3 surprising things that can damage your self-confidence and expert advice for rebuilding and protecting it.

Feeling Down on Yourself? 3 experts share surprisingly quick ways to boost your self-esteem
Feeling Down on Yourself? 3 experts share surprisingly quick ways to boost your self-esteem

Does your self-esteem seem as if it’s strapped into a rollercoaster? One minute you’re on top, and the whole world is yours. The next, you’re screaming your way down to the bottom. Up, down, again and again in a dizzying loop-the-loop. But unlike a rollercoaster that you know will go up after it goes down, you don’t always have what you need in your life to climb back up. You need help. Here are 3 quick things that can adversely affect your self-esteem, how to repair the damage, and protect yourself in the future.

How to heal your self-esteem from the pain of rejection

Rejection hurts. You can have the…


Watch out for these cognitive distortions that can kill your creativity

You Can’t Always Trust What Your Brain Tells You, It May Be Lying Watch out for these 7 cognitive distortions
You Can’t Always Trust What Your Brain Tells You, It May Be Lying Watch out for these 7 cognitive distortions

I’ve lived with low-grade depression since childhood, and I’ve done all the stuff you’re supposed to do to address it, so it has gotten better. At my lowest point, I discovered cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), which turned my life around.

Many people espouse the benefits of CBT; others, not so much. Whether you are pro or con, one valuable tool I learned from it was how to recognize faulty thinking in myself and what to do when I discover cognitive distortions whispering in my ear.

My brain and my thoughts can’t always be trusted. In fact, they may be lying…


You might be surprised at the many benefits you can gain from your bad mood

Can a Bad Mood Be Good for You? You might be surprised at the many benefits you can gain from your bad mood
Can a Bad Mood Be Good for You? You might be surprised at the many benefits you can gain from your bad mood

I’m a morning person. I wake up around dawn most days, but while I’m up, awake, and alert, I’m not a happy camper. I tend to be a grump in the morning until I’ve done my morning routine and had my first cup of coffee. Cheery, perky, morning people make me grind my teeth.

I’ve tried working on my morning mood; I’ve even researched and written articles and an e-course on how to improve your mood. But no matter how much studying I’ve done, nothing works for me in the morning. …


There, their, they’re, everything will be all write

Homonyms and Other Errors When Proofreading There, their, they’re, everything will be all write
Homonyms and Other Errors When Proofreading There, their, they’re, everything will be all write

Homonyms. Pesky words that look or sound alike but have different meanings like compliment and complement or its(pronoun) and it’s (contraction). They are to proofreading as mosquitos are to a good night’s sleep. You don’t see them, but they’re there, lurking around and almost invisible to find and eradicate.

Proofreading requires intense concentration and focus and an eye for detail. Here are some tips I have learned from professional proofreaders I have worked with that can help make proofreading easier and more effective.

Proofread in chunks of time

The focus needed for proofreading uses up energy. Our brains get tired, and our ability to pay…


Is our gut instinct truly reliable or not?

How Much Should We Trust Our Guts? Is our gut instinct truly reliable or not?
How Much Should We Trust Our Guts? Is our gut instinct truly reliable or not?

Do these scenarios sound familiar?

  • You meet someone new, immediately your gut churns, and all you want to do is get away from them. But this is a good business deal, so you ignore your gut only to discover that it was right. The deal goes south, and you with it.
  • You have a hard decision to make, everyone has a different idea about what you should do, and all the alternatives are viable. Finally, you just throw up your hands and go with your gut to great results.
  • Your gut tells you to walk away from a business offer…


How to make it work for you, not against you

When Is Procrastination the Best Course of Action How to make it work for you, not against you
When Is Procrastination the Best Course of Action How to make it work for you, not against you

Procrastination gets a bad rap. It’s the enemy of productivity, and something to be avoided at all costs. It makes us feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment that we aren’t doing what we should be doing. It’s an utter waste of time. Yet, we do it. Sometimes frequently.

It’s one of my favorite fallbacks when I’m faced with a task or assignment that I’m totally unmotivated to tackle. So, I puddle around doing this, that, and anything other than what I should be doing. Sometimes procrastination is the best thing for me to do. …


These two questions can change the course of your life

Do You Catch Yourself Saying: “Why Bother?” Or “What If?” These two questions can change the course of your life
Do You Catch Yourself Saying: “Why Bother?” Or “What If?” These two questions can change the course of your life

I heard a lot of people say, “Why bother?” over the past few years. Sometimes they were referring to American politics or Covid-19 or climate change. I caught myself saying it a few times. The more I said it, the more miserable I felt.

Our brains love questions. Why bother? is a question. According to the Center for Decision Sciences, Columbia University, “Questions trigger a mental reflex known as ‘instinctive elaboration.’ When a question is posed, it takes over the brain’s thought process. And when your brain is thinking about the answer to a question, it can’t contemplate anything else.”


Advice from a renown comedy writer

Write First, Then Edit Advice from a renown comedy writer
Write First, Then Edit Advice from a renown comedy writer

John Swartzwelder, comedy writer known for The Simpsons, is quoted in the Farnum Street Brain Food newsletter as saying that he finds writing hard and editing, easy. “I always write my scripts all the way through as fast as I can, the first day, if possible, putting in crap jokes and pattern dialogue….”

I’ve always done this, and I teach it in my workshops. Writing is creative and trying to write well invites writer’s block. The goal is to write as fast as you can without regard for how good or bad it is. …


Negative effects to watch out for

The Downside of Meditation and How It May Be Harming You Negative effects to watch out for
The Downside of Meditation and How It May Be Harming You Negative effects to watch out for

I’ve been a daily meditator for about 6 years. Its many benefits for body, brain, and well-being have been well-researched, and it has helped me live through and with grief, loneliness, isolation, loss, and more. My practice is far, far from perfect, and that’s okay. Meditation is accepting where I am now and what I’m feeling now without judgment.

Despite its many benefits, researchers are discovering and investigating some surprising side effects of meditation. As with most things in life, too much of a good thing can be bad for us, especially for anyone new to meditation practice.

Here are…


What the research tells us about keeping our brains in healthy working order

How to Wake Up Your Tired Brain Expert advice on how to keep your brain in healthy working order
How to Wake Up Your Tired Brain Expert advice on how to keep your brain in healthy working order

“My brain is fried.”

Have you ever uttered that sentence? If so, it wasn’t an exaggeration. Our brains never stop working; they are always doing their complex job of keeping us alive and functioning. It isn’t surprising that they get tired. In fact, when our bodies feel as if they will crumble with exhaustion, our brains may, in fact, have a greater need for rest than our tired bodies do. Physical exhaustion is remedied with sleep; so is mental exhaustion.

“Think about it like this: sleep for the mind is like the quiet hours at the office. When there is…

Patricia Haddock

Professional writer, editor, coach. Writes for The Startup, Curious, Mind Cafe, Writing Cooperative, Better Marketing and more. Find her at www.phaddock.com.

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