Motivation, Relationship

Are You Being Too Self-centered?

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“Be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

This insight is universal because it reminds us that the people in our lives are dealing with their own hardships; that they have their own pain to process.Even with a sage reminder like this, why is it that we only see our own distress when in the middle of hard times? Why do we feel that we have a monopoly on pain?

We first must understand why we become more self-centered in times of anxiety. A recent study found that troubled feelings increase our reliance on egocentric thinking–meaning that we stop seeing other’s perspectives while distressed. We become more self-centered when experiencing unhappy circumstances and this causes us to only see our own agonies because of our agitated, single-focused minds.

Our selfishness is bound to be apparent to others as well. One study has shown that patients who used more first-person pronouns (I and me) during therapy sessions had a higher incidence of depression while other research found that people suffering from social anxiety manifest more exaggerated self-attention. Once we understand the physiological reason behind our selfishness and how it negatively affects us, we have to start combating it.

One way we can minimize our monopoly on pain is to 
listen. Many times we assume we know someone’s struggle without hearing the whole story but we are really just filling in the blanks with our own experiences. If we commit to pausing our assumptions and listening, we can start to see perspectives outside our own.

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Another way is to begin practicing empathy. It is hard when our brains are set on only seeing the narrow scope of our experiences but if we attempt to put ourselves in another’s shoes, we will begin to empathize with them and their troubles. It is difficult when it feels all life’s troubles are aimed solely at us but that feeling isn’t accurate. We must look past our personal pain and see that we are all fighting our own battles and then we’ll gain enough mutual understanding to join forces.


At the end of the day, no one really cares about what award you won, how much money you made, what you spent on your car, how many politicians you know, how great your hair looks, or what grades you got. What they will care about is how good you made them feel, and trust me when I say that self-centered people rarely make people feel good.


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Motivation, Relationship

Do you have too many doors open?

“ Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” says T.D Jakes.

Although it may be hard to believe when we are in the midst of struggle, our deepest pain is the catalyst for our transformation.Yet, healing and growth are not possible if the door is still open to those people and experiences that chip away at your peace.

Are you still allowing people and things that hurt you into your life? Truthfully, we cannot rebuke a devil that we continually grant access to our lives. You know that you don’t want to live in drama, for example, yet pick up the phone when that friend calls. He promised he would never put you down again, yet you’ve turned the other cheek so much your head is spinning.

Protection of ourselves, and our core, is critical. Psychologists have found that slipping into patterns of self-sabotage happens all too easily.  In fact, whether it’s sticking to a health plan, quitting smoking, or removing ourselves from a toxic relationship, 80-90% of us will slide back to what feels familiar and comfortable. We generally do not want to step out of our comfort zone, yet just like a young woman said:

Conviction and Comfort don’t live on the same block.

Yet, researchers have found that we can use what they call “if-then plans” to change our unhealthy emotional patterns.  Simply by thinking, or even writing down, “If (stressor/obstacle) arises, then I will (respond in this way)” gives us a concrete way out. Reframing these stressors will allow us to cut toxic people and situations out of our lives for good.
It’s been said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” 

Closing the door to what hurts you stops this cycle.
Finding the strength to cut people out of our lives does not mean we hate them, but rather that we are striving to build up our respect for ourselves .  We will no longer stand in the way of our own healing and growth. The roadblocks and stop signs are up–this road is finally closed.


Forgive people when they hurt you but also learn from the experience.



Motivation, Relationship

Why You Need To Shut Some Doors

Although it may be hard to believe when we are in the midst of struggle, our deepest pain is the catalyst for our transformation. Yet, healing and growth are not possible if the door is still open to those people and experiences that chip away at your peace.

Are you still allowing people and things that hurt you into your life? Truthfully, we cannot rebuke a devil that we continually grant access to our lives. You know that you don’t want to live in drama, for example, yet pick up the phone when that friend calls. He promised he would never put you down again, yet you’ve turned the other cheek so much your head is spinning.Protection of ourselves, and our core, is critical.

Psychologists have found that slipping into patterns of self-sabotage happens all too easily.  In fact, whether it’s sticking to a health plan, quitting smoking, or removing ourselves from a toxic relationship, 80-90% of us will slide back to what feels familiar.

Yet, researchers have found that we can use what they call “if-then plans” to change our unhealthy emotional patterns.  Simply by thinking, or even writing down, “If (stressor/obstacle) arises, then I will (respond in this way)” gives us a concrete way out. Reframing these stressors will allow us to cut toxic people and situations out of our lives for good.

It’s been said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Closing the door to what hurts you stops this cycle. Finding the strength to cut people out of our lives does not mean we hate them, but rather that we are striving to build up our respect for ourselves .  We will no longer stand in the way of our own healing and growth.

The roadblocks and stop signs are up–this road is finally closed.