Overcome the Self-Criticism Habit

unhappy girl looking in mirrorAs a counselor, I meet a lot of people who criticize themselves constantly.

If anything bad happens, it’s because the person is stupid, incompetent, thoughtless, a terrible parent, a terrible spouse, etc. The constant negative mental chatter ratchets up to a full-blown rant whenever something goes wrong. It’s beyond just critical thinking and self-regulation. It’s bullying.

Still, people with this kind of chronic negative self-talk are not necessarily irrational. Often, they acknowledge when questioned that something is not their fault. Read More

10 Steps to the Perfect “To Do” List

Having never been detail-oriented, let alone organizationally gifted, I’ve always had a hard time following to-do lists. Still, I have things I want to accomplish, so I’ve made lists all my life. Usually they collect on my desk with other scraps of paper until I throw them out, either accidentally or on purpose.

But this year, something shifted for me. I changed the way I make my to-do list and found that I actually started using it. Read More

The positive power of negative affirmations

hiking trailI enjoy going on long hikes with my partner, Mike. We both love to exercise, and hiking gives us a chance to talk for hours about random things while enjoying Nature.

Towards the end of a long hike, or if the trail gets really steep in the middle and we get tired, one of us will say, “Let’s use our affirmation.” And together, we’ll slowly chant in time to our footsteps: “I CAN’T do it. It’s TOO HARD.” Read More

Step Up to the Plate and Think Like a Country

More often than not, when I have a problem and need to make a decision, I ask other people what they would do if they were in my shoes. Then I decide whether to follow their advice or … ask someone else!

I’ve always thought of this as due diligence, but if I’m honest with myself, the real reason I ask for input is NOT so that I can weigh all my options judiciously like King Solomon; it’s just that I can’t be bothered to decide for myself. Read More