7 Ways to Reclaim Your Power

Uncategorized Nov 20, 2017

In some senses, I hate to even use the word "power." It seems hackneyed, like we are going back to the eighties. Power ties, power lunches, power suits. The last thing I want to sound like it one of those motivational speaker types telling you to find the power within. So accept my disclaimer. But pop psychology apologies notwithstanding, power is an important topic in work and in life. You can’t live without it. You are designed to have it, as we have said, in the form of self-control. When you lose that and are controlled by others, you are rendered powerless. And that is when the slippery slope that disintegrates life and causes you to lose your boundaries appears.

What we know about the human experience of powerlessness is that it erodes functioning in all the areas that are important to having whole life integration: your emotions, your relationships, and your performance. Decades of research have shown that the degree of powerlessness that people feel directly correlates...

Continue Reading...

Perfectionism is Ruining Your Life

Uncategorized Nov 20, 2017

One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to become preoccupied with perfection. That’s different from envisioning perfection as a goal. It’s about whether perfection is a goal, or something that you demand. Believing that you can realistically attain perfection is no different than wandering through the desert, ever-thirsty, toward a mirage that only recedes toward the horizon. A lot of people obsess over perfection. This obsession is a massive waste of time and energy.

Perfectionism is a distraction, a justification for procrastination, an excuse for never getting anything done. When perfectionism is about one’s own striving, it is hostility aimed inward. When it is aimed at others, it is a cold and compassionless hostility toward the world. Perfectionism is a refusal to accept reality, and it is rooted in fear. To the perfectionist, nothing will ever be good enough.

For many people, perfectionism originates in childhood, with parental pressure to achieve....

Continue Reading...

Use Boundaries to Help Someone in Need Without Codependent Habits

Uncategorized Nov 20, 2017

People on the go often have dependent relationships that they don’t know what to do with. These are individuals who, for any number of reasons, have tremendous life struggles and challenges and often deal with grave problems. They are needy and ask for a great deal of time, energy, and support. You may find yourself functioning as someone’s life support system. For example, you may have a friend who is going through a divorce and calls often for advice and a listening ear. Or you could have someone who has lost a job and is trying to pick up the pieces. Sometimes a needy person has a long history of failure and crisis and has for years been dependent on others to take care of him.

A needy person is often a very good person who is not truly toxic at heart. He may simply be going through his own dark night of the soul, as do all of us at some point in life. Or he may have a dependent character issue that prevents him from being autonomous and in charge. Though a needy...

Continue Reading...

How to Stop Feeling so Exhausted

Uncategorized Nov 20, 2017

Talk to enough people and you will find that exhaustion is widespread, especially during this time of year. Managing a fulfilling life at home, a successful career, maintaining friendships, staying on top of your health and physical fitness, and getting enough sleep — it can seem as though there simply isn’t enough time for all of these things. Trying and failing to find balance leads to feelings of exhaustion.

Humans have always combatted exhaustion. Previous generations had much more demanding, physical labor-oriented jobs. Earlier still, humans had to hunt and gather to survive. Of course these strenuous physical demands have been attenuated by modern conveniences that allow us to live in comparative luxury. And yet, exhaustion persists. In fact, it may be more widespread than ever before.

Exhaustion is the result of a confluence of factors, some that originate within you and your developed capacities, physically and mentally, but also environmental stressors and...

Continue Reading...

Confronting the People Who Create Unsafe Relationships

Uncategorized Nov 19, 2017

If you’ve read my book, Power of the Other, you know that we talk about the Four Corners. This means that there are only four possibilities for relational connection.

In Corner #2, we talk about bad connections.

A “bad connection” leaves you feeling like you are “bad” in some way. These relationships leave you feeling like, no matter what, you are not good enough. While this kind of connection might be overtly abusive, that’s not always the case. A bad connection might simply be someone who is highly critical. A boss with demanding expectations that can never be met. A friend who only points out the bad. A partner who is shaming or guilt-inducing. A co-worker who leaves you feeling, “I am not good enough.”

Trying to live and perform from this corner works against all of our internal systems of thriving…both personally and professionally. We were not designed to do well when we’re feeling bad. And the symptoms are...

Continue Reading...

The Two Things You Need for Healthy Intimacy

Uncategorized Nov 18, 2017

A healthy sex life begins with love. Love brings a couple together and allows sex to flourish. Love encompasses sex; it’s larger than sex. Love can create the desire for sex, but when the passion of sex is over, love remains. It continues and is present with the couple, holding them close to each other and to the Author of love himself.

A large part of sexual love is knowing, and sexual love is about knowing your spouse, personally and intimately. That means you should know your partner’s feelings, fears, secrets, hurts, and dreams, and care about them – and likewise, your partner should know and care about yours.

The vulnerability of sex increases that base of knowing, as husband and wife reveal their innermost souls to each other through sexual love. By its unveiling and exposed nature, sex demands that sort of openness. In sexual intimacy two people show each other the privacy of their bodies as well as the privacy of their hearts and feelings.

Love involves the...

Continue Reading...

Honoring vs. Obeying - How to Set the Boundary With Your Parents

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2017

Ben was 30 years old when I met him. He came into my office burdened by the opinions of what his parents thought of his life choices. It sounds crass on the surface, but one of the first things I told him to do was to “grow up and get a life.” But the problem with this common phrase is that there is great difficulty in the process, so let’s look at both sides: growing up and getting a life.

Your symptom, feeling like you give too much weight to your parents’ opinion, is a sign that some growing up has not happened. And while you feel like you always have to honor your parents, you don’t always have to obey them. If you’re still in the child position, then that is getting in the way of how you were meant to live your life. So, we have to look at two reasons for still remaining in the child position: not growing up, and not having a life.

Some people stay in the child position with parents because they are either unable to “grow up,” or...

Continue Reading...

Seven Reasons Why People Are Unhappy

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2017

Consciously or unconsciously, we are all driven to grow. We see a future that we want to live in, and we are either able to intentionally get there, or we cannot. A major determinant of whether you will get there or not is simply that you actually believe that you can.

We carry around a huge amount of personal baggage from our past experiences that forms our attitudes about the future. In many cases we develop a sense of learned helplessness that causes us to believe that we will never be able to get the future we want. This self-defeating logic is reinforced by our own inaction toward overcoming this baggage from our past. It becomes a pattern.

We get used to not getting what we want. We come to believe that it’s normal. That it’s simply the way things are.

Before we can overcome these issues, we have to understand what they are. This is by no means an all encompassing list of issues that characterize bad past experiences that can prevent you from realizing your own...

Continue Reading...

Abusive Relationships, Setting Boundaries and Getting Support

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2017

Emily came into therapy because of “panic attacks.” Her husband’s increased drinking was causing problems at home. She tried to be loving and supportive, but this was doing no good; it was making matters worse.

She had begun to read some books on setting limits on abusive behavior and how to not be an enabler. She realized that she had to say no to his behavior, and at times this meant leaving him alone when he was on a binge.

However, when she began to put limits on his behavior, she experienced severe panic. She felt as if she were “falling into a hole.” She shook and felt terror. She felt as if some awful loneliness was going to “swallow her up.”

As she began to understand herself better, she found that she did not have very good bonding inside of her. She was isolated internally, she didn’t have the ability to maintain emotional connections with other people in their absence. If she were not in the presence of the one she loved,...

Continue Reading...

The Reason Your Dating Life isn't Going Well

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2017

Single life is a mixed bag for many of us. Some people like to be unattached and play the field, while others just want to curl up with someone and binge watch TV shows on Netflix.

If you're unhappily single, I've got something to tell you. A friend of mine and her husband seem like a perfect match. I asked them how they met.

"It was a miracle," she said. "There is no logical way we should have ever ended up together."

"Why is that?" I asked.

"We were completely different people when we met, randomly, at a party. I was a young girl who liked to have a good time. He was a bit older than me and wanting to settle down. I was not a churchgoing person, but religion was a big part of his life. In all honesty, he was really the type of person I was trying to get away from. Imagine my surprise when he asked me out."

"Well, why would you go out with him if you were so different?" I inquired. "And how did you guys get from there to married for 10 years with three children?"

"I have a...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.