Making Meditation Enjoyable When You're a Perfectionist

happiness stress Nov 15, 2023

As someone who reads self help books voraciously, I constantly hear about how powerful meditation is. And there is a lot of research backing the practice. So I felt like I needed to try meditating to reap all the benefits of less negative self-talk and a calmer nervous system.

Yet as a (recovering) perfectionist, it was important that I do it "right." For so many perfectionists just starting with meditation, it's something that feels like it should be easy. That we should be successful at it. But when we're met with the challenges that meditation presents, we get annoyed and often don't continue the practice. If we can't be perfect at it, we'll find something else to excel at.

Though my practice is off and on, I have been meditating for 2 years now.  So I want to share some tips that have helped me make meditation enjoyable.

It's easy to think that the only form of meditation is zoning out in silence. But that's not true. There is guided meditation! This is where there is a...

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Reduce Stress Quickly With 4 Simple Tips

stress Jun 09, 2023

There are times in your life when you know you are stressed. Like when the work deadline is 2 days away and you're not even close to being finished. Or when your to-do list is so long that it keeps you up at night.

And there are times when you wouldn't say you're stressed, but there's a nagging unease. You can't put your finger on it, but you're not totally content. Whether you can identify your stressors or not, you need some simple go-to's to reduce stress quickly.

Stress presents in so many ways that sometimes you're not even aware of it. For example, your pet is often a hidden source of stress. Yes, that adorable, furry, unconditional love bug is causing some stress even though you will defend him. When someone comes over to your house, does your dog bark like mad or jump on the guest? Do you approve of this behavior or is it stressful?

Your cat might walk all over you in the middle of the night causing sleep loss or knock things over so you have to clean up the mess first thing...

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Identifying Self Sabotaging Behaviors

"There is nothing holding you back in life more than yourself."

That's the very first sentence in the book The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest. We read the book for book club and during our discussion I asked the members if they agreed with the statement. 100% answered yes.

One of the hardest things to do in this life is to look within to unravel the mess of stress, fear, and emotions that lurk below the surface. But when you want to heal, when you want to get unstuck, you must do the inner work.

Identifying self sabotaging behaviors is critical to your growth and progress. Knowing how to get out of your own way is powerful fuel for becoming your highest self.

Turns out there are many types of self sabotage. I'm super familiar justification. I often say I'm going to stop eating sugar and then order dessert after dinner. That self sabotaging thought process falls into justification. The little voice in my head says, just this one time.

Which of these types of self sabotage resonate...

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How to Be Vulnerable

clarity introversion stress Mar 01, 2023

I recently read the book, I Heart Me - The Science of Self-Love by David Hamilton. Inside, it says that you can't truly be authentic if you can't be vulnerable. Man, that hit me hard.

How can you be real if you're hiding parts of your story? Those experiences have shaped who you are.

We all want to be accepted so we mold ourselves to fit what we think society wants from us. We assume that our negative experiences are unique. And we lock away anything that might make us seem vulnerable.

As a recovering perfectionist, it's taken me years of personal development work to show my vulnerable side. When I started working with my life and business coach 5 years ago, I would only discuss business. No personal stuff. No emotions.

Any topic that might trigger tears was 100% unacceptable in my mind. Crying meant you're weak/incapable. Yet I had hired my coach after experiencing a huge financial loss and business setback. There were definitely emotions that needed to be address, but I would not...

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From Stoic to Emo – How a Control Freak Relaxed Her Grip and Became Peaceful

happiness stress Feb 14, 2023

You have to pick your battles.

I heard that expression many times after becoming a mom. And I'd always nod my head in agreement.

On the surface, I understood that sentiment. But in the depths of my subconscious, I picked ALL of my battles. I didn't let any go. I had to win every argument. Always be right.

My intense grip on life wasn't a problem until my child brought it to light. In her 4yr old way, she taught me that I was a control freak. I could deny it no longer. I had to face my demons and change for my family's sake.

It's crazy because control is a basic human need, but too much control becomes problematic. Control freaks have a hard time defining the parameters. You need control in the sense of having agency, yet also need to surrender to the things that are outside of your control.

Being a control freak looks like being fiercely independent; having trust issues; not asking for help; the need to always be right; placing productivity above everything else; avoiding emotions...

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When You're an Introverted Parent and Your Child Isn't

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree...or does it?

In the case of me and my daughter, we couldn't be more different. She is loud, goofy, hates reading, and can't stand to be alone. I am quiet, reserved, a total bookworm, and love my alone time.

While our differences may seem typical on the surface, it's completely affected how I parent. I regularly tell her how loud she is. I have to bribe her with iPad time to get her reading homework done. I have to constantly remind her to keep eating during meals because she will make a game out of anything that's sitting on the table.

Parenting is challenging. And it's even more exhausting when you're an introverted parent and your child isn't. It's a battle that results in feeling stressed and out of control for the parent, and feeling unseen for the child.

Right now, you may not even be aware that you're trying to get your child to be quieter because that's what YOU desire. Sometimes you have to hear something many times until it lands...

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5 Ways to Reduce Head Chatter

books introversion stress Oct 19, 2022

Introvert is almost synonymous with overthinking. Which is why the book, Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, immediately grabbed my attention simply when I saw the title. I highly recommend it because it delivered with scientifically backed yet practical ideas for quieting that persistent voice. It's written by Ethan Kross who is a professor at the University of Michigan.

We always want the voice in our head to speak kindly and quietly, but so often it gets caught in a negative loop. The voice exists to protect us...from saber-toothed tigers. It's now one those slow to evolve parts of our brain that still serves a purpose like sensing real danger but is stuck in unnecessary hyperdrive.

We need a way (or several) to manage the negative voice. So here are 5 ways to reduce head chatter according to the book.

1) Journal - Writing expressively about your feelings about a negative situation is a great way to clear the mind clutter. If you have a tendency...

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Healthy Ways to Manage Negative Emotions

I'm not a country or blues music fan, but Chris Stapleton fascinates me.

I remember seeing him perform on an awards show (I think it was the Grammys) years ago. At that time, there was a woman standing on stage near Chris as he performed. She wasn't a backup singer nor dancer. She was just standing there. And I thought, what in the world is she doing?!

Well, it turns out that lady is Chris's wife. Chris had so much performance anxiety that he needed his wife to be present on stage for him to stay grounded. She was apparently doing this at all his concerts.

I found myself saying "maybe he's chosen the wrong career if he's that uncomfortable performing in front of people."

But I recently saw Chris perform on the Grammys again. This time, his wife was not on stage. And I watched him closely. He sang amazingly! Very soulful. He never once looked out at the crowd. And he didn't make eye contact with the camera.

I went to his Wikipedia page to find out more about his personality, but...

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The Simple Way to Stay Positive and Motivated

clarity productivity stress May 11, 2021

You know that feeling of warm sunshine on your bare skin?  That little bit of warmth is an instant mood boost.  Animals seek the joy of sunshine too...

My dog


A lemur at a zoo we visited (eyes closed, soaking it all in:)

Sunshine is renewable positive energy. 

As an introverted small business owner, staying positive when things get hard is challenging.  Especially if you don't have a team around you to share and connect with.  So, soaking up all positive energy is important for preventing stuckness, procrastination, and burnout.

Yet, we tend to deflect positive energy even though it feels good and is needed.  Did someone give you a compliment or show appreciation that you didn't fully receive?  Like this example:

Friend:  I love the outfit you're wearing!
You:  This? It's so old and faded and has a little stain.
Friend:  Well, you can't tell and it looks cute on you.
You: It's a little tight, but it was the only thing clean to...

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How to Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone Without Anxiety

The comfort zone is so attractive isn't it?  It's safe, easy, secure, and cozy.  Why would you ever want to leave the comfort zone?!

Because you know deep down that growth does not exist in the comfort zone.  Your big dreams will not be achieved by staying in the comfort zone.

We know this.  And so we tend to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones....often pushing too hard and ending up in the panic zone. 


Case in point: you've no doubt heard that video is the future.  So you muster up all your courage and force yourself to go live on Facebook.  It's stressful!  And you don't feel good about it after.  Then and there you decide that video is not for you.  You end up in the panic zone - exhausted & overwhelmed - and probably suffer the introvert hangover too.  The panic zone is no bueno!

The issue here is that you completely skipped the learning zone.  You went 0-60mph instead of 0-30mph.  The learning...

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