When I started studying computer science, I had to learn to code. I quickly hit a major wall. I couldn’t understand coding at all, even though apparently everyone around me just “got it.” We had four compulsory assignments, and when the third came around, it was impossible to pretend like I understood what I was doing.
When I only had three days left to complete the assignment, I panicked. I had always done well in school, and certainly never failed a class.
In the midst of throwing a pillow into a wall (I’m great at managing my emotions . …
Everyone has their own unique reasoning for going into self-development. For me, it was my shyness and lack of confidence. I would focus on what other people thought of me in any social situation, and felt completely feel trapped in my own head.
As you can imagine, I’ve read a lot of confidence advice.
Most confidence advice involve mastering or achieving something. The idea is that through mastery, we build self-trust. Our self-trust will then transfer to other situations, and make us more confident that we can overcome obstacles and find solutions.
Here’s my issue: I’ve achieved many of my…
As many young girls do, I decided that my body wasn’t good enough when I was around 12 years old. I did the occasional fad diet behind my parents’ backs and tried various workout regiments. My weight fluctuated for the next few years, but my self-confidence never got any better. Before I knew it, I was 25 years old and still living with the same yoyo-dieting mindset.
I knew there had to be some other way to feel better about my body than to lose weight, and that’s when I decided to try to “hack” my own mind.
Last year was difficult. I hated my job although there was nothing objectively wrong with it. My colleagues were great, the pay was great, and the hours were great. The only problem seemed to be; I didn’t feel like I was supposed to be there.
Believe it or not, that was the clearest way I could describe it. It was an intuitive, vague, hint of an idea that maybe I was meant to do something else. Though vague, the feeling slowly wore me down. Suddenly, I had no physical strength left in me, and the smallest things made me cry.
Most self-help articles are about how to become better. I should know, I’ve written a few.
However, I believe there’s also a great deal of value in sharing what hasn’t worked, and mistakes we’ve made along the way.
So without further adieu, here are my own top six:
Many spiritual and self-development circles talk in-depth about non-judgment. Generally, I think that’s a very good idea since our judgments of others can ultimately teach us about ourselves. It’s also often required in exercises done in workshops and other gatherings to create “safe spaces” where people can open up and be vulnerable.
Buddhism seems to have a great reputation in the self-development community, which is why I, when I arrived in Thailand for my sabbatical year off, signed up for a Buddhist meditation “retreat”.
“Retreat” makes it sound like a luxurious ordeal, but that’s wildly misleading. It consisted of 11–12 hours of meditation every day, fasting from 11 am to 6 am the next morning, and sleeping on a very thin mat on the floor.
The amazing upside, though, is that you’re given a unique opportunity to ask questions to Buddhist monks, have guided meditations for long bouts of time, and go…
Growing up in the 90’s, flat abs were all the rage, and at age 12 I wanted nothing more.
Despite dieting in secret behind my parents’ back, a flat stomach proved difficult to achieve. That’s when I decided to resort to a plan B: simply holding it in.
It started as a way to look thinner in front of the boys I liked, but it shortly took on a life of its’ own.
I was doing it at home in front of my family, when I was hanging out with friends, at school, in front of every mirror, in front…
When I was 24, I realized that I had been unhappy with my body for over 10 years. Not just that, but I had also been dealing with it in the same way for 10 years: trying to diet, trying to work out more, and though I had fluctuated in weight, I had never “succeeded” permanently.
I had, on the other hand, heard the Einstein quote: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
I started to realize that I might have been looking for answers to my problems all the…
I’m not a psychologist (yet!), but I’m someone who used to struggle a lot with body image.
A lot of that progress I’ve made comes from eventually reaching a point where I was sick and tired of my body image being in the way. In 2014 I decided to quit counting calories and finding new workout regimes, and instead focus solely on finding ways to love myself.
On my journey to self-acceptance, there was particularly one aspect that I could never figure out:
For that reason, I felt like my body image issues and the voice that told me all…
I’ve tried a lot of things over the years to improve my body image, and one that yielded my most surprising results were studying body positive influencers.
What enables them to be so comfortable with themselves that they can post pictures in their underwear, especially when they don’t fit the “norm”? Even when the pictures might be seen by family members, people they went to school with, or potential dates?
Let’s try to reverse-engineer it: What sort of experiences might a body positive influencer have had? And what types of emotions and values are driving them?
This got me thinking…
Psychology student and former software architect. Passion for emotional health, self-love and body image.