The Fear of Making a Mistake

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The fear of making a mistake and the fear of failure live at the heart of what keeps many people stuck. Whether you’re struggling with relationship anxiety, career stagnation, depression, or generalized anxiety, the fear of making a mistake creates a debilitating and frustrating state of paralysis where you simply can’t move forward and express the longings in your heart.

I’ve often received emails like the following, one of which sparked my initial inspiration to create the Trust Yourself program years ago:

I’ve been able to work through my relationship anxiety, but now I’m suffering from career anxiety. I long to move my career to the next level and start my own business, but my fear of failure and making a mistake get in the way. Every time I start to move forward, the chorus of negative voices start chattering in my ear about all the reasons why it won’t work, why I’m not Click here to continue reading…

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The Imposter Syndrome

When I do something well and have success, I feel like it’s a fluke.”

“I walk around feeling like a fraud. I don’t trust that I’m honestly capable of doing the things that I do.”

“I have this nagging sense that I’m going to be found out, like I’m a fake.” 

A fluke. A fraud. A fake. The imposter syndrome. Thanks to the Internet, most people have heard of this insidious and demoralizing way of walking through the world, but few people know how it forms and what to do about it. Moving through life feeling like we’re going to be “found out” leads a subtle but chronic sense of anxiety. As such, it’s worth spending some time unraveling the elements that comprise this painful way of regarding oneself.

These are the common personality traits of those who suffer from the imposter syndrome:… Click here to continue reading…

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The Call to Turn Inward

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Jung observed that the Aboriginal people of Australia spend two-thirds of their waking lives in some form of inner work… We modern people can scarcely find a few hours free in an entire week to devote to the inner world.

- Robert Johnson, Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth

The time comes when life as you’ve been living it is no longer working. Perhaps you’ve been taken down by illness. Perhaps insomnia is punctuating your sleep night after night, week after week, year after year. Perhaps you’ve reached your breaking point with the incessant barrage of worry and intrusive thoughts that parade across your brain every hour of the day. Perhaps you’re exhausted by your lifelong tendency to absorb other people’s lives and care so much about what others think.

Guided by an extroverted culture that teaches us to externally-reference our sense of Self, … Click here to continue reading…

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Sex Begets Sex

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One might think, given how much I write about relationships, that I would write more about sex. I’ve touched on the subject sporadically – here and here and here – but I haven’t delved into the topic in depth for a variety of reasons, the primary being that it’s such a vast and complicated realm that it’s difficult to do it justice in a single article. Still, because the topic arises so frequently with my clients and on my forums, it’s worth diving in a bit more, even if we only scratch the surface.

I’ve written about what’s “normal” and hopefully have shed some light on the connection between anxiety and sex. A large part of my work consists of debunking the pernicious “shoulds” that weigh heavily into psyches and mutate into shame. When we’re up against an externally derived barometer of what a healthy relationship should look like, we … Click here to continue reading…

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The Uncorked Heart

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At the center of ourselves, at the very center of our body and our soul, lives the heart. When we allow ourselves to stay in the flow of the feelings of life –  feeling sadness when it reaches out like a child in the dark, feeling jealousy when it pricks the side of the eyes, feeling anger when it scalds like lava, feeling joy when it hums and laughs – the heart remains open and fully alive. In this openhearted state we’re more attuned to gratitude, we feel excited by life, we’re open to creative inspiration, we inhabit our bodies, and we’re more open to giving and receiving love with our loved ones.

But so often we plunge up our hearts like a cork in a bottle. We do this because we learned early in life, from a culture that doesn’t have the faintest clue how to guide its members … Click here to continue reading…

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