I am throwing my mobile phone out the window!

I am throwing my mobile phone out the window!

Friendship on a cloud - wrong-wrong-wrong

Friendship on a cloud - wrong-wrong-wrong

Why are you ignoring me over phone? You are insulting me, for your phone is more interesting than my presence. You are very rude!

Why are you ignoring me over phone? You are insulting me, for your phone is more interesting than my presence. You are very rude!



Prodigy frontman Keith Flint dies aged 49

Published time: 4 Mar, 2019 11:20Edited time: 4 Mar, 2019 13:12

Prodigy vocalist Keith Flint. © REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

 The Prodigy’s singer Keith Flint, best known for the song ‘Firestarter’, has been found dead at his home in England. The band has announced that the 49-year-old died by suicide.

The singer from Dunmow, Essex, was discovered by police, Monday morning, after an ambulance responded to reports of an man who was unconscious. His death is not being treated as suspicious.

“We were called to concerns for the welfare of a man at an address in Brook Hill, North End, just after 8.10am on Monday,” said an Essex police spokesman in a statement.

ALSO ON RT.COMFrontman Keith Flint took his own life - Prodigy confirm in 'shell shocked' post

"We attended and, sadly, a 49-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed. The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner."

The Prodigy shot to fame for taking their underground rave sound into the mainstream with number 1 singles like ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Breathe’. The band became one of the UK’s most successful of the 1990s, racking up six number 1 albums throughout their career.

Flint was originally cast as a dancer in the group but was propelled into the spotlight after featuring his vocals on Firestarter. He soon became renowned for his unique hairstyles, heavy eyeliner and energetic live performances.


Members of The Prodigy (L-R) Keith Flint, Liam, Maxim and Liam Howllet at an awards show. © Reuters

The band were due to start a tour across the US this summer, starting in Jacksonville, Florida, in May. Their latest album ‘No Tourists’ was released in November 2018.

Fans and fellow musicians have taken to Twitter to express their sadness at the untimely passing. Ed Simons of the electro group The Chemical Brothers responded to the news by recounting how “kind” Flint was when he started in the industry.

Online comments: 

 ed simons


 Oh gosh, so sad to hear about Keith Flint, he was always great fun to be around and very kind to Tom and I when we first started doing shows together..great man.


12:28 PM - Mar 4, 2019

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 RIP Keith Flint. Dead sad and it weirdly hits harder cos he was such a big part of my/our youth


12:28 PM - Mar 4, 2019

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 Jo Whiley


 Oh this is sad news. The death of Keith Flint. Whenever our paths crossed he was an absolute sweetheart. Really lovely. Incredible iconic frontman with a soft centre. #RIPKeithFlint


12:36 PM - Mar 4, 2019

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 "At the end of the day, if people find me scary, fuck 'em."

R.I.P Keith Flint :(

 12:39 PM - Mar 4, 2019


Lost for words...RIP Keith Flint

 12:39 PM - Mar 4, 2019

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 Ed O’Neill@EdTheHatter

  RIP Keith Flint A true dance music icon. #TheProdigy #Firestarter


12:20 PM - Mar 4, 2019

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What You Need to Know About SSRIs and Other Mood-Lifting Meds https://www.verywellmind.com/most-common-antidepressants-1066939

7 Types of Psychotherapy That Are Effective for Depression

The word "therapy" is used to describe many different types of treatments. Psychotherapists often use a specific type of therapy to treat depression. Some of them use an eclectic approach, based on a client's treatment needs.

While there are many different types of therapy, a 2013 study examined which therapies are most effective for depression. Researchers found that the following therapies were equally effective in reducing depression.

Interpersonal therapy is relatively short in duration. Sessions are highly structured. It's based on the idea that your relationships are at the forefront of depression. The goal of treatment is to help patients improve skills, such as communication skills and conflict-resolution skills. 
Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on helping people identify and replace cognitive distortions and behavioral patterns that reinforce depressive feelings. It is usually short-term and it focuses on present problems and skills teaching. 
Social skills therapy teaches patients how to establish healthy relationships. The goal is for patients to improve communication and learn how to build a strong social network with individuals based on honesty and respect. 
Psychodynamic therapy is often featured in movies or pop culture. It involves helping patients explore their unconscious and unhealed emotional wounds from the past. The goal is to help people learn how their depression is related to past experiences and unresolved conflicts. The therapist helps patients address those issues so they can move forward in a productive manner. 
Supportive counseling is unstructured and focuses on listening to the patient. Patients are invited to address whatever issues they want to talk about and the therapist uses empathy to provide understanding and support.
Behavioral activation raises awareness of pleasant activities. The therapist seeks to increase positive interactions between the patient and the environment. By getting active and engaging in more pleasurable activities, symptoms of depression may be reduced.
Problem-solving therapy aims to define a patient's problems. Then, multiple solutions are offered. The therapist helps the patient evaluate options and choose a solution. 
Family or Couple Therapy
Family or couple therapy may be considered when depression affects others in the household. Therapy that involves other family members focuses on the interpersonal relationships.

The roles played by various family members in a patient's depression may be examined. Education about depression in a general way may also be a part of family therapy.

In addition, certain illnesses, such as thyroid disorders, Addison's disease, and liver disease, can cause depression symptoms.

The following medical conditions have also been associated with mood disorders: Medical problems
Certain medical problems are linked to lasting, significant mood disturbances. In fact, medical illnesses or medications may be at the root of up to 10% to 15% of all depressions.

Among the best-known culprits are two thyroid hormone imbalances. An excess of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can trigger manic symptoms. On the other hand, hypothyroidism, a condition in which your body produces too little thyroid hormone, often leads to exhaustion and depression.

degenerative neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington's disease
some nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of vitamin B12
other endocrine disorders, such as problems with the parathyroid or adrenal glands that cause them to produce too little or too much of particular hormones
certain immune system diseases, such as lupus
some viruses and other infections, such as mononucleosis, hepatitis, and HIV
erectile dysfunction in men.
When considering the connection between health problems and depression, an important question to address is which came first, the medical condition or the mood changes. There is no doubt that the stress of having certain illnesses can trigger depression. In other cases, depression precedes the medical illness and may even contribute to it. To find out whether the mood changes occurred on their own or as a result of the medical illness, a doctor carefully considers a person's medical history and the results of a physical exam.

If depression or mania springs from an underlying medical problem, the mood changes should disappear after the medical condition is treated. If you have hypothyroidism, for example, lethargy and depression often lift once treatment regulates the level of thyroid hormone in your blood. In many cases, however, the depression is an independent problem, which means that in order to be successful, treatment must address depression directly.

Medications that may cause depression
Antimicrobials, antibiotics, antifungals, and antivirals
acyclovir (Zovirax); alpha-interferons; cycloserine (Seromycin); ethambutol (Myambutol); levofloxacin (Levaquin); metronidazole (Flagyl); streptomycin; sulfonamides (AVC, Sultrin, Trysul); tetracycline
Heart and blood pressure drugs
beta blockers such as propranolol (Inderal), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), atenolol (Tenormin); calcium-channel blockers such as verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan) and nifedipine (Adalat CC, Procardia XL); digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin); disopyramide (Norpace); methyldopa (Aldomet)
anabolic steroids; danazol (Danocrine); glucocorticoids such as prednisone and adrenocorticotropic hormone; estrogens (e.g., Premarin, Prempro); oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
Tranquilizers, insomnia aids, and sedatives
barbiturates such as phenobarbital (Solfoton) and secobarbital (Seconal); benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium) and clonazepam (Klonopin)
acetazolamide (Diamox); antacids such as cimetidine (Tagamet) and ranitidine (Zantac); antiseizure drugs; baclofen (Lioresal); cancer drugs such as asparaginase (Elspar); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); disulfiram (Antabuse); isotretinoin (Accutane); levodopa or L-dopa (Larodopa); metoclopramide (Octamide, Reglan); narcotic pain medications (e.g., codeine, Percodan, Demerol, morphine); withdrawal from cocaine or amphetamines. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

U svakom slucaju, treba biti oprezan,  praktican i sve temeljno prostudirati. Od pameti i racionalnosti, "bazirano na cinjenicama," jos niko nije poludeo. Dr. S.

Kao sto vidite, niko ne prica o dusevnim merama lecenja kod dusevnih poremecaja. Neko slucajno ili namerno zaboravlja uticaj Hriscanske vere kao filozofiju zivljenja i uticaja na zdravu psihu. Bas interesantno za razmisliti.

Otac Arsenije smatra da nisu svi problemi za psihijatre i lekove, jer se mnogi problemi mogu rešiti molitvom i ako se suočimo sa sobom.

Prošao je dug i trnovit put sve dok kod Boga nije pronašao svoj duhovni mir. Kaže da mu je onog trenutka kad je izlečio sebe, Bog podario da može da pomaže i drugima koji se nađu u nekoj teškoj situaciji.

Mudre reči monaha Arsenija Jovanovića: Nisu svi problemi za psihijatra, molitvom iz srca se može mnogo toga rešiti. Pre nego što je došao u Ribnički manastir, 6 godina je proveo u manastiru Ostrog, koji naziva „Duhovni urgenti centar“. Tamo je počeo da se bavi psihoterapijom i pomaže ljudima koji prolaze kroz najteže životne probleme. On na slikovit način govori kako pristupa vernicima kojima je potrebna duhovna pomoć. Kada osoba koja ima problem dođe kod njega, on ga pažljivo sasluša i kreće da traži koren njegovog problema. Kada dođe do korena, on ga obrađuje, čisti, i na kraju čupa. Ali, pominje kako ne mogu svi koreni odmah da se iščupaju, već je za neke potrebno puno vremena da se dobro obrade i sami osuše. - http://www.opanak.net/monah-arsenije-jovanovic/

February 22, 2019 
Gabriella Gobbi, MD, PhD

Cannabis use during adolescence is associated with an increased risk of developing depression or suicidal behavior in young adulthood, even in teens with no depressive symptoms prior to starting cannabis, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online in JAMA Psychiatry.

“When we started this study, we expected depression to be a factor attributable to cannabis consumption, but we were quite surprised about suicide behavior rates,” said researcher Gabriella Gobbi, MD, PhD, of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. “Indeed, a significant percentage of suicidal attempts are linked to cannabis.”

The systematic review and meta-analysis spanned 11 studies and 23,317 people. After adjusting for baseline depression, anxiety, and suicidality, the odds ratio of developing depression between ages 18 and 32 with adolescent cannabis use, compared with no cannabis use, was 1.37, researchers reported. The odds ratio for suicidal ideation was 1.50, and for suicide attempt was 3.46. The odds ratio for anxiety was a statistically insignificant 1.18.

“The study suggests the diagnosis of depression in approximately 7% of Canadians and Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 is linked to cannabis, meaning 25,000 young Canadians and 400,000 young Americans suffer from depression because of earlier cannabis consumption,” said researcher Nancy Mayo, PhD, of McGill University.

According to the authors, more than 20% of adolescents in the United States report monthly use of cannabis. In Canada, 15- to 25-year-olds constitute the majority of the population reporting cannabis use.

“It is clear that a lot of young people consuming cannabis are at risk of developing depression and suicidal behavior, so it is very important for authorities to be more proactive in campaigning for prevention,” said Dr. Gobbi. “We hope the findings will spur public health organizations to apply preventative strategies to reduce the use of cannabis among youth.”

—Jolynn Tumolo



Social Media Linked to Higher Risk of Depression in Teen Girls

By Reuters Staff

LONDON—Teenage girls are twice as likely as boys to show depressive symptoms linked to social media use - mainly due to online harassment and disturbed sleep, as well as poor body image and lower self-esteem, researchers have found.

In a study analyzing data from nearly 11,000 young people in Britain, researchers found that 14-year-old girls were heavier users of social media, with two-fifths of them using it for more than three hours a day, compared with a fifth of boys.

The study also found that 12 percent of light social media users and 38 percent of heavy social media users (five-plus hours a day) showed signs of having more severe depression.

When the researchers looked at underlying processes that might be linked with social media use and depression, they found 40 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys had experience of online harassment or cyberbullying. Disrupted sleep was reported by 40 percent of girls compared with 28 percent of boys. Anxiety and poor sleep are both linked to depression.

Girls were also more affected when it came to social media use and concerns about body image, self-esteem and appearance, the researchers found, but here the gap with boys was smaller.

Yvonne Kelly, a professor at University College London's Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care who co-led the research, urged parents and policymakers to note its results.

"These findings are highly relevant to current policy development on guidelines for the safe use of social media and calls on industry to more tightly regulate hours of social media use for young people," she said in a statement.

She said families may also "want to reflect on when and where it's ok to be on social media" and consider restrictions on teenagers having mobile devices in their bedrooms.

The study, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), was published online January 4 in EClinicalMedicine, published by The Lancet.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2s9raJ9

EClinicalMedicine 2019.


Cannabis Lightens Mood, but May Worsen Depression Over Time

Smoking cannabis eases symptoms of depressionanxiety, and stress shortly after use, but depressive symptoms are likely to worsen over time, according to a study published online in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

The study, conducted by researchers at Washington State University in Pullman, analyzed data from nearly 12,000 entries on the Strainprint mobile app. The app allows users of medical cannabis to track symptoms before and after use at home and to provide information about the type and quantity of cannabis used.

“Existing research on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety, and stress are very rare and have almost exclusively been done with orally administered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) pills in a laboratory,” said lead author Carrie Cuttler, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology. “What is unique about our study is that we looked at actual inhaled cannabis by medical marijuana patients who were using it in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to a laboratory.”

Frequent Cannabis Use May Trigger Small, Fleeting Cognitive Deficits in Young People

  Resarchers Carrie Cuttler, PhD,
    and Ryan McLaughlin, PhD, 
    of Washington State University.
    Credit: WSU

One puff of cannabis high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC was enough to reduce perceived depressive symptoms, researchers found. Over time, however, baseline symptoms of depression seemed to be exacerbated.

Two puffs of any type of cannabis eased perceived anxiety among users, according to the study. The biggest reductions in stress were experienced after at least 10 puffs of cannabis high in both CBD and THC.

“A lot of consumers seem to be under the false assumption that more THC is always better,” Dr. Cuttler said. “Our study shows that CBD is also a very important ingredient in cannabis and may augment some of the positive effects of THC.”

Higher Potency of Today's Cannabis May Pose Mental Health Risks

While both men and women reported cannabis use decreased symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, women reported a significantly greater reduction in anxiety after use.

“This is to my knowledge one of the first scientific studies to provide guidance on the strains and quantities of cannabis people should be seeking out for reducing stress, anxiety and depression,” Dr. Cuttler noted. “Currently, medical and recreational cannabis users rely on the advice of bud tenders whose recommendations are based off of anecdotal not scientific evidence.”

—Jolynn Tumolo


Cuttler C, Spradlin A, McLaughlin RJ. A naturalistic examination of the perceived effects of cannabis on negative affect. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2018 April 6;[Epub ahead of print].

Ferguson W. Assessing how cannabis affects emotional well-being [press release]. Pullman, Washington: Washington State University; April 19, 2018






This man is the number one voice of reason on TV

Chris Menahan | Information Liberation - FEBRUARY 16, 2018 

Tucker Carlson said Thursday on Fox News that psychiatric drugs, social alienation, the destruction of the nuclear family and the war on men are far more relevant topics to discuss than gun control if our goal is to stop mass shootings.

This man is the number one voice of reason on TV.



From Fox News:

In contrast to Tucker’s comments, this is the advice that’s coming out of the left:

Let’s take a look at how America has changed since the 1960s.

Demographics have shifted dramatically since the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

Violent crime rates have skyrocketed and despite falling since the 1990’s they’re more than double what they were in 1960.

Out of wedlock births are skyrocketing.

Economic gains are mostly being concentrated in the hands of a tiny globalist elite.

Debt levels across the board have skyrocketed.

The US went from a creditor nation to a debtor nation.

Deaths of despair among the white working-class are surging (and this is being cheered by the left).

White women are now drinking themselves to death at record rates.

Women’s happiness is falling despite feminist “liberation.”

One in four women are now on psychiatric drugs.

Divorce rates are also way up.

Might it be possible that these issues have a bit more impact on our society than gun ownership?






The Power of Little Changes

A while back I saw this video which shows the aging of a computer-generated human model from a small kid to elderly in under 5 minutes. Titled “Danielle,” you can check out the video here:

As you watch, notice how the second-by-second changes aren’t significant at all? For example, when you watch any part of the video for only 5 seconds, it looks like nothing’s changing. However, fast forward by a minute and the girl/woman is visibly older. Same person, but older!

Screen captures at 47s vs. 52s. Looks almost the same actually. You have to scrutinize to see a difference.

The “girl” at 0:47 min, 1:47 min, 2:47 min and 3:47 min marks (1 min difference each). See the difference now?

This got me thinking about the power of little changes and how we often underestimate their impact.

How “Little” Diet Changes Affect Our Skin

(Image: Valentyn Volkov)

Take for example, our diet. In 2011 I did a 21-day water fast. One of the biggest physical changes I got from the fast, besides weight loss, was a marked improvement in my complexion. As I already had a fairly good complexion pre-fast, I was pleasantly surprised to see it improving during my fast. By the end of my 21-day fast, my complexion wasn’t just “good” — it was extremely smooth, like baby’s skin!

The funny thing is that this “baby skin” quality was exactly what my skin used to be like in my early teens. Years of bad eating had caused it to slowly “deteriorate” to how it was pre-fast — occasional breakouts, zits, open pores, and oilier skin. Yet, I wasn’t aware of this “deterioration.” After all, the daily changes were too small to be noticed, just like how the frame-by-frame changes in “Danielle” are too small to be detected.

But oh they were there alright. Just because I can’t physically see the impact right after eating a junk food meal doesn’t mean it’s not causing changes to my body. It’s too small to be noticed by the naked eye but it’s there. Food affects our body at a cellular level, and when we choose the healthiest, freshest food, we give our body the best nourishment, which then adds up over time to create our best health (and skin).

Little Actions to Over 1 Million Pageviews/Month

The power of little changes can also be observed on PE.

When I started my blog, I did not have targets like to write X number of articles, to create manifestos/e-books, or to create courses. I did have a big-picture vision of making PE the top personal development blog with millions of readers, but other than that I was mainly focused on getting started with my purpose and taking as much action as I could.

PE when I started in 2008 (Image: Personal Excellence)

So every day, I would focus on creating content, marketing, and hitting my weekly traffic targets. Some days my “wins” would be completing an article or getting a media interview. Other days I would not have any tangible achievements, say only writing 200 words for an article (due to writer’s block), doing back-end site tweaks, or even discarding a half-written article after realizing that it wasn’t working out!

Regardless of whether I had a win or not, I would always focus on doing as much as I could each day. With this focus, PE grew quickly over months, then years. Today, many years later, PE has nearly 800 articles50 manifestos, 21 challenges conducted, and a selection of premium courses on personal growth. Traffic-wise, we’re now at over one million pageviews a month! All these came as a result of constant hard work over many years.

PE today (Image: Personal Excellence)

The interesting thing is that if you were to take a screenshot of PE now and ask the younger me to create a site like this, I would be overwhelmed. That PE has become such an expansive resource wasn’t a deliberate target per se but a result of little changes over time. I figured that as long as I do something that helps at least one person each time, then I’m heading in the right direction. This led to the website you see today.

Underestimating Little Changes

However, some people don’t care about little changes. They prefer to see big changes fast. When they don’t see big changes, they feel like they’ve failed and are ready to quit.

Take for example,

  • Weight loss: It’s common for people to feel disappointed about their weight loss when they hit a plateau. For some, they think that they’ve “failed” when they regain a bit of weight (which could be due to water retention or muscle gain). When this happens, many give up and revert to past, unhealthy habits, hence negating everything they have done.
  • Blogging: Many bloggers start their blogs with great enthusiasm as they prepare to make their mark online. However, when they see only trickles rather than massive surges of traffic after a few months, they decide that blogging isn’t for them. They give up and declare their blogs a failure. Hence, most abandon their blogs after a year. For some, they don’t even last past 3 months.
  • Dating: In love, it’s easy to get disappointed after a few bad dates or 1-2 bad relationships. Rather than celebrate what they’ve learned, many conclude that they’re not meant to find love. They feel that they are doomed in relationships and close themselves off in love (as many of my Soulmate Journey participants can attest to).

Such a fixation with big changes is actually debilitating. Why?

 Just because we aren’t seeing big results right away doesn’t mean that things aren’t working. For what it’s worth, things could well be going the way they should.
There’s an incubation period for everything, including our goals.
 You have to layer a road before you can drive on it. By focusing on big changes only, you may well miss the big picture and jeopardize your own success.
Little changes pave the way for big changes.
 As you can see from the graphs below, a small difference may look like nothing in the beginning, but creates a big impact over time:
Little changes add up to become big changes over time.

A small angle X amounts to an insignificant difference at first

… However, this insignificant difference becomes substantial when extended over time (Graphs from my post 5 Procrastination Lies We Tell Ourselves, Debunked)

For example with weight loss, it took me 10 years before I was able to achieve and sustainmy current, ideal weight. During this time, I had to work through my root issues of stress eatingnegative body image and self-hate — issues embedded in me as a child — before I naturally shed off my excess weight. Had I fixated myself on fast weight loss (which I was doing initially and it didn’t get me anywhere), I’d still be stuck with yo-yo dieting today.

I used to have negative body image issues which I’ve since overcome. More in How to Develop a Positive Body Image (series) (Image: Vadim Pacev)

This lotus bud has not bloomed yet. Does it mean it’s doomed to rot, or that this is simply part of its natural blooming cycle? (Image: atiger)

With blogging, it didn’t take me long to see initial results, though this was because I knew I was in this for the long haul. So instead of busying myself with short-term actions (like worrying about traffic count or how to get my first client), I focused on long-term actions (like pouring myself into writing highest quality, timeless material). This helped me cut through the clutter online. If I was hung up on earning money or getting many clients right away, which many new bloggers are, I would probably have given up long ago. I probably wouldn’t even be writing this to you today.

Last but not least with love, I only met my soulmate after 28 (nearly 29) years of being single. Before that, I had met many guys, gone on many dates, and experienced ambiguous, and at one point toxic, connections. I never gave up nor shut myself off in love though. Even though I was disappointed at times, I knew that everything was helping me grow as an individual and become a better partner.

As it turned out, I eventually attracted my husband into my life — who turned out to be someone I already knew, just that we didn’t get together because we weren’t ready for each other yet.

Rethinking Little Changes

Don’t get me wrong — big changes are important. After all, I’m always talking about setting big goals and working on the highest impact actions. To loosely quote Einstein, to do the same thing over and over again despite little to no results is insanity. One should learn to adapt their actions to achieve the best outcome.

However, it’s a totally different thing when you focus on big changes to the point that you constantly feel disappointed when you don’t get big “enough” results; where you don’t recognize the small successes you are getting; where you constantly beat yourself up for your “lack of results” and hence stop taking action.

Not only is it self-defeating, but it’s silly because what’s really causing your “lack of results” isn’t your lack of results per se. It’s your lack of recognition of the little results you are getting, that sometimes “little” to “no” changes could well be results (because your goal is in an incubation period), and that sometimes little changes are really progress.

So here’s my note to you today:

  1. Is there a goal you’ve been stalling in? What is it and why?
  2. What little action steps can you start with?
  3. What little results should you watch out for as you work on your action steps? These are success easter eggs that tell you if you’re on the right track. Watch out for them and be thankful as you receive them.
  4. What can you do to stick to the actions in #2 over time? (E.g., if one of your actions is to create a weekly video for your vlog, how can you ensure that you produce a video on time each week?) These actions should be small enough for you to commit over time, yet challenging enough such that you are pushing your boundaries.

Remember, the universe rewards consistent and great work. If you aren’t even appreciating the little results you have achieved, if you aren’t following through with little action steps for your goal, then how can you expect the universe to send bigger stuff your way? Get started with small actions first. Commit to them. Appreciate the results that you do get, be it little or not. Then perhaps the path will reveal itself. 🙂







I’m a failure.

Last week I felt like a failure. It was just a series of events in recent period that made me feel this way, like

  • my dad getting injured at work and having to go through surgery to fix the injury. It made me feel that I failed to care for him as a daughter (he’s fine now and going through physiotherapy);
  • my mom being diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure which made me feel that I failed to care for her as a daughter;
  • myself getting mild gastritis which I took as a sign that I failed to care for myself properly;
  • myself having piles that don’t seem like they are going to go away;
  • having to get an urgent colonoscopy because I thought I had colon cancer from all the bleeding from piles (luckily it was a false alarm);
  • being in and out of hospitals/clinics again and again due to all these assorted issues and having to wait for hours on end each time, sometimes getting crappy service;
  • not being able to get to my to-do’s because of all these things going on;
  • having a nagging cough that had me coughing my lungs out, along with a bad flu and fever;
  • in general, a series of little things not going my way.

That night as Ken and I got ready to sleep, I said, “I feel like a failure.” He immediately said, “Don’t say that Maomao. You are feeling this way because you set very high expectations for every single little thing you do. But it’s not possible to live up to such high standards for every single little thing without a margin of error. It’s okay to be imperfect in the things we do. We are all imperfect.”

For some reason, I felt better after hearing that. So even though I was coughing my lungs out that night and couldn’t sleep past a few hours, I woke up feeling much better. While I’m still recovering from my ailments, I know that a positive attitude is the only way forward and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead.

Maybe you have been feeling sh*tty about yourself. Maybe some events have been making you feel like a failure. I want you to know that you aren’t alone. Today, I want to share some tips to aid you through this tough time.

#1. You’re not a failure

Firstly, please know that you’re not a failure. You aren’t a failure because you are already a winner by being on Earth. What do I mean?

Did you know that before you were born, you were in the biggest race of your life? 250 millions of sperms raced up a cervix and “fought” to penetrate the egg inside. One sperm outlasted the 250 million other folks, successfully penetrated the egg, and fused with it to become a zygote, eventually becoming a fetus. This fetus is… you.

Why were there so many sperms needed? Firstly, the distance between the female birth canal and the fallopian tube may seem small to us (18 cm), but to a wee little sperm that’s 0.05 mm in length (can’t even be seen without a microscope), that’s one hell of a race. Most sperms never make it through this journey; it takes a champion to “swim” all the way through this distance that’s 3600 times its length. Secondly, the human egg has a hard outer layer that makes fertilization difficult. Experts believe this is nature’s way of allowing only the healthiest sperm to fertilize it, thereby producing a baby with the best chances to survive in the world. Well, this baby is you. 🙂

So the next time you think you are a failure, remember that you outdid 250 million others for your chance in life — odds even lower than winning the lottery. You have always been a champion — even before you were born. You just didn’t know it. Now you do. 🙂

#2. It’s okay to be imperfect

Sometimes we feel sh*tty about ourselves because we failed certain standards. Maybe we made a mistake that shouldn’t be made. Maybe we failed to achieve a certain result we were expecting. Maybe we feel that we could have done better in something, and the worse thing? Maybe it’s not something reversible.

To this, I want you to know that it’s okay to be imperfect. Just because you don’t achieve certain “standards” doesn’t mean you are a failure. It just means that there is something new to learn, something to improve on. And that’s the beauty of life — to learn, grow, and improve upon who we were yesterday. Life would be quite boring if we never faced any obstacles; it would also mean that we aren’t pushing ourselves hard enough, wouldn’t it? And if you ask me, perfection and imperfection are just mental concepts. We are already perfect, as ourselves. We improve not to become “perfect,” but to achieve a better, higher version of us than before.

For me, I realized through this episode that I tended to have very harsh expectations of myself and feel extremely bad whenever I didn’t live up to said standards. Yet, it’s unnatural, even impossible, to live up to such staunch expectations all the time. One, I’m a human, not a robot. (Plus, even a robot malfunctions / makes mistakes.) Two, my expectations are impossibly strict, because I always expect nothing less than the best from myself. This is true be it for highly important or little things. Yet, no one can thrive in the face of such standards. It’s a matter of time before one crumbles, even dies, under such immense scrutiny.

By learning that it’s okay not to meet expectations sometimes and it’s more important that I learn and improve, I realized that there was no “failure” to speak of, just a learning point. My misery came from being impossibly hard on myself, and by releasing myself of such expectations, I suddenly felt happier.

Read: How to Overcome Perfectionism (3-part series)

#3. Work on improving the situation

We all have the tendency to think “It’s all my fault” when something goes wrong. However, instead of “It’s all my fault” or “I’m a failure,” I recommend you to ask yourself, “What can I do to improve this situation?”

In my recent Celes.TV video How to Stay Positive All the Time, I shared how I switched from negativity to action when I learnt about my dad’s injury. Instead of needlessly self-reproaching, I focused on improving the situation through action. First, I returned to my parents’ home right away and offered support. Then, I assisted my brother with administrative stuff. Next, I assisted with hospital visits and was there with my dad the whole time (along with our family). Last but not least, I helped out in the medical bills with my brother.

With my mom’s diagnosis, it’s the same — instead of feeling needlessly negative, I focused on improving the situation by encouraging my mom about her condition, advising her on what she can/can’t eat, helping out with some of the medical costs, accompanying her on the clinic visits, and returning home to visit my parents more often. Instead of being impatient, I’ve become more supportive and patient in our communications. I realized that there’s no point in being snappy or rude in our conversations; it really achieves nothing. What’s best is to be sensitive to their (our parents’) needs and to speak from the heart. (Read: How to Improve Your Relationship with Your Parents)

If you’re feeling bad about something now, stop beating yourself up. Not only does it not change things, it only leaves you worse off with nothing changed in reality. Think about how to improve this situation instead. What is one thing, just one thing, you can do to make things better? Get started with that first. Things may not change overnight but at least this one step will move things forward. It will pave the way for more to follow.

#4. Stop comparing yourself with others

Sometimes the feeling “I’m a failure” comes when we compare ourselves with others. I know there are times when I see other websites, online personalities doing much better than me and it makes me nervous, inferior because I’d feel like I’m not doing my best to pursue my passion. It makes me wish that I were doing more to reach out to more people and make a bigger impact in their lives.

However, have you heard of this saying? “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid,” ~ Albert Einstein. I have realized that everyone is ultimately different. While some may be excelling with Approach A, that doesn’t mean that it’s an approach I want to use or that it’s aligned with my beliefs. Rather than beat myself up and feel like a failure, I’ve learned that it’s more important to stay true to who I am and do what works for me while relentlessly growing toward my vision — without making self-defeating comparisons with others.

Are you comparing yourself with others? Are you feeling inferior over such comparisons? If so, stop. What are your own ambitions, passions? Work on these and shine in your own light. Everyone has different paths in life. Your goal isn’t to be the same as others. Your goal is to be you and to be the best you.

Read: Why You Should Stop Comparing Yourself With Others (and How to Do So)

#5. Don’t subject yourself to others’ judgment

While I was writing this post, I got this comment on Facebook: 

This reminded me of another comment I got recently:

Receiving such comments makes me sad sometimes, because ultimately I write every day to connect, not to alienate or offend. But I’ve also learned that there are tons of judgment in the world and you can’t please everyone. If I had ever based my self-worth on such negative feedback, then I would be a wh*re, prostitute, b*tch, and idiot according to negative commenters — and that’s all from trying to write articles, create content to help others grow.

If you’re receiving negative criticism right now, I hope you stay strong and not let such comments change your perception of you. Because there are always going to be nasty people out there; people who are unhappy, bitter no matter what you say or do. The best thing is to cut out naysayers while surrounding yourself with the people who appreciate you. There are many people who believe in you and love what you do. Do not let the naysayers pull you down, because if you do, you’d be doing a real disservice to the people who value you and your work.

#6. Know that things will get better

Even though we can do our best, bad things can still happen sometimes. For example, getting retrenched, losing your investments in a bad economy, losing a friend, losing a partner, or even… losing a loved one.

I can’t claim to know what you are going through. All I want you to know is that things will get better. Not by sitting around and doing nothing, but by allowing yourself to grief, pick up the pieces, and move on. Not by beating yourself up and numbing your soul, but by knowing that there are sometimes things we can’t control, but yet we can still make the best out of what we have, out of life.

2 years ago, PE reader Kimberly lost her dad. She was utterly crushed and life as she knew lost its meaning. I remembered Kim from the PE courses she participated in before; she has such an amazing spirit and spoke so fondly of her dad all the time because they were so close. Kim wrote a letter to Ask Celes seeking help and I posted this reply. In the post, I shared that her dad wouldn’t want her to feel this way and that while he isn’t in the physical realm now, she still has other loved ones around her. Her husband, other family members, friends, and of course, her baby daughter. These are people every bit worth living and pursuing her goals for. And of course, who can forget Kim herself? Kim is the center of her own life, the one person who has been making all her dreams and goals possible. If there’s just one person to live for, it should be she herself, first and foremost.

Fast forward a year later, Kim emailed me with an update. Not only has she landed an amazing career (an editor for a newspaper in town), she has doubled her incomeand spends all her time taking photos of people in events (one of her passions is photography), writing, and putting together the paper read by her entire city! She had also been studying photography and would have a diploma for it next month. Not forgetting Kim’s baby daughter — at the point of her email, she was turning 2 and continues to inspire Kim each day.

To you, maybe things aren’t that great for you now. Please hang in there. Please don’t give up hope. Because what seems like a lousy period is likely nothing more than a momentary down point. There are ups and downs in life; while we may look forward to the up times, it’s the down times that make us wiser, stronger, so that we can make the up times happen. Use this current down time to take stock and regroup so that you can create a better future moving forward.

#7. Step into life

Last but not least, step into life.

I’ve found that when we enter into a “I’m a failure” or “I hate myself” funk, it’s easy to recede into a cocoon. Not talk to anyone. Not reach out. Not work on our goals. Not get anything done. Not be in contact with humanity. And disappear into a hole.

If this is your way of recharging, go ahead and do that. It’s important to have down times to take stock. However, don’t do this for too long. Firstly, the world needs you for your talents. You may not realize it, but when you recede into your hole, you deprive the universe of something that only you can give. Secondly, as humans, we don’t exist as lone units. We are all part of this world. When we cut ourselves from others / the world, it may feel “safe,” even relieving at first. However, over time, it’ll only eat us on the inside as we deprive ourselves of our real energy sources — human contact, our personal growth, and the ability to affect the world with our talents. Just like a flower will wither and die when cut off of its nutrient source, a person can’t thrive when deprived of the very fundamentals of a meaningful, spiritually fulfilling existence.

So, step into the light. Get out there and meet people. Embrace your goals; take bold actions toward them. You create your future and you do that with the actions you take today (not with the actions or non-actions from yesterday). I look forward to supporting you every step of the way with PE. 🙂

Little bird, preparing to fly

Last but not least, remember: you are not a failure. You are a winner. Have been and will continue to be, as long as you never stop believing in you and never give up. Never forget that. 

And remember that I love you and will always support you in everything you do. I just thought you needed to hear that. Thank you.

Some articles you may find helpful:







7 Tips to Overcome the Impostor Syndrome

Have you ever felt like a fraud? Like you are an impostor?

During my recent Anti-Procrastination Course, I was working with my participants to address their inner blocks for their goals. One of them has a goal to build her coaching practice. However, she kept facing procrastination, because she feels like she is perhaps a fraud. Even though she wants to build her coaching practice and host retreats, she feels unconfident about her abilities. She says,

Have you ever felt this way before? That you are a fraud, an impostor?

The Impostor Syndrome, aka “I’m a fraud”

The impostor syndrome is the phenomenon where you feel that you are not as good as what others think, or the image you’re trying to portray. Someone who suffers from the impostor syndrome carries a fear of being “exposed” for their lack of skills and ability, even though this “lack” may just be in their mind.

Research has estimated that 2 out of 5 successful people consider themselves frauds, while 70% of all people feel like impostors at one time or another.[1] Many famous people have admitted to feeling like a fraud before, including Chuck Lorre (screenwriter), Tina Fey, Emma Watson, and even veteran actress Meryl Streep and best-selling author Maya Angelou!

Meryl Streep. A 3-time Academy Award winner, she is regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time — yet she still experiences the impostor syndrome!

Perhaps the most ironic part is the impostor syndrome is most prevalent among high achievers — meaning the people with the least reason to feel like impostors feel it the most.

Needless to say, the impostor syndrome can lead to serious self-sabotage. In my Anti-Procrastination Course, a different participant shared how she constantly feels “not prepared enough” to start her speaking business (even though she really is), in turn making her put off her goal and take yet another qualification to be “ready.” Some avoid applying for better jobs or pass up promotions because they don’t feel qualified, even though they really are. With business owners like coaches and freelancers, some procrastinate on promoting themselves and getting new clients because they’re afraid of “exposing” themselves for not being skilled enough.

If you’re suffering from the impostor syndrome, don’t fret! Here are my 7 tips to deal with it.

1) Make a list of your achievements

As our harshest critics, we are often quick to cast doubt on our talents and abilities. We focus on what we lack and how we’re “not good enough.” This makes us feel like frauds even though we may already have the ability to do something well.

Before I started my blog, I had my doubts about why anyone would read what I had to say. Not only was I just 23 then, but there were already many great self-help blogs and gazillions of coaches out there who had been building their presence for years! Why would anyone listen to me? I thought. I felt redundant. I felt that there was no place for me in this field.

As I thought about how to differentiate myself, I decided to brainstorm on my unique strengths and achievements. While I initially thought that I wouldn’t be able to come up with anything, maybe 1-2 things at most, I was shocked when I came up with a full list of things that I had achieved throughout my life, through my hard work and merit, but had somehow forgotten! These included my scholastic achievements, personal troubles I had tackled, and accomplishments in my hobbies. Interestingly, I had swept them under the rug soon after achieving them. Seeing this list was pivotal as I thought, Hey, I can really do this. There is really something I can offer to others.

I then stopped feeling self-doubt when I started my journey. I believe this was a big reason why I could single-mindedly focus on my goal and achieve quick results in my passion journey.

Perhaps you may think: Oh, I haven’t achieved anything great. I’m not capable of anything. This is a typical impostor syndrome thought. Here’s a surprising fact: Whether you’re 30 or 20 or even 10, you already have a set of achievements under your belt, achievements unique to you. The key here isn’t to compare yourself with others but to see yourself in your own light.

I have 3 questions that I challenge you to journal on (write as many answers as possible):

  1. What are your strengths? Are you driven? Passionate? Humorous? Witty? Hardworking? Committed? Genuine? Caring? Meticulous? These are traits that you have, traits unique to you. While they may seem natural to you, they are a form of achievement because YOU have these traits over others.
  2. What challenges have you faced and overcome in life? We all have challenges that we face and overcome. What challenges did you face growing up? Teasing? Bullying? Self-doubt? Criticism? Anxiety? Living in an angry household? A broken family? Living in an oppressive culture? Negative stigmas? How have you dealt with them? These are achievements in themselves too.
  3. What have you accomplished in your life? These achievements can be related to your work, hobbies, relationships, health, and finance. Maybe you worked your way through odds jobs to pay your tuition fees. Maybe you lost 15 kg and achieved a healthier weight. Maybe you studied really hard and got a scholarship. Maybe you worked hard to build your relationships today. These are all achievements!

Go deep into this exercise; I promise you’ll be surprised by the results. 🙂

2) Don’t sell yourself short

Maybe you feel like a fraud because you don’t think you have anything good to offer. Maybe you feel that you’re just lying and pretending to be good when you aren’t. But know that whatever place you are at in life now, you are here because you are ready for it.

For example, say you want to be a coach. You feel like a fraud because you don’t feel good enough to coach others. Perhaps you feel like you self-assigned this title of “coach” and no one has officially endorsed you as a coach. Hence you feel terrified to market your work and put yourself out there, because, hey, What if someone realizes I’m a fraud, a phony?

Yet, consider this: What does “coach” (verb) mean? To me, it means to guide, support someone to greatness. Think back to your interactions with others in the past 10 years of your life. Have there been times when you helped someone move forward in their problems? Say when you helped a friend deal with a bad breakup? When you helped someone work through a career dilemma? Or when you inspired someone to take action? Aren’t these real people you’ve helped? So why would you think otherwise, when you’ve been coaching even before you started your business?

Here’s a different example: Say you just got promoted to be manager. You feel awkward as you are now leading your peers. Instead of working side by side, you’re now their manager who delegates work, critiques them, and manages their payroll. Because of that, some of them feel unhappy. Perhaps you feel embarrassed as there is a more senior person who should have been promoted over you.

However, recognize that you have been promoted for a reason. While you may feel that you aren’t good enough for this role, trust that your managers have carefully evaluated your skills sets, performance, and potential before promoting you. After all, managements don’t just randomly promote people without reason. Your managers wouldn’t have put you here if you couldn’t do it. So how about you start believing in yourself and work on being a fantastic manager to your staff, way better than anyone else could?

Don’t sell yourself short. You are where you are today because you have what it takes and you’ve worked your way there. So how about you make the best out of it? 🙂

3) Lose your expert hat

People with the impostor syndrome tend to feel that they need to live up to their role as an expert. And when they don’t, they feel like frauds.

Lose your expert hatStop feeling like you need to know all the answers. For example,

  • If you run a blog on X, be okay with saying, “Hey, I don’t know everything on this. But I’m constantly learning and I’m here to share what I’ve learned.”
  • If you are a manager, know that you don’t have to know everything. Own up to mistakes and knowledge gaps when they happen. Then, strive to be better.
  • If you’re a coach on dating, health, fitness, etc., you don’t need to pretend to know it all. Chances are there are things you don’t know, that you need to research on. And that’s okay.

Are you wearing an expert hat at the moment? Is it time to let it go? (Image: Kevin Spencer)

Why is it important to lose your expert hat? Firstly, rather than get caught up with maintaining a certain image (which becomes an ego thing), you focus on what matters: your work and your customers. Secondly, when you stop obsessing about your image, you can work on improving yourself, including your skills and knowledge. Thirdly, no one can know all the answers because there are always be new things to learn. The best actors will have new roles that stretch their acting ability. The best doctors will receive patient cases they have never seen before. The best life coaches will face problems of their own. I’m a coach but I face many issues of my own. Personal problems, family problems, and social problems, I deal with them just like anyone else.

Don’t get me wrong in that you can still position yourself as an expert, especially if it’s part of your job status. For example, the titles of doctor, coach, consultant, and trainer convey expertise over the average person. But don’t lose yourself in it because it’s just a title at the end of the day. There will always be things we don’t know and we should (a) humbly acknowledge our knowledge gaps and (b) continuously upgrade ourselves to close these gaps. Which brings me to the next tip.

4) Improve your skills

Addressing the impostor syndrome isn’t just about self-talk. Perhaps you feel like a fraud because deep down, you see a gap between your perceived and real skills. While tips #1 and #2 are about recognizing your achievements, this tip is about self-improvement. Because there is nothing more constructive than taking action to improve yourself.

When I started my business, skills improvement was huge on my list. It still is, but it was one of my top priorities when I begun. So much so that I created a scorecard of skills to build (coaching, speaking, writing), my personal rating for each skill, and plans to improve in them. For each skill, I had a workbook to map my progress. With coaching, I tracked all my coaching sessions and would evaluate my improvement areas after each session. I would work on these areas leading to the next session. I developed my framework of coaching techniques which I refined weekly. With speaking, I created a participant feedback form on various metrics: value of content, engagement, and so on. I would track and aim for perfect scores with every workshop.

I did these rigorously for 2.5 years. By then, I had developed a fair level of expertise, so it was no longer helpful for me to do such granular tracking. Today, I improve by studying the most successful icons, getting feedback, and helping my clients achieve breakthroughs.

For you,

  1. What area do you feel like an impostor in? What skills do you need to excel in it?
  2. How do you rate yourself in each skill, on a scale of 0–10?
  3. How can you improve such that you are a 10/10 in each skill? Research? Go for training? Consult experts? Get more hands-on practice? Read books?

Read more:

5) Focus on giving value

For a while I felt like a fraud running my site. Part of it was because I couldn’t keep up with the endless streams of people who needed my help. Another reason was the never-ending noise. No matter what I wrote, I would be criticized by people I didn’t know. No matter what I wrote, there would be unhappy people, people I couldn’t please.

My solution? Focus on the people I want to help. People in pain. People dealing with life’s challenges. People who want to better their lives. Then I ask myself, “How I can make a difference to them?” And I get down to work.

Impostor syndrome happens when you’re more concerned about your fears and image rather than what you want to achieve. Think about the people you want to serve. Create value for them. Forget the other things like fear, criticism, and naysayers because these are just noise that will be there no matter what.

How to deal with criticism:

6) Stop comparing with others

In today’s social media world, we are more connected than ever. Everyone’s updates are in our face — their Facebook posts, their likes, glamour shots, accolades, others’ praises for them, and for some, their monthly business income as they post their checks and earnings and what not.

When we fail to measure up to such people, we feel inadequate. A University of Michigan study showed that Facebook decreases subjective well-being among young adults.[2] A German study revealed that one in three people felt worse after using Facebook.[3] While I believe this is partly due to inherent issues with Facebook, another reason is that such close proximity among people and disparity in their achievements and success can create a sense of hopelessness among some people. For some, perhaps we feel guilty for not doing as well. Maybe we feel like phonies in comparison. We wonder, Why try when this person is already so good, successful, and well known?

But everyone starts from somewhere. When we compare ourselves with each other constantly, we prevent ourselves from coming into our own. We subject ourselves to others’ yardsticks which may not be relevant to us. We follow a track that may not be what we want. As Albert Einstein once said:

(Quote image: Personal Excellence. Photo: Pörrö)

Your goal here isn’t to compare with others. Your goal is to compare with and outdo yourself. Don’t let people’s success cloud your vision of you. Celebrate others’ success just as you build your own path and succeed. The world is big enough for everyone to win. Read: Why You Should Stop Comparing Yourself With Others (and How to Do So)

7) Remember that everyone is still figuring things out

(Image: Matthew Henry)

Our society celebrates perfection. Magazine covers are perfectly photoshopped. Cover stories are always about some rags-to-riches story that fits media’s narrative and appeals to people’s thirst for perfection. For example, a high-school dropout who becomes a millionaire with the next big startup. A woman who disrupts the male-dominated startup scene and creates some tech that revolutionizes the world.[4] Celebrities become larger than life when they appear on TV and magazines.

Seeing these, people start to think in terms of “success” and “failure”; “have” and “have not”; “amazing” and “crap.” All experts are seen as the former; anyone who isn’t as good is lumped with the latter. Some “experts” and gurus have full-time teams who market and generate good press for them, plus clean up any bad publicity/criticism. If people didn’t already think of them as Superman/woman, they now have to.

But remember that everyone, including the experts, is still learning. Just because people are not revealing their struggles doesn’t mean they aren’t facing them.

  • World-renowned comedian Robin Williams hung himself in 2014 at the age of 63; he was battling depression for a while.[5]
  • Lamar Odom, former NBA player and NBA Sixth Man of the Year, was found in a coma at a brothel in 2015, after an alleged drug binge. He is awake and now on the long road to recovery.[6]
  • Heath Ledger who played the Joker in The Dark Knight and won a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor was found dead in his home at the age of 28 from the abuse of prescription medicine.[7] He was said to be battling drug addiction and depression leading up to his death.[8]

Minus accolades and flashy possessions, we are not all that different from each other. All of us have struggles underneath our successes. If we can recognize that everyone is here as a human on their life journey, we can stop projecting a front and start living. We can stop judging others and start embracing who and what we are. We can stop trying to be someone we are not or stop trying to appear perfect, but work on being ourselves, being our best self.

How about you? Which tips can you apply? Time to stop feeling like an impostor — because you aren’t. You are you. 🙂 And you deserve the best.

Also check out:




How to Deal With Moments of Negative Self-Worth

Do you have times when you feel lousy about yourself? Times when you hate yourself or just feel that you’re just worthless?

I have these moments, and if you do, I want you to know that you’re not alone. More importantly, I want to share with you tips to deal with such debilitating moments of negative self-worth, so that you can gain strength to continue in your journey and not feel like you need to struggle by yourself. 

In this episode of The Personal Excellence Podcast, I share 6 tips to deal with moments of negative self-worth:

  • Tip #1: Forgive yourself [01:42]
  • Tip #2: Everyone is struggling [04:27]
  • Tip #3: Stop subjecting yourself to impossible standards [07:15]
  • Tip #4: Do something that makes you happy [11:21]
  • Tip #5: Identify trends in what’s making you feel negative [15:24]
  • Tip #6: Recognize you are complete [22:27]
Listen here:

Celestine Chua         

PEP 005: How to Deal With Moments of Negative Self-Worth           PEP 005: How to Deal With Moments of Negative Self-Worth          


If you've found The Personal Excellence Podcast useful, I'd really appreciate it if you can leave a good rating and review on iTunes. Your review does make a difference and it will help the podcast to grow and spread the message of conscious living to the world. Thank you!

How to Deal With Moments of Negative Self-Worth [Transcript]

Welcome to The Personal Excellence Podcast. The show that’s all about helping you be your best self and live your best life. Now, your host, Celestine Chua.

Celestine Chua: Hey everyone! I’m Celestine Chua from PersonalExcellence.co.

Today’s podcast is about how to deal with moments of negative self-worth. I don’t know about you, but there are times when I deal with debilitating moments of negative self-worth. These moments may not be common, but there are times when they surface. During such moments, I just feel like I’m worthless, I’m doing a lousy, crappy job, or I just hate myself.

I’ve found that such moments can happen when I feel like I’m not doing a good job, or I feel like I can be doing more, or bad incidences happen and I feel beat myself up over them.

There are times when we feel down and out. I want to let you know that it’s normal. It’s okay. There’s no need to feel ashamed of feeling this way. In today’s episode, I want to share simple tips on how to deal with moments of negative self-worth and to feel better about yourself.

1) Forgive yourself

My first tip is to forgive yourself.

So, I’m not sure about you, but I have times when I fault myself for not doing things the best way, or not handling situations in a way that is in line with my 100 percent ideal definition. These don’t have to be some serious incident but just very small little things that I’m sure nobody remembers or thinks about.

But I would just think about them later on and think about how I could have handled something in a better way or dealt with one small thing in a better manner, that could have perhaps improved that overall situation.

But I’ve learned that it’s about forgiving myself. Forgiving myself for any shortfall vs. my expectations. Recognizing that whatever I did or didn’t do, I’ve already done the best that I could within that situation, within that context. And it’s about learning from the experience and working to be a better me.

Perhaps for you that could be something you’re faulting yourself for. And because of this, you feel these moments of negative self-worth. If that’s the case, is it time to start forgiving yourself? Forgiving yourself for any shortfall. Recognizing that you have really done the best you could within the circumstance, within the situation. And to focus on learning from this experience and moving forward to be a better you.

I know that forgiving yourself can be a tricky process especially if you’re dealing with some deeply embedded experiences. This is where I encourage you to use my brain dumping exercise at personalexcellence.co/blog/brain-dumping/

You can do this exercise and just ruminate over the question of, “What am I blaming myself for?” or “What am I faulting myself for?” Type out for like 10-15 minutes and see the answers that come out from there.

This is a great process to get insights into your inner psyche and to understand the thoughts, the emotions that you may not be privy to before.

2) Everyone is struggling

My second tip is to know that everyone out there is really struggling and fighting their own battles.

Sometimes we may think that everybody out there has everything together and that we are the only lousy person not doing things well, or we have so many things not accomplished and we’re lagging behind in this race called life.

But I want to remind you guys: All of us here, we are struggling in our journey. There’s nothing to feel bad about, say, goals that are not accomplished yet, or things that we’re not doing well in. Because it’s by having these things that we continue to have areas for improvement, that we continue to learn and grow, and to find joy in this life’s journey.

One big area which my clients tend to feel bad about is when they compare themselves with other people. This comparison may not be overtly done. It can be an implicit comparison where they could be looking at other people in their domain or circle who are doing extremely well, and then they beat themselves up for not doing as well or not being as accomplished in their goals. That, of course, leads to a negative self-worth.

But there’s really no need to do that. Because you’re not in a race with other people. You are on your own journey to be the best possible you, bar none. So there’s no benchmark for comparison, as much as it is you compared with who you were yesterday, or who you were a month ago or a year ago, and whether you have improved since then.

Also, whoever you’re comparing with, what’s to say that these people are not struggling with their own problems? I’m telling you that there is a very high chance that they are also struggling with their own issues. Of course, nobody’s to judge. Everybody has their own problems. But it doesn’t mean that just because someone seems to have it all together, or someone seems to have every single accolade or accomplishment, or material achievement, that they would be very, very happy with their life. That’s not the case at all.

Ultimately what’s most important is that you are happy in your own journey and you’re constantly working to be the best possible you vs. just comparing with people.

3) Stop subjecting yourself to impossible standards

My third tip is to stop subjecting yourself to impossible standards.

I recently wrote a perfectionism series, and you can check it out at personalexcellence.co/blog/perfectionism/. In the series, I share the downsides of neurotic perfectionism, as well as eight tips to address that. I feel one of the big issues of neurotic perfectionism would be constantly having impossible standards for yourself, and then [negatively] subjecting yourself to these standards.

I have a few clients, and some of them can be very neurotic perfectionists. Sometimes they are very unhappy and a lot of it is self-imposed unhappiness. Because they keep comparing themselves with extremely high standards, and subsequently, beat themselves up and feel so unhappy over them. While I think that having high standards is great because that helps push you to grow, if your high standards are making you feel unhappy and miserable, then it is time to review the situation. If your standards, as opposed to supporting you in your growth and fulfillment in life, they’re instead making you so unhappy and miserable, is it time to review what’s happening?

Of course, there’s another issue altogether which could be your attachment to your expectations. Because it’s one thing to have expectations to be this and that, and it’s another thing to feel lousy and worthless when you don’t achieve those expectations. The latter comes from attachment with your expectations.

I definitely recommend reviewing your standards. Maybe you have standards that are just inherently not possible for any human being to achieve. It could be, say,

  1. Doing a particular task without any errors, when it is perfectly normal to have errors. We can always address those areas or revise them and that’s perfectly fine.
  2. Secondly, let’s say your standards are sound and fair. Then it could be reviewing your attachment with your expectations. Because you should never ever feel bad even if you don’t achieve your expectations. Even if you don’t achieve your expectations, it’s about reviewing, okay, what went wrong? Why wasn’t this achieved? What could you do to improve and increase your chances of achieving that target next time?

So not subjecting yourself to impossible, inhumane standards. And not attaching yourself to your expectations. That is extremely important.

I find that one big problem perfectionists have is sometimes they attach themselves to their expectations, and they associate their worth with whether they are achieving their targets or not — which is not true. Your worth is what it is. You are perfect. You are complete. You are who you are. By no means should your worth be linked to whether you’re achieving your targets or not.

So that is incredibly important. It is very easy to forget that and to think that when we don’t achieve a target, that we are worthless, that we’re not being good enough. But that’s not the case, alright? When you don’t achieve something, that is an event, that is what’s happening on the outside. But our worth, what’s on the inside, that never changes, and that’s always complete as itself.

4) Focus on what makes you happy

My fourth tip is to focus on what makes you happy.

Sometimes it can be a cyclical scenario where you just feel negative. And then after that, you can be doing something that makes you feel worse. And this thing could be heading out to buy junk food. It could be drinking. It could be smoking if you have a smoking habit. It could be hanging out with toxic people. Or it could be drowning in your sadness alone at home, and then watching drama series or surrounding yourself with negative things. And that’s not good.

I would encourage you to break that cycle. Just start off by doing something mildly positive or that makes you happy.

For example, years ago when I had my emotional eating problem (that I talked about openly on my blog) — looking back, I realized that whenever I felt upset, I would head straight to eat some junk food or just eat in general.

In those situations, what I was doing was using food to fill myself up, to make me feel better. So in a sense, food was my companion. It was the agent that made me feel worthy. I could be just eating by myself for a while and after that, I would feel “strong” enough to face whatever problem I was facing.

Of course, looking back, that was the wrong way to go about doing that. Because after binge eating, I would feel totally upset with myself. I would beat myself up over it. So in fact, I in a way felt marginally better than before because I was very upset and in a very low-consciousness state to be reaching out for food. But after eating, I would feel bad for putting all that junk into my body, and now have to deal with the extra calories that I just loaded onto my body! Not to mention, possibly irreversible health damage when you keep emotional eating for an extended period of time.

So obviously, that didn’t solve the problem at all. At the same time, it may be tricky to dive into the undercurrent, the roots causing you to feel bad or negative. I’ve found from all the years of coaching that these can go really deep, they can go way back, and it may be tough to deal with these in a one-off scenario.

Instead, what I would recommend is to just do something that makes you happy. It can be a very simple thing. I’m not asking you to go into some deep psychoanalysis and uncover the three biggest reasons causing you to feel unhappy or feel worthless. No, I’m just telling you to do something simple.

It can be letting yourself relax. It can be playing your favorite game. I’m not saying to play the game for 20 hours, I’m saying just to play it and make yourself feel better. It could be just messaging a friend, to ask how is that friend doing. It could be reading your favorite websites or watching your favorite YouTube channel.

So very simple things. I’m not asking you to do something that is huge and requires a lot of intellectual analysis because I know sometimes when this is expected, some of you may feel that it’s very intimidating. Just do something happy. Even watching your favorite movie. This is something that you can do, that can just make you feel better in a matter of minutes, if not half an hour and an hour.

5) Identify trends in what’s making you feel negative

My fifth tip is to identify what’s making you feel negative.

Sometimes there may be trends in what’s making us feel a certain way. The tips that I shared earlier, they definitely help us feel better. But ultimately it is important to understand, are there some recurring trends [in what’s making us feel negative]? And if there are, how can we reduce or eliminate them?

My Pattern #1: Facing negative people

For example, I’ve found that I tend to be very sensitive to people and their reactions. That’s part of what helps me in my work. It’s because by removing or lowering my barriers — because all of us have natural barriers towards people, it makes any sense at all. For myself, through the years of my work, I’ve learned to open up all my conduits to people. That means when people say something, I process the information thoroughly and fully. When I’m with someone or speaking to someone, I just soak into everything a person has to offer.

So one pattern that I noticed is that — some of the moments where I have feelings of negative self-worth, they tend to be triggered by people who are being negative. This could be people who are just being rude or insensitive, or where there’s some incompatibility in values or consciousness.

And there isn’t like one particular person, but it could be different people. It could be random people or acquaintances, or even customer service staff. While I can easily raise my guard and ignore such situations — which I would, after the encounter — my personal preference is to communicate with people in an unguarded way. To be my authentic self. To connect with people on a deep level, even if it’s a frontline staff.

Because of that, for me, I would prefer to stay away. Create a distance between people whom I have found incompatible in terms of attitude or values or just the overall consciousness level. Maybe someone who is angry or negative, that wouldn’t be a strong fit in terms of compatibility.

It could be as simple as knowing a particular eatery or restaurant where the customer service tends to be quite bad, where maybe the staff are a bit judgmental or give preferential treatment to a particular race or gender. So then, I would stay away from these places and instead patronize the eateries where I already know the staff and I know that they’re fantastic, they’re great. I go there, I feel good, I have a great time with them, and I also support their business. That works great for me, in terms of maintaining a positive level of emotions and a positive consciousness level.

My Pattern #2: Not achieving my high standards

Another pattern that I noticed — when I was reviewing what was causing me not to feel good, I realized [my negative self-esteem] came from not matching my personal targets with my to-dos.

Some of you may be able to relate to that. Maybe you find that you have certain expectations. You want to complete certain things but you haven’t. And when that happens, you beat yourself up over that. So I can relate to that.

When I reviewed this, I realized that there were two ways for me to handle this:

  1. One way was that I was having unnatural expectations in terms of the work that I wanted to be completed. I needed to address that. So then, it was about adjusting — not necessarily lowering — but adjusting. Adjusting to a target which was more in line with what I could offer, and still have adequate time for personal rest and relationships.
  2. The second thing was to review my processes. Going for the 80/20. Not going for the diminishing returns. So revising and addressing the way that I was doing things.

This made things easier. It relieved a lot of the tension and pressure that I was putting on myself.

For you, think about this: Are there any trends when you feel negative, down, or low in self-worth? Note down these times when it happens. Create a simple post-it note on your mobile phone or create a draft email to yourself. Just do a simple note on: When did you feel negative (when you feel negative)? What happened to make you feel that way?

Make it a habit to jot this down every time you feel this way. Over time, you will have a compilation of such notes. This is when you can start to see, okay, has there been any trend in why you’re feeling this way? Do you feel this way after interacting with a particular person? Or do you tend to feel this way on a particular day of the week where there’s an event or some situation that you’re in?

So try to understand: Is there a trend or pattern that is going on? Because when that happens, you can accurately pinpoint what’s causing you to feel that way, and subsequently address that. It could even be when you look at others’ websites or blogs in your same domain [of work]. After a while, you feel bad and negative. And when you really think about it, it’s because you are seeing other people doing well, but you don’t feel like you’re doing as well. So then, it could be triggered by when you see others doing better than you.

When you identify these factors, then you can deal with them. For example, if it’s triggered by comparison, I have an article on how to stop comparing at personalexcellence.co/blog/comparing/. Or if it’s triggered by scenarios where you feel like a fraud, I have an article that deals with that as well. That’s at personalexcellence.co/blog/impostor-syndrome/. In that article I go into a lot more depth on how to deal with such emotions and I recommend you check them out.

6) Know that you are complete

My sixth tip is to know that you are complete.

I know that a lot of us probably feel that we are not good enough, that we are inadequate. On the Internet these days, there are just so many things that are over glamourized, over-edited. A lot of flaunting of perfect images.

There are businesses trying to sell you something, and in the process of selling you something, they’re painting that perfect life, that perfect image.

There are celebrities, internet personalities trying to express or “show off” that glamorous side of their life. And sometimes they may be doing that on behalf of their sponsors.

Everyone’s closer to each other more than ever online. So one click away, you can be seeing this person who is so successful, this internet personality, this YouTuber, this blogger, who seems to be having it all. And it’s very easy to feel inadequate because of that.

I just want to let you guys know that no matter what you’re seeing out there, no matter what people may have you believe, you are already complete. You are already full as a person. You are beautiful, you are amazing, and you are just perfect as yourself. You don’t even need a reason as to why you are perfect or complete. It’s because you just are.

All of us, when we were born into this world, we were already born complete as ourselves. It’s unfortunate that over the years, as we were growing up, we were exposed to media. Not to say that the media is evil or that our problems are all caused by the media.  The media is nothing but a tool, and it’s really the message that marketers or businesses are sending through the media that makes us feel a different way.

And the messages that we see from the media, in our era, they happen to be a lot of idealized images, “perfect” photoshopped images, or perfect lives. A lot of times this is created to sell whatever it is that they want to sell, or pitch whatever the message that they want, with a particular agenda behind that.

But you are already perfect and complete. You have always been since the day you were born. So if for whatever reason, there is someone or something making you feel inadequate or not good enough, then maybe it’s time to create some distance or to take a step back.

Evaluate who you follow online: Do they make you feel positive or negative?

For example, let’s say you follow certain blogs, YouTube channels, or online personalities. You find yourself often feeling inadequate or uncertain about yourself when you are following them, when you’re seeing their updates or their material or content.

It could be, say, because part of their material being driven to a project a certain image of perfection, and that makes you feel that gap with them. It could be part of their message or brand strategy — whether implicit or explicit — it’s just one where they uphold and perpetuate a certain ideal image. This image may not be very healthy, it focuses on the fact that perfection is only one dimension, that everything else isn’t perfect, and anybody who doesn’t conform to this vision is not adequate or not beautiful, or not whole or not complete.

This may not be something that’s explicitly said but can be felt or seen when you observe all the little things that are done, the images, and the messages coming together.

This inevitably drives feelings of inadequacy, of not being whole, of negative anxiety, that you feel like you must quickly do something to correct yourself or to address a certain “flaw” or “issue” that you have, as opposed to it being something that you’re doing out of a genuine desire for betterment — independent of fear, anxiety, or negativity. Or just feeling like you need to be something in order to be considered whole, perfect, or beautiful.

In these cases, it is good to evaluate: Is this connection compatible with you? Perhaps it’s not. Perhaps this material that this person is churning out makes you more fear-based, makes you more anxious about yourself, or feel that you are inadequate or incomplete. And that is not what you want. In these cases, maybe it’s good to assess: Does it really serve you to follow this particular content creator? If not, just unsubscribe and channel your attention onto other resources that are more conducive for your growth.

How about your relationships?

Or it could be, say, certain relationships, certain friendships. You find that out of all the times you hang out with these people, you feel more negative than positive. When that happens, that probably suggests that this relationship may not be compatible anymore. So it may be time to evaluate if this connection is serving you as well as your friend.

Say it is a family member. I know how you deal with this problem, where you have a family member who may sometimes make you feel less than adequate about yourself. What helps is creating some distance. So sometimes if there’s a very strong conflict or unhappiness or frequent arguments, I find that just creating some distance — so instead of communicating so frequently — reducing the level of communication, that can help. The cliche sometimes is true, that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I don’t necessarily agree with this in all circumstances, but I find that sometimes if there are very heated emotions, creating some distance for a short period of time, it does help each other to get some perspective.

Assert yourself if necessary

Or it can also be asserting yourself. I have one coachee in a course last year and she did this with her mom. She said that sometimes her mom may give snide or negative comments. What my coachee has learned to do is not to acknowledge or respond to those particular comments. Over time, her mom has learned not to repeat or reiterate those comments that may not be so positive.

It’s great because fundamentally what you react to, it will oftentimes perpetuate that situation. If that’s a particular behavior you don’t agree with or you don’t like, sometimes simply ignoring or not responding to it, it can send the message across. In that, you are not engaging with this because you do not believe in this. That’s especially if you tried to argue against that or make your point, but none of these have worked. Then perhaps just ignoring and not giving your energy to these situations, it can help. And then choosing to respond to the things that are more positive and conducive to your connection and relationship. That can over time really help move the conversations to a more positive level.

You are complete ❤

So remember that you are complete and you should never ever think otherwise. We have always been complete since we were born and it’s unfortunate that we kept receiving messages through time that suggested otherwise. That we need to look a certain way to be considered beautiful. We need to be at a certain weight to be considered adequate or handsome or attractive. That we need to have certain accomplishments to be acknowledged as worthy people. None of that is true.

We aim for accomplishments because we want to be better versions of ourselves. Because we take pride in improving our own skills, in acquiring results for things that we believe in. But in no way should you aim for a certain target or result because you want to feel more worthy or more adequate.

Targets and goals like these, they will eventually to a cyclical pattern. Where you continually do things like that just to feel worthy. There will never ever be a situation where you truly feel worthy about yourself until the day you acknowledge that you have always been worthy, you have always been complete, and you have always been beautiful and perfect. And you do not need any extrinsic achievement, praise, or acknowledgment to feel this way. In a way what I’m doing right now is simply reminding you of what you already have all along. 🙂

End Note

I hope you found today’s podcast helpful.

If you have found today’s podcast useful in any way at all, I would truly appreciate it if you could just take a few seconds of your time to leave a positive rating on iTunes. That would really mean the world to me. And it’ll also help share The Personal Excellence Podcast to more people out there and to support everyone in becoming the best them.

For more on improving your self-worth and boosting self-confidence, check out my self-confidence article on PE, which is https://personalexcellence.co/blog/self-confidence/. I have a self-confidence manifesto that you can download and print out for free, at https://personalexcellence.co/blog/self-confidence-manifesto/

Thank you so much for listening and I look forward to speaking to you guys in the next episode. Bye guys!

End Note: Thanks for listening to The Personal Excellence Podcast. For more tips on how to live your best life, visit www.personalexcellence.co

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