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

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

IT’S YOUR LIFE! IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER!

Oh my!  Do you notice what is going on around the world and especially in the United States? 

  • People are routinely being gunned down in churches, synagogues, theaters, entertainment events, schools, companies, governments, and homes.
  • Parents are attempting to bribe universities in order to gain admission for their children.
  • Highly respected manufacturers are being accused of significant crimes and misdemeanors while they betray their markets, deny everything, and attempt to defend themselves.
  • Politicians seem to be more interested in keeping their jobs, rather than actually doing their jobs. 

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DEALING WITH SELF-PITY IN OTHERS

How to Deal with People Feeling Sorry for Themselves

When you encounter people who are good at playing the role of professional victim, you will often notice that you routinely get seduced by them because they whine and they want an audience. When people swim around in the pity pot they often want you to feel sorry for them so they can describe the breadth of their terrible situation without any interest in solving it or doing anything about it. They simply want you to pay attention to them while they enjoy the “poor me” and describe the “delicious agony of life.” There seems to be something curiously attractive about being a victim and a martyr… apparently sacrificing yourself does get attention.  They will often say things to you like, “You couldn’t possibly understand what I have been through.”  Then you can expect them to waste your time while they describe the “poor me” in great detail and they can enjoy their victimhood and contest of who is the most oppressed person.  You will want to appear interested and likely conclude that you have enabled them to play victim while you are trying to be nice, empathetic, and appreciative of their plight.

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MISERY LOVES COMPANY

Are we becoming infected?

I am afraid sometimes that I am. Yikes!

 

The whining, the criticizing, the condemning, the blaming, the bellyaching, the awfulizing, the complaining, the catastrophizing, the obsessing… all delivered by so many victims and malcontents. Oh my, enough already!

For many decades, the media has routinely delivered the news and it has almost always been bad. Whether you see it, read it, or listen to it… it is 90% BAD NEWS.

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Hiring for Character

HIRING for CHARACTER

What do you do when you have an important position to fill?

If you are like most people, you post an open position on your favorite job site or call the local recruiter with the specifications for the position.

How much do you really know about what you are getting when you plow through a mountain of resumes?

A resume can tell you whether the person is capable of performing the job.  A resume is unable to tell you much about the person behind it.

Can you afford to make the wrong hiring decision? What do you do when you have to fire someone?  Are you able to fire them or are they protected by a collective bargaining agreement, tenure or other reason?  Read more

IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER

Think about your life and how you are living it.  For most of us, our lives are filled with some great ups, some painful downs, and a whole boatload of underwhelming vanilla in the middle.  We frequently waste a lot of time either watching life go by, or stalling with great intentions to get going real soon.

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STRENGTH OF CHARACTER

Hello All:

Consider these names in the news:
Alex Rodriguez, Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds,
Anthony Weiner, Mark Sanford, Elliot Spitzer,
Rod Blagojevich, Martha Stewart and Bob Filner.

What thoughts come to mind?  Admiration or disappointment?  Respect or cynicism?  Awe or let-down? Impressed or depressed?

Which is more likely, respect follows like or like follows respect?  You are popular and likely therefore to be respected?  Or are you respected and likely therefore to be liked?  Which has a longer shelf-life, being liked or being respected?

If you really think about it… RESPECT HAS A LONGER SHELF-LIFE, and you are more likely to be liked and popular after you are respected.

Like most always follows respect.  And, people will respect you MORE when you improve your own self-respect.

So strengthen your character and start with your own SELF-RESPECT.  You either dilute it or build it up.  It is up to you.

You either snatch a rationalization from the jaws of logic, or you go on the road less traveled and stick with your strong character.

At the end of the day, everything comes down to your character.

It’s Common Sense and remember, Common Sense is very Uncommon.

Dr. Mitchell Perry

Share Your Strength of Character

Every morning when you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see?  Are you pleased or embarrassed?  Proud or ashamed?  Impressed or depressed?  Excited or bored?  Energetic or listless?  Engaged or isolated?  Powerful or weak?  How is your self-respect?

Every morning, whether you like it or not, you wake up inside your own skin.  You always wake up you, which means you are always there attending that party… so does it make any sense to you to dislike the person in the mirror?  You are unable to get away from that person,  which means you always have to live with yourself, your feelings, your choices, and your behavior.  And, just like compounded interest in a bank account, there are long-term effects to those choices and behaviors.

At the end of the day, the measure of your life
is inevitably determined by your CHARACTER and all its strengths and weaknesses.  So, what is the condition of your Character?  What are your basic governing values?  What are the basic governing principles by which you want to live?

The essential qualities for Strength of Character include:
INTEGRITY: Honesty, legitimacy, the straight stuff, the full disclosure; the willingness to be unpopular at times, by telling the truth; the absence of lying, tap-dancing, pretending, rationalizing, spinning, distracting and avoiding.
RESPONSIBILITY: Your life is completely your responsibility.  If life is going well for you, you probably made it happen.  If life is going poorly, you did that too.  And if life is a whole new level of underwhelming… you did that too.  The cards dealt to you are yours to play — good or bad.  So take your lumps and get on with it.  The energy you spend on whining, complaining, catastrophizing, awfulizing, and admiring the problems will be so much better spent on problem solving.
GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT: This part of your Strength of Character is about giving more than taking, contributing more than consuming, caring more than expecting, investing more than expensing, and forgiving more than condemning.  This part of you is faith, living in the light, deriving meaning, and hearing the quiet.  You get more than you give when you give more than you get.  (Hmmm… random acts of kindness.)
So, establish a higher standard for yourself and your life.  Commit to INTEGRITY, RESPONSIBILITY, and GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT… and then share your values and spread them around.  You are quite a role model!

Raise your bar!

Today’s Tickle

One of the Greats

Lawrence Peter Berra played major league baseball for 19 years for the New York Yankees. He played on 10 World Series Championship teams, is a MLB Hall of Famer and has some awe-inspiring stats. His name is consistently brought up as one of the best catchers in baseball history, and he was voted to the Team of the Century in 1999.

Amazing accomplishments aside, they probably aren’t how you know Lawrence . You know him as Yogi, a nickname given to him by a friend who likened his cross-legged sitting to a yogi. Yogi is famous for his fractured English, malapropisms and sometimes nonsensical quotes. He’s closing in on 88, and there seems to be no end to his fans’ love for him.

Here are 25 Yogi Berra quotes that will make you shake your head and smile.

1. “It’s like deja vu all over again.”
2. “We made too many wrong mistakes.”
3. “You can observe a lot just by watching.”
4. “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
5. “He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”
6. “If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.”
7. “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up some place else.”
8. Responding to a question about remarks attributed to him that he did not think were his: “I really didn’t say everything I said.”
9. “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
10. “I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.”
11. On why he no longer went to Ruggeri’s, a St. Louis restaurant: “Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.”
12. “I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.”
13. “We have deep depth.”
14. “All pitchers are liars or crybabies.”
15. When giving directions to Joe Garagiola to his New Jersey home, which is accessible by two routes: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
16. “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”
17. “Never answer anonymous letters.”
18. On being the guest of honor at an awards banquet: “Thank you for making this day necessary.”
19. “The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.”
20. “Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.”
21. As a general comment on baseball: “90% of the game is half mental.”
22. “I don’t know (if they were men or women running naked across the field), they had bags over their heads.”
23. “It gets late early out there.”
24. Carmen Berra, Yogi’s wife asked: “Yogi, you are from St. Louis , we live in New Jersey , and you played ball in New York . If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?”  Yogi’s answer: “Surprise me.”
25. “It ain’t over till it’s over…..”