4 therapy on the fly…

Fake it Till You Make it: Silencing the Bully in your Head January 17, 2010


 You might be the one individual who has never had a doubt about themselves, has said never said to themselves that they can’t do something, aren’t good enough, are too fat, round, slow, lazy, etc. If so then stop reading. You are one perfectly adjusted human being. This article isn’t for you. This is for the rest of the human race that at one time or another has said some pretty nasty things to themselves and needs to learn how to chill out and be much, much, much kinder.. And here is the clincher. In the beginning you don’t have to believe the kinder words you say towards yourself, you just have to say them and let the power of the words affect you. In other words, as my father was fond of saying to me, “fake it till you make it”.

  1. The Effect that words have on us. The way your coffee barista delivers your coffee to you in the morning effects how you feel. If they offer your coffee up with a smile, and say, ‘Hey Joe, how are you today?” That feels really different then if they offer your coffee without any facial expression or worse if they barely even acknowledge you. Or my personal favorite, when they treat you as if you are bothering them, at which point you have to question why you go there at all…is the coffee that good? My point being that words have power and it is very hard to take the power away from them. On the positive tip the power of words can offer forgiveness, support and love. That is one of the reasons we pray, meditate, say the rosary, say thank you, because words affect us and others.
  2. Why the words we say to ourselves are so important. If the words we say to others have such an effect then so do the words we say to ourselves. People come to see me for therapy for many different reasons but the common theme is that they treat themselves badly. However, it is never the primary reason they come to see me. People in general do not value the way they speak to or about themselves. They think that saying horrible, mean things to themselves is secondary to their depression, anxiety, relationships, loss. It is not secondary and often I find it to be one of the main problems contributing to why they are feeling so badly.
  3. Words as Punches. If you put it into physical terms, if every nasty word you say to yourself is actually a punch that blackens your eye or bloodies your mouth or your nose then the way in which this cripples you becomes more apparent. If you have ever been unfortunate enough to have had any of these injuries then you know that it puts your body into a state of shock , you can’t think clearly and it certainly does not motivate you to go out do amazing things for yourself or others. Beating yourself up emotionally has the same effect on you. It stops you from trying new things, feeling good about your accomplishments, accepting love or treating yourself well. It immobilizes you. And eventually can send you into a deep depression, riddle you with anxiety , completely immobilize you or make you feel thoroughly dissatisfied with life.
  4. Why do we do this ? We learn to be hard on ourselves at a very young age because that is when we first  hear these negative words. Most people are repeating things that they have heard from parents, sisters ,brothers, grandparents, coaches, teachers, all the important people that really leave a mark on us . For some of us the damage is localized. You might have many doubts about your physical ability to be healthy, active, sexy, but when it comes to business you are confident and assured. For others it is pervasive effecting every aspect of life. We hear things about ourselves at a young age that we repeat to ourselves over the term of our lives. “You are lazy”. “You are fat”. “You can always do better”. Sometimes these words have been said to us to hurt us and belittle us. Sometimes they have been said to encourage us but we do not interpret them in this way. Whatever the case is they only hurt us at this point.
  5. So what do you do? You fight like hell is what you do. These tapes (or i-tune downloads I guess you would say at this point) have been playing in our ears for years. So often these words have absolutely nothing to do with who we are or what we actually accomplish. I have had neurosurgeon tell me they are not good enough, beautiful women tell me how ugly they are, and accomplished, motivated people tell me how lazy they are. These were probably not your words originally but now they are your problem. So you have to really commit to working on this.
  6. First, Awareness. Catch yourself when you are being hard on yourself. Remember these nasty words can be as mild as, ‘I don’t think I can do this’, and as severe as ‘I am such a loser, nothing I do is good enough”. Keep a written documentation of the words you say to yourself. The number of times a day you say them. Under which circumstances are you most likely to say them. This will give you an idea of who said these words to you first. How hard you are on yourself and in which situations this is most likely to occur. This will make you aware of the problem. Many people have been doing this so long that they do not even know when they are doing it.
  7. Second, Talking Back. Decide what you are going to say back to yourself when you are hard on yourself. If you have written down the words you use to be hard on yourself then you can begin by writing a positive counter to those words proving them wrong. If you are giving a presentation at work and you are saying to yourself, ‘I am going to blow this, I can’t do this”. Instead say “I am doing the best that I can and that is good enough”, or “I am going to kick ass at this”.

I tell you that this will not come easily but that you can do this. You don’t have to believe the words you say to yourself just commit to saying them. Once you start you will gradually feel the difference. Perhaps you will feel lighter, more positive or more confident, but you will feel a change in some way. If the commitment is difficult for you then commit to doing it for a week. Call it an experiment.

Let me know how it goes.

Keith Olbermann said it best,

“The world bursts at the seams with people ready to tell you you’re not good enough…do not do their work for them. Seek any job; ask anyone out; pursue any goal. Don’t take it personally when they say “no” — they may not be smart enough to say “yes”.”

**If you like this blog please share it (use the SHARE button)…we all know somebody who could use a little help…:)**

Psychobabble4u signing off….

(c) Cori Grachek,: January, 2010

If you have any questions about therapy, are interested in therapy or just have a more private thought or question that you would like to share with me I can also be reached at .

**This is not and can never be a replacement for therapy


New Years Resolutions: Getting them done January 1, 2010

Hi Everyone,

This is Cori from Psychobabble4u.  Today is about creating resolutions you can actually keep.   Make them doable by underestimating what you are capable of doing.  I know that is puzzling.  Here is an example.  I was out to dinner with a couple of friends the other night.  And my partner said “Ok everyone let’s go around the table so each of us can make a resolution for the new year…”   Everyone kind of groaned but we all agreed.  My friend Mary who is a ferocious dog walker, not towards the dogs but towards her own work ethic, groaned the most.  Mary never takes a day off.  So she piped in and said “perhaps I can take a day off, maybe Sundays’. We all exclaimed at the same time…me with beaucoup skepticism.  “Really!!??”  ” “Well not really..”,  she replied, “I don’t think I can , but maybe I will try.”  “Seriously Mary”,I said, “that does not seem very realistic, and it definitely doesn’t sound as if your going to take any time off.”  She shrugged and smiled.  “OK Mary”,  ” How about I get all therapeutic on you and make this actually doable. What if you take one Sunday off a month?”  “Ohhh.”, she said and  smiled, “I can do that.  Or maybe just one day off a month period.” “Ooooh…” everyone excalimed being  mucho impressed  by my therapeutic skills, considering  they never get to see me work,  all the confidentiality gets in the way.    Mary came up with a doable goal by underestimating what she was expecting herself to do.  In terms of Mary do I think that she will actually take off a day a month.  Probably not.  But will an option that is actually doable for her at least be in her mind.  Yes.

 You are doing this because you want to.  So here are some helpful hints.

1.  Make a few goals, 1 is great, 10 at the most, rather than so many that you can’t  remember all of them.

2. Make each goal very specific,  ie: which gym will you go to, how will you pay for it, how often will you go.  The more specific you are, the more you flesh out how you will attain this goal, the easier it will be to complete it.

3. Underestimate rather than overestimate. Ie: Rather than saying I am going to the gym 5 times a week and getting burnt out or not even starting because you are so intimidated by the goal itself. Say instead that you will go 2 times a week or even once a week.  This is a goal that is realistically achievable. 

4.  Pay attention to yourself, set your goal accordingly.  There will always be Expert information on whatever subject your goal has to do with: Ending  a bad relationship, losing weight.  Expert information is important but no one knows you better than you.  Talk to that ex of yours once a month if that is what you think will work for you rather than going “cold turkey”.  Go walking twice a week rather than the 3times that is purported by the experts.  You are the only expert on yourself.

5. Write your goals down  in  large handwriting and place it where them will be visible to you on a daily basis. Make it your screensaver on your phone, computer.

6. Fake it till you make it.  Be consciously positive about your goal.  Fight (really hard) the negative tapes and i-tune downloads of the past.  Words are important they change the way we feel about ourselves.  Think about how much the words, thank you, can affect you.  Every time you say, “Oh I don’t think I can do this say..”, instead say, “Yes I can!” 

And most of all in this new year, be gentle.  Be gentle with yourself about your resolutions and celebrate every teensy, tinsy victory.  When you sign up for the gym or decide not to take his call today or even think about taking a Sunday off a month, celebrate, celebrate, celebrate.  Be gentle to this world that lovingly supports us.  Be gentle to the people you love and especially the ones that you don’t.  And then most importantly be gentle with yourself which makes all the other”gentles” possible.  We are living in hard times and being hard on ourselves does not make them easier.  I was reminded while watching the ball drop last night and listening to Kathy Griffin completely overpower and befuddle Anderson Cooper, how connected our world is.  Watching the celebration of the new year in Hong Kong, Germany, Russia, London, how close we are.  All of us happy all over the world cheering over the same thing, a new year, a new decade and a new time.

Happy New Year… now that’s a resolution worth keeping.

any questions about this blog please feel free to email me at:

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Psychobabble4u signing off…

(c) Cori Grachek,: January, 2010

If you have any questions about therapy, are interested in therapy or just have a more private thought or question that you would like to share with me I can also be reached at .

**This is not and can never be a replacement for therapy