Low self esteem seems to be almost an epidemic in our society, yet we play the part of feeling strong and acting confident by what I call "putting on the face". This is also referred to as "Imposter Syndrome". With Imposter Syndrome you present yourself as the perfect employee, spouse, parent, friend, etc but inside you feel like a fraud, weak and falling apart at the seams. It takes tremendous energy to keep up appearances when you are in emotional pain, so the growing weariness burdens you even more and you end up in a repeating cycle: perform - berate yourself collapse - suck it up - perform.
How often are we focused so much on getting our ideas and needs heard that we forget to listen? The first step in getting yourself heard is to LISTEN. In listening to another human being they begin to open up and want to listen to you.
We've all been there.
Something happens and your emotions take over. You can no longer think clearly and logic is not an option. You are crying, enraged, hysterical, panic-stricken or controlled by any of a number of different emotions. So what do you do to survive the crisis without making things worse for yourself or others?
Here's a step by step guide to getting those emotions back in check.
Let's admit it - relationships are hard. There's no class about how to communicate with other people and no one teaches us these skills as we grow up. Most of us don't have the skills we need to communicate effectively and as a result conversations go sideways, arguments escalate, relationships get damaged and we get hurt.
"The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday"
Relationships are hard. Intimate relationships, relationships with friends and family, relationships with people at work, or with a job you're been at for years. What happens when a relationship turns toxic? How do you let go of someone or something that has been an important part of your life?
"The curious paradox is what I accept myself, then I can change" ~Carl Rogers
Accepting yourself and at the same time trying to change is what's called a dialectic - two things that are complete opposites and yet both are true. As she developed Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Marsha Linehan learned that seeking to change was an actual block to producing meaningful, life affirming change. She noticed that people commonly thought "if I need to change, then there must be something wrong with me." The reality is that we all can use a little positive change, but the only way to get there is to first accept reality as it is and accept who we are at this very moment.
Many people know that DBT was developed by Marsha Linehan about 35 years ago to treat Borderline Personality Disorder, and it's one of the most effective treatments for BPD. What a lot of people don't realize is that DBT works for many other problems, like depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar, eating disorders, substance use, caregiver burnout, relationship problems and self care.
Emotions are confusing and complicated, and sometimes they take over our lives. This is called being "hijacked". When emotions hijack your life, you quite literally can't think - the part of your brain that is reasonable shuts down and you're left with the part that feels like the Tasmanian Devil on a bad day. So what do you do right at this moment?