Stop Trying to Find Your Purpose

 

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I often hear from clients that they are searching to find their purpose in life. This is an area where your Inner Critic can go haywire. She tells you that you need to figure out how to live a purposeful life and has you running in circles trying to find the thing that will make you feel complete. She may have been trying to convince you of this for your whole life.

When you are examining the gaps of where you are versus where you want to be, it is imperative that you recognize this habit of your Inner Critic. Because the truth is that you don’t have to figure out how to BE enough. You already are enough. There is nothing to fix, change, or perfect about you and your life. You already ARE good enough.

You are not enough because of anything you do or don’t do. You are already enough because you are alive. Your purpose is being YOU, your Authentic Self. No one else is examining your life to make sure you are good...

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The Two Words That Saved My Dad's Life

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Today I want to tell you about two words that I would honestly say have changed the course of my life and most recently created a miracle in my father’s health.  And these two little words are “I AM”.

So first, let me tell you a story. When I was 19 and a sophomore at Syracuse University, I was really struggling emotionally and I couldn’t figure out why. I had friends, my grades were pretty good, I had a boyfriend. Nothing was really wrong.

But looking back, I know that my daily mind chatter focused on either what wasn’t good enough with me or some part of my life. I didn’t see it at the time because I didn’t know anything about managing my mind.

My mind was on autopilot and I was just like a sheep, blindly following my mind wherever it went.

I compared myself to other women.

I worried about how my future would go.

I focused on what I thought other people thought of me.

I struggled with...

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What Kept Me Stuck For Years

Today I want to talk about how stuck I was in my life for so many years (and I really had no idea that I was stuck). I had a really great life--I had three healthy children, a loving husband, and a satisfying career as a psychotherapist. But I never felt really satisfied. I never felt that sense of peace and contentment that I was really craving.

And that is because I spent many years waiting for the circumstances of my life to match the ideal picture that I had in my mind. I spent so much energy focusing on why my private practice as a therapist was sometimes not as busy as I wanted it to be. I was making pretty good money and definitely making a difference in people’s lives. But I knew deep down that I could have a bigger reach and a greater impact. I found myself often frustrated and stuck about how to make this a reality and worried about whether I would ever make my dreams come true to write a book and speak to large audiences. 

I also spent years in...

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THIS is the Reason You're Feeling Stuck in Your Life

 

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Here’s a fact you may not know: The average human being thinks 50,000 thoughts PER DAY. 

Now if I asked you to identify a theme around what MOST of your thoughts are about...what would it be? 

If you are like most humans, most of your self-talk is about yourself, and most of it is negative. 

This is Inner Critic territory - you’re thinking about where you are failing, imperfect, not enough, being judged, upsetting others, or even "too" successful. I want to talk to all of you about YOU!  All of us think we have some idea of who we really are. 

So many women are living life with their Inner Critics in their ear thinking THAT is who they are. 

That's what I want to talk about today - who we THINK we are and who we REALLY are.

We have developed an identity from our childhood experiences, from our parents and siblings, our idea of what it means to be a girl, a woman, a wife, a...

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Your Blind Spots

Today I want to talk about blind spots. Those are the parts of our lives where we are completely blind to what is keeping us stuck.  It’s the parts of ourselves that we don’t even know, that we don’t know. We are often blind to the thoughts that make us feel badly.  Examining those blind spots allows you to see where you have been engaging in certain habits that don’t serve you.  

Because much of what keeps bad habits in place are blind spots.  Said a different way-- how many times have you set an intention to break a bad habit?  Think about overeating at night or when you’re bored or overspending (Retail therapy anyone?) Or how about yelling at your partner or children only to regret it moments later? You set the intention and may start off strong with breaking the habit..a day, two days, 1 week, 3 weeks… but soon enough, you find yourself returning right back to that bad habit and wondering what gives??  Will...

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How I Personally Cope With Shame

 

Today, I want to talk about shame. It's something that I am very familiar with in my own life. In fact, many people struggle with shame and don’t even realize that is what they are dealing with. We grow accustomed to listening to the incessant chatter of the voice in our head, the voice I call the Inner Critic.

When I talk about shame, I'm not talking about anyone actually DOING anything wrong. I'm talking about the FEELING and the thoughts that we are somehow wrong, defective, inadequate, not good enough, or not strong enough. Everyone feels shame, but most of us don’t recognize the forms that shame can come in. For instance:

  • Shyness is shame in the presence of a stranger
  • Self-doubt is shame about a possible failure
  • Embarrassment is shame in front of others
  • Self-consciousness is shame about how you are perceived
  • Feeling not good enough is all-encompassing shame about yourself

Our Inner Critic triggers shame by whipping up habitual thoughts that...

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The Truth About Anxiety and How to Use it to Your Advantage

Anxiety is part of being human. It’s something I have dealt with for my whole life and I really didn’t even know it.  Before I began the journey of separating myself from the habitual thoughts in my mind (which I call the inner critic), I thought it was normal to let my mind constantly focus on the future. I thought that all of my thoughts of trying to manage and perfect myself and my life was just how you were supposed to do life. I was completely blind to what it cost me in time, energy, joy, satisfaction, and gratitude. I thought the idea “Once I get there” was just normal.

Given that human beings have been suffering from their own thoughts for thousands of years, it is astounding to me that it is not yet part of our culture to learn how to manage our minds. Right now, over 40 million adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. But many people think they are alone and that they are not normal. Albert Einstein said we can’t solve problems by using...

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How to Embrace Change

As human beings, millions of years ago our primitive brain needed predictability and control. We only had to deal with the feeling of fear if we were running from a predator. Because of this, our brains are designed to try to make us stay comfortable. 

For me, my comfort zone is when everyone I love is happy and healthy. As a mom raising two teenage boys and a pre-teen girl, I am often uncomfortable because my mind has a really bad habit of worrying about the future. That's the voice that I call the Inner Critic. 

When my Inner Critic is running amuck in my mind, she's constantly worried about the future. Are my kids rotting their brains with their obsession with their devices? Will my oldest son get into the college he wants? How is my daughter's first year of middle school going to be? Will my middle son ever come back around and decide he actually wants to hang out with us? 

...And then my mind will go through other future scenarios, like what's going to happen...

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Learning How to Cope With Your Inner Critic

Today, I'm pulling back the curtains to tell you more about my journey of dethroning my Inner Critic.

We've all heard the saying, "We teach that which we most need to learn." And that's definitely true to for me. Even though I had a relatively normal childhood, I can remember frequently feeling a lot of anxiety growing up. I felt like at any moment I would be judged, criticized or rejected by a friend or a teacher. 

I never felt this from my parents, but the outside world seemed somewhat daunting and dangerous. In the first grade, I had social anxiety so bad that my mother came to school to sit with me during lunch for the first two weeks of school. I was a shy kid that didn't feel comfortable sleeping at other kids' houses. I also spent a lot of time worrying about my parents' relationship. 

My parents had a somewhat rocky relationship and the environment in my home could be a bit unpredictable as I never knew when the next screaming match would ensue between them. So,...

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What Jim Morrison Can Teach Us About Life

Jim Morrison once said, “People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all…. feelings are disturbing."

From childhood, we are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. Because of this, any time we feel pain, we try to hide that we're not happy. We'll do anything to avoid those negative emotions. 

In the decades that I've been a psychotherapist, I've discovered that we're really creative in how we try to avoid our pain. We'll attempt to eat the bad feelings away. Some people will drink, use drugs, or gamble to avoid these emotions. Others become workaholics or even exercise to excess to avoid that belief that they'll never be happy. 

In fact, many of us spend more energy trying to keep away from these difficult feelings than it would take to actually face our fears. 

We are conditioned to believe that the definition of happiness is freedom from pain or difficulty. So many of us believe that feeling negative or painful...

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