Author Archives: Rachael McAllister

Combating low self-esteem in relationships

imagesLow self-esteem is common in today’s era. Comparing ourselves to others happens every day, and realistically, whose self-esteem wouldn’t be hurt by this? With social media being a huge part of our lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the success of our friends, family, distant friends, and even people we don’t know — leading to harsh judgments on ourselves. However, what we don’t realize is how this can lower our self-esteem and inadvertently affect out relationships. So how can you tell if low-self esteem is affecting your relationship? Here are some key consequences:

  • When there is a negative relationship event, you (or your partner) take it personally (even when it may be a completely external force creating tension)
  • When there is a positive relationship event, you (or your partner) DON’T take it personally (credit should be given, where credit is due—feeling proud isn’t always a bad thing!!)
  • You (or your partner) doubts their value to others
  • You (or your partner) don’t have trust in your/their love and caring
  • You (or your partner) anticipate rejection and try to self-protect

So how can these affects be mitigated? Reassurance. Giving reassurance can boost feelings of security and lead to more confidence. The best way to do this is to reframe compliments in a more abstract way, making compliments more meaningful and more likely to be remembered. It is not uncommon for strangers to give you a quick compliment that can sometimes be hard to believe. But, when a compliment can be put into a sentence with background information, it shows that someone really put thought into it. When we know someone, like our partner, has thought about us, we feel flattered and reassured, giving us a boost of self-esteem!!

By: Rachael McAllister

Tips on how NOT to Procrastinate

imagesProcrastination happens to all of us. Whether we’re delaying paying a parking ticket, writing a paper, or simply getting out of bed, procrastination can be a bad habit to fall into and can end up causing our bodies a lot more stress then the original task at hand. Here are some tips to try next time you notice yourself procrastinating:

1. Set smaller goals
Having a huge goal can be daunting; especially when it’s not something we are looking forward to doing. The best way to start on completing the goal is to break it down into smaller, more “thought” friendly goals. This way your goals seem more attainable, and you never feel like you’re “biting off more then you can chew.” Your goals should always be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and have a time frame (SMART). Having smaller goals allows you to celebrate your accomplishments more frequently, boosting your self-confidence and positive feelings toward yourself! Finally, find some sort of interest in what you are doing. We are always more inclined to do something we enjoy. If you can’t find enjoyment in your goal, give yourself rewards for completing each step, allowing you to remain excited about it.

2. Give specific deadlines for the goals
Goals require you to have a specific time frame when you would like them to be completed. By setting a time frame you’re giving yourself accountability towards the goal. If you decide on a time frame for yourself, then you are the only one to blame if it’s not completed. Often when we procrastinate we love to blame every aspect of the universe for not meeting our goal. Having a time frame will help you take accountability and responsibility for your actions.

3. Tell others about your goals
This next step partners with the accountability aspect of goals. This step is easy -tell someone about your goals! It’s always great to talk about what we hope to accomplish in the future and it’s even nicer to hear others reply, “You can do it!” When we tell someone about our goals we subconsciously become aware that someone else may be counting on us, even when it’s only a personal goal. This makes us jump into action and become more likely to work towards the completion of the said goal. I also highly suggest telling someone whom you are close with and who will ask you how your goal is coming along. This will give you constant reminders to get going, and keep going.

4.  Find someone who has a similar goal and work together
This step is very important. Motivation is essential to accomplishing your goals, and sometimes it can be hard to find. When you have someone near you with a similar goal you can feed off one another. It’s great for measuring how far you have come and how far you have to go. You can keep tabs on where the other person is, and compare that to where you are or where you would like to be. Humans are competitive in nature, having someone to “race” to the finish line beside you can stop procrastination in its tracks.

5. Don’t overthink it
Lastly, don’t overthink your goal. Overthinking can make us feel overwhelmed, which never helps us reach our target. Take a deep breath or a step back from the present. Look at how far you have come, and praise yourself for getting there. Look at your timeline and take it one day at a time! If you begin to feel discouraged, talk to your goal buddy and discuss how you’re feeling. There’s power in numbers!

By: Rachael McAllister

Are you seeing what you want to see?

indexI think I can vouch for all of us that we paint a picture in our minds of what we want our life events to look like.  Whether it’s the day we graduate, the day you get married, the day you bring your first puppy home, or buying your first home, we create the perfect portrait of how we want to see ourselves at that specific moment. Although it is wonderful to imagine these things (and all of us still will), it’s easy to alter our perceptions of realty by doing so.

We often fall into a risky illusion of “seeing what we want to see”. This is when our perceptions of reality conform to our desires. When we want to see ourselves in a particular manner, we make it our goal to do so. We search for information to confirm our goal and ignore information that might not support our goal the way we want it to. By doing this, we alter our perceptions of realty… We see what we want to see, and disregard the unpleasant.

It’s difficult to ignore this illusion because it often runs in our minds unconsciously. For example: Imagine your goal, whatever it may be, was a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle.  To more efficiently put the puzzle together you may start by sorting out all the edge pieces. However, because you are so focused on only finding the edge pieces, you may miss out on some other significant pieces. These may have even given you some helpful clues to this massive puzzle. Likewise, in our own lives, we look for associated schemas within our own goals—causing us to “give a blind eye” to other vital clues surrounding us.

So how do you not fall into the illusion? Honestly, it’s hard. My best advice is to be conscious of your goals, and analyze all aspects of a situation to avoid seeing what you want to see. There are many approaches you can take when trying to achieve your goals. You can also ask someone who knows you well, this could be a family member, partner, or best friend, to play devil’s advocate every once and a while. This will make you re-analyze information and make sure it’s not just what you want to see.

By: Rachael McAllister

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