One of the most common causes of anxiety stems from a belief that one needs to be perfect in order to be accepted by others (or for some, by their God). Those who hold the identity of a “perfectionist” have every reason in the world to do so. It is tied in with their identity and has helped them move forward and try to be a better person. This need to be perfect often comes from some type of a short-coming or difficulty when we are younger—trying to impress an unavailable parent, living in a household with intense conflict, or embarrassing/traumatic moments that was never told to other people because of fear of their rejection.
Perfectionism ultimately comes from a comparison to someone or something (or even one’s self). It is fueled by a fear of rejection! It is a brutal cycle of beating one’s self up and self-loathing. It is also often derived from some internal conflict: knowing that one is not perfect but trying to convince one’s self that he or she has to be.
Many people young and old, male and female, struggle with recognizing their self-worth and their true potential in life. Often we are our worst critics. Most of us would gasp in horror if we heard another person speak out loud the thoughts we tell ourselves because it would be considered abusive!
Recently, as I was speaking to a group of young people and their parents on the topic of self-esteem, we broke down the definition of what self-esteem truly means. This is an interesting concept and I think helpful to break down into segments.
- To esteem something is to hold it in high regard, to treasure it, to value it.
- The self is you, the individual
How amazing it would be to think of your self in this manner. Is it possible to hold yourself in high regard, to value yourself, and to treasure it – i.e. to treasure you, the real you?
Whether it’s physical appearance, parenting skills, possessions, talents, homes, weight, success, money, creativity, marital status, our children’s behavior…it seems that we women view other women’s success as a threat to our own worth. In order to manage our own fears and insecurities, we try to prove that we are “good enough” by one-upping someone else. While this may lead to temporary feelings of validation, it never leads to long-term feelings of self-worth. Why do women compete with one another? Here are a few common reasons that competitive feeling can settle in: Read the rest of this entry »
On Studio 5, I argued the upside of “50 is the new 40″ and how we can use it to motivate us. Here are some positives of being over 50.
People are living longer today, they’re healthier, and they’re enjoying life more. Due to an increased understanding of the importance of good diet and a more active lifestyle, people are feeling much younger than people their age felt in previous generations. For example, 1964 the average age for someone to move into a nursing home was 64. Currently, it’s 81 years old.
Motherhood: There is a distinct trend for women to delay motherhood. So at 50, their kids ages are more similar to their mother’s kid’s ages when she was 40. It used to be when you turned 50 you were becoming a grandmother. Now, by 50 most of their kids are teens or young adults and less demanding. This creates a period of more freedom and self-reflection.
More happiness, more sex, more money and confidence who wouldn’t want to be 50. A recent research study showed that people over the age of 50 experience more joy than younger adults. Proposed reasons for these findings were because they had their priorities set on friends and family. Other related studies showed that 50-somethings have a more fulfilling sex life, are more confident, and are more financially stable.
Mind body connection and self-fulfilling prophecy: If we tell ourselves we are old, our body will act old. We will purposely look for things that are failing because of our age, even if it has nothing to do with aging. Believing that 50 is the new 40 creates hope and provides positive self-affirmation. We don’t have to limit ourselves physically or expect deterioration just because we are getting older.
I love the new February Studio 5 theme is “Live Without Pretending”! We’re challenging women throughout Utah to “get real” about what’s really going on for them and share more of their authentic selves.
While the bible says to “Be ye therefore perfect”, it doesn’t mean to be externally flawless. It means whole, ripe, complete. Perfectionism is about trying to earn love through performance, it’s about being ready and whole in this very moment.
Shame researcher Brene Brown, PhD says that “Healthy striving is self-focused. How can I improve? Perfectionism is other focused. What will others think?”
I highly recommend Dr. Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Join in the Studio 5 Instagram Feb challenge by posting your real-life photos using #livewithoutpretending (I’m Julie_Hanks on Instagram)
Congratulations! You’ve made it through 9-ish long months of planning and decorating, crazy cravings and frequent doctors visits, baby showers and unpredictable mood swings. You survived the journey through labor and delivery. Now, your perfect new arrival fills your heart with love and your life with meaning. Whether it’s your first or your fifteenth child, you can’t help but marvel at your baby’s every movement, coo and milestone.
For the lucky among us, the picture I paint may be pretty spot on. For the rest of us, there may have been a few unexpected feelings and experiences mixed in there as well. As many as 30% of new mothers deal with some degree of post-partum depression or post-partum anxiety. Though we all do our best to prepare for the major transition to parenthood, many among us may not plan for four major losses that are likely come along with the joy of gaining a new family member.
The “I’m Not Worthy Syndrome” was popularized by the Saturday Night Live recurring skit “Wayne’s World” performed by comedians Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in the late 80’s. As a teenager at the time, I remember laughing with friends as we mimicked the phrase “I’m not worthy!” repeatedly to one another in social situations relevant to the coined phrase. However, the I’m Not Worthy Syndrome is no laughing matter! The sad reality is many people struggle with feelings of unworthiness that sap their self-esteem and rob them from the richness and joy to be experienced in daily living.
Q: What is the I’m Not Worthy Syndrome?
A: “I’m Not Worthy Syndrome” is a colloquial term rather than an identified mental health disorder referring to the tendency to believe ourselves unworthy of the endless positive experiences life has to offer. We may believe we are unworthy of love, healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, financial success, our goals and dreams, physical health, peace of mind—the list is endless and can induce withholding ourselves from such fundamental needs as feeling safe, feeling joy, and feeling purpose in living.
Want to live happy? Stop worrying about what others think. Therapist, Julie Hanks, has 6 reasons to let go of seeking other’s approval.
A new study from Indiana University suggests television can decrease a child’s self-esteem. The study found this to be true especially with white girls or African-American girls and boys. The opposite was found to be true for white boys. A large amount of children spend their time in front of the TV instead of turning to different activities. The study stated the reason behind the decrease in self-esteem is children end up comparing themselves to the images and people they see on TV.
TV these days typically depicts white males in positions of power with important jobs and a glamorous lifestyle. Females are depicted in a completely different way where they have more simple lifestyles and tend to have more sexualized images. Messages to females often have the theme “you are what you are because of how you look.” Black males are often seen as the criminals.
These images decrease self-esteem because children get the idea they really have nothing to aspire to. To children, TV is reality. A counter argument was made that these images and messages were available on other forms of media as well but the study found the majority of kid’s media usage today is still the TV.
Here are a few tips to counteract the negative effects of TV.
- Limit the amount of time spent watching TV – especially when the kids are out of school.
- Watch TV together, as family time. When these types of images come up, it can stimulate conversation about what is real life vs. TV life.
- Avoid the TV altogether! It’s summer! Take advantage of the opportunity to spend time together doing other activities besides watching TV
- Involve kids in wholesome activities promoting positive messages like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or the YMCA and just spend more time together as a family.
Use these links for more information: