A common misconception about confidence is that it’s this general personality trait that makes someone bold and unafraid in any situation.
Confidence is actually very situation-specific.
Someone who is socially confident might look bold and fearless at a cocktail party schmoozing with new people; but put them in front of an Excel spreadsheet and they turn into an insecure bundle of nerves and second-guessing. Confidence, in other words, can take many different forms.
One of the most important forms of confidence that people rarely talk about is emotional confidence, the ability to acknowledge and accept your emotions without…
I’ve been reading a lot of Winnie-the-Pooh with my daughters lately. So I must have been primed to take notice when I saw someone tweet about a book called The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff.
Here’s how the author describes his intention for the book:
To write a book that explained the principles of Taoism through Winnie-the-Pooh, and explained Winnie-the-Pooh through principles of Taoism.
In addition to introducing me to some of the core tenets of Taoism, this book really made me think about how much of my own approach to mental health and well-being as a therapist aligns…
A lot of people think discipline is about what you do:
I’d like to suggest an alternative:
The best way to be more disciplined is to do less, not more.
If you’re doing something hard, trying to apply even more effort is likely to fail because you’re already tired and spent. What if you took a totally different approach…
What if you looked for things that were interfering with your ability to be more disciplined and focused on removing those?
If you’ve struggled for a long time to be more…
It’s hard to think of a more universal cause of anxiety, frustration, and stress than overthinking.
Whether it’s worry about the future, rumination about the past, or hypercriticism of other people, our ability to think critically is a double-edged sword we’d all do well to be more careful with.
But before you start trying to stop overthinking so much, it can be useful to understand why you tend to overthink in the first place.
Over the years working as a psychologist, I see the following seven reasons show up over and over again among people who struggle with overthinking.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to think of themselves as calm, cool, and collected, there’s a good chance you’re angrier than you realize (or want to admit).
Because anger isn’t a very socially acceptable emotion, many people end up masking it. And sometimes they’ve been masking their anger for so long — and are so good at it — they don’t even realize they’re angry anymore.
But here’s the problem:
No matter how good you are at hiding your anger, it will come out one way or the other.
As a psychologist, I regularly work with people…
As a psychologist, I hear every day about people’s struggles with feeling insecure and low self-confidence.
But here’s the counterintuitive thing most people don’t realize:
Self-confidence is often about doing less, not more.
See, most people don’t actually lack confidence. It’s just that they’ve accumulated a bunch of bad habits that interfere with their natural levels of confidence.
If you can identify and reduce these five bad habits in your life, your natural confidence and emotional security will emerge.
Criticizing others is often a defense mechanism used to temporarily alleviate our own insecurities.
Of course, we’re all critical sometimes. And…
Giving negative feedback is a challenge in many areas of life:
Life is full of situations where we…
Everybody experiences painful emotions: From grief and panic to anger and disappointment, emotional suffering is universal and unavoidable.
But how people respond to emotional suffering varies dramatically.
For some, emotional pain leads to a storm of negative thoughts, self-defeating behavior, and even more painful emotions. But others seem to bounce back almost immediately from emotional pain.
Emotionally resilient people know how to suffer without being consumed by it.
Thankfully, this emotional resilience is not quite as mysterious as it looks…
In my own work as a psychologist, I’ve seen that the following four habits are especially powerful ways to become…
If you struggle with anxiety, you’ve probably heard the usual old advice:
And while well-intentioned, advice like this is awfully simplistic… If being less anxious were as simple as making a decision to loosen up, no one would be anxious!
What most people don’t realize is this:
There are often subtle psychological reasons why we feel anxious.
In my work as a psychologist, I help my clients to understand the…
Many people grow up pretty confused about their emotions and how they work. So, understandably, they tend to simply avoid what feels bad and hold onto what feels good.
The problem is…
Making decisions based on how you feel is a recipe for both failure and unhappiness.
On the other hand, emotionally sophisticated people have a more nuanced understanding of how emotions work. And the better you understand your emotions, the easier it is to work with them in a healthy way.
Emotional sophistication means having a deep understanding of how your emotions actually work.
If you want to cultivate…