Self esteem

“Need” is not a four letter word

Posted by on Mar 16, 2013 in Expectations, Relationships, Self esteem, Self-compassion, Self-talk, Straight thinking, Stress management, Who Says?!, Women's issues | 0 comments

“Need” is not a four letter word

Ever since the Declaration of Independence 237 years ago, the concept of self-reliance has been instilled deeply into our consciousness. As a nation, the fledgling United States was not going to have to answer to some mother/’nother nation. Fast forward a few years to frontier days, and the concept of the lone cowboy or sole homesteader reinforced that independent ideal.  Perhaps the Women’s Movement piled a few more bricks onto this wall of expectation, with quotes (widely attributed to Gloria Steinem) such as “a woman without a man is like a fish without a...

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Won’t she just grow up?

Posted by on Oct 14, 2012 in Expectations, Parenting, Relationships, Self esteem, Self-talk, Straight thinking, Stress management, Who Says?!, Women's issues | 2 comments

Won’t she just grow up?

Hardly a girl escaped exposure to middle school terrorism: biting criticism about clothing, mean notes circulating, gym class taunting, teasing about lunchbox contents, cliques loudly discussing parties from which some were excluded. Even if you weren’t a target, bullying was surely on your social radar. You may have cringed as you witnessed it, rigorously monitoring your own behavior to avoid attracting the same fate. Perhaps you eventually breathed a sigh of relief, finding your high school or college niche, feeling strong in your network of supportive women. You grew out of it,...

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Daily gratitude practice, updated.

Posted by on Sep 16, 2012 in Just Like Us!, Mind-Body, Self esteem, Straight thinking, Stress management, Who Says?!, Women's issues | 4 comments

Daily gratitude practice, updated.

The recommendation to make a daily gratitude list has become so common that your brain might be shutting down right now.  Yeah, yeah, you grumble.  The research is clear that sitting down each evening to list blessings in your life can increase happiness and well-being. And everyone older than three or younger than ninety knows it. “Lay off us, we’ve heard it before,” you may be thinking. I struggle with it too. I know reciting my gratefulness can enrich my life, tempering the days I spend listening to woes galore. But do I do it? I’m just a lowly human being, and...

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Are you a sponge or a brick?

Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 in Expectations, Relationships, Self esteem, Straight thinking, Who Says?!, Women's issues | 1 comment

Are you a sponge or a brick?

The need for approval leads many women to sculpt and mold their bodies, personalities, even lives to fit either/both a societal ideal and an individual’s expectations.  Maybe the recent Olympics launched tears of boredom rather than emotion in you, but you smiled and nodded at others’ enthusiasm. In most women’s lives, it’s an ongoing struggle to find that balance of being fully me while still pleasing others.  Back in February, I explored this need for honest truth in our relationship lives, concluding that loss of self for the sake of a relationship does not lead...

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The flip side of approval-seeking

Posted by on Aug 2, 2012 in Expectations, Relationships, Self esteem, Straight thinking, Who Says?! | 1 comment

The flip side of approval-seeking

I never seem to quit thinking on a topic, even after I’ve written a blog. Last week, I explored the need for approval. That post was triggered by new research that confirmed my thoughts: that affirmation from others makes us happy. While we may not need others to rubber-stamp our lives, getting that little boost of “you’re okay” certainly can boost our mood. We don’t require it, hopefully; we just like it. As my brain pendulum seems to do, my thoughts have now swung to thinking about the opposite: not needing approval at all. COMPLETELY independent, perfectly...

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Eschew approval? Think again.

Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 in Expectations, Fuzzy Dichotomies, Relationships, Self esteem, Self-compassion, Self-talk, Straight thinking, Women's issues | 0 comments

Eschew approval? Think again.

While I know this dates me, one of my favorite shows when I was a kid (granted, there were only about three morning kids’ shows from from which to choose), was Captain Kangaroo. Kindly, portly, huggable Captain Kangaroo was like a grandpa in the living room, jollying us along to learn those kid-focused life lessons, supported by his sidekick, Mr. Greenjeans. Not unlike a 1950s Dr. Phil, mustache and all. And at least as I recall, each episode ended with the mantra-like repetition of this message: “You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the...

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