When I made it into the NFL, it was the culmination of everything I’d dreamed of as a boy — and an obsession that caused me to beat up my body as well as my mind and spirit.
Corporations like Unilever, L’Oréal and Johnson & Johnson recently announced they will no longer sell products that mention “skin whitening.”
Being too self-critical is rampant in our society. It's almost a national pastime to beat ourselves up over real and imagined imperfections...
Many of us spend a great deal of our life rushing to get places. In the process we do clumsy things, get embroiled in impatience and irritation, and sometimes cause accidents. In our haste to get somewhere, we miss being somewhere, and never seem to get anywhere.
How am I going to break them the news? This is not going to be easy. I will admit that I was wrong, but I decide to put it off until I get there, hoping that once they see our brave faces, some of the sting will be gone. I will bring it up after dinner but before...
What does it actually take to live a life that’s rich with self-care? There are five basic elements of self-care.
Although Imposter Syndrome (IS) has traditionally been seen as a female phenomenon, there isn’t an awful lot of hard data to confirm that women actually do experience this more than men. The reason that it is seen as a female condition is simply that the phenomenon was first discovered using research on women and it is a stereotype that seems to have stuck.
The ancient Greeks spoke of two kinds of time, or two experiences of time: chronos and kairos. Chronos is what we now call clock time, objective time. In music, chronos is metronome time. Kairos is timeliness, the opportune moment that surges out from our experience, something that cannot happen at any time but only at this time. Educators call it the teachable moment.
Do you ever think that you're not good enough to act compassionately? Not quite holy enough, so maybe you would rather leave that sort of behavior to the saints and sages, the ministers and priests. After all, aren't these the people who are in charge of communications with God?
Log onto Netflix, and you’ll be presented with a menu of nearly 6,000 titles. Create an OkCupid account, and you’ll have the chance to connect with 5 million other active users.
Who said that if you lived consciously nothing bad or challenging would ever happen to you? Who told you would never get sick, have a lover leave you, have a loved one die, have a car accident, or make a bad choice, huh? Who ever said that walking the spiritual path would be a piece of cake, easy as pie?
Welcome to the world of the Imposter Syndrome. It is a secret world, inhabited by successful people from all walks of life who have one thing in common – they believe that they are not really good enough. They might be men or women, young or old. And imposter beliefs are not always related to work; I have met ‘imposters’ who feel they are not good enough parents, husbands, wives, friends or even not good enough human beings.
Satisfaction with your home can depend on its size compared to the homes of your neighbors, according to new research.
How can perfectionism be a stumbling block on the path? Having the compulsive need to be perfect can be very hard on anyone. Being a perfectionist creates problems, not only for the individual who suffers from it, but for those around them.
I'm officially coming out of the closet! Here goes: I, Barry Vissell, besides being a counselor, author, doctor, and workshop leader, am also a musician! There, that wasn't so hard. So what makes me hesitate to announce this beautiful, musical part of me?
Choice is perhaps our most vital freedom. We sometimes start sentences with “Given a choice . . .” In reality, almost every waking moment offers myriad choices. Many are small and inconsequential, whereas others are life changing.
Complain? Don't we all? Of course we do, yet do we know how to complain properly? Is there such a thing as complaining properly? Isn't complaining just a "negative" thing? Or is it a necessary way of venting our frustrations? First let's look at what complaining is...
We learned that perfectionism has increased substantially over the past 25 years and that it affects men and women equally.
The latest article to catch my eye was published in The Times and featured three health fanatics who have reached “peak zen” (whatever that is).
We all have opinions, beliefs, preconceived notions, etc. And I've noticed, in myself and others, a tendency to discount anything that falls outside of what we've decided we "like". For example, when I discovered a...
Bulimia nervosa is a common and life-threatening eating disorder. About 275,000 Canadian girls and women will have bulimia at some point in their lives. They will eat large amounts of food, often secretly, and then prevent weight gain by vomiting, fasting or exercise.
Research suggests that around 70% of people will experience an illogical sense of being a phony at work at some point in their careers. It’s called the impostor phenomenon (also known, erroneously, as a syndrome).
When composer George Gershwin was developing his career, he contacted his esteemed role model Maurice Ravel and asked if Ravel would take him on as a student. Ravel, familiar with Gershwin’s work, rejected him, replying, “Why become a second-rate Ravel when you are already a first-rate Gershwin?”
The pressures of young adulthood coupled with the demands of university leave undergraduates at risk for depressive symptoms. In fact, nearly 30% of undergraduates suffer from depressive symptoms, which is threefold higher than the general population.
As it happened, our current litter was born yesterday, Sunday, on the last day of our mentorship retreat! If I could have planned the worst possible time for our Gracie to give birth, it would have been that day! We were expecting her litter starting in the next few days.
Things are sure coming to the surface lately. It seems that issues we have managed to avoid for years are now rearing their heads to be faced. Our way of dealing with reality, or in some cases of avoiding dealing with reality, has come back to...
Are you thrown off by unforeseen complications? Are you frantic to meet deadlines or goals? Do you hate to wait? Are you a slave to the clock? Well, the price you pay is huge. First and foremost, your hurried pace and unease rob you of...
After the feasting of Christmas, January is a time of detox and self-denial. It’s when people start new diets, begin new exercise regimes and make new year’s resolutions.
In our roles as academics, young people knock on our doors almost every day. They are typically ambitious, bright and hard-working.
Conformity is how we have been conditioned to participate in a false sense of security which results in us being out of integrity with ourselves. On a deep, unconscious level we are aware of this and this awareness largely informs our suffering.
Sometimes trying your best isn't enough; when the situation demands it, you need to be perfect.
Shame is an unhealthy and extremely toxic emotion that makes a person very sick inside. It plays out in families and in society in a self-destructive and violent way, and it is at the root of addiction as well as all forms of abuse. You can heal your shame...
Part of your life isn’t working. The part of your life I’m talking about is wherever dissatisfaction and doubt are making you spin in circles, feeling dissatisfied with whatever you have, or stuck in doubt about what you should do. Where in your life do you feel that way?
The giant global photographic agency, Getty Images, has announced it plans to ban retouching of images of models “to make them look thinner or larger”.
Living with anxiety and fear creates unhappiness and despair in all our relationships. However, most of us suffer from too much anxiety and fear primarily because our communications provoke these destructive emotions through criticism, accusation, punishment and humiliation. So reducing the anxiety and fear caused by...
Fox squirrels are a lot more organized than we thought—storing their stashes of nuts by variety, quality, and possibly even by preference. A new study is the first to show evidence that squirrels arrange their bounty—at least 3,000 to 10,000 nuts a year—using “chunking”...
Obesity is a highly stigmatized condition. Those with obesity are frequently subject to prejudice and ridicule at home, school, work and even from health care professionals.
Depression is listed as the leading cause of disability worldwide. Yet research shows depression is far more prevalent in Western cultures, such as the US, Canada, France, Germany and New Zealand, than in Eastern cultures, such as Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China.
We have little control over the future. And the future is where we tend to look for our security, seeking the assurance that everything will be all right. The illusion is that we have control over many variables in our daily life and that...
Perfectionism is an insidious demon that must be fought with every weapon you’ve got. Here’s what’s so tricky about perfectionism: it (sort of) turns procrastination into a virtue. Because it’s good to have high standards, right? And it’s good to expect the best from yourself, right?
Being too self-critical is rampant in our society. We beat ourselves up over real and imagined imperfections. Whenever we criticize ourselves, we compound the issue. We turn one problem into two -- there's the social blunder, a poor financial decision or disapproving glance in the mirror -- and the demeaning self-loathing that follows.
Acceptance of your fellow travelers has the power to change the journey for everyone you meet today. Its power isn’t restricted to just the interchange between two individuals. It permeates the encounters both of these individuals have with...
In my younger years, I focused on unimportant issues, punctuated by worry and anxiety. My perfectionist attitude and fear of making mistakes forced me to assure everything was in order, often making unimportant events a priority, for I was concerned about how my life looked to others. I am not proud of my focus, but it is the truth.
In order to stop pointing out others' faults, we have to work on our underlying mental habit of judging others. Even if we don't say anything to or about them, as long as we are mentally tearing someone down, it's likely we'll communicate that through...
Comparison is one of the ways the ego solidifies itself — either by making us feel special or small, which are two sides of the same coin. Thomas Jefferson captured this in one succinct sentence: Remember that no one is better than you, but that you are better than no one.
Man, am I good at putting on a front. I’m guessing most of you, if you were really to take an honest look at yourselves, could probably relate. Now, when I say “putting on a front,” I’m talking about the me I let others see versus the me that’s underneath that exterior, the guy pretty much no one knows...
Organisation is big business. Whether our lives – all those inboxes and calendars – or how companies are structured, a multi-billion dollar industry helps to meet this need.
Contrary to popular belief, you are more than your accomplishments. And conversely, you are more than your failures. Attaching your self-confidence to the outcome of your actions is like attaching it to the weather...
There is a nearly universal form of perfectionism hard-wired into human nature. It is the belief that we are “falling short” of what we should be. It is the habit of feeling somewhat disappointed in ourselves. Here's how we can move past this...
Sport is massive and it’s everywhere: on TV, in videogames, and on the streets. As a consequence, myths about the inherent greatness of sport have grown.
Do you ever feel unworthy to receive good things in your life? It’s not an easy question to answer. Some of you are in touch with your feelings of not deserving. Some of you are not. I dare say that feelings of unworthiness are present in most of us...
You are supposed to be normal if you follow these 47 stupid rules. This list was compiled by Igor, the main character of “The Winner stands alone”.
No mother, no parent, can prepare for the tormented experience of the death of a child let alone begin to heal, even slightly, without help. Like many children born to fill a void in a family, I grew into a chubby, anxious little girl, with my desire to please not only my mother but also everyone.
Often, we just can’t forgive. Although we may want to completely let it go, the debate in our minds and the emotion tied to the event are too strong, especially when the offense has occurred repeatedly over a long period of time.
How many times have you had a good idea only to keep it to yourself for fear of looking like a crackpot? Well, this fear of appealing foolish is crippling. Worrying what other people think squelches our joy, our fun, and all those good ideas our planet needs.
The battle against wrinkles has lasted for centuries. Long before surgical facelifts, people ingested powders and potions, stretched their faces using thread and tape, and rubbed their skin with Crisco, acid and animal blood to fight the signs of aging.
A very common example of the ubiquitous nature of the critic is the phenomenon of “imposter syndrome” — the feeling that you don’t deserve to be where you are in life. It’s estimated that 70 percent of people have imposter syndrome.
Decisions are based on the way choices are framed. This is because people use emotion when making decisions, leading to some options feeling more desirable than others.
Human memory does not operate like a video tape that can be rewound and rewatched, with every viewing revealing the same events in the same order. In fact, memories are reconstructed every time we recall them.
Feeling accepted seems to feature so highly in our lives. We set such great store by how others perceive us. Even amongst people you would count as close acquaintances, do you let them see the real you?
Perfectionism can prevent us from acknowledging the best in ourselves because our attention becomes focused on overly obsessing with the worst in ourselves. As a result perfectionists often beat themselves up with negative self-talk and self-defeating behaviour.
We are currently living in what I call the Never Enough Story, a cultural myth characterized by ideas of separation, unworthiness, and scarcity. It is a culture that indoctrinates each and every one of us to the idea that we are separate, on our own, and there is never enough to go around.
Self-care includes a healthy dose of humor. If you’re not laughing every day, it’s time to start. Laughter creates powerful chemicals in the brain that act quickly to reduce stress and tension and lower blood pressure...
As a species, humans love control. We want to control our environment, physical and emotional safety, financial security, and self-image. Yet this same passion for control gets us into trouble as individuals and as a species. If we do not exercise wisdom, control can easily become addiction, tyranny, and repression. We find ourselves rebelling against...
Purplewashing is a term I have coined to describe the tendency people have to gloss over, repress, or deny uncomfortable emotions, usually by “spiritualizing” the situation or by “being nice” about it. I call it purplewashing because it is similar to...
This week the world saw – via that new, visual means of wildfire gossip-mongering known as “trending on social media” – Lil’ Kim’s new face and hair. For anyone who doesn’t know Lil Kim, she isn’t a teenage Instagram model – born Kimberley Jones in 1974, she’s one of the most successful female rappers the world has ever seen.
Our concepts of ideal and perfect are always changing. The evaluations and judgments we make unconsciously in every second of our lives that jump-start our emotions and bring us much anxiety and stress....
“Live in the moment!” bumper stickers cry. “Live in the now!” self-help books declare. Movies like The Bucket List preach the importance of living life in all its fullness before your time on earth is up. And yet, “being in the now” is easier said than done, right?
Ideally, we all want to be in a constant state of total unconditional acceptance. However, in your zeal to become 'unconditional' have you overlooked yourself? Have you been able to stop judging and accept the inconsistencies that occasionally cause you to fall short of the mark?
Many people still operate with an inner belief that if they try harder to be better — the best, perfect — then everything will be so much better in all areas of their lives. So they take a vow: “I have to be perfect and will be critical of myself until I am.”
For the majority of people if they turned on a radio and the station was negative and critical, fearful, whining, or complaining they would turn it off. Most people would take control of the situation and choose something that would be more enjoyable and more productive. You may wish to take some time to tune in and really become aware of the background station that you are tuned into...
In my daily work as a therapist/coach I've discovered there is one thing that we all have in common. We are all, everyone including me, so amazingly unkind and hard on ourselves. The truth is, I have never met anyone who is not super critical of themselves and who doesn't have unrealistic expectations when it comes to being a so-called "perfect" human being.
It was Voltaire who said: “perfect is the enemy of the good” – and he should know. A strident critic of existential perfection, Voltaire spent much of his working life attacking the notion of a world imbued by flawless divinity.
Self-criticism takes the form of blaming yourself (It’s all my fault), labeling yourself (I can’t believe how stupid I am), hating yourself (I can’t stand myself at times), doubting yourself... What is self-criticism good for?
Be yourself. Just be yourself. Well, maybe this is not so easy. Does the thought of being yourself, speaking your truth, and expressing your passion stir feelings of confusion or frustration? Does it bring up fear or anger? Were there times in your life when...
by Alan Cohen. A friend of mine declared, "I used to think I was a perfectionist. I found the tiniest flaws in everything. Then I realized I was not a perfectionist at all; I was an imperfectionist! If I was a perfectionist, I would see perfection wherever I look."