Thursday, August 29, 2019

Self-Talk: What Are You Saying?

Self-TalkSelf-talk is what psychologists refer to as the continual mental dialog you have with yourself. It can serve many purposes. It helps to release stress, evaluate potential threats, solve problems, make decisions, form objective judgments, generate positive emotions and behaviors, and construct and reinforce realistic self-beliefs. Simply stated, sometimes talking to yourself (either silently or out loud) can help you work things out.

“The most influential and frequent voice you hear is your inner-voice. It can work in your favor or against you, depending on what you listen to and act upon.” –Maddy Malhotra

Unfortunately, for many people, their self-talk is fueled by the internal voice of a brutal critic or what psychologist Eugene Sagan calls the pathological critic – the negative inner voice that attacks and judges you. It might sound like your own voice or your mother, father or other influential person in your life. It’s a voice you are so familiar with that you hardly even notice or question it, and consequently find it to be very believable. It sounds completely true when the voice says how inadequate, weak, stupid or unlucky you are.

You can tell your pathological critic is in control when you…

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Free Yourself From Negative Emotion

Negative EmotionIn my professional practice I encounter men and women every day who are bound up in the proverbial chains of negative emotions. They are dragging their feet through life, weighed down by feelings of fear, jealousy, self-pity, anger, sadness, anxiety and rejection.

These chronic painful emotions are what often stand in the way of a person’s personal and professional success in life. Negative emotions can deplete you of energy and motivation, take away your joy and enthusiasm and keep you from pursuing positive goals for your life. It is very difficult to do well professionally or relationally if you don’t have a positive and realistic attitude and healthy emotions.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Change Your Attitude, Change Your Relationships

AttitudeConventional wisdom holds that as we age our beliefs and attitudes become more rigid. However, new research indicates that our conventional wisdom may be all wet.

A study conducted by researchers at Princeton and Ohio State Universities found that middle-aged adults were in fact more resistant to attitude change than older adults. They point out that “…openness to attitude change is a good thing and in fact is necessary for minimizing social conflict.”

I meet people everyday who hold on to attitudes and beliefs due to stubbornness fueled by pride. It is our pride that often causes division, hurt feelings and ongoing conflict in our relationships. The Book of Proverbs reminds us that, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Regardless of your age, one of the keys to maintaining healthy relationships is being willing to consider the views and opinions of others and allowing your beliefs and attitudes to change. I know this isn’t easy, but it’s well worth the effort!

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Read “Why You Need a Success Mindset”

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

You Can Learn to Trust Again

TrustWhen it comes to relationships, let’s be clear – the last thing you want to do is trust someone who is not trustworthy.  In fact, it’s foolish to trust a person whose behavior is characterized by lies and broken promises.

But one of the biggest challenges in many relationships is the difficulty some people have with being able or willing to trust someone who is truly trustworthy.  These are often men or women who have been hurt or taken advantage of by important people in their lives, resulting in a conditioned response of suspicion and fear.  Sadly, this virtually guarantees that intimacy will suffer significantly.  The absence of both trust and intimacy can often give way to a vicious cycle of conflict, abuse and isolation.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Don’t Let Your Thoughts Fool You!

I was reading an article on the internet called the Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time and it was very entertaining. My favorite was about BBC TV conducting a prank interview with a London University professor who claimed to have created the technology to transmit odors through television. His invention was aptly named “Smellovision.” He performed a demonstration using coffee beans and onions and asked viewers to report if they detected the aromas. According to the article, numerous people reported being able to smell the coffee and onions and some even said the onion made their eyes water!

ThoughtsWe laugh at their gullibility, but we should also pay attention to the fact that our brains can play tricks on us. Sometimes we need to evaluate the thoughts we think and make sure they are based in truth and reality, because our thoughts direct our perceptions and feelings, which results in our actions. So, our thoughts play a primary role when it comes to our relationships being healthy and satisfying or contentious. They also influence our potential for success on the job, our health and our overall well-being. It’s worth a look into our thoughts!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tips for Conquering Fear

FearHave you ever felt overwhelmed by an irrational fear – so much so that it prevented you from doing something you wanted to do? Believe it or not, this is a common problem faced by many people daily.

Fear has the power to hold you back from taking risks, following your dreams, or becoming successful at anything you attempt to do. If you allow it to control you for long enough, it can eventually erode your quality of life and keep you locked in a prison of inactivity and regret.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Does Your Credit Score Reveal Impatience?

Did you know you can tell a lot about a person from just their credit score?  You can certainly tell whether or not they may be credit worthy, but researchers contend that they can also tell if someone is likely to be more patient or impatient simply based on their credit history.

Economists from the Federal Reserve’s Center for Behavioral and Economics and Decisionmaking surveyed 437 people asking them whether they’d prefer a small reward now or wait for a larger reward later.  Those who were willing to wait for a larger reward later had credit scores that where 30 points higher, on average, than those who said they’d prefer a smaller immediate payment.  The findings also revealed that the most impatient subjects had average FICO scores below 620 – a commonly used cutoff for prime and subprime lending.

These findings underscore the truth in the old saying, patience is a virtue.  Impatience can wreak havoc in just about every area of our lives.  Our inability to wait or delay gratification often reveals the degree to which we are able to manage our emotions effectively.  If you struggle with impatience it’s well worth the effort to investigate ways in which to improve your ability to monitor and manage your emotions.  Your success may not only result in a higher credit score, but in healthier and more satisfying relationships at home and at work.

To begin getting a better handle on your emotions check out How to Exterminate Mental ANTs.

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting Control of Your Anger

One of the major roadblocks to strong relationships, both at home and at work, is the inability to effectively manage one’s emotions. Of all the emotional, psychological and physical responses we experience in life, anger is perhaps the most challenging to process and control on a consistent basis.

How you choose to respond to your anger will make a difference in the quality of your relationships, your physical and emotional well being and your effectiveness in bringing about positive and constructive change in your life. Here is a list of practical tips you can use to help manage your anger more effectively.

1. Understand What Anger Is

Anger is a natural, God-designed emotional and physiological response to negative or threatening circumstances in life. When you believe that you have been treated unfairly or harshly, or when you experience frustration associated with an unmet need or goal, your mind and body prepare for action. It is this emotional and physiological response that we call anger. Anger has the potential to help us protect ourselves or others and can serve as a catalyst to bring about needed change. However, its relative value is largely determined by how we choose to respond to it. Anger is referred to as a “secondary emotion”. This simply means that it is an extension of the primary emotion of frustration.

Everyone experiences some degree of frustration on a daily basis whether associated with not being able to fit into your favorite blue jeans or the person who just pulled out in front of you on the road. The good news is that most people can keep their frustration from escalating into anger, but for some it’s not so easy.

Hurt and fear are two other primary emotions that often accompany anger. Anger is often experienced and

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Wisdom of a Champion – Part IV

Near the top of Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success are two leadership characteristics, poise and confidence, that emerge as a result of having successfully applied the qualities of the first three tiers of the pyramid.

POISE – Coach Wooden defines poise as “being true to oneself, not getting rattled, thrown off, or unbalanced regardless of the circumstance or situation.”  In his book, Wooden on Leadership, we read, “Poise means holding fast to your beliefs and acting in accordance with them, regardless of how bad or good the situation may be.  Poise means avoiding pose or pretense, comparing yourself to others, and acting like someone you’re not.  Poise means having a brave heart in all circumstances.”

CONFIDENCE – the firmly held belief that you have achieved a high level of competence through dedicated study and preparation.  Confidence is the awareness of having consistently made the sacrifice and effort necessary to turn personal and team potential into high level performance.  Coach Wooden warns that confidence must regularly be monitored so it does not turn into arrogance or a feeling of superiority.  It is this sense of elitism that discourages continuous hard work and effort and ultimately leads to mediocrity and failure.

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd