Staying sane during trying times
Let’s face it, no one escapes life challenges. Sometimes, it’s all we can do to slog through and regain our emotional balance. In this Self-Coaching episode, I reintroduce and expand my ‘wave’ theory for handling life’s inevitable struggles. You’ll learn about the four types of “waves” and various Self-Coaching strategies for getting through even the most devastating life events.
What’s interesting is that as inevitable as actual life challenges are (i.e., illness, loss of a job, etc.), they only make up a small portion or our overall struggle. The majority of our emotional struggles are the result of our tendency to become “wave creators.” We generate needless, artificial, neurotic waves and struggles. By learning to eliminate your propensity to generate anticipatory waves of insecurity, you can learn to Self-Coach a more fluid and healthy way to handle life’s real challenges.
The simple, honest truth about ending emotional struggle
No question we’re all looking for quick, abracadabra solutions to our emotional struggles. But the reality is that unless you realize the habit nature of anxiety, depression, unhappiness, and so on, you’ll never understand the real solution. In this Self-Coaching episode, I talk about what’s necessary for you to unravel the habits of insecurity that continue to reinforce your struggles. The only caveat, you have to be prepared to commit yourself to practicing your Self-Coaching efforts every day.
Let’s face it, emotional liberation doesn't just happen, especially if you’ve been suffering for years. It happens if you have clear path to follow and a willingness to fight-the-good-fight, taking your life back from the reflexive distortions of habituated insecurity.
Fear of abandonment
To some extent, humans seem to have an innate fear of abandonment. When early life circumstances (divorce, neglect, etc.) cause a disruption to the child’s developing ego, chances are that the fear of abandonment can percolate through life creating anxiety, stress and dysfunctional relating.
In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss the origins of abandonment fear as well as the many manifestations it may take in adult life such as a heightened sense of insecurity, inability to trust, jealousy, etc.
Is self-doubt limiting your potential?
“I can’t find a job.” “I can’t lose weight.” “I can’t stop worrying.” Are you paralyzed by self-doubt or discouraged by lack of confidence? There’s no question that self-doubt and self-distrust will suppress your true potential for success and happiness. In this Self-Coaching episode, you’ll learn the attitude that’s necessary to effectively challenge and reverse your hesitations, paving the way for a more courageous path forward toward a more fulfilling life.
Perhaps it’s time to become your own best coach and to confidently start to make good things happen. What are you waiting for?
Emotional struggle, is it fair to blame your parents?
Through the years, I’ve been told by many patients entering therapy, “I don’t want to blame my parents.” This is especially true with loving—however misguided—parents. What’s the truth? Is it fair to point a finger of blame for your struggles on your mother or father? Or is it a cop out?
A child grows up, in a sense, through the “eyes” of the parents. Parents dealing with their own neurotic issues will indirectly send an unsettling message to the young child that the world must not be such a safe place. After all, if mom or dad are struggling…. So, the question comes up as to just how significant an impact do parents have on whether or not their child will grow up with neuroticism?
In this Self-Coaching episode I explore the relativity of the parental influence, the non-parental environment, and the genetic influence of why we suffer. With notable exceptions (i.e., unloving parents; alcohol or drug addicted parents; etc.) it’s usually not fair to point a finger of blame. Doing so makes us victims of our childhood; a mature and honest understanding of our parents can be catalytic in helping us break the historical habits of insecurity that feed our emotional struggle in the present.
Getting the most out of life
Confucius once said, “man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in.” Is this you? Are you passively waiting for life to deliver your happiness? Just plodding along, day by day, hoping that things will get better? Wishing that things were different? In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss how you can determine what you need—really need— to have a happier more successful life.
It all begins by learning to differentiate holistic, mature goals from misguided, insecurity-driven pursuits. With this clarity, you can begin to start to change the psychological and behavioral habits that have contributed to your less-than-optimal happiness.
Why I hate updates (or is it just me?)
After struggling with the audio quality of my podcasts for the past couple of weeks, I’ve managed to almost survive the software update that caused all my problems. In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss how difficult it is to change from the familiar devil-you-know, to the unfamiliar devil that you don’t.
With change occurring faster and faster, we are all victims of constant change in life. For me, it’s a real burden (as you’ll hear) to abandon what has worked for years only to have everything once learned turned upside down because some programmer decided that he or she has designed a better ‘mouse trap.’ [FYI: I hope to find a new editing program soon!]
How to regain self-confidence
In this week’s Self-Coaching podcast, I discuss the importance of regaining self-confidence. Loss of confidence can happen gradually overtime due to an erosion instigated by insecurity or it can happen suddenly with a one embarrassing mishap. And once our confident attitude becomes corrupted with self-doubt, we are prevented from functioning at our true potential.
Typically, low self-confidence is rooted in what we call performance anxiety, where a skill that was once mastered becomes sabotaged by the introduction of doubt and fear. Whether it’s a musician worried about the next note, a surgeon distrusting her skills, or driving your car not trusting yourself on the highway, once you lose confidence and self-trust, what was once mindless, becomes an ongoing torment of anticipatory worry and anxiety
How to get through tough times
One thing we all have in common as human beings, is the fact that life has its ups and downs. Emotional struggle is part of life—no one is spared. Whether it’s circumstantial challenges like losing a job, arguing with your partner, or worrying about a tax audit, life can often pound us with challenges. But sometimes, it’s not life challenges that hammer us, it’s our self-imposed challenges instigated by projections of insecurity or pessimism.
In this Self-Coaching episode, I offer a visual that can help you understand the wave-nature of struggle. When caught up in one of life’s “waves,” —whether externally imposed or internally generated by insecurity— it’s not only important for you to know how to get through each struggle, but how to extend the serene life that exists in between the ‘waves’ of emotional chaos. I offer four Self-Coaching suggestions that will help you, not only handle life’s inevitable challenges, but also how not to create “false waves” of suffering that contribute to anxiety and depression.
What does it mean to be ‘normal?’
Intuitively, we all have a sense of what’s normal and what isn’t. For example, if all of a sudden you feel your tooth aching, you certainly would feel that’s not normal—something’s wrong (abnormal). Same criteria can be applied to psychological disturbances. If, inexplicably, you begin to feel anxious and depressed, you would feel somethings wrong—not normal.
Bottom line: emotional suffering is not normal
In this Self-Coaching episode, I explore this concept of normalcy by describing psychological disturbances as occurring on a continuum ranging from mild to moderate, to severe symptoms. Understanding how emotional struggle can progress helps us understand the need for not reinforcing the habits of insecurity that underlie neurotic struggle. Once you understand what perpetuates your struggles, you’ll be in a position to “unlearn” that in you which has become neurotic.
My simple, ABC technique to stop needless worrying
Ruminative, worrisome thinking can lead to emotional friction, unwanted stress, anxiety, and depression. In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss a simple ABC technique that will teach you to liberate yourself and your life from the burden of worry and stress.
A Self-Coaching approach to losing that winter weight
In this Self-Coaching episode, I explore the emotional triggers and ingrained behaviors driving overindulgence. You can begin to retrain your brain, along with simple self-coaching techniques proven to break self-sabotaging cravings, compulsions, and emotional eating. These strategies will turn healthy eating into an effortless process of ongoing weight mastery.
You’ll learn about the 3 enemies of weight loss: adverse circumstances; harmful emotions; destructive habits
A better way to fall asleep, stay asleep, and make sense of your dreams
Whether you have chronic or occasional difficulty falling asleep, it’s important to understand why falling asleep and staying asleep can become…well, a nightmare in itself. Have you ever wondered why our thoughts at night seem to come unhinged? Whether it’s fears, worries, or what-if thinking, nighttime can leave us feeling defenseless and victimized by our own thoughts. In this Self-Coaching episode learn how to quiet your mind, turn off stressful thoughts, and allow peaceful, restful sleep to find you.
And what about dreams? Should we pay attention to our dreams and if so, how can we make sense of the messages dreams may have for us? Let me suggest a simple format for interpreting dreams that will allow you to profit from them in your daily life.
What exactly is this thing we call love?
I believe it was Pascal who said that there is one true love and a thousand different copies. In this Self-Coaching episode, I attempt to explain the different manifestations of love while doing my best to get to what we call true love. And yes, I believe that true love isn’t a myth.
It helps to think of love as an evolutionary engineered progression that begins with a hormonal, carnal desire we often refer to as lust, which can progress to what is often called romantic, infatuated love and eventually, if you are fortunate enough, winds up with committed, life-long love.
Join me during this Valentine week to explore the psychology as well as the chemistry as to why human beings were designed to fall in love.
Psychological immaturity—the root of emotional suffering
In this Self-Coaching episode, I introduce the notion that emotional suffering stems from psychological immaturity, preventing us from living up to our full potential. I realize this may feel insulting, especially if you suffer from anxiety or depression, however, I’m not talking about someone who acts immature, I’m specifically referring to someone whose psychological resources has been thwarted by regressive habits of insecurity. My contention is that emotional “maturity” requires that we transcend the strangle hold that insecurity has on our emotional evolution.
The habits of insecurity, which were acquired during our developmental years, have inadvertently prevented us from developing adequate self-confidence and self-trust. Instead of emotionally maturing and handling life from a place of strength, we become reliant on defensive strategies of control. And that’s the rub! We’ve learned to use controlling strategies to handle life rather than by developing our own, innate, capacity for self-empowerment.
Self-Coaching instructions for eliminating emotional struggle
“We have met the enemy and he is us.” (Pogo, 1970)
If you or a loved one suffers from anxiety, depression, or emotional struggle this podcast can help. Emotional healing doesn’t have to be complicated or mysterious, not once you know the simple, straight-forward truth.
Taking your life back from the struggles fueled by insecurity begins with an understanding of exactly what you need to be doing to reclaim your life from emotional turmoil. I’ve done my best to condense my Self-Coaching program into a clear, step-by-step format that you can start implementing today.
Are you a stimulation junkie?
Are we hardwired to stimulate our brains? Think about it…do you ever just do nothing? If we’re not watching TV or paying bills, we’re either texting or eating…we’re always doing something. And doing something is more pleasing to the brain than doing nothing. The reason behind this is because of a neurotransmitter in our brain called dopamine. Dopamine is the ‘feel good’ chemical that creates reward-seeking habit loops in our brains causing us to repeat pleasurable behavior.
In this Self-Coaching episode, I explore the ups and downs of our technical world of computers, TVs, and smart phones, delivering to us an ongoing source of dopamine release. But, is this a good thing?
You don’t have to live with fear, real or imagined
If you’re human, you’ve experienced fear. As a protective mechanism, fear has been pivotal to our evolutional survival. In our everyday world, the stakes are much lower, it’s not so much about survival from physical harm, but more about our emotional, “what-if” concerns and anxieties.
But what if these emotional anticipations are, in fact, reality based, like getting fired, sued, audited, or finding out that your spouse is cheating on you? Although these aren’t actual survival threats, they are valid, and our psyche doesn’t know the difference.
In this Self-Coaching episode, I try to establish that fear, legitimate or neurotic, has a basis in insecurity. By understanding the actual source—that which fuels our fear—we can begin to implement a Self-Coaching strategy to alleviate needless, ruminative fear and anxiety in our lives.
We will never eliminate the instinctual fear response (nor should we ever want to), but at the very least, we can eliminate neurotic fears and restrain the fears connected to life’s more legitimate threats.
How do you handle rejections???
Anyone growing up knows the pain of not being picked for a game of kick ball. It really is no different when you find out you weren’t invited to a wedding or when you didn’t land that job…you feel rejected! And rejection is painful. In fact, the pain of rejection is processed in the same part of your brain that processes physical pain. A broken heart isn’t far removed from a broken arm when it comes to the brain.
In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss why some of us have such a hard time recovering from perceived rejection. No question about it, rejection really hurts. And if you happen to have a fragile ego, rejection can be a paralyzing experience. Join me as I discuss various strategies to fortify yourself from life’s inevitable rejections —warranted or unwarranted.
The danger of reflexive living
Clearly, situational challenges can cause stress and friction—losing a job, the loss of a loved one. It's important to understand that circumstantial challenges are tethered specifically to a challenge or struggle, they are NOT self-induced.
The question you need to ask is whether or not you're reacting to life—as it is—or to life contaminated by the doubt, fear, and negativity of the ‘Child Reflex’ or the guilt and expectations of living up to the internalized ‘Parent Reflex.'
In this Self-Coaching episode, you will learn how to extricate yourself from the reflexive habits of the past that are preventing you from the real ‘you’—the uncontaminated, unsullied potential that resides within you.
Some people are just annoying, hopefully you’re not one of them.
It’s a fact, some people are just plain annoying. Right? But do you really know if you may inadvertently be annoying others? In this Self-Coaching episode join me as I explore what psychologists call affective presence. Essentially, affective presence refers to our ability to influence and affect people around us.
Learn the tell-tale signs of when people might be finding it difficult to be with you.
To become more effective—and less annoying—you’re going to have to learn to read the psychological tea leaves. And although it helps to read other’s body language and non-verbal clues, the real secret is learning how to engage others by being socially present and not distracted by insecurity or unconsciousness.
Want to access your true potential for happiness? Ya gotta stop listening to your frogs.
Are you tired of holding yourself back, dreading the challenges you face each day, tip-toeing through life fearful of making mistakes or being embarrassed?
Rather than swimming in self-doubt and lack of confidence, this Self-Coaching episode will offer you a plan that will enable you to engage your innate resources without your usual hesitations and fears. You’re going to learn an important, life changing lesson from a very determined frog.
Ah-choo! My rant on why I hate the cold and flu season
I hate getting a cold! There, I’ve said it. Yeah, I’m a bit of a baby especially comparing myself to my wife who is much more stoic and accepting of such viral inconveniences. In my defense, through the years I’ve grown more tolerant—well somewhat more tolerant. But, hey, at least I don’t complain any more.
Join me in this Self-Coaching episode as I explore a few ways not to let the common cold keep you, as they say, under the weather.
How to “unlearn” any emotional struggle—guaranteed
In this Self-Coaching episode, I offer you a self-coached, self-directed path that will allow you to begin the process of liberating yourself from needless emotional struggle. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, anger management, or simply embracing a more productive life, if you’re willing to embrace just three Self-Coaching techniques then, I can almost guarantee that you will be on your way to ‘unlearning’ the habits of insecurity that have inadvertently been ruling and ruining your life.
After listening to this podcast, you will have a format for change—liberated, self-directed change. Whether or not you implement and practice this format depends on your motivation to change. If you supply the motivation, Self-Coaching can show you the way.
Are you psychologically mature?
In this Self-Coaching episode, I explore the nature of psychological maturity. Although psychological maturity is a relative concept, understanding the elements that go into enhancing and advancing your own personal maturity will serve to help you have less stress, more happiness, optimism and the quality of life you’ve been missing.
You’ll be introduced to various strategies, such as becoming more flexible, responsible, resilient, and more emotionally balanced as you begin to self-coach your way toward relinquishing the reflexive insecurities that erode true maturity. Keep in mind that psychological immaturity will inevitably lead to emotional struggle and unhappiness.
The end of daylight savings…boo- hoo. How not to get bummed out—it’s called hygge
I don’t know too many people who enjoy the approach of winter. I know even less people who loath the process of setting our clocks back to standard time—the dreaded end of daylight savings time! Aside from the abrupt disruption to our lives, schedules, and circadian rhythms, resetting our clocks twice a year has become a real pain in the keister.
Join me in this Self-Coaching episode as I explore simple ways to make your transition to the darker days ahead less stressful. You might even want to employ ‘hygge,’ a strategy the Scandinavians, who endure months of total darkness, use.
A Halloween message: living a timeless life
In this Self-Coaching Halloween episode, I talk about the importance of embracing the transient nature of our lives. Paradoxically, we do this by becoming more present, embracing life more intimately without allowing ourselves to become contaminated by the abstract fears of change.
Halloween, since it’s Celtic origins six hundred years ago, has been a celebration of the harvest and the winter to come. A time where we don masks and disguises to thumb our noses at life’s darker realities. Yet, it’s also a celebration that we are here! We are alive and we have the option to live life more courageously in the moment without anticipation of the ‘winter’ to come.
Don’t settle for a half-baked life–you’re too important
In this Self-Coaching episode join me as I explore your innate psychological tendency to actualize your true potential for a richer, more satisfying life. Like homeostasis, which is the body's way to maintain balance, your psyche can do the same--if you remove the impediments of insecurity.
Whether it’s a shrink, a guru, a shaman, or a pill, at some point you need to realize that you are in the best position to heal yourself. Essentially, this episode will teach you to self-coach yourself from identification with impotence and frustration, toward an empowered step-by-step method geared to unleash your instinctive capacity to claim the life you deserve.
Eliminate emotional struggle…TODAY!
Einstein once said that God doesn’t play dice with the universe. I’m no Einstein, but when in comes to emotional struggle, well, in my humble, Self-Coaching opinion, God doesn’t play dice with our emotional survival. Translation: Whether it’s anxiety, depression, panic, or everyday emotional struggle, these problems don’t just happen, they aren’t random afflictions. Just as Einstein believed in the mathematical laws of nature, similarly, I feel that if you understand the “laws” of emotional struggle, you can understand, not only why you struggle, but what you can do to liberate yourself from needless emotional distress. And you can begin the process today!
Do you know who you are?
In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss getting to your core personality—your untainted potential for being the genuine person you were meant to be. There are a few prerequisites to releasing your genuine self, such as letting go of negativity, focusing on your strengths, being open to change, not living in the past (or future), and most importantly, shedding your insecurities.
Getting to your core of who you are requires that you peel away the layers of reflexive insecurity-driven distortions. Each layer you peel away reveals more and more of your true potential to be you. And the closer you come to being you, the more you’ll experience a resonance with life, with others, and with yourself.
Changing a slumping life into one of passion and purpose
Ever hear the adage, what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger? What do you think? Do you think it’s just a platitude for keeping your chin up? There is research to support the notion that perceived failure can be the catalyst for future success. People like Oprah, Steven King, Walt Disney and many others support this notion, including my own personal experience with my guidance counselor telling my mother not to waste her money on sending me to college!
In this Self-Coaching episode, join me to explore the benefits that can be derived from embracing setbacks and failures. Learn how to change a slumping life into one of passion and purpose. It’s all about learning to find your “target.”
Why people like/dislike us
Most of us want to be liked and most of us don’t want to be disliked, right? So, what are the qualities that enhance the likelihood that you’ll be liked? In this Self-Coaching episode I discuss 11 tips for ensuring that you can maximize your likeability in every relationship encounter.
What draws people to you has to do with learning not only to be a good listener, but how to cultivate genuine interest even when the other person is boring you to death. Tips like, injecting energy and optimism, pacing, sense of humor, and learning to become more conscious of these and other tendencies that you can coach yourself to embrace.
On the flip side of being liked are tendencies that turn people off to us. Tendencies like complaining too much, not understanding the need for balance, feigning interest, or simply talking too fast.
Why do we get hurt so easily?
“He made me sad.” “Her rudeness ruined my day.”
Do you allow people to get 'under your skin?' Making you feel hurt, angry, or frustrated? If so, this Self-Coaching episode will help you understand your emotional sensitivity-triggers. So, stop blaming others and stop being victimized by your hypersensitivity. It’s time to discover a way to never feel emotionally manipulated again.
Once you take your power back, you’ll be in a position to evaluate your relationships and friendships more objectively, making decisions as to how to navigate through the most difficult relationship challenges and skirmishes.
It’s important to understand that relationships aren’t static, and this episode will help you adjust your perceptions as to who you can trust, who you can love, and who is likely to hurt you.
How to stop time
Have you ever wished you could hold back the hands of time? To slow down life’s treadmill and catch your psychological breath? If so, join me in this Self-Coaching episode and learn how to step out of time.
You may not be able to stop actual time, but when it comes to your internal, cognitive clock, you can learn to step out of time and taste the timeless, bliss of abandonment.
Me, you, the universe, everything moves toward more and more complexity and disorder. Fortunately, there’s a simple answer to this depressing state of affairs and I’d like to share it with you.
How to read people
When you meet someone and you’re trying to size them up, chances are logic won’t tell you the whole story. You need to hand yourself over to other important forms of information—intuitive information. In order to do this, you begin by giving up any preconceptions or biases you might have that could interfere with your seeing someone more accurately. From this vantage point you begin to tune into the persons, words, tone, appearance, body language, and so on. All adding data to your final assessment, “should I pursue this relationship or should I flee it?”
Doesn’t matter if it’s your partner, your co-worker, or someone you meet for the first time at a party, learning to read people more accurately will help you with what I call developing your ‘psychological antenna’—the ability to use all your senses to form a more accurate picture of the person you’re connecting with.
In this Self-Coaching episode, you’ll learn the steps involved in assessing someone beyond first impressions. If you’re in a relationship with someone, you’ll learn to better read their non-verbal messages, moods, and defenses. You’ll also learn what you can do to offer people the best and most accurate ‘read’ of you.
The magic of optimism
I would guess that most children believe in magic--the power to make impossible things happen. As adults, our world becomes devoid of magic as we accept the hard reality that when it comes to life's challenges, there are no magic wands or other fantastic solutions to our struggles. In this Self-Coaching episode, I challenge you to recognize that there is magic, not the abracadabra kind of magic, but the very real, every day magic that comes with understanding the power of optimism--the power to make impossible things become possible.
The magic of optimism offers you a glimpse into the transformative power that you harness when you live with a grounded expectation of personal resilience and resolve. The key isn't eliminating problems, it's managing and handling the inevitable challenges that constitute living in the real world. Is it really magic? I'll let you decide for yourself, but keep in mind that things that seem impossible to you today, may, in fact, become possible with the magic of optimism.
How to stop procrastinating
“If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.” Mark Twain
In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss the nature of procrastination. Procrastination isn’t an illness or a diagnostic category, it’s a personality tendency (a.k.a., habit). And since procrastination isn’t an ‘illness,’ you don’t have to cure it. You may have to address it, especially if your life is being sabotaged by escaping life’s demands.
Join me as I explore my own “ADD” personality, which in my estimation has nothing to do with an inability to focus, but rather a having a low threshold to boredom. I’m a stimulus junkie and in order to avoid procrastination, anything of low stimulus value requires flexing my self-discipline muscle. Developing your self-discipline muscle is one way you can begin to make your life more efficient and your intentions more obtainable. No more ‘kicking-the-can-down-the-road,’ learn how to flex your self-discipline muscle.
How to make sense of your dreams
Why do we dream? Are dreams important? Some scientists say that dreams serve no real purpose at all. Whether you interpret a dream or not, most research suggests that there’s no question dreaming is essential to both your physiological and emotional balance. How exactly this is accomplished is anyone’s guess at this point, but one thing is certain, dreams can often be used to facilitate your emotional growth and life journey.
Join me in this Self-Coaching episode and learn a simple approach that will help you decipher your dreams and put them to use for every day mental health. You don’t need to have a Ph.D. in psychology, just a practical Self-Coaching approach that incorporates the previous day’s ups and downs to offer a lead-in to interpreting and understanding your nocturnal stories.
Why you don’t need common sense to eliminate emotional struggle
According to Self-Coaching, emotional struggle defies common sense. Truth is, it just doesn’t make any sense to go on struggling month after month, year after year. In this episode join me in a discussion of the fallacy of common sense and how replacing this concept with a more workable concept like ‘practical sense,’ will put you in a much better position to understand and achieve emotional liberation and happiness.
Be honest, do you have neurotic tendencies?
Would you find it unsettling to know that you may have neurotic tendencies? If so, perhaps you need to understand that to a greater or lesser degree we all have a very human inclination toward neurotic behavior(s). Whether it’s worry, irritability, negativity, self-doubt, or being self-conscious, understanding the nature of what we call “neurotic,” is one way to begin to liberate your life from these needless, habituated habits of defensive living.
In this Self-Coaching episode you’re going to learn, not only how and why we become neurotic, but more importantly, how to coach yourself to find what I call your “inner compass”—your path toward frictionless living. In order to access this inner direction, you first need to understand the impact that neurotically controlling life has on your wellbeing. Simply put, living according to your inner compass is living your life with meaning and purpose, rather than being manipulated by neurotic habits.
Why it’s not okay to complain
The fact is that we all complain—some more, some less. But what’s so bad about complaining? In the Self-Coaching episode, you’ll learn how complaining is like experiencing the same torment over and over again, thereby revisiting the stress of our complaint over and over again. Not only is it stressful to complain, it also turns us into victims, grumblers, and whiners.
Did you know that complaining, especially chronic complaining, is a habit? Yup, complaining actually rewires your brain for negativity, pessimism, and unhappiness. Anatomically, complaining actually shrinks the hippocampus in your brain, which among other duties is involved in critical problem solving and intelligent thought.
In other words, complaining ain’t no free lunch. Join me as I explore the different types of complaining and why it’s in your best interest to break the complaining habit.
How to fall asleep in five minutes or less
You may remember the song from the 50’s, ‘Tossin’ and Turning all night’’? Who hasn’t experienced the torment of not being able to fall asleep? You count sheep or try thinking pleasant thoughts, all to no avail. Meanwhile your frustration and inability to fall asleep has you at wits end. You know that sleep is essential, you know you shouldn’t be worrying about tomorrow’s problems, nevertheless, once again, you wind up ‘tossin’ and turning all night.
In this episode I explain a very simple Self-Coaching technique that I’ve been using successfully for years with my patients. Once you understand the concept, you’ll find that insomnia can be a thing of the past. In fact, you’ll find that falling asleep in five minutes or less isn’t at all unusual.
Here’s how I use Self-Coaching to deal with all these damn Covid variants
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting fatigued hearing about the next ‘wave’ of this virus. I believe it’s now called the Ba.5 variant. Great, right!
Granted, it does seem as if we’ve become more resilient since all this began in January 2020. We seemingly have adapted rather well, however, just beneath the surface is that January 2020 reflexive feeling of paranoia. Guess it’s a form of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
Is it okay to socialize? Is it practical to go to the theater, restaurants, weddings? Sure, we’ve come a long way, but we’re nowhere near putting Covid in our rear-view mirror. Until that time comes, I’d like to offer a Self-Coaching approach where you can learn the value of being concerned rather than worried, being prudent when defining your comfort zones, and most importantly living each day with legitimate optimism.
Frazzled? A better way to cope with life’s frustrations
We live in a world where frustrations are an inevitable part of life and learning to tolerate frustration should be a part of your healing journey. In this Self-Coaching episode, I talk about the nature of "intolerance"--letting life's frustrations victimize you.
Maybe you've tried counting to 10, taking deep breaths, or thinking of purple elephants, all to no avail. Unless you have a better grasp on how and why you wind up frazzled by life's frustrations, you'll continue to be triggered by these events.
Join me in an exploration of how that pristine moment between the stimulus (frustrating event) and response (becoming frazzled) can become your key to a calmer, healthier acceptance of life's inevitable challenges.
Why you should become more compassionate
In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss the important concept of compassion. Compassion literally means “to suffer together” and is defined as the feeling that arises when you’re confronted with another's suffering and you feel motivated to do something in order to relieve that suffering. Research shows that compassion in life adds to our genuine happiness as well as our physical health and longevity.
Although we typically think compassion as it relates to others, it also pertains to ourselves in what we might call self-compassion—the need for healthy forgiveness and nurturing. And yet there are some who are insulated from compassionate caring, retreating into their “turtle” shells of detachment and defensive insulation. Still others, in contrast, become overly involved in compassionate involvement creating what we call compassion fatigue. Join me as I discuss the different manifestations of this very important psychological emotion.
The #1 reason for all emotional struggle
I’ll admit, it sounds rather preposterous that there could be one reason for all emotional struggle, it just seems to defy common sense. Perhaps. Nevertheless, understanding the reason why we suffer isn’t as important as knowing what we can do to liberate ourselves from a life contaminated by emotional struggle.
Join me in this Self-Coaching episode as I lay out my reasoning why emotional liberation requires, not abstract, arcane psychological theory, but what I call, common sense psychology. Psychology doesn’t have to be rocket science, it simply has to make sense—common sense.
How to apply Self-Coaching to needless emotional struggle
In this episode you’ll learn how to apply my Self-Coaching principles to solving emotional struggle. Whether you suffer from anxiety, depression, worry, or challenging moods, Self-Coaching is a hands-on technique for liberating yourself from needless insecurity-driven, distorted thinking. By learning to distinguish between your thoughts that are contaminated by insecurity and your mature, healthy thoughts, you’ll be in a position to choose a life free of conflict and struggle.
Self-Coaching is much more than ‘coaching,’ it’s a powerful cognitive behavioral tool for understanding the why of suffering. The reason I call it Self-Coaching, is because in order to break the destructive, insecurity-driven habits that underly emotional struggle, you’re going to need to understand the need for motivational optimism in order to neutralize insecurity and replace it with self-trust. With self-trust, you’ll be free to live life spontaneously, without the worrisome need to always be in an anticipatory state of “what-iffing” life.
How to apply Self-Coaching to needless emotional struggle
In this episode you’ll learn how to apply my Self-Coaching principles to solving emotional struggle. Whether you suffer from anxiety, depression, worry, or challenging moods, Self-Coaching is a hands-on technique for liberating yourself from needless insecurity-driven, distorted thinking. By learning to distinguish between your thoughts that are contaminated by insecurity and your mature, healthy thoughts, you’ll be in a position to choose a life free of conflict and struggle.
Self-Coaching is much more than ‘coaching,’ it’s a powerful cognitive behavioral tool for understanding the why of suffering. The reason I call it Self-Coaching, is because in order to break the destructive, insecurity-driven habits that underlie emotional struggle, you’re going to need to understand the need for motivational optimism in order to neutralize insecurity and replace it with self-trust. With self-trust, you’ll be free to live life spontaneously, without the worrisome need to always be in an anticipatory state of “what-iffing” life.
What’s holding you back? Becoming more resilient, competent, and confident
Not getting enough out of life? Not bouncing back from setbacks? Feeling a lack of self-esteem or confidence? If so, you won’t want to miss this episode. Join me with my special guest (and daughter-in-law), Semira. Among her many talents and passions, Semira is a neuro physiologist, a mother of two, a skilled carpenter, artist, and gourmet cook, to mention only a few of her interests. How does she do it? What is it about her life and her attitude that allows her to savor all that life has to offer? Where others struggle with lethargy, lack of motivation, and empty lives, Semira has figured out the secret to a rich and rewarding life.
In this Self-Coaching episode, you’re going to learn what you can do to turn a ho-hum life into a more robust and fulfilling experience.
1,400 reasons why you can’t afford to ignore stress
We often concede to stress by passively accepting the notion that we have no choice but to get upset when life challenges us. This is blatantly not true; you do have a choice! Join me in this Self-Coaching episode to find out how you can become more active in deciding whether or not you need to be victimized by needless neurotic, circumstantial stress.
The second century emancipated slave, Epictetus, taught that everything that affects us, whether good or bad, positive or negative, depends on our own judgment and how we interpret the circumstances of our lives. In other words, life doesn’t dictate our happiness—our interpretation of life does! This is why optimists are happier than pessimists. It was true in Roman times and it’s true today.
As for the 1,400 reasons? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out what they are.
The 3 enemies to losing weight
If you struggle with weight loss and weight mastery, I'm sure you know how easy it is to fall prey to false intentions, rationalizations, or excuses. There’s a big difference, for example, between wanting to eliminate late-night snacking and knowing that you’re going to do it. Wanting to is an excuse that postpones action, going to is the mental action-memo that triggers intentionality. In order to go from wanting to to going to, you have to learn to stop being manipulated by self-sabotaging ploys that I call your "enemies." All self-sabotaging ploys have one thing in common—they are subtle ways of getting you off the responsibility hook. And when it comes to losing weight knowing your enemies is the first step toward weight mastery.
Is gossiping bad for your mental health?
--Your brother just got his girlfriend’s name tattooed on his leg and your parents are going to flip out.
You find out that a coworker is cheating on his fiancé.
--Do you think if you heard this you would feel an urge to tell someone? Damn right you would!
In this Self-Coaching episode, we discuss whether gossiping is, in fact, part of our human nature—after all, everyone does it. But why? Why do we do it? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Could our tendency to gossip be harmful to our mental health? Join me in this episode to understand this rather intriguing tendency to, “spread the news.” Especially, the negative news.
The simplicity of Self-Coaching
In this Self-Coaching episode, I hope to convince you that emotional liberation doesn’t have to feel like rocket science, in fact Self-Coaching offers a commonsense approach that anyone can understand. If you recognize that habits, all habits, are learned and all habits can be broken, then you’re ready to tackle the habits of insecurity that have hobbled you with emotional struggle.
Are we programmed to be negative? Understanding your negativity bias
Do you recall insults better than praise? Do you think about negative things more frequently than positive ones? How about remembering traumatic experiences better than positive? Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone, it’s what psychologists call ‘negativity bias.’
In this Self-Coaching episode, I talk about this totally normal, human tendency to react more strongly to life’s negatives than to its positives. Join me as I explore not only why we are negatively biased but various Self-Coaching strategies to minimize this tendency and replace it with a more optimistic capacity for a happy, more fulfilled life.
Bottom-up, top-down ways to improve your relationships
Here’s a simple Self-Coaching practice that will ensure your relationship’s ongoing sanity.
Bottom-up, top-down interventions will solve most relationship conflicts. This is especially true if both partners are employing these strategies.
In this Self-Coaching episode, you’ll learn that the strategy of calming down raw, bottom-up emotions of defensiveness, and replacing them with top-down, insightful thinking is perhaps the single best way to minimize, if not eliminate ongoing relationship stress.
Are you a worrywart or are you just a pragmatist?
In order to answer this question, we have to appreciate the thin line between anticipating future events and worrying about future events. The essential difference —anticipating versus worrying —has to do with the infusion of insecurity.
In this Self-Coaching episode, you’ll find out why it’s important to take a step back from any life challenge or crisis and ask two important questions:
· Is what I'm feeling rational and reasonable?
· Is what I'm feeling proportionate or disproportionate to the circumstance?
Asking these questions will put you in the best possible position to begin to liberate yourself from needless worry and stress.
You had a ‘normal’ childhood–so why are you unhappy?
Many people who struggle emotionally look back to their childhood for answers. But what happens when we scour our past only to find a "relatively" happy, loving, nurturing environment without any significant trauma or neglect?
The confusion often occurs when, for example, a patient in therapy scours their childhood assuming there must be something-something dysfunctional, alcoholic, abusive, or neglectful — about their parents. You know, the really bad stuff.
In this Self-Coaching episode, we’ll explore this paradox, demonstrating that not all anxiety and depression are a result of a completely dysfunctional nurturing environment. Far from it.
Life got you down? Here are 3 Self-Coaching ways to overcome feeling powerless
Next time you feel dead-ended by life, stuck, or overwhelmed by problems and worries, and you just want relief, rather than caving in to your feelings, recognize that you may need only a simple perceptual upgrade —a Self-Coaching "upgrade" that begins with an acknowledgement that just because you feel dead-ended and powerless doesn't mean you are.
In this episode you'll learn three Self-Coaching truths designed to provide you with an empowered perspective that will liberate you from needless psychological struggle.
Liar, liar, pants on fire. Why we lie
In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss lying, particularly the ubiquitous, “white lie.” Is it wrong to fudge the truth if, in fact, we’re doing it to be diplomatic? Of course not; it’s what we might call a social lubricant. But when does white-lying cross the line becoming a neurotic problem?
Tune in to learn the difference and start to fine tune your life. It’s all about living “correctly” rather than at the mercy of reflexive insecurity.
The upside of getting older
Traditionally getting older gets a bad rap, but whether you’re in your twenties or your eighties, this Self-Coaching episode will have you looking forward to your golden years with optimism. Admittedly, this sounds like hyperbole—it’s not. Not once you understand that mortality, far from being a disquieting notion, is actually a profound teacher.
What can the concept of mortality teach us?
You’ll have to listen to this episode to find out; just don’t be surprised if you start to look at growing older as something much more than a winding down, but as an opportunity to grow and expand. You’ll learn the value of shedding the superficiality of your acquisitional younger days and realize the true value of living “correctly.” No longer does growing old have to be feared.
How to become your own best coach
Anyone who insists on looking for a guru, a shrink, a shaman, or a pill, to liberate themselves from struggle will ultimately fail. Why? Because no one but you can ever topple your destructive habits. When you look for someone to heal you, to take care of you, to make you better, then, like a child, you remain without the full potential power of your maturity. It is exactly this power of personal maturity and self-trust that Self-Coaching promotes.
In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss the why and the how to becoming your own best coach in order to take an active role in your emotional liberation
Controlling life isn’t the answer, it happens to be the problem
Human beings are vulnerable creatures and when feeling out of control or insecure we instinctively tend to compensate with attempts to gain control and not feel insecure. Insecurity/vulnerability is the root of our struggles and trying to control life is the weed that grows from it. A desire to control life may begin subtly, going unnoticed for years, with no ill effects. But make no mistake: in time, control will act like a weed, overrunning your life with worry, doubt, and fear. Trying to control life is such a destructive strategy, yet few people see it for what it is.
In this Self-Coaching episode, you’ll learn why controlling life gives you an artificial and temporary feeling of security—you get seduced into thinking that your particular juggle of controlling strategies is the only way to escape vulnerability.
Why you need to develop a ‘growth mindset’
Do you want to turn your life around? If so, then this Self-Coaching episode will help you recognize whether you have a fixed or growth mindset.
A fixed mindset is like having a bicycle with 10 gears, unfortunately if you have a fixed mindset, you’re only using the first gear. You’re afraid to experiment with the nine other gears, why? Because you’re just not sure you want to risk failure.
If you happen to be clinging to that first bicycle gear your experience will be limited to peddling along level, easy roads; roads that are safe, manageable, boring, and limited. Whereas your friends with a growth mindset are saying, “Wow! Let’s see what these other gears can do, as they abandon the level road, trying different gears to tackle different terrain challenges.
You’re not a 10 sped bike, but if you suffer from a fixed mindset, you are limiting your ride through life. Sure, it takes a bit of courage to experiment with life’s other “gears”, but since we only live once, why not take the risk? Why go on holding yourself back with a fixed mindset? Why not try some of those other gears?
Why we worry
Everyone worries from time to time, but if you’re a worrier or even a worrywart, maybe preparing for the worst doesn’t sound so terrible to you. You may think it’s prudent if not smart. And I wouldn’t disagree if it weren’t for the compulsive, unrelenting worry-loop that gets generated by insecurity and anxiety.
There’s a big difference between worrying and being concerned. Concern deals with here-and-now facts, worry deals with emotional fictions, projections of future vulnerability.
When, because of insecurity and lack of self-trust, you feel you can’t handle some aspect of life, then worry is often an attempt to somehow—if not magically—find a way to figure out how to feel less vulnerable about something that hasn’t even happened. In a sense, you’re trying to worry away the fears. What’s the opposite of worry? Courage! Courage and a willingness to let life unfold dealing with each day as it presents itself. No doubt letting go of worrying may feel dangerous—it’s not dangerous at all. But don’t take our word for it—give it a shot and find out for yourself.
Love and loving
In this Self-Coaching Valentine's Day episode, Lauren and I discuss the many aspects of love and loving. When Cupid's arrow pierces our heart it sets in motion not only a powerful emotional reaction, but a biological process involving numerous feel-good, bonding chemicals including oxytocin, dopamine, and endogenous opioids--strong stuff!
Whether it's physical love, platonic love, flirtation, or parental love, there's no question that human beings are hard-wired to love. Join us as we explore the many facets of love, intimacy, passion, and commitment.
How to stop talking yourself into a life of emotional struggle
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I want you to Imagine that you’re on your patio trying to relax. You notice a cute little pigeon milling about, pecking and minding its own business. Innocently, you toss it a few crumbs from a leftover sandwich you'd been eating. The next day you go out to your patio and within minutes your little pigeon buddy reappears with a companion. Enthusiastically, you throw out a few more crumbs. By the end of the week, you're inundated with hundreds of pigeons leaving your once pristine patio a shamble of feathers, droppings, and a cacophony of cooing. You ask, "What should I do?” And to anyone witnessing your problem the answer is simple, "Stop feeding the pigeons!"
If you allow reflexive, knee-jerk, insecure thinking to flock into your life with needless worry, fear, or negativity, then you're feeding the pigeons of insecurity. And if you insist on feeding your insecurity, the distasteful truth is that you will suffer. From now on, keep the image of the pigeons in mind every time you find yourself spinning with insecurity-driven thinking, then remind yourself to, "Stop feeding the pigeons!"
How do you know if you or someone you know might be narcissistic?
A famous line from the comic strip Pogo reads, “We have seen the enemy and he is us.” If you’re at all concerned about whether you, or someone you know, may be too egotistical or narcissistic, this Self-Coaching episode can help. Lauren and I discuss the various shades of egoism and narcissism as it applies to relationships and everyday life.
Goals: getting what you want out of life
Whether it’s the pursuit of happiness or simply living a more successful life, in this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I talk about strategies to maximize your chances of reaching your goals.
There’s a saying that goes: “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” The longer you do nothing about what you want out of life, the longer you will live with empty dreams. Wishful thinking can never replace purpose-driven action. A successful life doesn’t come looking for you; it must be sought, pursued // and embraced.
Understand that a big reason why you quit on your goals isn’t because it's too hard, too frustrating, or too complicated. You quit because you allow yourself to believe it's too hard, frustrating, or complicated.
The person who refuses to accept negativity is the person who will always triumph. Starting today, aim at something, risk believing in yourself, then pull the trigger of action.
Resiliency: bouncing back and handling life challenges
In this Self-Coaching podcast, Lauren and I discuss resiliency--your capacity to recover from difficult life events. Being resilient doesn’t mean you won’t experience difficulty or distress—you’ll never escape the pain of being human. But you can learn to be more resilient!
Resilience is like a muscle you can work at becoming more resilient. Start out by becoming more mindful, focus on doing something that occupies your mind and gives you a sense of accomplishment. You may have to force yourself at first, but remember, you’re building muscle—be patient!
Most importantly, accept the changes—big or small—that have been thrust upon you. Don’t cling to what was or what should have been, let go of the past and begin cultivating a hopeful attitude that will serve you going forward.
Healing takes time, be patient, give yourself time.
2022, let’s talk evolutions rather than resolutions!
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss a better approach to making new year's resolutions. Now that it’s 2022 if you’re like most people, you’ve probably come up with a few new year’s resolutions. And why not, the new year brings with it an expectation of wiping the old slate clean and starting anew. We all like fresh starts. And as optimistic as you might be, don’t be blinded by short-sighted, wishful thinking.
In order to have those resolutions come to fruition, you need to recognize that unless you change your mind, you can’t expect your goals to be realized. If you really, really want to succeed this year, understand that it all boils down to self-discipline.
And you build self-discipline by willfully enduring the transient discomfort of changing who and what you are. You’re not born with self-discipline you acquire it!
Reducing emotional friction by learning to be more patient
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I address the importance of learning to become more patient. Think of patience as a muscle. The more you seek immediate gratification, the more your patience muscle atrophies. The opposite is equally true, the more you cultivate an attitude of patience, acceptance, and mindfulness, the more your patience muscle grows. With increased patience you feel more in control. Why? Because you’ve decided not to be a victim of that which you can’t control.
Accepting life, all of life, is a way of reducing friction. By resisting, stamping your feet and insisting, “I can’t wait!” “I need it now” the more you’re identifying with helplessness. You’re not helpless, the quality of your present moment is entirely in your hands. It’s up to you whether or not you ring your hands in anguish about something you’re waiting for or whether you’re enjoying the release and solace that comes from accepting that you can’t control fate. Waiting is an inescapable part of life…how you wait is entirely up to you
Applying Self-Coaching to every day challenges
Do you ever say, “Today’s not a good day”? Or, “I have to go to work”? Or, “I have to pay the bills”? Life sounds like drudgery, doesn’t it? Before you resign yourself to just “getting through” another day, recognize what you’re doing. For starters, you’re conceding that today won’t be an opportunity for anything worthwhile. We call this a self-fulfilling prophecy--what you tell yourself and what you believe are what you and your life become.
In this Self-Coaching episode you'll learn to stop prejudicing yourself with a short-sighted, pessimistic attitude. Instead, you can open yourself up to the awareness that every day—in spite of any whining—is an opportunity, an adventure. The truth is, you don’t know what may be around the next corner. It could be wonderful, not terrible. As the saying goes, when the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.
Practical Self-Coaching for more effective living
In this Self-Coaching episode I offer practical, everyday suggestions for living a more effective life. Sometimes, even the most commonsense solutions to life struggles are buried in needless, superficial neurotic distractions. The suggestions in this podcast are meant to awaken in you a deeper understanding and perception of your true potential. By removing the clutter of insecurity-driven, reflexive doubts, fears, and negatives, you open yourself up for the life that awaits you.
7 Self-Coaching secrets to a happier life
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss the seven secrets to a successful, happier life. They are:
- Embracing optimism
- Cultivating hope
- Practicing presence & mindfulness
- Finding the good in people
- Risking Self-trust
- Defining your personal morality
- Cultivating a sense of humor
Isn’t it time to risk believing in yourself, to stop dwelling in doubt, to manage your fears and worries, and never falling prey to negativity? Remember, it’s never too late to become what you might have been.
Improving your social/people skills: going from small talk to real talk
In this Self-Coaching episode Lauren and I talk about improving your social/people skills. By injecting empathetic communication into your social exchanges you can learn to progress from small talk to real talk. Becoming a better communicator means learning to overcome emotional hesitation by developing your self-trust muscle. Self-trust begins with a willingness to risk connecting with others. You can keep it simple at first, perhaps just a nod or smile as you pass someone on the street or at the office. Find out that the world doesn’t end if you open yourself up to others.
So, stop holding your head down avoiding others, make yourself connect. Stop acting like you’re so vulnerable that you have to protect yourself from…from what? Be honest, what are you afraid of…embarrassment? Vulnerability? Stop running. Stop hiding. Start realizing that with practice your self-trust muscle grow, your confidence will grow, and your world will no longer be hijacked by insecurity. And what exactly is self-trust? It’s a willingness to risk believing in yourself. And does it work? Just ask Dr. Seuss: “Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!”
Shoulda, coulda, woulda: living without regrets
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss living without regrets. A regret is looking back over your shoulder, lamenting what was. Why do we do it? One reason may be that we're punishing ourselves for not being perfect enough, good enough, smart enough, and so on. Letting go of the past—especially the regrettable past—requires the courage to insist that today’s challenges don’t become contaminated by yesterday’s regrets.
Next time you find yourself swimming with regret, take a breath and realize the golden opportunity to do things differently going forward. Sit yourself down and ask one question, how am I benefitting from the self-hatred that comes from coulda, woulda, shoulda thinking? Stop beating yourself up. Embrace your humanness—sometimes humans get it wrong. And remember, stumbling is not falling. If you’ve stumbled in the past, this episode will help you to simply bring yourself to the uncluttered present and get on with becoming the person you need to be.
Active-Mind, Passive-Mind, No-Mind: Do you know which state of mind serves you and which hurts you?
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss how thoughts matter. Whether those thoughts emanate from active, passive, or no-mind choices, it’s up to you to decide what serves you and what hurts you.
Learn how you can choose Active-Mind to actively reject insecurity-driven thinking (doubts, fears, and negatives). By learning techniques like the ABC method, active ignoring, or envisioning, you can STOP dancing with shabby, destructive thinking while reclaiming your serenity.
You’ll also learn how Passive-Mind leaves you at the mercy of reflexive, knee-jerk habits of insecurity…isn’t it time to empower yourself and climb out of the passivity of the back seat and get up front? Grabbing that old steering wheel, heading off in “your” direction—not the direction dictated by knee-jerk pessimism or ruminative insecurity.
One last technique, No-Mind, can shed light on how a meditative life can offer a go-to respite to life’s struggles. Whether it’s Active-Mind, Passive-Mind, or No-Mind, simply knowing the difference can make all the difference in the world—your inner world
Nature, our best therapist
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss how nature can become our best teacher and healer. So, what can we learn from becoming more observant of nature? For starters, tolerance, acceptance, harmony and a sense of connectedness. Your congested inner life of anticipations, regrets, and incessant rumination begins to recede as you open yourself up to the outer world around you.
Nature doesn't discriminate, we do! Humans are always living in a binary world of good-bad, positive-negative, right-wrong, and yet, who's to say unequivocally that vegans are better than vegetarians or democrats are better than republicans?
For you to libertate yourself and be free of self-doubt and insecurity, you must manifest your intrinsic worth and beauty--your "nature." How? By being who and what you are, without comparisons, without regret. Minding the words of Dr. Suess, "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
Living your hopeful present
When life feels like an endless struggle, when everything in you is telling you to give up and quit, it seems like you only have one ally—hope. And as valuable as hope maybe, in this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss the fact that hope resides in a future expectation of relief and/or resolution. As important as it is to be hopeful about what’s ahead, it’s quite another thing to live that hope in the present.
By all means, cultivate a hopeful attitude, but do this in concert with a here-and-now determination to live your hope now--in the present. In this episode we discuss how to replace fear, doubt, or hopeless pessimism by harnessing what we call a 'hopeful present.' A hopeful present begins by learning to embrace your tenacity, resilience, and determination. Starting today, you can learn to live your hope.
Oops! What happened after I ruined this week’s podcast
After doing a wonderful podcast on the value of hope, I realized that I never pressed the record button on our Zoom session! In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I attempt to recover from our faux pas.
(fyi: the lost podcast on hope will be resurrected for next week's episode)
Toxic friends, toxic relationships: never be disappointed again. Never!
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss relationships—especially toxic relationships that chronically deflate us, frustrate us, and worse, depress us. Why in the world do we waste time on people who are toxic for us? You’ll find the answer in Self-Coaching’s technique called “Orbits.” Once you understand your relationship “orbits” you’ll never be disappointed by someone’s shabby behavior again. Never!
It’s important to keep in mind that not all friendships are equal. It’s time to spend more time on friends that you’re in synch with and less time with “quasi-friends” who typically wind up draining you. It’s better to be discriminate and have one or two close friends rather than many quasi-friends. It’s the quasi-friends who often leave you scratching your head asking, “Why do I put up with this nonsense?” But even with quasi-friends, as long as they are placed in their proper "orbit," it's possible to include them in your life without being negatively affected by them. Remember, “In life, we never lose friends, we only learn who the true ones are.”
Becoming more effective by saying goodbye to procrastination
Why do you think we spend so much time procrastinating? One reason is because living effectively in the present requires responsible, here-and-now action. It's a lot easier--and effortless--to imagine taking responsible action, later…or in a few minutes…or tomorrow. Truth is, there will never be a better "now" for purposeful action. In fact, there will never be anything other than "now." When the future does come, it will only be your new "now." Therefore, if not "now," when?
And do keep in mind that procrastination can become a habit and like any habit if you reinforce it with wimpy compliance, it will grow stronger. Just keep in mind that self-discipline is also a habit. The more you define your goals and stick with them, the stronger your self-discipline muscle becomes. So let me ask again, if not now, when?
They say life is short–here’s how to make it longer
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss how the days, weeks, and months just seem to slip by as we live a distracted, mindless life allowing ourselves to be pulled in all directions but our own. You can begin to learn how to slow down your life by taking a psychological “audit.” Asking yourself, how much time do I spend arguing? Pursuing money? Status? Impressing others? Worrying? And how much time do I spend fortifying and restoring my life each day?
Clearly, every life has its demands, you go to work, pay the bills, watch the kids—these are life’s ‘have-tos.’ But within every day, there are opportunities…opportunities to glimpse a sunset, interact with friends or loved ones, or simply taking the time for a deep breath reveling at being alive. Learning to live correctly is a process and in this episode, we explore the many techniques available for taking possession of your days—to actually slow down life itself as you get in synch with your real needs and potential.
Are you too sensitive?
Have you ever been told that you’re too sensitive or that you think too much? How about, “let it go, it wasn’t that big of a deal.” If so, you may be a highly sensitive person. In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss sensitivity with an emphasis on those who tend to be overly, or hyper-sensitive.
Although sensitivity can be positive attribute contributing to a depth of feeling and experience, a highly sensitive person, on the other hand, is often prone to rumination and self-criticism, which can easily lead to feeling overwhelmed either in social situations or with life’s demands.
If you are an overly sensitive person, it’s time to initiate a bit of self-care, keeping in mind, that when it comes to feelings, it’s not a matter of eliminating your sensitivities, it’s a matter of managing them.
Surrender vs. Control: your happiness depends on knowing the difference
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss the value of surrendering to life’s inevitable, unavoidable challenges. Join us as we explore our reflexive tendency to resist change and the value of learning to surrender.
So, how do you know when it’s time to surrender? That’s when you begin to realize that holding on and resisting hurts more than letting go. Adjusting to a new normal allows you to regain a healthy perspective rather than chaos in your life. Remember, it’s never life that brings us to our knees, it’s how we react and respond to life that does.
Next time you must face an unavoidable need to change some aspect of your life, be reminded that the discomfort of surrender is temporary! The relief of adapting is permanent.
Toxic Positivity: when being positive hurts
Ever heard of toxic positivity? Well, I never did either until Lauren told me about it this week. In this Self-Coaching episode, we define toxic positivity as the excessive and ineffective attempt(s) to gloss over someone’s struggle by offering such platitudes as, “chin up,” “things could be worse.” Although well intentioned, these cliches can often cause shame or guilt for a person stuck in their struggles who might be feeling stuck and unable to “chin-it-up.”
And don’t think these gems of optimism are reserved just for others, we often dismiss our own true feelings with Pollyanna, sugary thoughts as, ‘everything happens for a reason.’
So why is this important? The reason it’s important to understand toxic positivity is because it often results in the denial, minimization, and invalidation of someone’s struggles. Instead of toxic positivity, Lauren and I discuss a better approach to dealing with the here-and-now struggles of those that we care about.
Part 2: The psychology of relating in cyber space
In this second part of our Self-Coaching series on the psychology of relating in cyber space, Lauren and I continue our conversation, highlighting both the positive and negative aspects social media. There’s no question that social media is here to stay, as long as you have balance between real and cyber relationships and, as long as you’re willing to embrace moderation and mindfulness in your usage, social media can enhance and expand your universe. Just keep in mind that sometimes, when it comes to happiness and psychological well-being, less is often more.
Part One: The psychology of relating in cyberspace
In this Self-Coaching podcast, Lauren and I discuss how our hectic, high-pressure world seems to lend itself to the escape, stimulation, and distraction of social media. There is, however, a downside to squeezing more and more cyber-stimulation into your day-to-day life. When round-the-clock, hyper-connectivity begins to become compulsive, if not addictive, it may be time to hit the pause button and clarify your intentions.
There’s no question that social media is here to stay, as long as you have balance between real and cyber relationships and as long as you’re willing to embrace moderation and mindfulness in your usage, social media can enhance and expand your universe. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that sometimes, when it comes to happiness and psychological well-being, less is often more.
Have-tos, want-tos: what’s the driving force in your life?
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss the importance of differentiating normal from neurotic behavior. You do this by asking what’s driving my behavior? Whether it’s getting that closet organized just so, or not wanting to take a day off our exercise routine, how do we define what constitutes “compulsive” behavior?
The answer is that when your behavior is driven by positive desire and a tendency toward self-actualization, that’s healthy. And that’s normal. But when your behavior is driven by insecurity, then it’s a need to deflect, compensate, or otherwise over-control life, and that’s not healthy. It all boils down to when you feel like you don’t have a choice, when your “want-tos” have morphed into “have-tos.”
Do you have difficulty receiving gifts? Acts of kindness? Praise? Maybe it’s time to get over your insecurities
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss the many reasons why people have difficulty accepting gifts, praise, or acts of kindness. One overarching reason driven by insecurity is ‘over-thinking.’ “Why did she offer to take me?” “He’s just saying he likes me; I don’t buy it.” Another reason is low self-esteem—not feeling worthy. There are many expressions of this problem, including distrust, feeling out of control, fear of strings being attached, feeling awkward, and so on. Isn’t it time to stop allowing insecurity to call the shots?
Learning to say a simple, “Thank you,” can go a long way in liberating you from these needless life tensions. It’s all about learning acceptance by opening up your mind and heart.
Is the past really the past? Using your past to enhance your present
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss how to neutralize negative imprints from the past. Obviously, not all historical imprints are negative, but some are. It’s time to learn to neutralize those reflexive imprints that don’t serve us. How? One-by-one, neuron by neuron, brain circuit by circuit. Yes, you can begin to neutralize these troublesome imprints and habits by training yourself to live according to life’s here and now facts rather than historical, knee-jerk contamination.
It's time to become more aware of your reflexive beliefs and reactions to life. Time to decide what serves you and what hurts you. Do this and you will be actively starting a process of reprogramming your brain to go from struggle to solace, from past contamination to present living.
Poor self-concept? Always putting yourself down? You may have an ‘inferiority complex’
In this Self-Coaching podcast, Lauren and I discuss how to restore and replenish healthy self-esteem. It all begins with a simple truth: there's nothing wrong with you. Never was. You may reflexively balk at this statement especially if insecurity and faulty perceptions of inferiority have been calling the shots, but it happens to be irrefutable.
When you put yourself down you diminish your self-worth, you violate you. Stop doing it! Granted, at this point you may not be able to flip from black to white and gush with self-love (although that would be nice), but at the very least, you can start to neutralize your negativity. Sure, you may feel inferior, but always remember feelings are not facts. And when it comes to inferiority—your feelings are nothing more than faulty, miscalculations of your truth. And what’s that truth? let me reiterate: THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. NEVER WAS!
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss emotional triggers. Triggers are any word, person, event, or experience that “triggers” an immediate emotional reaction. Although triggers can be positive reactions to a stimulus, our focus in this episode will be on our negative, knee-jerk reactions that we often come to regret.
We’ve all experienced being “triggered” or as they say, having our buttons pushed. Although triggers are reflexive, non-thinking reactions, that doesn’t mean you have to be victimized by them. Not once you learn to detach, re-center, and focus on various coping strategies. With a bit of hindsight, you can learn to become more aware of the signs in your body that you’re reacting to a trigger, allowing you to become less susceptible to being emotionally manipulated. Like any other habit, if triggers are inadvertently reinforced, they will persist, but, as you’ll learn from this podcast, with a bit of understanding and practice, even knee-jerk triggers and be neutralized.
How do you handle being stuck in traffic, a slow line at the grocery store, or a slow Internet connection? Are you too impatient? Low frustration tolerance? If so, it’s time to stop torturing yourself when trying to handle life’s inevitable bouts of impatience. Only you can decide if the cost of being patient is worth it, but if it’s worth it, then join Lauren and I in this Self-Coaching episode and learn to begin taming your impatience rather than being victimized by it.
Forgiveness–why your mental health depends on it
Okay, so you're offended, you're angry, your feelings are hurt, maybe it's time to forgive. Why? Because resentment and anger are poisons that you take. It's like carrying a packpack with a 20 pound weight on your back. Why not simply let it go? One reason is because on some neurotic level, you're wanting to retaliate by "hating" or holding a grudge toward the offending person. Or maybe you're tying to teach them a lesson by being angry, whatever the reason, remember, you're the one carrying the 20 pounds on your back, not the other person; you become your own victim.
You deserve better and in this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss how, by practicing forgiveness, you can learn to drop the 20 pound backpack--letting go of your own poison. Forgiveness isn't necessarily forgetting or excusing the offending person, it's simply letting go and releasing your own toxic feelings and moving on with your life.
Expanding your horizons—living life outside of your comfort zone
In this Self-Coaching episode Lauren and I discuss ways to expand your life beyond your "comfort zone." There’s a saying that goes, 'If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.' The longer you do nothing about what you want out of life, the longer you will live with empty dreams. There's no doubt that wishful thinking can ever replace purpose-driven determination and action. A successful life doesn’t come looking for you, it must be sought, pursued and embraced.
This episode will help you find something to aim at, while understanding the hesitations and self-doubt that may be holding you back from a more expansive life potential that exists. Is it time to expand your horizons?
Understanding, managing, and eliminating unnecessary life fears
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss various strategies for managing fear. Fear is an instinctual response to danger (real or imagined). When the danger is real, like with COVID, fear mobilizes our resources to protect us from harm. And this is a good thing. When fear is associated with insecurity, however, then we wind up protecting ourselves, not from actual danger, but from fear itself (the “what-ifs”). When this happens, fear can easily morph into anxiety.
How do you tell the difference? Fear that has been cannibalized by insecurity is primarily a projection of the what-ifs, “What if I get sick?” “What if I lose my job?” Although seemingly reasonable, “what-if,” insecurity-driven fear deals with an uncertain future. Since the future doesn’t exist, these fears should be thought of as projections of our insecurity.
Join us as we discuss various Self-Coaching approaches that can go a long way toward managing and eliminating everyday fears and related anxieties.
Reinventing yourself–your personality, your happiness, and your life
How much of a role do genes determine your personality? Your happiness? Can we actually change who we are? In this Self-Coaching podcast, Lauren and I discuss how to "reinvent" yourself into the person you want to be and the person you deserve to be. There's a line from a poem that goes, "Stone wall do not a prison make, nor iron bars a gage." Sure, there are genetic predispositions, but there's a lot of wiggle room as to what exactly can and can't be changed in your life. It's not walls, iron bars, or genetics that imprison us...it's our thoughts, perceptions, and faulty beliefs.
You may have a genetic tendency towards certain traits, but your life is NOT predetermined! Starting today with this podcast, learn to abandon your fixed-mindset by replacing it with a growth-mindset. What you believe is what you become. And don't let anyone tell you differently.
A commonsense approach to happiness
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I explore the rather illusive concept of happiness. Happiness isn’t a goal that you can simply reach and be done with. It’s a constant pursuit requiring continual nurturing and sustenance. If you’re looking to increase your satisfaction with life, build stronger coping skills and emotional resilience, improve your health and longevity, then it’s important for you to understand how you can shed the negative, pessimistic habits that are holding your back and replace them with strategies that will ensure a more happy, purposeful, passionate life.
A Self-Coaching prescription for having a great day, every day
How often do you allow circumstances, challenges, or stress to dictate what kind of day it will be? Regardless of what goes on around you, it's important to recognize that you and you alone make the decision as to what kind of day it will be.
In this episode Lauren and I discuss various Self-coaching techniques to help you recognize that negativity, pessimism, and unhappiness are habits of mental passivity! Habits that, if you do nothing, well victimize you--and your day. So, rather than seeing life as one long dental appointment, explore with us a strategy for seeing each day as an opportunity to actively step apart from the circumstances or moods that steal your genuine, innate capacity for happiness.
Being adaptive in an ever-changing world—are you adaptable?
There’s no doubt that we humans are hardwired to adapt to life’s ever-changing challenges. Clearly, COVID 19 has demanded that we adapt to a new, more restricted way of life. Some have struggled, some have whined, but somehow, we’ve all made it through last year. How about you? Did you resist the inevitable restrictions and demands? How about now, are you adapting to this seemingly transitional period where it’s a kind of one-foot-in, one-foot-out experience of “almost” getting back to some semblance of normalcy?
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss the dynamics of why some people are more “adaptable,” while others resist, becoming overly cautious, pessimistic, or hesitant to change. Whether or not you are adaptable or not, join us to explore what can be done to enhance your ability and willingness to change, adapt, and transcend, not only this pandemic, but any and all of life’s inevitable and ongoing challenges.
Maximizing your happiness potential—learning what’s holding you back in life
In today’s podcast, Lauren and I discuss the fact that true happiness is an incorruptible attitude that exists independent of life’s circumstances. Whether the impediment to your happiness is caused by insecurity, life circumstances, or a faulty perspective, according to Self-Coaching, living a fulfilled, happy life isn’t something you wish for—it’s something you can learn to choose. Regardless of what’s going on around you, we suggest strategies that you can begin to employ today, enabling you to tap into your true potential for the happiness you want and the happiness you deserve.
Reclaiming and redefining your life after COVID
With the vaccine rollouts and warmer days ahead, for the first time, there may be a legitimate light at the end of this long, long tunnel. Great news! But as encouraging as this news may be, we must now prepare ourselves to enter a familiar yet changed world..
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss how this is the time to begin to fortify ourselves and our psyches for what’s ahead in a post-virus world. Although paradoxical, it’s not unusual that, as things continue to improve, we may actually see an uptick in our level of emotional distress. Why? Because for the last year we’ve been in a kind of automatic survival mode — less thinking, more protecting. It’s as if we’ve been holding our breath under water and are finally able to reach the surface and gasp a breath, only to realize how close we came to drowning. But as we start to catch our collective breaths, we’ll begin to feel the toll our stress has taken, and how depleted we are, mentally as well as physically.
Realize that as the intensity and stress of these past few months begin to flatten along with that damn curve (!), your emotions may lag behind. This is normal and should be expected. Don’t think that your psyche hasn’t been affected by what you’ve gone through — it has!
Maximizing your relationship effectiveness in marriages, partnerships, and friendships
In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss the many elements of successful relating. Whether you’re involved in a relationship that’s struggling or you simply want to fortify a good and loving relationship, this episode will shed light on the many elements involved in maintaining, enhancing, and restoring the love and enthusiasm you and your partner, friend, or spouse are capable of--and deserve!
However bogged down, confused, or distraught you may feel, untangling the chaos of a struggling relationship doesn’t have to feel like rocket science, quite the opposite, it’s all about raising your 'couples-consciousness' by learning to break away from reflexive, destructive habits and establishing more effective ways to communicate. Isn't it time to start restoring optimism, hope, and love in your relationship?
Understanding true happiness
In this episode of Self-Coaching, Lauren and I discuss the three pillars happiness: personal happiness (releasing your innate capacity for joy); functional happiness (learning to ‘connect’ rather than ‘disconnect’ from what you do), and relationship/social happiness (overcoming the vulnerability of relating to others).
Understanding the difference between joy, which is an internal pursuit, and happiness which is an external pursuit, will help you understand the many misguided frustrations we face when trying to live more meaningful, content lives.
When life feels like an emotional jungle: a psychological guide
Being human means accepting the fact that life can challenge us in many ways. Insecurity, emotional vulnerability, fear of making mistakes, uncertainty, anxiety, social survival, competition, loss, abandonment, and so on, represent just some of the many potential threats we encounter in our emotional "jungle." In this Self-Coaching episode, Lauren and I discuss how the myriad array of circumstantial threats can make us feel like we’re lost in a jungle of mixed and frightening emotions. As disquieting as these emotions can be, it helps to have a strategy for navigating life's inevitable challenges, and yet, as simplistic as it seems, sometimes all that’s necessary is a change of perspective.
Caring (too much)what people think of us
Do you worry what people think of you? Do you typically find yourself focusing on your negatives? Are you always comparing yourself with others? If so, this episode of Self-Coaching is for you. Whether you’re too sensitive or even hypersensitive, it’s important to get a handle on how low self-esteem can create a life of torment.
Join Lauren and I as we discuss various Self-Coaching strategies involved in combating the myriad struggles related to a lack of self-confidence, self-worth, or insecurity.
Want to lose those extra “COVID” pounds? A Self-Coaching, non-diet solution
Tired of endless dieting? Not getting results that last? IT’s time to change your relationship to food and change the way you look—for life!
This episode of Self-Coaching explores the emotional triggers and ingrained behavioral habits driving overindulgence. Lauren and I discuss powerful, simple Self-Coaching techniques that will help you break self-sabotaging cravings, compulsions, and emotional eating. You’ll learn to lose those extra pounds for good.
Improving your sleep, interpreting your dreams, and having more energy
In this episode, Lauren and I discuss the importance of sleep along with various Self-Coaching suggestions for falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up refreshed. Learn how bed-time rituals and day-time habits play an important part in allowing the body and mind to naturally wind down at the end of the day in preparation for an easy transition to a restorative slumber. You’ll find out why sleep is a critical component in daytime productivity, mental well-being, and emotional balance.
Dreams, nightmares, dream paralysis, and sleep walking are a just a few of the nocturnal phenomena discussed in this episode.
A better, Self-Coaching way to manage stress
In this episode Lauren and I discuss numerous Self-Coaching techniques for understanding and managing stress. Everyone knows stress, it’s a reflexive, protective reaction to danger—real or imagined. When you feel threatened, challenged, or overwhelmed, stress starts as a chemical reaction in your body designed to get you to protect yourself.
What causes stress in one person may be of little or no consequence to another. Some people are just better able to handle stress while others may start to panic over small, insignificant challenges. Our bodies are designed to handle the inevitable stress of living (i.e., small doses of stress), unfortunately, we are not equipped to handle long-term, chronic stress without ill consequences. You may not be able to eliminate stress from your life, but you don’t have to be victimized by it either.
When is it okay to be selfish? Not all selfishness is selfish
In this episode my daughter Lauren and I discuss selfishness. You might be surprised to find out that not all selfishness is selfish, in fact, when it comes to being more effective, empathetic, and caring, taking care of yourself and your own needs is a prerequisite for genuine compassion and relatedness. But first, from a Self-Coaching perspective, we need to stop calling it selfish and find a “healthier” description of selfishness. Join us as we explore self-care, self-love, and self-respect.
15 neurotic ways to screw up your life
Overcoming procrastination, laziness and other self-defeating tendencies
Grieving and finding purpose after the loss of a child
Why is change so hard?
The negativity bias: why it’s harder to be positive than negative
What exactly is psychological maturity?
Are you a “yes” person? A “people pleaser?” Learn how to take care of your true needs and desires.
How to make–and keep–your 2021 New Year’s resolutions
With the close of this difficult and tragic year, it's time to change our perspective as we look toward 2021 with the prospects of reclaiming our normal lives once again.
In this episode my daughter and I discuss the perennial practice of making New Year’s resolutions. If you’d like some Self-Coaching advice on how to make--and keep--this year’s 2021 New Year’s resolutions, you need to listen to this episode.
Lauren and I would like to wish all our listeners a most happy, healthy New Year, imbued with renewed optimism and belief of better times ahead.
Handling the holidays while handling Covid
Embracing the Mind-Body Connection
Want a fresh start? It’s all about learning to re-frame toxic, negative thinking
Slaying emotional struggle: a guide to mindful living
The Importance of Carving out time to Cope During Stressful Times: For Parents, Children, and Adults
Why your past isn’t as important as you think
Understanding relationship struggle (and what you can do about it)
Reaching your goals—guaranteed!
The Meaning of Life
There’s nothing wrong with you—stop feeling like there is!
Managing your fears
In the episode you're going to learn that fear is an unavoidable part of being human. You may not be able to eliminate all fear from you life, but you can definitely learn to manage these skirmishes.
It may sound like emotional sleight of hand, but fear is nothing more than speculation. Not a neutral form of speculation, like anticipating when things will improve, but more of a worrisome anticipation of chaos, like “This pandemic can’t be stopped!” Of course, in these challenging times, some fear may be unavoidable— this is normal and understandable. But when fear becomes chronic and unreasonable, then it’s time for some personal, Self-Coaching “mitigation.”
Think of fear as occurring on a continuum: Minimal Fear/Concern is on the far left. Moderate Fear/Worry is in the center. Intense Fear/Panic is on the far right. The left side of the continuum represents someone experiencing little or no fear. As you progress along the continuum, fear morphs from moderate/managed fear, to extreme fear (panic) on the opposite end. Where someone falls on that continuum is unique to each individual and that persons level of self-trust and insecurity.