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You're Right

I was working with a lady in therapy recently.  She came in wanting to work on building her self-esteem.  She complained that she was never taken serious at work and her kids walked all over her.  When asked when her low self-esteem began she couldn’t pinpoint an exact time. She said it is something that she always struggled with.  As she began sharing more of her story it was clear that she had some self-defeating beliefs that she picked up from early childhood that needed to be challenged if she was to ever build her self-esteem.

So many people have self-defeating beliefs that are picked up from childhood.  This makes perfect sense too. As children we observe everyone and everything around us.  As a child, if someone was to tell me that I was good at basketball, you’d better believe that I was dreaming of playing in the NBA.  Conversely, If someone said I was worthless and was never going to amount to anything, I would have believed them. Especially someone that was important to me.  Henry Ford puts it best when he said,

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't-- you're right."

These beliefs are easily adopted as children and once adopted they are usually mindlessly taken into adulthood as facts.  These beliefs if left unchecked can lead to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety… you name it.

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Some of the work that is done in counseling is identifying these unhelpful beliefs and challenging them with more accurate and helpful beliefs.  This is sometimes easier said than done. Some clients that I have believe that I am trying to brainwash them when I repeat over and over again that “you are good man/woman” or “You have everything it takes to be successful”.  To that I usually reply, “I am”. This is the work of challenging our beliefs. We have to keep reminding ourselves of the helpful beliefs that we want to believe. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist or friend for some outside perspective.  Sometimes it is easier for others to see these beliefs.

What beliefs are unhelpful in your life?  What helpful beliefs are you reminding yourself of?  What helpful beliefs are you communicating to others like your kids, family and friends?  



Dating With Purpose

Relationships are one of the most discussed areas in counseling. Whether it be someone desiring to better their relationship or someone who is single and wants to start that new adventure. To choose the right relationship that will have the highest probability of success, you need to first identify what kind of relationship you actually want to be in. As anyone who has been in a relationship that has ended knows, a person can easily find themselves in an unhealthy relationship if they are not purposeful in choosing that relationship.  

You need to make a list of qualities you want in a person before you date them and resolve to not get in a relationship with them unless they fulfill all of those qualities. I call these the Non-Negotiable Qualities of a relationship. Some examples are: they have to have a job, they have to be a Christian, or they have to be an "Apple" person rather than a "PC". If the man or woman in your life does not have these qualities, you are saying that you will not become romantically involved with them. Next, make a list of Preferable Qualities, such as having long hair, liking coffee, or being a morning person. These are qualities that would make the relationship better, but they wouldn't be a deal breaker for you.

Take some time to make a brief list before you continuing reading.

Now, the next step—and easily the toughest, now that you have your own list—is to evaluate yourself based on the qualities that you have listed. If you want to be with a person who has a job and is financially smart, are you? If you want to be with someone who is a Christian, are you? Andy Stanley writes in The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating:

“Become the person the person you’re looking for is looking for."

How powerful and motivating is that?! For the people who are single, this is something that you can do to better prepare yourself to attract the person that you want. For people who are in a relationship, this gives perspective on the qualities of your partner that may frustrate you the most and may motivate you to work on yourself.

I add to and refine my list after a relationship ends. This is when I analyze what I liked about the person I was with and what I want I want to avoid in my next relationship. Continue working on your list, and strive to become the person the person you're looking for is looking for. Let me know how this is motivating you in your personal growth.



Rethinking Reid

The idea for this blog comes out of my own personal journey for growth. It is a pretty popular idea these days. Most people want to be the best possible version of themselves. This is personal to me because I am working in the psychology field. I challenge people all the time to change unhealthy behaviors, be that an addiction, relationship, fear, etc. It's only a matter of time before you feel the personal conviction to grow yourself and that is exactly what I am doing.

A friend, mentor and boss has been one of the biggest resources for me on my journey to personal growth. He looks at personal growth in 5 key areas; Social, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, & Spiritual (SPIES).  He even has a tag line for the acronym SPIES. Brian Frizzell says:

"If someone was spying in on your life they would see these five areas of health"

This site will be a place of resources to help you in growing in these five areas of health. My only promise is that they will be short and to the point. If they are long and complex I probably plagiarized them, which my professors frowned upon. Feel free to check in and go along this journey with me.