“I try not to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself. “ ~ Mikhail Baryshnikov
Once in awhile I come across a quote that stops me in my tracks and makes me say YES.THIS.IS.IT!!
Day after day, I hear people comparing themselves to others.
“ She is 28 years old and already married. I’m not even dating anyone.”
“ He bought a house at 23 and I am still renting at 35.”
“She has 100,000 followers on Instagram and I only have 50,000.”
Why do you compare yourself to others? Why do you think that living your own life is not enough? Why do you believe everyone else has a better life than you do?
As a therapist, I spend many days listening to clients tell me they don’t feel good about themselves. The need to constantly keep up with everyone, brings up feelings of sadness, worry, stress, frustration, anger, anxiety and low self-worth.
Some clients tell me that comparing themselves to others is useful because it keeps them motivated or gives them a baseline of where they should be. When I hear this, I ask them several questions. “ So, if that person you are comparing yourself to loses motivation or is content with their lives, will you be content and stop comparing yourself to them?” “Is your happiness based on their happiness?” Lastly,
"Is comparing yourself to your friend, making you feel better or worse about yourself?"
So when someone asks me how can they stop comparing themselves to others, I give them four tips.
Stay In Your Lane
Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Stay in your lane. Concentrate on what you are doing. Run your own race. Walk your own journey. You can’t compare your life to that of your friend, because you are not your friend.
Find Your Happiness
Many times people compare themselves to others thinking that the other person is happy. For all you know, your friend may own a house on a hill, but they are in an unhappy marriage. Or your friend has been dating a guy for six months, but he is abusive or doesn’t want to commit. If you knew this, would you really want your friend’s life?
Enjoy Your Journey
You can’t enjoy your journey if you are too busy looking at someone else’s life and where they are going. You are missing your own journey when you are constantly looking at the journey of others. You may be missing the partner that is right for you, because you are watching your friend and who she is dating. You may miss out on a job promotion because you come to work with a bad attitude because your friend keeps getting promoted and you have not.
Figure Out What You Really Want
Sometimes you want something because your friend has it, when in reality you want something else. Someone I knew thought she wanted a 3-bedroom home with a backyard in the suburbs because her friend bought one. After a discussion, she realized she couldn’t afford a 3-bedroom home, she didn’t even like the suburbs, and the house was too big. She admitted she always dreamed of buying a 2-bedroom condo in the city. For so long, some of you have been trying to live someone else’s dreams, and you don’t even know what you truly want in life.
Comparing yourself to others will not make you feel better. Comparing yourself to yourself will. Look at your own accomplishments and how far you have come. Create your own baseline for what you want to accomplish. When you get to that baseline and you are ready to do more, go for it! If you don’t know your baseline or if you don’t feel good about where you are, it may be time for you to figure it out. If you need to, hire a therapist, a life/business coach, or read some self-help books/articles, to help you figure things out. You are the author of your own book. Stop trying to live someone else’s story.
I’m so sorry your partner broke up with you. I can see it in your eyes. You look like you have been crying all night. You didn’t go to work today, instead you decided to stay in bed all day. I totally get it. You definitely need to grieve the relationship. Heck, you gave your partner months or maybe years of your life. He met your family and friends, you spent holidays, work functions, even vacations together. You thought you were going to marry this person! Then BAM!! He leaves you for your best friend. Or he said it’s not you, it’s him. Or he just disappears. After a few days in bed, you begin to get angry. Then you start thinking about retaliating. Woooaaa! Let me stop you right there. Ladies, that is when you get yourself in trouble. Let me tell you three things you should never ever do after a break-up.
Never Drunk Dial Your Ex
I’ve seen this over and over again. Girl goes to bar. Girl drinks a lot. Girl begins to think about ex. Girl thinks it's a good idea to call ex at 2:00 a.m. in the morning after the bar closes. Of course we know this never ends well. It is not like you are calling to check in to make sure he is doing well. No ladies, you are calling because you are ready to lay into your ex about how wrong he did you. When you are on the phone with him, you yell, you scream, you cry. It’s really ugly and your ex will probably hang up on you. Then you feel terrible.
Send a Text or Email to Your Ex
Again, not a good idea. As soon as you hit send, you can never take it back. As previously stated, you are not checking in to see how he is doing. You are letting your ex know he did you wrong and you want to try to change him. Let’s face it ladies, your ex will delete the text or send something back that will make matters worse. Don’t do it.
Tell All Your Ex’s Friends and Family How Much He Hurt You
If he did you wrong, most likely close friends and family already know what type of person he is. They were just waiting for you to figure it out. You don’t need to go ruining his reputation, to make yourself feel good. You are better than that ladies. If you really want to talk about how much he hurt you, talk to a close friend or therapist.
Like I told you before, break-ups are hard. You will be down in the dumps for days, maybe even months. You may feel betrayed, rejected, or abandoned. You may feel sad, depressed, frustrated, angry or anxious. These are all normal feelings. However, have some dignity, and class and release your feeling in appropriate ways. You can talk to friend/family, journal, exercise, meditate or talk to a therapist. Break-ups can be tough, but this too shall pass.
Happy New Year Everyone!!!
This is my first blog of the new year. YAY!! Actually, this is my first blog in about six months!! Yikes!! You know what? I’m okay with it.
In 2017, I kept hearing that in order to be successful, I needed to be creating content all the time in order to stay relevant.
“ You need to blog once a week.”
“ You need to update your profile every few months.”
“ You need to write a book.” (I actually did this because I really wanted to)
“ You need to submit your content to news sources.”
It became too overwhelming. Once in awhile, I would start a blog, but I wouldn’t finish because I didn’t think it was good enough or I just didn’t know what to say. After awhile, I decided not to write at all. I threw in the towel. The self-doubt that I always explored with my clients had crept in and taken a stronghold in 2017 and my blogging days were done.
Fast forward to 2018. Besides not blogging, I decided not to write any new year's resolutions. Year after year, I would write list after list of resolutions in January, and by March, I would forget all about them. I would stop working out, stop eating healthy, stop balancing my checkbook, or stop whatever I had sworn I was going to do for that year. So this year, I decided to do something different. A coworker of mine said a few years ago, she began to pick a word/theme for the year and would use it to direct her life. It sounded like a great idea. I couldn’t think of anything right way until a few days later when someone posted on Facebook, “What is your theme for the year?” The first thing that came to mind was “Doin It My Way!” Yes indeed. I just loved the way it sounded. I loved the way I felt when I said it out loud. When I said it, I felt STRONG, FREE, UNAPOLOGETIC. Now, “Doin It My Way!” will speak to how I run my business, raise my children, foster my marriage and relationships and live my life.
For the past few days, I’ve walked around with my theme in my head, feeling just as confident as ever. This morning, “Write a blog, Mpho” kept popping in my head. Eek!! Not this blogging thing again. Didn't I leave this back in 2017? However, I realized I could use this opportunity to blog about my experience of moving through self-doubt. I also realized that since I am “Doin It My Way!”, I could blog any time I feel like it. I don’t have to be tied down by all the rules about “content” like I was before. Self-doubt be gone!!!. Now blogging doesn’t seem so overwhelming because I am “Doin It My Way!”
So, what is your theme for 2018? What will make you feel STRONG, FREE, UNAPOLOGETIC? How will you live life on your own terms?
Is self-doubt or self-criticism blocking you from living your best life? Are you ready to start “Doin It Your Way?" Contact me so I can support you in transforming your inner voice of self-doubt and self-criticism into a powerful voice of positive self-talk and self-trust by calling me at 510-250-3091 or emailing me at email@example.com.
When do you know when it is time to go to therapy? You clicked on this blog post for a reason. Maybe you typed “ signs I may need therapy” in a search engine, or a close friend or family member told you that you need therapy. However, you still aren’t sure you need to talk to some stranger about how you are feeling.
Check out the following signs to see if any of them pertain to you.
1. I am always angry. My angry outbursts are affecting my relationships, both personal and professional.
2. I am always feeling down. I don’t want to get up in the morning, eat or participate in any activities.
3. My partner and I no longer communicate and we are on the verge of ending our relationship.
4. I am constantly stressed out and overwhelmed. I cover up my feelings by drinking alcohol, using drugs, overeating, shopping or gambling.
5. I survived some form of physical, mental, sexual or emotional abuse and it is negatively affecting the way I relate to my family, friends, coworkers and the world.
6. My child is not listening and consistently challenges me. and I am at my wits end.
7. I recently divorced. I feel all alone and don’t know how to start over.
8. I discovered my spouse is cheating, however, we would like to make our relationship work.
9. I don’t feel good about myself and people don’t like me.
After reading these signs, are you still questioning if you need therapy? Maybe you didn't see any signs that spoke to your situation. Try filling in the blanks below.
Lately, I have been feeling ___________ because ___________. I’m tired of the feeling this way and it is affecting some part or all of my life. I am feeling all alone and have no one to talk to.
If you were able to fill in the blanks, then that is your sign that you may need to seek a licensed therapist to support you during this tough time. A therapist will assess, diagnose and provide you with the tools to help you navigate the struggles in your life. The goal is help return to your normal self and lead a productive and satisfying life.
As a therapist, I will listen without judgment and assist you in creating inner peace.
If you are still questioning if you need therapy or if you are ready to make a change in your life for a better quality of life, call me for a free 15-minute consultation at 510-250-3091. I look forward to hearing from you.
Well, another summer has arrived. Hot weather, BBQ’s, vacations, pool/beach parties, etc. You enjoy all of these things, except you have no one to enjoy them with. You are tired of doing everything by yourself. Your married friends don’t get that you don’t feel like going to another BBQ by yourself that begins at noon and ends at 6:00 p.m. because they all have kids. You haven’t had a date in months or maybe even years. You keep meeting the wrong person. You are fed up, defeated, and feel that you are not good enough.
Clients come to me all the time because they are tired of being single, tired of picking the wrong person, feeling lonely and feeling like they aren’t good enough to attract a mate. I constantly hear “ I wouldn’t be so depressed if I had a man” or “ I’m frustrated I can’t keep a relationship”.
Am I an expert in helping people find a mate to make them happy? No, not really. However, I am an expert in helping my clients become a happy mate.
Many times we are seeking someone to make us happy. However, I tell my clients they need to be happy with themselves first.
So here are 5 ways to become a happy mate.
Are you happy with your physical appearance? This has nothing to do with if others are attracted to you. How do you feel about the way you look and feel? If you don’t feel good about your appearance, do something about it. If you know you would feel better 10 pounds lighter, then start working on it. Join a gym, walk, join a yoga or Crossfit studio. If you need to change your diet, research articles or read books on diet and fitness. Do you need a haircut or a new wardrobe? If so, go to the salon or hit the nearest department store. Remember, this is not about anybody but you. You need to be able to look in the mirror and smile back because you are happy with the way you look and feel on the outside.
How do you feel inside? Are you happy with your personality and how you treat others? Do you strive to be honest and kind? Are you an introvert but you want to become more extroverted? Do have a hard time making or keeping friends because of your social skills? If you want to change certain aspects of yourself to make yourself happy, do it. There are plenty of self-help books or self improvement classes that can help you build confidence, improve your social skills or anything else you want to improve.. You can also join a social club or a Meetup group where you can practice meeting and interacting with people.
What are your goals? Don’t wait for a mate to decide to buy a house or go back to school. Do it now. If it will make you happy, why wait? In the 4 to 5 years you are waiting for a mate, you could have obtained a degree. Do you want to change jobs? Go for that dream job. Who knows, it may take you to another state or country. What an adventure, huh? Buy the house you want now. You can always upgrade after you get married. You don’t need a to buy your retirement home now. You can buy a starter home and sell later. Buy your motorcycle, car, dream vacation or whatever you know will fulfill your goals and make you happy.
What are your values? Google “list of values” and you will see numerous websites, with numerous lists of values. This is the hardest part for my clients because they have never thought about their core values. You may ask why is this so important? Well, it does help in the long run if you and your future mate share values or understand each other’s values.. Let’s say you value Family but your mate does not. This may be good to know up front. Your mate may not want to spend the holidays with lots of family, but would be okay if you and the kids went to your mother’s for the holidays. Looking at your own values may help you realize there may be some deal breakers. You may not want a mate who does not value Charity. Maybe you want to build a family who volunteers, so having someone who does not value Charity would not work for you. Figure out the core values that make you truly happy and it will help guide you to the right mate.
I wasn’t going to write a fifth tip, but I felt this was too important to ignore. Many relationships end due to finances, so get your financial house in order first. Start paying off your credit card debt and student loans. Most likely your debt is not making you happy either. Debt probably makes you feel frustrated, angry, depressed, or anxious. Well, this is the perfect opportunity to start chipping away at it. If you have no debt, just save or invest your money. Start building yourself a nest egg. Being debt-free with money in the bank is freedom and happiness.
Remember, a partner will not make you happy. Happiness starts with you. If you are unhappy with yourself, you will be unhappy with a mate. What truly makes you happy? Follow these tips and you will be on your way to being a happy mate!!
If you need some support becoming that happy mate, contact me at 510-250-3091 or www.peacefulthoughtstherapy.com.
Peace and Love,
I am a therapist who helps individuals who are motivated to transform their inner voice of self-doubt and self-criticism into a powerful voice of positive self-talk and self-trust. We help individuals recognize their inner worth, build their self-esteem and speak their truth.