Years ago, I got into an elevator with two people I’d never seen before, and I happened to overhear their discussion.
“Most nights I don’t finish work till almost three a.m.,” said the first person, sounding quite pleased with himself. “I can’t help it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist.”
“That’s probably what’s holding you back,” the other person said, without missing a beat. The next ten seconds ticked by in a tense silence. When the doors finally opened to my floor, the self-proclaimed perfectionist was just then piecing together a response.
And although I never saw those two people again, I’ve never forgotten what they said.
Why has that memory stayed with me?
Several reasons. First, I can totally relate to the first guy. Even though I learned long ago that perfectionism is not a virtue, I still fall into its trap– and even catch myself clinging to it sometimes as if it will somehow guarantee my...
Recently, I tried for the millionth time to give up coffee. And for the millionth time, I failed miserably. But it was in failing that I realized something – my caffeine intake wasn’t the real issue. It was the symptom of a “tack” I was sitting on.
Wednesday of last week was Day 1 of my coffee cleanse. My alarm went off at 5:50am, and immediately, the thought of the day stretching out before me felt so daunting that I rolled over and hit snooze. Several times. For almost 45 minutes.
The rest of the day didn’t go much better. I got my kids off to school late. When I finally got to the office, my concentration was so off, I wasted a whole hour trying to sort through emails. I felt irritable and exhausted.
So I asked myself, what in my life is happening, that I need so much caffeine to get me through the day? Why do I rely on it so heavily?
The rest of that week, I dragged myself through my routine, succumbing to the corner café only twice. And it...
It’s one of the most poignant questions a person can ask: how to get over anxiety and depression? Because when someone asks that, you know there’s a lot of pain and hardship in their heart.
Fortunately, there are ways to overcome both anxiety and depression, even if you think you’ve tried everything.
Here are three ways.
In general, there are two common ways to confront depression and anxiety – ignore it, or combat it.
If you try to ignore it, often the fear just grows, and continues to influence your actions in ways you don’t want. It stops you from taking action toward what you want.
When you combat something, you create conflict, and that negative energy can overtake your mood. It can permeate you, so that the thing you want most becomes tainted by negativity. And again, that will inform your actions.
But if you take a totally different approach – negotiating with your negative...
One week a few months ago, back when the world was still functioning, I was just dragging. I couldn’t stop hitting snooze or yawning through meetings. I guzzled coffee, and when I got home, I collapsed. What was going on?
I decided to work backward to figure out why I was so tired all the time. Why did I hit snooze? Because I needed more sleep. Why did I need more sleep? Because I’d gone to bed late. Why had I gone to bed late?
Ding ding ding. That was the answer I needed.
I’d gone to bed late because of the million and one things I had to do the night before: get the kids’ school stuff ready for the morning. Make a to-do list for the next day. Take the dog out. Clean kitchen. Brush teeth, wash face, turn off screens, meditate.
The problem was, I wasn’t starting that whole mad rush until after 9pm - way too late.
So I made a list of all the things that need to happen before I can go to bed. Next to each one, I estimated how much time it would take...
A couple weeks ago, in the first few days of Corona quarantining, I had a recurring thought: I have to do something. It was energizing; it was exciting. My March and April calendar had cleared themselves completely, as if someone had waved a magic wand. No more speaking gigs, no more conferences, no more traveling.
I have to use this time to the fullest!
After all, Isaac Newton did! Shakespeare did! They conceived of their best ideas while quarantined from the plague. What rock-star best-selling world-changing idea will I come up with?
Of course, it didn't take long for the overwhelm to settle in. I had a ton of projects to work on – book, website, new products, you name it – but I couldn't seem to focus on one. It didn't help that there were a million blogs and newsletters sitting in my inbox, exhorting me to make the most of my time and offering tips on how to do that. I couldn’t even check my email without being reminded of all the other things I could do: clean...
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