holiday blues

The holiday blues are a real phenomenon, with half of us feeling some stress and fatigue if not mild depression. The holiday blues are felt by people as a result of the holiday season. Yet, some people are entering the holiday season already feeling stressed, anxious, sad, grieving, depressed, etc. How do I enjoy the holidays while helping people I know to cope with their holiday blues?

"If one were to devise an experimental set of circumstances which would test the integrity of an individual's mood control, one would invent the year-end holiday season." Jonathan Himmelhoch, Psychiatrist, Western Psychiatric Institute, and Clinic

The holiday blues are real, and according to at least one study, about half of us experience the holiday blues (the survey reached 786 adults, 18 years or older Fall of 2006). But some people suffer the holiday blues because they entered the holiday season already feeling sad, depressed, anxious, etc. The seemingly joyous time of the year enhances their depression and anxiety. 

I don't think there is any other time of the year, which evokes such strong emotions as does this time of the year. For some of us, we are excited, joyous, filled with wonder…

Read more: The Holiday Blues How To Help People Cope

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confidence

Confidence is not something we're born with, it's something we learn as we mature. My personal story is one of a shy boy transformed into a confident man. How did I do it? How can you do it? Let's talk about how I eventually learned to embrace my confidence.

"Confidence isn't walking into a room with your nose in the air, thinking you are better than everyone else; it's walking into a room and not having to compare yourself to anyone in the first place." -Anonymous

The other day I was asked, "Have you always had this confidence?" I was somewhat taken aback by the question as I don't typically think of myself as having confidence. My current life activities consist of family, life coaching, writing, teaching at a university and college, hosting a podcast, giving lectures, and speaking at conferences. I keep myself active, but I enjoy all that I do. Is my enjoyment in what I do the confidence people see in me?

Confidence is defined as a feeling of trust in one's abilities and talents. Yet, this definition presupposes that I have an awareness of my skills and talents. I feel this is the reason…

Read more: Confidence: How To Embrace It As I Did

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overcome fear

To overcome fear, one needs to believe they will be happy on the other side, and that getting to the other side of fear is possible. Knowing and believing are two very different attitudes. In this article, I use my own childhood fear as an example throughout. Keep in mind, we need fear to live, so be careful in what fear you try to overcome.

As a young child, I had many fears, as I'm sure most children experience. For me, my most significant event to overcome fear was the weather, specifically thunderstorms. I was convinced that every storm would spawn a tornado which would ultimately find and pulverize my house, with me in it! Now, please know that I did not grow up in tornado alley or in a tornado prone area. Yes, we experienced the random water spout and once a decade, or so a tornado would develop. The tornadoes were far enough from my house not to see the funnel of destruction but close enough that the local newspaper printed articles about the twister. 

I have no idea of the origin of my fear, but I knew exactly how to overcome fear in this situation. To…

Read more: How To Overcome Fear But We Need Fear To Live

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life management

Life management became the focus of my live interview on the LA radio show “Ask Brien.” This business-focused show turned into a life coaching episode as the topic of time management easily and quickly moved into life management. Check out the full interview below.

The host asked me to define and talk about time management, especially for new entrepreneurs struggling to grow a new business while balancing their personal lives. I believe that time management consists of taking a holistic picture of what’s happening in the present moment, therefore time management is akin to life management. Time management is focusing on ways to get done what needs to now while planning for the next task. 

Time management, like life management, is most effective when you approach your tasks and day with a sense of reasonable expectations. If your expectations of what and when you can accomplish tasks are unreasonable, you’re going to set yourself up for failure. The problem is you’re going to end up at the end of that day saying, not only did I not accomplish what I wanted to, but because I didn’t meet my expectations, there’s something wrong with me. This way of thinking will…

Read more: Life Management Tips For A Happy Life

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successful

To be successful, as defined by society, causes us to focus on wealth and power, not on one’s ability and goals. When I can say that I’ve done my best, and am comfortable with that, then I’m successful and at peace.

“If I try to fail and succeed, which have I done?” - anonymous

I use the above quote with my college students when I'm lecturing on the topic of being successful, challenging them to look at life from a different perspective. In challenging our perspectives, and even our definitions, I am not merely playing semantics as I  firmly believe that words actually do hold meaning. If you aren’t sure about the validity of that statement, think of the last time someone’s words either caused you joy or caused you pain. Words do have the power to affect our emotions, therefore, by challenging ourselves to look at our own definitions from a new perspective can change how we feel.

How I define being successful, or how successful is defined for me, influences how I feel about myself. Many of us have culturally learned that success is defined by tangible goods and/or wealth. We hear expressions such as “If I…

Read more: How To Be Successful - It’s Not What You Think

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