How Embracing Your Sensitivity Can Benefit Your Relationship


“Today I want you to think about all that you are instead of all that you are not.” ~Unknown

If you are a sensitive person like me, you may think being sensitive is problematic. Especially when it comes to love and relationships.

Maybe you’ve been called “too sensitive” by your partner or a parent. Maybe you feel overly emotional or have strong reactions to things or take things personally that don’t bother your partner, or you are easily irritated or get cranky all too often, or you feel the urge to be alone a lot more than you think you should in a healthy relationship.

If so, you may believe you really are too sensitive.

Now, sensitivity can cause problems in our relationships when we’re operating unconsciously and feel at its mercy. That tends to bring out the harder aspects of sensitivity.

I know this all too well. Not knowing I was a highly sensitive person, and not understanding how to work with my sensitivity, was the biggest reason my first marriage ended in divorce.

And even before that, most of my life I thought something was wrong with me because of what I now recognize is my genetic trait of high sensitivity.

I hear the same from so many sensitive women I speak with.

But I’d like to flip that perception on its head. Because high sensitivity is often misunderstood and totally undervalued. Particularly when it comes to marriage and intimate relationships.

Think about it: What do most women want more of in their relationship?

They want their partner to be more attentive to them. To have more understanding of what’s going on for them. To be more responsive to their words and gestures. To be more tender with them. To be more conscious of them.

I always wanted my first husband to be deeper with me. More caring and empathetic. More in touch with himself and his feelings…

If you, too, would like more of any of the above in your relationship, then what you want is more sensitivity. All those things are what “sensitive” means.

Sensitive is defined as: attuned to, aware of subtleties, caring, sympathetic, empathetic, compassionate, understanding, perceptive, conscious of, responsive to, alive to…

Sensitivity is, in fact, exactly what we need more of in our relationships, not less. It’s an asset in love. 

And if you are also a sensitive person, you were built to embody it. To bring all of those juicy delights to your relationship.

If you were born an HSP, it’s a cause for celebration. We are made for love.

Once we’ve done our own work to develop the best aspects and manage the challenging parts of the trait, we gain access to what we need to have the depth, connection, understanding, love, and passion we want most with our partner.

In other words, we develop into the best possible role model for being in a loving relationship—one non-sensitive people should aspire toward.

Of course, there are unhealthy ways our trait can be expressed. Ways that do lead to more hurt and struggle than harmony and love in relationships. These more “negative” aspects (like “touchiness”) are really only expressed when we have not learned how to consciously work with our sensitivity.

Once we do, the “negative” aspects fall away, leaving us with all the good parts that are most needed for the healing and thriving of relationships—and even the healing of our world!

Many things keep us playing out the negative aspects, but I’ve found that the biggest thing is believing old, outdated (and frankly wrong) judgments about sensitivity being a bad thing. Because it leads us to being self-critical and feeling bad about who we are.

When we berate and look down on ourselves for our sensitivity, we feel ashamed, we close off, we become more negative.

If we are at war with ourselves like this, we can’t open up our hearts to others or life. We are likely to feel like others are at war with us, so we take things personally and feel gripped by negativity and inner turmoil. We can’t come from sensitivity toward ourselves or toward others because we’re too bogged down.

I know this because I judged myself for my sensitivity plenty in the past, and it only forced me into a hole, hiding my light under self-judgment and anger at myself. That anger poked out left and right and spilled over onto my husband, hurting our marriage and leaving us miserable with each other.

After our divorce, I learned about HSPs, and that I was one. What an aha moment! I stopped trying to squash my sensitive nature as I learned to accept and even love it. I felt safe to honor it, and much happier and more relaxed in my skin (finally!).

Then, the best parts of my sensitivity were able to shine through naturally. And I was able to powerfully guide my second marriage into one that is now, by my definition, amazing.

How to Tap into the Healing Power of Your Sensitivity in Your Relationship

I bet many things you’ve been self-critical about are actually aspects of your sensitivity! That was the case for me. So consider and answer this question:

How might the things you’ve judged about your sensitivity be the things most needed to take your relationship to the depth and health you long for?

Take time to recognize the brilliance of your sensitivity, the healing it can bring your world. You are naturally wise, so go to your own mind and heart to come up with your answers.

Here are some hints from my experience and ponderings to get you going:

Could your emotionality be the antidote to the numbness and disconnection that are so often the kiss of death in an intimate relationship?

Could your capacity to feel big feelings be the deepest, most sustainable source of love in your partnership, carrying your partner in its tide?

Could the moments when you are flooded with overwhelming feelings in your relationship be an internal request to pause so you can process deeply—and reap the wise insights that arise from that pause that will take your love and understanding of each other to the next deep level?

Could your natural tendency to see the little things in yourself and others as flaws or problems help you  diagnose the areas that need to be healed or developed in your partner—and inside yourself—so you can thrive together as a couple? Could it be the call to become the most conscious, empowered, loving version of yourself, able to navigate both the joys and challenges of love with grace?

Could that same tendency to be bothered by little things and get easily irritated because of your subtle attunement to detail also be the very thing that helps you really know and be deeply attuned to your partner, and help him feel really known and loved? (My sensitivity helps me know my husband’s inner world without a word from him and allows me to understand what he’s going through. He’s told me many times some version of these words: I feel so supported, seen, and loved for who I am. I feel you really get me. I’m in awe of how in tune we can feel.” Hearing that feels like music to MY ears.)

Could your people-pleasing tendencies and over-concern about making sure your partner and others in your life aren’t upset be the compassion and conscientiousness we need to survive and thrive as a species? The very thing that inspires others to look out for each other with fierce care and kindness—once you’ve learned to bestow the same grace on yourself?

Could your need for quiet and space alone to decompress be just the example other humans need in order to put an end to this toxic fast-paced culture that robs us of actually enjoying life—and is even robbing the planet of life itself? Could it be just the thing our society needs to learn to slow down and de-stress so each of us can access the love, insight, and creative problem-solving we need to thrive in our partnerships and on this planet for generations more?

When I recognized the asset my sensitivity is, I was able to climb out of the hole of self-rejection and shame and change how I showed up in my relationship.

I could suddenly pay deeper attention to my partner, offer a little support here, a little insight there, say just the right thing at just the right time because I’m so sensitively aware, come up with creative solutions to navigate those inevitable sticky moments couples have, let my big wide heart out, and be all those things that I want my partner to be for me: loving, reassuring, aware, understanding, respectful.

I started living out the kind of love I’d only dreamed of before. And it caught on. My husband has learned to be way more empathetic with me, more caring, more attuned to me. Way more… sensitive.

We can pass on our gift of sensitivity to our partners by modeling it, by leading the way.

Do you see how your sensitivity is an underutilized healing resource in your love life? The highly responsive superpower of sensitivity that you embody enables you to lead your relationship in a much healthier and more loving direction, if you honor it.

It should be a goal to not only feel great about your sensitivity but to become more sensitive. In a healthy way.

The lack of tenderness, the instinct to shut down and disconnect, the lack of empathy and compassion and understanding that is so destructive in our marriages and in our world—it can end here with you. Now. Your sensitivity is the remedy!

We sensitives are the particular variation of human needed to sway our relationships into healing, if only we give ourselves the sensitivity, care, tenderness, and encouragement we need, by believing in ourselves instead of berating ourselves.

We are the ones to lead ourselves and others back to our hearts, back to compassion, care, and being in tune with others. Back to sensitivity.

Start by telling yourself the truth:

You are different from the “norm.” But different in just the way that’s most needed for love to thrive in your home and community.

If you really believed that, would you finally start appreciating the qualities that make you, you? Would you do all it took to cultivate them instead of squashing them? I would. I am. Let’s do so together.





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3 Things You Need to Stop Doing to Live a Simpler Life


“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
Confucius

This article is about a few mistakes I’ve made.

About a few destructive habits that can make life quite messy and unhappy.

And it’s about what you can do instead to replace those mistakes and habits with something better.

This article is all about uncovering simplicity if you find yourself having overcomplicated your life.

1. Stop overthinking things.

Few habits and mistakes are as common as getting stuck in overthinking.

I used to do it all the time.

And it led to a lot of analysis paralysis, to little action being taken on what I deep down wanted and to so much time and energy wasted.

What to do instead:

Set short deadlines.

When you have all the time in the world to consider something then that can often wind up in you spending a lot of time thinking about the situation at hand from every conceivable angle.

I have found that learning to set short deadlines is really helpful for this, although it take a bit to practice.

So for small decisions like if should go and do the dishes or go and work out I usually give myself 30 seconds or less to make a decision.

For somewhat larger decisions that in the past would have taken me days or weeks to think through I set a deadline for 30 minutes or for the end of the workday.

Say stop in a situation where you know you can’t think straight.

I know that I’m more vulnerable to negative thinking and overthinking things when I’m hungry or when I’m close to my bedtime.

And so I have learned to stay away from thinking about anything important during that time.

And if such thoughts with a negative twist still pop up then I tell myself: No, no, we’re not going to think about this now.

Because I know that I will be back to thinking clearly and optimistically again if I just get some food or sleep.

I highly recommend finding your own situation(s) when you are more vulnerable to overthinking or pessimism. And to catch yourself and redirect your thoughts at such times.

2. Stop making your daily work busier and more complicated than it needs to be.

It’s very easy to get stuck in the same old rut at work or in school. To spend your hours there like you usually do and like most of the other people do too.

With a lot of time spent on busy work, procrastination and on being stressed on weekends or just before a deadline.

What to do instead:

Breathe and find what truly matters in the long run.

First, sit down and take a couple of deep breaths to relax and to focus your mind.

Then ask yourself: what is the most important thing I can do today?

Think about what would matter most in the long run when you ask yourself this question. Find just that one task.

Get started with that one task.

If you have trouble taking action and are slipping into procrastination then go smaller.

Tell yourself: I will work on this task for just 2 minutes.

Make getting started so easy on yourself that there is very little or no inner resistance in your mind.

Because if you just get started then it’s in my experience pretty easy to keep going for a while longer and to make a real dent in the task or even completing it.

3. Stop overcomplicating your relationships.

The fun, excitement and joy in a relationship of any kind can often be greatly reduced by simple and common thought mistakes.

Two such mistakes I’ve made too often in the past are to try to read minds and to go full in with creating drama.

What to do instead:

Ask.

Trying to mindread usually winds up in creating nightmare scenarios in your own mind.

Because reading minds is pretty much impossible and so it is very easy to project your own worst fears onto what this person might be thinking.

So instead start cultivating a habit of being a bit more direct. Cultivate a habit of asking and more clearly communicating to better understand each other.

Question your own drama.

There can be a sort of temporary pleasure or excitement in creating drama and making something bigger or more negative than it is.

In the short run and even more so in the long run it tends to be quite destructive though.

So start questioning your own drama.

Ask yourself:  

Will this matter in 5 years? Or even in 5 weeks?

Ask it before you start creating and spreading drama to the people in your life.

Sure, the issue at hand may still have to be addressed but simplify it to what it truly is before you do that to avoid unnecessary conflicts, anger and hurt feelings.

And don’t forget to question other people’s drama too by asking yourself the same question.

Just because they want to create drama doesn’t mean that you have to get drawn into it.

 



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10 Things You Should Remind Yourself All The Time (2019)


You are what you tell yourself. Here are several things you should remind yourself every day.

Affirmations play an important role in shaping how we live life every day and who we will become. There is power in the mind and there is power in what you say. The truth is that, NO ONE can break you – unless you allow them to.

Other people’s opinions of you do not count unless you want them to. What you tell that person in the mirror every morning when you wake up to brush your teeth is what counts.

Here are a few things you should remind yourself all the time.

Things You Should Tell Yourself Daily

1. You are enough.

People need to hear this all the time. There is nobody and nothing in the entire world that can complete you other than God. You have got to realize that all you ever need to overcome and to thrive…lies right in you. Don’t go seeking for validation from elsewhere. Instead, look inside.

Things You Should Remind Yourself of

Look how far you’ve come, all you’ve been through, and yet you are still standing strong. Let that push you and motivate you each day. Let it give you the grace to summon strength from within and realize you are enough…

2. You are unique.

You are one-of-a-kind. No one can take your place, and you can’t take anyone’s place. Spend time watering your grass; no need to check whether your neighbor’s grass is greener or not. The world today has so many copies, so many impersonators, and so many people getting up each day and putting on facades.

Social media makes it seem as if XYZ has it all good (i.e. look at the cars, look at their amazing families; they always go on fancy holidays to Monaco, Singapore etc…). But the truth is that these material things do not bring satisfaction, they do not amount to happiness. They are just the results of success.

True happiness comes from knowing your place, knowing who God has called you to be. Each of us was made with unique abilities and the world needs that. The world needs your touch…so learn to embrace who you are. Embrace your uniqueness; it is your selling point.

3. Do not settle for less.

You were born extraordinary (these are not just sweet words to make you feel good). It is the truth – but it will never become a reality in your life until you believe it to be so.

You should have standards. It is important you remind yourself every day that “I’m not going settle for less than…I am going to keep working and stay focused until I reach my goal. Even then I’ll keep working…because success is a journey, not a destination”.

So wake up each day and tell yourself “I will NOT settle for less today in my spiritual walk, academics, workplace, business, finances, health, relationships, etc.”

4. You can do it!

Remind yourself that it is possible. Like the Nike slogan says ‘Just do it.Just take that first step, just make that cold call, just send that letter, and just apply for that college/company. Trying is always worth it. Impossible is just a word – and even the letters spell out ‘I’m possible.’

Act like that, dress like that, think the part, and believe the part. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, who challenge you to be a better you each day. Do not give up! Keep striving even when you fail. Get back up, try harder.

Fall down seven times, get back on the eighth! There is absolutely nothing in this world you can’t accomplish when set your mind to it and believe in yourself. It is one thing to try and it is another to remain dedicated, to remain committed against all odds.

5. You are blessed.

Nothing can be compared to the spirit of gratitude. Often, the hustle and bustle of life can blind us to how blessed we are: that you have a roof over your head, family, and friends who love you, that you have the opportunity to read such content, for health and vitality.

Things You Should Remind Yourself of

There is so much to be thankful for, you just have to open your eyes and consider the little things you often overlook. Someone out there is wishing they had the life you have…

More things to remind yourself daily

6. You will have bad days.

This point is gradually beginning to register in my head, slowly but surely. That is life – the high times and the low times. Some days are amazing – you get that call, you get that client or that promotion, you get a good grade or you pass a test, etc. Other days…nothing.

But what matters most, the most important thing, is your attitude during times like these. Do you choose to remain grateful or do you give in and complain? It is often during these times that true character is manifested. You have the choice of focusing on the positive or seeing the negative in every situation. What do you choose to see?

7. Do you.

So simple, so cliché, yet so true. Do what makes you happy. Trust that gut feeling. Follow your instincts no matter what the crowd is doing or what people are saying. There are so many voices around; so many opinions and background noise. Stay true to who you are.

8. Be yourself.

This is such an important thing to remind yourself of all the time. We have our mentors, celebrities, role models, so many people to emulate – but they can never be you. NO ONE can be you.

True glory comes when you can just be yourself…you don’t have to do what the Joneses are doing or buy what Mrs. So-and-So is buying just to follow the crowd. Stick to your values. Let people know the real you: you as a man or woman of integrity.

They might not tell you this, but they will respect you. Remember, you are always being watched.

9. You are not like XYZ.

We often tend to compare ourselves to other people: compare our lives, experiences, material possessions (i.e. comparing our ‘behind the scenes’ with someone else’s highlight reel). The truth is, no one has it all good. This is something I have been reminding myself of lately.

Everyone is going through their own ‘hullaballoo.’ Do not envy anyone, just appreciate your journey and trust the process.

10. It is going to be okay.

Everything is going to work out well. The money will come, the job/business idea will come, your spouse will come, true friends will come…in its own season. Your current situation is only temporary.

Things You Should Remind Yourself of

Everything has a beginning and an end. I want you to know that everything going on in your life right now is for a purpose, nothing happens by chance. It is all working together for the greater good – all to shape you into the man or woman you were meant to be.

One last thing…you’ve got this!

What are the other things you remind yourself of daily?

What are the other things you remind yourself of daily? What affirmations work for you? Please SHARE! I would love to know, so please write your thoughts below in the comment section.



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Why Keeping Your Dreams To Yourself Is a Good Idea


Everybody has had a dream at some point or another during their lifetime. Whether it was dreams of your wedding day when you were six years old or dreams about being the next Hulk Hogan, every little person that grows up to be a big person has had a dream for their life.

While I am a HUGE advocate for having a team of supportive people around you, you also have to be mindful of the chaos that can arise from having too many voices speaking at one time.

I do believe that at the human core, we all have ample amounts of goodness in us – we want to see others win. We love to see our friends and family members happy. We’d expect that they’d desire the same from us in return, right?

Well, more often than not, our expectations of others are unmet. We find out that there is a little bit of underlying jealousy and pessimism lurking behind the scenes. And sometimes, we don’t realize it until it’s too late.

This is a sign that every now and again, keeping your excitement to yourself is sometimes the best option. When it comes to goals and dreams, it’s often better to keep it to yourself.

Based on my own personal experience and the first accounts of a few good people I know, here are a few good reasons why you should keep your dreams to yourself.

On Goals and Dreams: 4 Reasons To Keep It To Yourself

1. The ones you share your dreams with may try to talk you out of them.

keep it to yourself

Some of the people who may share your excitement when it comes to your dreams are usually the individuals that will try to discourage you from following it. Deep down inside, those you share your dreams with may be questioning their own – and in turn, they’ll question yours. 

They’ll ask “how” and “why” and “what happens if…” , things you may have already considered. But hearing them from the mouths of others may get to you. Unless you’re unshakably sure about what it is you desire to see for yourself, don’t allow someone else the opportunity to change your mind. For now, it might be best to keep it to yourself.

2. Sometimes people are not as happy for you as they depict themselves to be.

keep it to yourself

It’s a part of our innate human nature to WANT things. Sometimes, we want what others have – especially if it seems like it brings them a happiness we may lack. What does this mean? Just because they seem to be happy for you, they really may not be.

This kind of interaction affects us on a deeper emotional level than on the surface, because it toys with our emotions. We start questioning ourselves instead of the person sending negative vibes our way. “Maybe this dream is too big for me.” “If they don’t see how great this is, others may not either”, and so on.

Whenever you sense that someone in your circle may NOT be rooting for you as you think they should, don’t take it personal. Allow them to feel whatever it is they feel. Better yet, ask them HOW you can improve your plan to make your dream a reality. People like to feel included.

3. Your biggest supporters may be your biggest critics.

keep it to yourself

I once read this statement on a social media post and it changed my world:

“Stop taking constructive criticism from those who have never constructed anything!”

So often, the loudest voices are the voices of those who talk a lot but seldom act on what they say. And what good can that do? Nothing for you or them.

Know that criticism is NOT always a bad thing. Be willing to accept it – if and only if – it comes from a reputable source. If otherwise, it might be best to simply keep it to yourself. Remember: dream killers don’t fit the position!

4. Your dreams need your protection.

keep it to yourself

There is only one YOU. No matter how similar someone else’s dreams may seem to yours, only YOU can make your dreams happen the way you want them to. Just as you have to shield yourself from negativity, you have to do the same for your dream.

Keep it to yourself for protection. Treat your dreams like a newborn baby. Without the proper attention, nutrition, and constant validation, just as a baby won’t develop, neither will your dream. Protect it from those who may not want it to grow.

And because you may never know all those who may be against you, sometimes, things are better left unsaid. Let the product of your work speak for you.

The key to making your dream a reality is to believe so strongly in it that even if you have to make it happen alone, you are more than willing to do so. Don’t allow those who cannot control your destiny to deter you from doing what your soul desires to do.

You are in charge of seeing your dreams happen.



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How to Manage Perfectionism | Everyday Power


Healthy ways to recognize and manage your perfectionism.

To understand how to manage perfectionism, you first need to know what drives it. Usually, we wind up as perfectionists when this behavior is modeled regularly by our parents or caretakers and when they consistently push us to be perfect.

It’s important to recognize that, in most cases, they wanted us to do well because they loved us and, most likely, had no idea that trying to shape us into flawless beings could possibly do us any harm.

Here are some steps to take to recognize and manage perfectionism:

• Observe this tendency in yourself

If you tend to go above and beyond more often than not, observe your behavior. You’ll need to do this for a while in various situations to get a full picture of the extent of your perfectionism. Check out your behavior at work, at play, at home, with your children and in any setting in which you think you might be putting in too much effort.

If you pay close attention, you’ll note an inner sense that you need to keep doing something to get it right and feel as if you can’t stop if you don’t. You might also notice that you keep driving yourself forward in the hopes of getting approval.

Should this happen a great deal, you are likely to have strong perfectionist tendencies. If you go for the gold in only one or two areas of your life, you might have things just right.

This may mean that you’re selective about where you put your time and effort. Alternately, most across-the-board perfectionists are all too aware of the fact that they have this trait.

• Understand how you developed this trait

Think back to your childhood and ask yourself some questions: Were either of my parents perfectionists or was anyone else who played a major part in my upbringing?

What was the emotional tenor of my childhood apropos doing things right—or wrong? Was there a competitive feeling in the family? Was success or excelling more highly regarded than other qualities?

Here are more questions to ask yourself: What happened when I didn’t do things perfectly? Of course, perfectionism translates into what your parents thought was perfect, right or acceptable. When you didn’t do something just so, did your parents express grave disappointment in or anger at you?

Were you pushed beyond your natural abilities or compared to others and found lacking? Were you punished, shamed, teased, or humiliated? Did your parents withdraw love when you did anything in less than a stellar way? Did you feel chronically not good enough?

• Evaluate your experience of feeling bad or wrong in childhood

Many people become perfectionists because anything less makes them feel as if they’re bad or wrong. As a child, especially if your parents were intolerant of mistakes or failures, feeling bad or wrong was just about the worst thing that could happen to you, particularly if it happened regularly.

Perfectionism is a learned trait that we’re conditioned to pursue for adaptive reasons. Maybe you kept trying to hit a home run or bake a cake, ace geometry, play the piano, ski down the black diamond trails, or take first place in spelling contests because you didn’t want to fail.

As children, it’s normal to be desperate for praise and approval and that desperation often becomes an ingrained habit that morphs into perfectionism.

Ask yourself what the opposite of achieving perfection is. People usually say failure is accompanied by shame or humiliation. In most cases, being afraid of making mistakes and of letting others down is what leads to the need to be perfect. If you associate failure with having less-than views of yourself, you’ll naturally want to be perfect to avoid them.

• Identify your beliefs about mistakes and failure

To manage perfectionism, make a list of what you believe about mistakes and failure such as:

  • I shouldn’t make mistakes.
  • Mistakes can be avoided if I try hard enough.
  • Failure is a terrible thing, to be avoided at all costs.
  • If I’m not perfect, I’m a failure.
  • I always need to try my hardest or give an endeavor my best shot.
  • I must be perfect to be lovable and loved.

Would you be surprised to learn that none of the above statements are true? No one can live without making mistakes and failing occasionally. They are both a natural, normal part of life. Accepting this truth will go a long way toward reframing your attitude toward perfection.

• Reframe your beliefs about mistakes and failure

Here are some healthy beliefs about mistakes and failure. Notice how you feel as you read through them, especially if you have a reaction that I must be wrong and that these beliefs couldn’t possibly be healthy.

If you have such a response, know that you’ve been wrongly indoctrinated on the subject of mistakes and failure and that this is why you’re such a dyed in the wool perfectionist.

  • Everyone makes mistakes and I’m no different.
  • The world won’t fall apart if I make a mistake or fail, even when I try my hardest.
  • Failure is normal and natural and cannot be avoided.
  • I can do something imperfectly without failing at it.
  • I don’t need to excel at everything and I can choose where I wish to and where I don’t.
  • I’m lovable and expect to be loved as a flawed human being.

• Forget about always doing your best

The truth is you don’t need to be perfect at anything or everything. My father brought me up according to the adage, “Good, better, best, never let it rest, ‘til the good is better and the better is the best” and I spent half a lifetime shedding that unhelpful piece of advice, though I have absolutely no doubt that my loving father meant well by encouraging me to live by it. My guess is that he was raised with the same expectation and that, as a highly competent, successful man, he never questioned it.

Why not start from the premise that you’re going to do some things well in your life and some things poorly, that you have strengths and weaknesses just like the rest of us, and that your success or failure in an activity has absolutely nothing to do with your value as a human being.

Working off this assumption, you then won’t misinterpret what doing poorly means. Of course, you might still wish to shine in, say, math, but doing poorly won’t define you’re worth or affect your self-esteem.

• Stop measuring yourself against perfection

If we measure every aspect of ourselves against some perfect ideal, we’ll be pretty bummed out nearly all the time.

Considering that humans are imperfect beings and that we can’t control the universe, how can we insist that whatever we’re engaged in—playing tennis, parenting a child, giving a speech, or taking a vacation—must be a complete success?

Whenever humans are involved, we need to toss out the concept of flawless and get real. And real means flaws, faults, frailties and defects. Real means good enough, close-but-no-cigar and, often, only the best we can do at any given time.

• Decide how well you wish to do at certain activities

When you try to do everything well, you’re setting yourself up for stress, distress and exhaustion. We soon run out of steam if we try to do our best at everything. And, who says that we need to?

Mental and physical energy are not infinite resources and human beings often get depleted from trying too hard. When that happens we look for quick fixes in food or alcohol, may become irritable with others and, in frustration, often want to chuck whatever we’re trying to do and give up.

Consider this. What if you didn’t try to do everything perfectly and give every endeavor your best shot? The advantage of this mindset, to which I wholly subscribe, is that you would then have enough energy to do the things that are important to do well with excellence.

Try this: Think of endeavors as falling into the categories of excellent, good, fair or poor. When I work with clients on reducing their all-or-nothing mindset of perfectionism versus failure, I suggest that they imagine baskets with these labels on them, then determine which tasks or efforts go in which baskets.

For example, my excellent basket contains wishing to do my best as a wife, friend, and in doing therapy with clients. My aim is to do a good job as a writer, staying abreast of the news, and being politically active in my community, while I’m content to be a good-to-fair housekeeper, cook and bookkeeper for my private practice.

And, I’m okay with being a poor gardener. The point is that I don’t strive to be my best at everything I do. I don’t care if guests enter my house and compliment me on my spotless domain or leave my house raving about my cooking.

I do a decent job at bookkeeping, but find it difficult and have settled for being merely adequate at it. There are much better writers than I am, but I’m satisfied with being a “good” rather than a “great” one.

To be honest, I’m a big fan of being good enough at most things, period. I’d rather put time and effort into doing well at what I enjoy and excel in and not so much into what I don’t value or simply don’t have the smarts, talent or inclination for.

For example, when I was attending Simmons College School of Social Work, most of my classmates were driving themselves crazy trying to get top grades, while I was thrilled that I’d chosen to go the pass/fail route to reduce the pressure and increase the pleasure of graduate school. Good enough is generally good enough for me.

• Recognize when perfectionism or near perfection is important

There are jobs and times when you will wish for and seek perfectionism. If you’re a surgeon, you’ll want to do a perfect job. It’s a necessity for you and for your patients.

Ditto, if you’re a nurse dispensing medication or a lawyer arguing a death penalty case. In fact, if you work in any profession where safety, including public safety, is your focus, you’ll want to aim for no mistakes. Shooting for perfect also makes sense when you’re applying for a job, trying to make a team, or are an Olympic competitor.

There are other jobs and endeavors where striving for perfection is de rigueur. Think of saving perfection for things that really, really, really matter. That does not include making the world’s juiciest, most tender Thanksgiving turkey, folding towels, or shoveling snow.

• Learn to enjoy your imperfection

Practice laughing at your mistakes, sharing your bloopers with your friends, owning up to your own failures before someone else points them out, allowing yourself to be fair to midland at things, giving up trying to make things work out right all the time and, instead, riding with the tide and going with the flow.

Go for broke on being flawed. I once wrote a newspaper article on “The Art of Mediocrity” which extolled the merits and benefits of striving to be a mediocre skier because I doubted I’d have enough fun if I forced myself to focus strictly on perfect form.

I feel the same way as a lifelong (though on-and-off) tap dancer who’s still an advanced beginner. In fact, I challenge anyone to say they have a better time in tap class than I do. Perfectionism is a kind of slavery, whereas imperfection can feel like glorious freedom.

Throw off the shackles of having to do your best in every endeavor and start deciding exactly where you want to put your effort. When you do, you’ll find that you have oodles of energy for the things you really wish to do well and that life becomes more satisfying and enjoyable.

As an extra bonus, people will probably find your more relaxed attitude, a good deal more pleasant to be around. Good enough might actually feel just perfect.

What steps are you taking to manage your perfectionism? I’d love to hear all about it in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to share with your friends and followers.



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58 Greek Philosopher Quotes On Ancient Knowledge & Life


If you’re in search of powerful and thought-provoking wisdom, relying on the great Greek philosophers of ancient times will serve you well. We’ve rounded up an epic collection of Greek philosopher quotes to inspire you to think deeper and find your Greek god within.

Greek philosophers contributed hugely to our understanding of the world. Using their intelligence and reasoning skills, they attempted to make sense out of the world and brought along revolutionary philosophical contributions to politics, science and ethics.

As they say, true wisdom is eternal. The great Greek philosophers might have lived in much different times, but we can still apply their ancient wisdom to our modern lives. Their wise words have the power to change the way you think and approach life.

So, to enlarge your thought, below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and mind-blowing Greek philosopher quotes and sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Greek Philosopher Quotes On Ancient Knowledge To Motivate You

1. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

2. “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” – Socrates (see more quotes by Socrates)

3. “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.” – Diogenes

4. “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” – Churchill 

5. “Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.” – Socrates

6. “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” – Aristotle

7. “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus

8. “For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.” – Plato

9. “Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.” –  Aristotle

10. “If I had followed the multitude, I should not have studied philosophy.” – Chrysippus

Greek philosopher quotes that will inspire you to find your Greek god within

11. “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” – Democritus

12. “Difficulties are things that show a person what they are.” – Epictetus (see more Epictetus quotes)

13. “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” – Socrates

14. “All the earth is mine, and I have a right to go all over it and through it.” – Apollonius of Tyana

15. “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” – Aristotle

16. “When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.” – Epictetus

17. “He has the most who is most content with the least.” – Diogenes

18. “Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.” – Heraclitus

19. “Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains.” –  Democritus

20. “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” – Plato

Greek philosopher quotes to expand your understanding

21. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” – Epictetus

22. “I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.” – Plutarch

23. “Those who intend on becoming great should love neither themselves nor their own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by themselves or others.” – Plato

24. “Fate is the endless chain of causation, whereby things are; the reason or formula by which the world goes on.” – Citium Zeno

25. “Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.” – Aristotle

26. “Good means not merely not to do wrong, but rather not to desire to do wrong.” – Democritus

27. “There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.” – Plato

28. “Much learning does not teach understanding.” – Heraclitus

29. “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” – Epictetus

30. “There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.” – Aristotle

Also check out these Medusa quotes about the unique guardian from Greek mythology.

Greek philosopher quotes that will inspire you to think deeper

31. “It is a true man’s part not to err, but it is also noble of a man to perceive his error.” –  Apollonius of Tyana

32. “Knowledge without justice ought to be called cunning rather than wisdom.” – Plato

33. “Riches do not exhilarate us so much with their possession as they torment us with their loss.” – Epicurus

34. “Medicine to produce health must examine disease; and music, to create harmony must investigate discord.” – Plutarch

35. “It is hard to contend against one’s heart’s desire; for whatever it wishes to have it buys at the cost of soul.” – Heraclitus

36. “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” – Aristotle

37. “Everything existing in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity.” – Democritus

38. “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” – Aristotle

39. “If thou suffer injustice, console thyself; the true unhappiness is in doing it.” – Democritus

40. “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.” – Plato

More Greek philosopher quotes to expand your mind

41. “Control thy passions lest they take vengence on thee.” – Epictetus

42. “No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger.” – Heraclitus

43. “Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.” – Aristotle

44. “Moral habits, induced by public practices, are far quicker in making their way into men’s private lives, than the failings and faults of individuals are in infecting the city at large.” – Plutarch

45. “Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempest.” – Epicurus

46. “No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.” – Plato

47. “Do not trust all men, but trust men of worth; the former course is silly, the latter a mark of prudence.” – Democritus

48. “Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details.” – Heraclitus

49. “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” – Aristotle

50. “People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.” – Plato

You might also like these philosophical Epicurus quotes for a happy life.

More Greek philosopher quotes

51. “To test a perfect theory with imperfect instruments did not impress the Greek philosophers as a valid way to gain knowledge.” – Isaac Asimov

52. “The Republic isn’t as much fun as The Symposium. It’s all long speeches, and nobody bursting in drunk to woo Socrates in the middle.” – Jo Walton, Among Others

53. “We are not separated from spirit, we are in it.” – Plotinus

54. “But what difference does it make who spoke the words? They were uttered for the world.” – Seneca

55. “It wasn’t easy looking dignified wearing a bed sheet and a purple cape.” – Rick Riordan, The Son of Neptune

56. “Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.” – Aristotle

57. “When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” – Herophilus

58. “Come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream.” – Euripides

What did you learn from these Greek Philosopher quotes?

Ancient Greek philosophy is still important today? Even when passed down for thousands of years, wisdom speaks to human nature.

We can learn many life lessons from the work and lives of the great Greek philosophers. Hopefully, these quotes from the ancients have inspired you to live wisely and compassionately.

Which of these Greek philosopher quotes and sayings resonated with you best? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Feel free to share with us in the comment section below.



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