traveler in all of us.

But unfortunately most people spend their lives in a routine, nondescript comfort zone because they’re too intimidated to chase a goal that seems uncertain and prone to fail. According to a 2016 survey, an estimated 34.2 million Americans experience some type of phobia. The most common is a fear of personal failure, which most of us define broadly as unemployment, financial ruin, and isolation from others.

Also called “atychiphobia,” this fear of failure often becomes so debilitating it can hinder a person from attempting any goal that is not a guaranteed success. It feels safe and secure, but functioning in this state of rigidity will hold you back from opportunities, experiences and overall happiness.

Here are five potential indicators that a fear of failure has come between you and the life of purpose, excitement, or satisfaction you dream about. Continue reading 5 Signs Your Fear of Failure Is Keeping You from Your Best Life

Self-Awareness Will Make Your Life Better: Here’s How to Get It

head with puzzle piece missing

Self-awareness is an extremely pivotal trait to possess in life, and way too often we overlook its value. When you become self-aware, you become conscious of your problems and emotions. And the sooner you are aware of those, the sooner you can work toward fixing them. Continue reading Self-Awareness Will Make Your Life Better: Here’s How to Get It

How to Tell if Someone is Judging You: Defining Judgment

Women talking with laptops in front of them

The words “judge” and “judgment” have negative connotations and tend to place people in a no-win situation. You don’t want to be judged, yet you want to be able to tell if someone is judging you. Even when we know discovering the truth might hurt, curiosity wins.

Judgment, however, is not necessarily something to worry about. There are positive, neutral and negative forms of it. Whether it’s therapy or an actual courtroom, the key is understanding which one you are dealing with and learning how to respond. Continue reading How to Tell if Someone is Judging You: Defining Judgment

Don’t Forget to Thank the Most Important Person in Your Life: You

thanking yourself image woman hug

Paul hated the holidays. It wasn’t only keeping up with appearances. Paul couldn’t keep up with his mind and feelings.

When our minds are racing, we get angry and scared and try to rescue ourselves by “snapping out of it.” But what if doing that shoves us on to the treadmill of our thoughts and emotions?

If you feel like you can’t keep up, how about taking a little time to give thanks. Gratitude actually takes us to a place of safety. Too often, we give thanks for other people and what we have. Perhaps this year, we could cultivate gratitude for ourselves. Here are some questions to reflect on. Continue reading Don’t Forget to Thank the Most Important Person in Your Life: You

Why Your Self-Esteem is Fake and What To Do About It

Why Your Self-Esteem is Fake and What To Do About It

The truth is self-esteem is made up; it’s a construction.

– by Ken Fields, MA, LMHC / Talkspace Therapist

Unlike a part of our bodies or something in the natural environment, our belief in ourselves is not a real thing – it has no objective existence of its own. We can all agree on a person’s height, weight, or even on how fast he or she can walk a mile. But, there is no standardized way for us to objectively measure self-esteem. Continue reading Why Your Self-Esteem is Fake and What To Do About It