Tag Archives: mental health

Five questions for self-discovery

You’re answering anywhere between 600 and 10,000 questions per day!

You judge, discern, discriminate. You decide and choose.

Yet here are some of the questions you should ask yourself regularly:

How do the results I’m getting today compare to the ones I got six months ago?

What’s changed that might affect the results that I need now?

What’s changed about the definition of a successful result?

Is what I’ve been doing still working?

What should I start or stop doing to get different results?


Are you a self-doubting Thomas or Joe or Pete or Chris?

In Mind Traps: Change Your Mind Change Your Life, Tom Rusk explains self-doubt as something far deeper than your inability to accept your talents and attributes.

“Self-doubt is a mental abscess,” writes Rusk, “which can penetrate to the very essence of your being.”

It is a “slow-growing but highly adaptable fungus, self-doubt is a creeping rot which eats away at your sense of worth. It can be so insidious you may be unaware of its damaging effect on your life.”

How pervasive and invasive is self-doubt?

For Rusk, it is “extremely durable; it is resistant to all but the most sophisticated and determined efforts at eradicating it. Introduced by painful experiences in childhood, self-doubt weaves itself into the fabric of your identity.”

You disguise self-doubt as truth: you keep repeating those negative automatic thoughts and you keep using self-defeating attitudes — which are Rusk’s mind traps.

Self-doubt influences every aspect of your life — from work to relationships. Mind traps ensnare you so that no matter how much some people may love and respect you, you still doubt yourself and you sabotage your own welfare.

How dedicated and determined are you to uproot and eradicate your self-doubt?


Embrace failure

A blogger friend recently reminded me that accepting failure is part of our daily lives. In fact, it’s a hallmark of success!

Often people place their lives in a continuum with only failure and perfection as end points.

What about changing that measure to competence since perfection doesn’t exist — at least not in the universe we know. The physical universe is riddled with imperfections despite the immutable laws we think regulate it.

Failure is a gauge in an imperfect world.

Are you really a failure?


Try a little self-help

Sixty percent of DC-area residents believe psychologists can help them cope with mental health issues.

Here’s a self-help method to complement therapies!


Quick, weekly self-check-in

My greatest win(s) since last week:

This week, I’m grateful for:

Commitments I made to myself last week:

What happened around those commitments:

Challenges+opportunities I am facing:

To grow personally, I want to dedicate an hour of focus on:.

Use this self-assessment each week to note your achievements or obstacles to reach them.

Who can you turn to help?


How do you write a journal?

As with any tool, journaling takes practice. You must commit yourself to just start writing. You should write an entry for each day.

Commit yourself for 21 to 30 days and see how quickly it becomes a habit.

Balance immediacy and spontaneity.

A journal is not a diary.

Although based on the activities of your day, your entries are not merely recounting your day’s events. They are detailed descriptions as if to an outsider.

When you journal, you will not have a clear idea of what you will make of these details, but you will sense that they might be important later. These descriptions should sound as if you were describing them to someone who was never there.

Journals allow you to sound naïve.


For more, Mark Cooper, Reflection: Getting Learning Out of Serving, Florida International University

How often do you take stock?

Where are you today?

Where are you today on a scale of 1-10 in each of these areas:

Professional/Career Health
Financial Health
Wellness/Physical Health
Spiritual Health
Emotional Health
Relationship/Support Systems Health

Each segment represents a part of your circle of personal perspective. Each is an integral part of your life. At home. At work.


Rodin, The Thinker, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Are you developing coping skills?

Developing good, strong, effective coping skills is important for you.

And for men who harbor self-derogatory thoughts, therapy is key in helping reverse negative beliefs and in developing coping strategies to deal with shame, powerlessness and helplessness.


Photo courtesy of Manny Fernandez.

Feeling guilt?

Guilt won’t likely make you ill as shame does. We humans developed procedures for handling the emotion of guilt:

You acknowledge you did something wrong.

You vow not to repeat the behavior.

You atone for your actions.

You accept the consequences.

Because of this accepted process of expunging guilt, the emotion doesn’t trigger stress.


How can you avoid risk aversion and fear?

Jonathan Fields, author of “Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance,” urges men to stop dropping all those little “certainty anchors.”

These holdbacks are repeated throughout the day as men insist on knowing what is coming next. These “certainty anchors” hold you back from allowing yourself to take bigger risks. In fact, your certainty anchors tether you — very often paralyzing you from making choices and moving forward.

A ship is safest anchored in a harbor.
It is not, however, what it is designed for. You are free on the open seas!

To feel like you are less tethered during any part of the day, say to yourself:

“Okay, this is my job to go and do things that scare me.”

“Okay, this is my job to go and do things that scare me.”

Okay, this is my job to go and do things that scare me.”


Photo courtesy of @HamletVIP.