Your Self-Respect Barometer

Making Wise Decisions

Consider the difference between being popular and being respected.  The following contrasts might get your attention.

The popular person:

  • Wants to be liked and avoids disapproval
  • Is largely dependent on the approval from others
  • Avoids conflict
  • Responds to peer pressure
  • Wants to fit in with everyone

The respected person:

  • Trusts their own judgment
  • Handles conflict well
  • Is okay with saying, “no”
  • Operates from strength
  • Displays strength of character
  • Often prefers to be eccentric

Which category appears to describe you?  In your network you may know people who prefer to be more in one category than the other.  It appears that more people want to be popular rather than be respected.  Perhaps they are operating more from weakness and are hostage to the approval of others.   Read more

Would You Rather Be Brilliant or Effective?

I have been honored to work with some really smart people on a global basis.  Many of them are those with whom I have had the pleasure of helping to be:

  • More persuasive
  • Better leaders
  • More influential
  • Higher performers
  • More skilled at relationships
  • Better communicators
  • More skilled in reaching agreements

Most of these people are well-educated and are highly skilled in their scope of practice.  They have a desire to be brilliant, smart, right, influential, respected, and admired.  They often want to make a difference in the world and in the lives of others.

I recall how frequently during my formal education I endured waiting for brilliant people to get my attention.  Many of my teachers and professors were routinely,   incomprehensively boring, disengaged, passionless, and apparently waiting for it to be over.

Read more

IMPROVE THE GLUE

How do you strengthen the bond and the quality of your relationships?

As an expert in the field of psychology, equipping people in the areas of all things relationship and performance effectiveness, I routinely ask my patients what they want me to help them to improve.  The overwhelming majority of them respond that they want to be closer to the people in their personal and professional lives… they want more “glue” in their relationships.

It is remarkable that most everyone wants the same thing, yet rarely are they equipped or skilled in strengthening the bond and quality of their relationships.

These are my suggestions that I highly encourage you to put into practice: Read more

Ask For Help

As a species, we are a very curious bunch of characters. So often, rather than practice common sense we prefer to routinely practice insanity.  What is insanity?  Insanity is continuing the same counter-productive habit, getting the same bad outcome with the illusion that if we keep doing that habit we will receive a different outcome.

Among the 2 most insane habits most people practice in the United States are:

  1. We spend more than we have

And

  1. We eat more than we need (More than 2/3 of us are financially and physically obese.) Then we wonder why we are so broke and so unhealthy!

Here is another insane habit we so often practice around the world… failing to ASK FOR HELP. 

This is one of the most powerful and effective habits that humans generally avoid. Insanity!  

The paradox is that we often prevent the very thing that works – ASKING FOR HELP.   

To get started, here are some remarkably universal truths:

Read more

Create Your Cheese List. Focus on the cheese and capitalize on your strengths.

If there is one thing that most everyone struggles with, it is their self-concept.  During my career as a psychotherapist, executive coach, and clinician, it is incontrovertible that most everyone spends his life suffering from any or all of the following:

  • Self-doubt
  • Insecurity
  • Poor self-image
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Self-loathing
  • Feeling inadequate and/or defective
  • Feeling unloved
  • Feeling like an imposter
  • Feeling weak and afraid

It is remarkable that so many people spend their lives perpetually taking inventory of what is wrong and defective about them rather than focusing on their good qualities, value, skills, and special contributions.

When you think about it, there was a period in our lives between pre-school and elementary school when we largely felt happy, excited, pleased, courageous, and generally pretty good about ourselves.  We were happy, our family was largely reinforcing, loving, and excited about our growth.  We liked to show-off, sing, play, and dance in public.  We said things like: Read more

THE AXIOMS OF LIFE

After several decades of practicing in the human relationship and performance effectiveness business I have come to realize that there are some incontrovertible truths about the business of living. They became evident to me over the years as I began to assemble them from the lessons I learned.

Understanding these truths and then guiding your life trajectory by living by them can make your life much more fulfilling, especially if you want to be happy, successful, highly functional, and well adjusted — as most of us do.

I call these truths the AXIOMS OF LIFE©.  There are 8 AXIOMS and I will be presenting them one at a time on YouTube this summer for your viewing and for your consideration.

#1 AXIOM OF LIFE

LIFE IS AS IT IS INSTEAD OF HOW IT SHOULD BE.

You may often find yourself believing that life is supposed to be different than the way it is. You are supposed to be good looking, healthy, fortunate, born into a good family, educated, safe, privileged, smart, lucky, impressive, respected, and popular. You are supposed to be happy, brilliant, successful, and perpetually young.

While all the above is the way life is supposed to be, you will likely notice that real life is often quite different. Life turns left when it is supposed to turn right.  Sometimes you lose your job, waste your time, make bad decisions, manage money poorly, or perpetuate bad habits.  Sometimes you get sick, let down, betrayed, divorced, and get old.

Moreover, you may complain and describe the problem more than doing anything to solve it.

SO, WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT THIS?

I recently presented a recording of this Axiom #1 on YouTube. I included some ideas and suggestions on how you can much more effectively reconcile the gap between how life is supposed to be and how it is.

If you would like to see this recording, click here:

   

AXIOM #2 is entitled LIFE IS UNFAIR, LIFE IS FAIR, AND IT’S BOTH.  I encourage you to take a look at that one as well. 

Be sure to send me your comments and reflections on the videos.

Many thanks for your time and support!

If you like the material, click to subscribe to my YouTube channel here!   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-7x3R1mJJg5AyatzINR5iw?view_as=subscriber

And let me know how you are doing!

The Most Powerful Key to Resolve Conflict, Reach Agreements, Persuade Others, and Engage Recovery… CREATE MULTIPLE OPTIONS

Do you notice how often it appears difficult to DECIDE WITH SOMEONE WHERE YOU WILL GO TO DINNER?  With your spouse, it may sound something like this:

You: “Where do you want to go to dinner?”

Spouse: “I don’t care.”

You: “Ok, why don’t we go to Alfredo’s?”

Spouse: “Hmmmmm. NO!”

You: “Ok then, so where do you want to go?”

Spouse: “I told you, I DON’T CARE!”  (Of course, you are now both infected with that chronic and familiar state of mind where nothing sounds good!)

You: (As you are becoming increasingly crabby and impatient and you start imagining what you now might want to say.)  Ok, so why don’t I go to Alfredo’s and you stay home!!!”         

Now both of you are cranky, defensive, and whatever appetite you may have had has evaporated!  

Does this sound familiar? 

Read more

Taking Things Too Personally

“I take things too personally” is a remark I hear frequently from my patients, associates, colleagues, and friends. Many people become hypersensitive, defensive, and full of self-doubt because of this problem.   

  • If you fail to get an invitation to lunch, a party, or a wedding, do you take it personally and then doubt yourself and your popularity?
  • If someone else gets the contract, do you believe you have failed to deliver?
  • If your boss forgets to say good morning, do you automatically think that he/she is angry with you?
  • If your spouse comes home crabby, do you feel responsible, guilty, irritated, defensive, or crabby yourself?
  • If your guests want to go home early, does that immediately suggest they dislike your company?
  • If your daughter is unhappy, do you start concluding that you have to be unhappy in order to show her how much you care?
  • If several of your colleagues are going to lunch together and you are not invited, do you worry they will talk about you at lunch?

We can have our whole day ruined because someone else’s behavior rubs off on us and we feel responsible. We find that whenever someone else is upset, we feel great pressure that somehow we are to blame. As a result, we take their behavior personally, which makes us defensive, anxious, miserable, and insecure.

It is important to gain some understanding as to the root of this problem and look at some possible reasons why we become hypersensitive and take things too personally. With this understanding, you will gain some valuable perspective on how to handle the problem more effectively. 

Consider these roots of taking things too personally:   Read more

Staying Focused and Effective during this Global Pandemic Crisis 2020

How do we start effectively coping with our anxiety, fear, catastrophizing, awfulizing, and obsessing?

How do we live with less, manage in the meantime, do the maintenance on our relationships that matter, stay strong, and begin strategizing about our next chapter?

Our world has been profoundly shaken with the latest virus that has impacted our lives in the last few weeks. This pandemic is spreading quickly around our planet and as a result we are continually being updated by the media with some very scary and disturbing developments. 

  • Many thousands of people are becoming globally infected with Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Many people are dying from it
  • We know entirely too little about how it spreads and who is likely to be infected
  • Treatment and vaccines have yet to be developed and will probably arrive in a year or longer
  • Testing initiatives and services have been limited
  • Schools, businesses, sporting events, entertainment venues, large meetings, modes of transportation, et al are being closed until further notice
  • Some entire countries are now being required to stay indoors at home
  • The escalation of the problem continues and it appears that we all have to be concerned about protecting ourselves from the possibility of infection
  • Many people are so anxious that they are cleaning out stores of their supplies of toilet tissue, food, water, home supplies, disinfectants, etc.
  • And, perhaps worst of all, many of us are beginning to panic, resulting in a variety of reactions… shock, disbelief, fear, agony, sadness, guilt, weakness, anxiety, obsession, anger, helplessness, suspicion, and frustration

This international pandemic crisis has created a huge distraction from our daily routines. 

Many of us are experiencing loss of income, requirements to remain quarantined, and dilemmas on how to remain safe while trying to stay strong, and keep the business of living at some level of functional.

In addition, there exists a significant disruption in our perception of control of our own lives.  Because unpredictable is now the new normal, and many of us are also in the deep end of the emotional roller coaster, we can be easily distracted from our work, our responsibilities and our focus.  What can we do?  How do we stay focused instead of constantly worrying or remaining hostage to the latest newsbreak?

Read more

It’s Like Driving Me Like Crazy!

It appears that the most contagious habit that is sweeping the country today is the use of the word “LIKE.” It’s a disease that is infecting everyone.

IT’S LIKE DRIVING ME LIKE CRAZY!

I have been thinking and reflecting about how it all started… slow at first, back in the day.   Then gradually increasing the infection to young people, to these days, like today, everyone and I mean like everyone is like speaking this way.  Both genders from elementary school kids, to young adults, to middle-aged people, and even “distinguished” people, you know the like gray-haired set.

When did it like start? As far as I can remember, it started during the 1950’s with “beatniks” like Maynard G. Krebs on the TV show “Dobie Gillis” where Maynard said with cool style in the coffee house, “It’s like cool, man!”

Fast forward to the 1980’s when young girls in San Fernando Valley became increasingly infected with a speech pattern called “Valley Speak” which became a 1983 movie “Valley Girl,” followed by a hugely successful movie in 1995 called “Clueless.” “Like I’m sure…” Read more