Archive: Psychotherapy

The story of a purse abuser

I have a story. Two days ago my purse fell apart. The story of how I chose this purse has its own story, but that isn’t the one I want to tell today. Today I want to tell how I became a purse abuser.

Yes, you read right – I am a purse abuser. After carefully getting the purse that would fulfill all my requirements, it still ended up not being quite adequate. I wanted one that was well made of good material so that it wouldn’t fall apart. I wanted it big enough to hold my notebook along with everything else that usually goes in purses. And, I wanted one that could be worn as a back pack so that one shoulder didn’t end up in pain.

I got all those things, paying more than I wanted. That purse was and is attractive and roomy. The only problem is that once I got it, my requirements changed. I discovered, for instance, that I really needed a mouse because the keypad wasn’t reliable. Then I noticed that the battery life wasn’t all that good, so I also added a chord. And sometimes, I needed extra research material, so in they went as well.

Soon that purse was overloaded and really heavy (which is why I needed a backpack model in the first place). And sure enough, one day, almost simultaneously, the hardware on one strap shattered, the zipper broke, and the handle shredded.

I do this with every purse I’ve ever owned. My need to be prepared under any circumstance means that I “need” to have with me every conceivable thing that could possibly help in any given situation. You might suggest a suitcase with wheels, but honestly, whatever I get would soon be inadequate. I know this because I’ve tried it.

Pause.

I hope my story is entertaining and that you’ve recognized similar things in yourself or a friend. I’m wondering if you have some advice you’d love to give me, or an equally entertaining story of your own.

Stories are powerful. They grab our attention in ways that nothing else can. They influence what we do and how we view the things around us.  They have the power to light our world, and to darken it.  They can change our perspective.

Coming out as a purse abuser by telling my story means something else: it means I can now change it.

I wonder what that story will be.

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Your Coach Within

Seth Godin talks about how 90% of coaching is really self-coaching.  That’s true whether you have a good coach, a lousy coach, or use self-help, friends and the media as a coach.

All a good coach does is supply, in one place and in a condensed form, what you could manage to get, piece by piece, from your own sources.  What a bad coach does is send you on paths that you eventually discover are heading in the wrong direction, or no direction that’s useful. From a bad coach, you learn a lot about what not to do.

Either way, once you get the nuggets, the rest is up to you: digesting what you’ve learned and then applying it to whatever problem – or challenge – is in front of you.

Eventually, that learning becomes automatic – becomes your own inner voice of wisdom – and serves as the growing bedrock of knowledge and knowhow for increasingly complex problems and challenges.

It’s a great way to learn and grow your coach within!

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

 

The certainty of change

 change

Some people always have their eyes on some future or present vision. Others are moved more by people and their community – wanting to help those people in some way. Still others are practical, having their eye on what works and doesn’t work.  You’d think that those moved by vision would be less fearful of change.

If you thought so, you’d be wrong.  All of us fear change, even if it also excites us.  Change always involves stepping into the unfamiliar, and that can be dangerous.  For sure, there will be mistakes, errors of judgment and unexpected roadblocks. It will be loaded with uncertainty.

But change is inevitable. It’s the definition of life. It’s movement and process, growth and discovery.

From Robert Redford – “One of the things that will always be inevitable is change, full of both vague uncertainty and brilliant promise.”

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

On Being a Kickass Woman

Below is a video about a group of indigenous women who decided to don climbing equipment, wearing their traditional clothes, and climb the Andes. Their children, their husbands, their friends all thought they were crazy. That they needed protecting. That their safety needed to come before excitement or challenge.

These women did it anyway. Their way. And they’re pretty good at it.

That’s what it takes to be a kickass woman. Following your own way. No matter what!

Mountain Climbers

Burning the Candle?

If you’re someone who feels like you’re burning up and burning out – from too much ongoing stress, from too much responsibility and too little recognition, or simply from wanting to have everything done Now!, then you might be interested in my online program BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS.

Registration is now open for October. Check it out!
Quote of the Week

“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” – Golda Meir

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

The freedom of not anticipating

I was preparing for a talk on a difficult subject, and because I was nervous, began coming up with a bunch of worst-case what-ifs; so much so that I began to believe those were the only alternatives.

You can guess how that talk went: I was defensive, and worried – anticipating the worst. A great example of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’ve also experienced the other side of that same coin: preparing for a talk, assuming that my audience will know all the basics and I sail right into details.  Nope. They knew nothing!
That switcheroo was easier, but honestly, my delivery took a while to ramp up.

Anticipation – leads to distress, pain, disappointment, worry and rumination. Not to mention distraction. Keeping myself open to working with whatever happens, on the other hand, leaves me free to connect with my audience in a genuine way.

Dan Gilbert – You are always changing

Burning the Candle?

If you’re someone who feels like you’re burning up and burning out – from too much ongoing stress, from too much responsibility and too little recognition, or simply from wanting to have everything done Now!, then you might be interested in my online program BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS.

Registration is now open for October. Check it out!
Quote of the Week

Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Been gaslighted lately?

If you don’t think so, think again. They only way you couldn’t have is if you never read the papers or listen to the news.

Gaslighting happens when someone deliberately manipulates a situation in order to make another person question themselves. That person may or may not realize what they’re doing. The impact of their action is the same regardless.  I’m witnessing it happening on the political arena increasingly, and so it’s become something we all need to understand and combat successfully.

The first thing to know is that gaslighting only works with your collaboration. That is, if you refuse to go along with it, it loses all it’s power.

My mother was a successful gaslighter. I don’t think she ever knew it. But I ended up with years of having to work through it, undo the damage it caused, and learn how to trust myself again. I used to tell people that her reality was in a perpetual altered state, which helped me retain some stability through it all. (She’s now passed, and I’m happy to say we had many good years together.)

How does a gaslighter do it (from Psychology Today)?

  • By telling a deliberate lie that you know is a lie, in order to set a tone of never knowing if what they say is true or not. This effectively keeps you, in this situation, off-balance.
  • By denying they said something you know they did say, with the effect that you begin to question yourself instead of them.  This becomes more and more the case the more it happens.
  • By using what is important to you against you, attacking the foundation of your being. For instance, the person might question your technical abilities when they know that’s meaningful to you; or your value as a mother if that’s how you’ve defined yourself.
  • By not walking their talk – saying one thing and doing another.  The key is to attend to what they do, not to what they say.
  • By occasionally praising you, so that even if you had managed to figure them out, you find yourself questioning that.
  • By aligning others against you. This may be done through gossip and deliberate misrepresentation, or simply by getting you to believe that there are others who already knew something they maintain about you.
  • By projecting what is really going on inside them that they don’t like onto you.
  • By telling others that you’re the crazy one, not them.

If you find yourself faced with this kind of situation, here’s what you can do:

  • Become aware. First, gain an understanding of what’s going on. The only way gaslighting can work is if you let it.  By understanding the dynamics, you gain clarity, which makes gaslighting unworkable.
  • Trust your own gutOne the most insidious things about the situation is the denial of your reality. And this leads to self-denial of what your body is telling you.  Therefore, it’s important to re-connect with that inner knowing, and trusting it, no matter what.
  • Be defiant. Stand your ground, and don’t give in. You won’t be thanked for it; the person gaslighting you will not acknowledge your right to do so. It’s no good doing it for recognition and visibility – that will not happen! Do it for your own well-being.
  • Develop a healthy detachment. The emotional back and forth between praise and blame can be unhinging, unless you become the observer. It’s tempting to simply disappear emotionally – and you might, but there is a cost to disappearing. Developing a healthy detachment means remaining in the space emotionally, doing so by also understanding thoroughly that what is going on is not about you, but about the other person.
  • Find some way to tell your story – so that you develop your own means of remaining visible to yourself and others.

What to do about gaslighting

Burning the Candle?

If you’re someone who feels like you’re burning up and burning out – from too much ongoing stress, from too much responsibility and too little recognition, or simply from wanting to have everything done Now!, then you might be interested in my online program BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS.

Registration is now open for October. Check it out!
Quote of the Week

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.
Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

You have impact!

impact

You’re feeling  crappy – not so crappy that you have to go to bed, but just off.  You’ve been working all day. You’re tired. You just want to go home and hide in a book.  But, you’ve made plans. You promised to be at your friend’s inauguration – or birthday party, or opening.

Then you find yourself in self-talk. It goes something like: “You know, there are thousands of people who are going to be there. Who am I anyway?. She won’t miss me.”

So you stay home.  Next week when you see her, she seems distant. She says she understands but you can see in her face and gestures that she’s hurt.

What does that tell you? You have more impact than you ever imagined.

You count! Just like your friend does.

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters for a sample. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Show off!

show off

Rather than telling people how great we are, we show them how great we are. – Renee Ballard

Renee is a woman I’m currently getting to know. She’s a fellow Martha Beck Coach, and also a Social Media maven.  I honestly can’t remember what we were talking about, but I do remember what she concluded.

For some people, showing their own greatness can be a lot harder than simply talking about it. For others, both are hard.  I’m reminded of one of my favorite childhood heroes – the introverted cowboy “greenhorn” hero of the classic western who, instead of coming in with both guns blazing, shows up and does the right thing when it’s needed.  Nice and elegant.

Learning to be comfortable showing off my greatness only happened when I finally got it. I ”got” that, as long as I hid that greatness, those who needed what I have to offer couldn’t get it.

You and I have something to show off that’s unique, wanted, and needed. Just like that greenhorn hero from the movies.

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

What I really know

really know

I was at my partner’s place last week. He was talking about what it would take to start a new business – he’s never had to do that, so it seemed like a black hole to him.  I knew exactly what he needed to do: the steps, the order … it was so clear, and I knew that if he followed these steps in that order, he’d be fine.

I didn’t know I knew so much because I can’t look at my own business the same way. I get stuck on things that seems so clear when I apply it to others. I don’t know what I was more dumbstruck from: that I knew so much, or that I didn’t know I knew so much.

After taking a few days to get used to this new discovery, I wondered why that happens and how I could use it to get unstuck.

That we can’t easily be impartial and objective toward our own passions isn’t something new.  But the thing is – I’m not impartial to what matters to my partner. I care deeply and want to help. It’s just that speaking for another person brings with it a responsibility for me to give my best. Is it that I don’t treat my own needs with that same sense?

Really, it’s more than that: when I give advice, I know it’s value because I know the expected outcome.  But when I try different approaches to running my own business, I don’t know the outcome. It’s this uncertainty that stops me. And scares me so much that I get stuck.

I tell myself that my situation isn’t exactly like his; that it’s unique; and that it therefore doesn’t follow the same principles.  Well, no situation anywhere is exactly like any other situation, and yet the vast majority of them do follow the same principles…

What I really know is this: I’m passionate about my business; and this means I’m afraid of doing something that will hurt my business. So I dither. But deep down, I also know that if I follow the same steps I gave my partner, in that order, I’ll be fine.

Just like him.

If you like this blog, you’ll love my newsletters “You are Enough Just as You Are” for a sample. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Roots, Wings and Energy

This week, I got almost nothing done that was on my priority list. That’s unusual for me: it wasn’t because I slacked off, or because I was incapacitated, or because I had friends over, or any reason like that. I was busy and productive all week. So what happened?

What happened was that I discovered that what I thought I needed to do isn’t what I actually needed to do. So this week, I spent my time planning and dreaming. Looking inside myself, challenging everything I’d thought and assumed once again.

I took a good look at what I’ve done so far that I like, and where it is I want to end up, and on what inspires me to get there every day.

Phillip Zimbardo, from his research, has discovered that those of us who consistently make the best use of our time are the ones who use positive past experiences to root them in the present, future visions and dreams to give us wings, and present desires to energize us.

As a result, this week I’ve been assessing and dreaming – using vision boards and quiet meditation; reviewing what I’ve done so far – what worked, what didn’t, and what I might alter. I might have to do this next week as well.

Then I’ll have a new to do list and a new direction. With Roots, Wings, and Energy.

The Psychology of Time – Phillip Zimbardo

energy

Quote of the Week
You can’t save up time. You can’t refuse to spend it. You can’t set it aside.
Either you’re spending your time.
Or your time is spending you.
-Seth Godin

Announcements
At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .