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Making Decisions Gets Easier With Practice

Young woman making decisionsI don’t like making decisions, especially about stuff I don’t have strong feelings about.

I find it easier to defer to others when I’m not sure what to do. Because guess what: It IS easier to leave decisions to other people. It’s like letting someone else clean your kitchen. How easy is that?

Making decisions all the time is a chore and a  half … but it’s one that pays off in the long run.

Think of it like exercising your muscles. Read More

Forget the Past? Bad Idea!

Person on swingset, trying to forget the pastAs a therapist, I sit with many people who’d like to forget the past, along with its most piercing injuries and disappointments, but they can’t. The past won’t let go of them.

Others have already forgotten huge chunks of their personal history, but they still feel stuck in it somehow, as if the past were so much invisible waist-high goo, keeping them from striding forward with confidence.

The Past Under Attack

There’s an almost angry insistence in our culture that the past is dead; it’s supposedly over and done with, and we should just get over it, no matter what horrible injustices we suffered, or what random awfulness took place. Read More

9 Signs of Healthy Self-Esteem

high self-esteem jumperWhat do you think of a person who always speaks well of others? Does she have high or low self-esteem?

You could argue that in order to speak well of others, one must think highly enough of oneself not to be threatened by other people’s excellence. Such a person could be thought to enjoy healthy self-esteem.

On the other hand, you might say that a person who always speaks highly of others is a people-pleaser who suffers from low self-esteem. Read More

How to Validate Someone

Validation is a giftThe need for validation, whether conscious or not, is universal. We all want to feel acceptable, worthy, and not-kooky in other people’s eyes.

But what is validation, anyway?

Most of us are a little fuzzy on this concept, and for good reason: Validation can be hard to come by in everyday life.

Let’s talk first about what validation feels like on the receiving end, and then we’ll look at how to do it.

Validation is a Gift

When someone validates us, we feel like we’re no longer alone. Read More