The book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are explores the power of love, belonging and “being enough” by cultivating courage, compassion and connection, all with the goal of developing resilience to shame. Each of the 10 chapters in the book explains one virtue that can help you overcome the feelings of imperfection and live a more meaningful and happier life. The main idea of the book is that when you develop shame resilience, you finally get a chance to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you really are. That’s something the author calls Wholehearted Living.
We all share the urge to expand, extend, become autonomous, develop, grow, and mature. We all long for self-actualization, to enhance the self, and reach the ultimate state in which we can express and activate all the inner capacities we possess. We all want to become as integrated and effective as possible, and we all wonder who we really are. Yet it seems we have almost forgotten how the most fundamental positive change and long-lasting personal development in humans actually occurs. It might surprise you, but the most fundamental and lasting change happens in warmly emotional and expressive relationships, where mutual respect is present, and where non-possessive caring is exhibited. This kind of relationships facilitate true self‑realization, based on permission for one to freely express themselves.
Whether you want it or not, your parents plant mental and emotional seeds in you. These seeds grow as you do. In some families, they are seeds of love, respect and independence. But not in all of them. In many others, they are seeds of fear, obligation, or guilt. There are many parents who act abusively towards their children, and such toxic behavior becomes consistent and dominant in a child’s life. All parents make mistakes in upbringing. That’s normal, since there’s no perfect parent. But there is a clear line when too many mistakes, especially repeating abusive behavior towards children, lead to a toxic home environment that does severe emotional damage to an innocent young person. Parents who carry a promise of love and care, while at the same time mistreat their child, are called toxic parents. Almost all toxic parents say they love their children, and they usually also …
The attachment style is a blueprint for how we survive/thrive in adult relationships, based on what we have learned about relationships and attachment being fully dependent on our caretakers. We know four different attachment styles, one healthy and three toxic ones. Your dominant attachment style tends to influence how you view intimacy and togetherness, how you deal with conflict, your attitude towards sex, ability to communicate your wishes and needs, and what kind of expectations you have towards your partner and the relationship. Your attachment style greatly defines how happy, fulfilled and successful you’ll be in relationships and in general. The main message of the book is that if you want to become independent, happy and fulfilled in life, your main job is to find the right person to depend on. Because if your partner is unable to meet your basic (attachment) needs, you experience a chronic sense of disquiet …
If you possess the fixed mindset, you are most concerned with how you’ll be judged; the growth mindset makes your primary concern how you can improve yourself. With the fixed mindset, you see the traits as fixed, and consequently success is about proving you’re smart or talented. The fixed mindset is all about validation. On the other hand, the growth mindset is more about stretching yourself to learn something new. With the growth mindset, your goal is to develop yourself and become the best version of yourself. People in a growth mindset always seek a challenge and, even more importantly, they thrive on it. Entering the world of two different mindsets, the most important question you have to ask yourself is the following: If you had to choose, what would your priority be – loads of success and validation or lots of challenges? With a summary of a book on …
There are three types of people in the world. People who seldom read a book in their lifetime, especially after the end of their formal education. People who have loved reading as long as they can remember. And then there are people who slowly grow fond of reading with time. I belong to this third group. I always loved playing with technology and hated books. Until I stumbled upon an interesting thought: “A good book is definitely the best bargain you’ll ever get in your life”. I love good bargains and a book is definitely the best one. In this blog post you will learn the process that will help you fall in love with reading, including with engaging yourself into a reading challenge.
I firmly believe that everyone can be creative. If nowhere else, you can easily witness creative behavior in every single person when the time comes to make up a good excuse for not taking action or to face irrational fears. With no exception, we can all get so creative when it’s time to prevent ourselves from getting out of the comfort zone. There’s even an expression for such behavior. It’s called creative avoidance. You basically find every possible way to stop yourself from taking action. The subconscious goal of creative avoidance is to protect yourself from danger. But ironically, many times you are not protecting yourself, but rather stopping yourself from progress, growth and new wins. Creative avoidance can be the tough goalkeeper preventing you from entering a bigger league. It doesn’t make sense to invest your creative potential at avoiding your progress.
Milo of Croton was an ancient warrior who decided to carry a newborn calf on his shoulders. Day by day, for more than four years, he carried an animal on his shoulders. While people were laughing at him, the small calf slowly grew into an adult ox and Milo got stronger and stronger along the way. Don't you think that was an awesome idea? Every day, when Milo woke up, he lifted the calf, put it on his shoulders and carried it around all day. After four years, Milo was lifting and carrying around an impressively big ox. By then, people stopped laughing a long time ago, when they saw Milo’s muscles grow. That's how Milo became very famous Olympic winner. Do you wonder what Milo did in the end, when the ox was fully grown? Well, I invite you to read his story.
You view the world through your schemas. Schemas are mental structures providing a framework for representing some aspect of the world. They not only help you organize the vast majority of information in a manageable way, they also provide lenses for interpreting reality. Schemas are cognitive structures for screening, coding, and evaluating every stimulus from the environment. You do use schemas to organize your current knowledge, but they also provide a framework for further understanding – predicting what will or should happen in the future. They influence your attention and absorption of knowledge. They also represent your core beliefs and values. Schemas are like lines of code that run in your brain, giving you instructions for how to interpret things, feel about different events, react and, in the end, also predict the future. They create feelings, thoughts and lead you to certain decisions and actions.
All situations that happen to you in life have no inherent meaning. You are the one who signs a meaning, seeing a situation through a certain frame. With cognitive reframing, you can change the way you look at something and consequently change how you experience it. That kind of an approach enables you to implement the ancient wisdom that you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can certainly control how you react to different situations – no matter how tough your position might be. And that’s the ultimate power you always possess. If you want to change something, be it how you feel, how you do things or what you believe, the change always begins with you switching your thoughts and reframing how you see reality. Your thoughts about the situation that happened to you are always more important than the situation itself.