Tag Archive | psychology

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – It’s All Small Stuff”

The feminine woman of excellence, dear reader, has perspective in life.  She has matured to the point at which she no longer sweats the “small stuff” and she doesn’t get too worked up over things.

“If I make a fool of myself, who cares?  I’m not frightened by anyone’s perception of me.” – Angelina Jolie

She understands that nothing is really as big of a deal as it seems to be.  Sure, she celebrates her successes and still feels the pain of loss when things don’t go her way, but she doesn’t magnify those things to the point where they stop her from progressing and cloud her vision.

 

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“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same … Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a [Woman], my [dear]!”

To be really successful in life, dear reader, a woman must have the emotional fortitude and maturity to handle both adversity and success without vacillating too much emotionally.   Again, this doesn’t mean that she’s not capable of feeling both intense happiness and intense sorrow – after all, these deep emotions are what make her human, and a woman – but she doesn’t allow them to control her.  She is able to separate from them without dissociating.

Realizing that no matter what happens, that it simply isn’t as big of a deal as you are making it out to be in your mind will set you free.  It will take away the self-created pressure that makes it hard for you to take any constructive action.

 

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“Amateur performers often crack under pressure because they lose their perspective.  Their fear of losing overwhelms them to the point of physical, emotional, and spiritual breakdown.  The champion knows that the secret to performing well under pressure has more to do with their perception of the event than the event itself.  While an amateur is telling himself that he must win, the pro is reminding herself that it’s only a game.  Both performers want to win, but the pro always outperforms the amateur under pressure because she has learned how to calm her nerves by putting things into perspective.  Some people claim that champions perform better than any other group under pressure.  This is not true.  There is an inverse relationship between pressure and performance, no matter who you are or what you do.  As pressure increases, performance decreases.  This occurs whether you’re Donald Trump or Donald Duck.  The reason champions get better results is because they have trained themselves how to perceive the so-called pressure situation.  The amateur perceives it as a threat, which triggers a fight or flight response from the mind and body.  Physiologically speaking, the performer believes he is literally fighting for his life.  Meanwhile, the pro has convinced herself that this situation is just a game, and nobody dies from losing a game.”

 

 

How to Become More Confident

The feminine woman of excellence, dear reader, is first and foremost confident in who she is, what she can do for the world, what she believes in, and what she is willing to stand (or not stand) for.

 

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However, confidence is not something she was born with.

She acquired that confidence over time, by taking risks and action, by putting herself in situations that were perhaps uncomfortable for her, at first.

Many pretend that they are confident when they don’t actually feel that way, because there is a stigma associated with being non~confident and insecure.

While it is true that it can be helpful to “fake” confidence at times when you don’t really feel it, to make true personal progress and be one of the rare, rare women who are able to come across as authentically confident in who she is, you must start by being honest with yourself and where you are at.

 

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There is no shame in admitting to yourself or to those you trust, in what areas you don’t feel confident, because once you do you can either work through those emotions or do something to change them.  As long as you avoid or pretend those areas don’t exist, you won’t be able to take any action, and taking action is what will dissolve any non~confidence or fear.

If, dear reader, you are afraid of public speaking, join a toastmasters group.  Volunteer to give presentations to key clients at work.  Do anything and everything you can to put yourself in that type of situation until you become comfortable, and therefore confident in it!

Confidence begins with one such small act of courage.  You don’t need to give a speech addressing the U.S. Senate to begin with to start building confidence, for example.  Too many women are halted and kept in states of inaction and non~progress because they can’t see or are unwilling to take the micro-actions that will eventually build them up to the larger arenas they truly wish to be at.

 

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“Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

Limits

This topic, dear reader, is a powerful concept and it touches every single aspect of your life, from your relationships, to your financial status to your health.

We all grow up believing in some sort of limits.

 

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For some of us, those limits were more constricting than that of others, but they were still there.  And most women tend to unconsciously carry the limits they grew up believing with them into adulthood, not understanding that most of that was simply taken on faith, without examining those beliefs or thinking through them critically.

Let’s take relationships with men, for example.

Many women come to truly believe any number of limiting concepts including that men only want them for sex, men will use them, men will try to control them, men will only give them gifts on holidays, etc.

 

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Financially, unless you are one of the few born to wealthy parents, you come to believe such concepts as “money doesn’t grow on trees”;  you come to believe that money is something difficult to come by, something that must be struggled for, something that is used as a tool of control over others.

The idea that none of this is even true, that they are simply self-imposed limits that serve to cause self-sabotage to success, happiness, and fulfillment is so foreign a concept that it most likely never crosses your mind.

To see the truth of this, begin with a young child you know.  Tell her with conviction (this is important – if there’s no conviction in your voice it will not work) that she’s beautiful, intelligent, and that one day she’s going to be very successful.  Watch how she changes her behavior in ways that fulfill your words (:

 

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Being Open to Life’s Possibilities

The feminine woman of excellence, dear reader, is a joy to be around – she is full of life and she attracts both men and women alike to her.

 

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She is so attractive, because she is open to life’s possibilities.  Many people, dear reader, become closed to what life has to offer as they grow older.  They experience defeat, perhaps betrayal and misfortune, and they are impaired by it.

The woman who remains open to life’s possibilities is not somehow a “teflon” woman who has miraculously dodged and deflected these things, dear reader.  She has experienced them as well, and been hurt by them.  But she accepts that such is a part of life, and she doesn’t take them personally.  She doesn’t beat herself up endlessly for experiencing a misfortune.  Rather, she has learned to cope by seeking the support of those close to her and by using what she’s experienced to become a more intricate, complicated, and interesting woman.

A comforting thought, in that situation, dear reader, is that a woman who is truly an alluring and intriguing queen cannot become that way by only experiencing the positive elements and lightness of life.  She has gotten in touch with her darker emotions as well, and explored all sides of herself.

 

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Once she has accepted whatever has happened to her (or that she herself has brought about) in life, she is free to remain open to what the world has to offer her, just as she did as a child.

She wakes energized and excited to start each new day, and expects good things to happen to her (on the whole, not all the time, of course).

And it is, ironically, this attitude which often creates that very same result in reality.

“Our lives are filled with endless possibilities.  We just have to open our minds to see them.  This means making smart choices.  For example, we can choose to act or to react or to sit by and watch life pass us by.  And in everything we do, every day, we have a choice to make.  Are we going to be great? Or are we going to be mediocre?  Why not choose to be great?  Why not wake up every morning and ask yourself what you are going to do today that is different and better from what you did yesterday?  Why not open your eyes to the endless possibilities that exist when you make a commitment to live the life you dream of living?”

 

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Coping with Betrayal

Betrayal, dear reader, is often one of the most difficult and time-consuming setbacks for a woman to overcome.

 

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It can truly hit her like the proverbial “brick wall” and stop her dead in her tracks.

Betrayal is one of the most painful human experiences. Discovering that someone we trusted has deeply hurt us pulls the reality rug from under us. A damaging aspect of betrayal is that our sense of reality is undermined. What felt like solid trust suddenly crumbles. Our innocence is shattered. We’re left wondering: What happened? How could this happen? Who is this person?

Perhaps what is so uniquely harmful about betrayal is that it leaves us questioning our own selves and our judgement about who to trust and who not to.

A typical reaction is often to suffer from a severe pull-back in trust more generally.  It becomes more difficult to be open after betrayal, and what’s worse, dear reader, is that we no longer trust our own selves.

 

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“When someone breaks your trust don’t feel stupid for trusting them. You didn’t do anything wrong they’re just an untrustworthy person.”

Betrayal is not only about the one who shattered our trust, it is about trusting ourselves not to put ourselves into compromising situations with untrusting people where we may be hurt.

Often-times, after a betrayal, whether that be an extra-marital affair or something else, a woman will beat herself up for her own foolishness.  In many cases, dear reader, the woman who instead simply blames the other party and gets angry, will heal much faster and be able to move on with resilience.

This is because the first thing that needs to be accomplished in order to move on from betrayal is a trust in one’s self and one’s own judgement.

“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on it’s own wings.”

 

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You must, dear reader, first trust in your own wings.  The branch is like all the external factors and people that may betray you, but your wings are your own judgement of who and who not to trust, how much of yourself you are willing to invest in someone else, and your unique personality make-up and resilience – your ability to recover and come back stronger if betrayed.

First and foremost, dear reader, you must get it into your head that you are not completely at fault for whatever betrayal you have suffered.  Sure, you may have been more naive than you are now, but it is still not worth analyzing or beating yourself up over.  It does not mean that you were foolish, naive, or too trusting.  It means that you simply misread a situation or didn’t appreciate all of the details involved.  But, dear reader, no one does, in any situation!

And betrayal may feel like a personal failure, but it is not.  Absolutely everyone, from the most advanced spies to con artists, are at some point betrayed.

 

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The natural reaction to become dark and cynical, and to have a severe contraction in one’s ability to trust following betrayal, dear reader, is almost always an over-reaction.

After betrayal, we tend to believe people are worse than they really are, even the one (or ones) who have betrayed us.  Perhaps they are the most calculating people to ever walk the face of the planet, but the more likely truth is that the betrayal isn’t as bad as you have imagined.

“In most cases, people, even the most vicious, are much more naive and simple-minded than we assume them to be. And this is true of ourselves too.”

This isn’t to say to simply let someone off the hook or to trust indiscriminately, however.

 

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But in order to move on and to live the healthy, happy, and productive life you deserve, dear reader you will need to learn to trust and be open.  If you are unable to do this, betrayal will continue to have a lasting and detrimental impact, holding you back from all that you know you can be.

It also helps, dear reader, to give yourself time.  You can’t expect to immediately bounce back following an unexpected breach in trust.  It will take time, and it helps to be patient with oneself, understanding that you may not feel like your usual self overnight, but that it’s okay.

“Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime. It’s what unites us. The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens. Don’t let them take that from you.”

Compartmentalization

Compartmentalization, dear reader, is the ability to mentally and emotionally separate different aspects of your life, so that you may better focus and perform at whatever task is before you.

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A classic example is the ability to compartmentalize work and school separately from say, a personal relationship.  It’s the ability not to let issues in one area transfer into the other area and affect it.

For example, say a woman’s relationship or marriage has being going through a difficult time; practicing compartmentalization is what allows her to temporarily forget about those issues when she is at work – when she knows her full attention needs to be present or else her performance will suffer.

She isn’t dismissing her issues, dear reader, she is simply setting them aside so that she can deal with them at a time or place that is more conducive to solving them.  Compartmentalization can be a good thing, as long as it isn’t taken too far and used to facilitate denial.  For instance, calling her husband during work hours to try to resolve issues will almost certainly not get her the results she wants.  She’ll need to pull her attention away from her work, revisit all the negative emotions and difficulties facing her in her relationship, and then need to quickly shut all of this down again to focus back on her work.  Almost every person would be affected and upset by this, and carry some of that emotion over.

 

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Compartmentalization, however, allows ordinary people to do this.

It’s easier to keep emotions and issues constrained into boxes, if they are each dealt with separately, on a case-by-case basis, and one prepares herself beforehand emotionally and mentally to be what she needs to be in that situation.

In other words, the person she is required to be at work is usually quite different from the person a woman is required to be in her relationship.  Compartmentalization allows her to be both of these people.

 

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The tactic is a good one for other reasons as well.  It is good to have many different areas of your life, dear reader, that can bring you happiness.

It’s a crazy morning at home, and your spouse is furious at you. Harried, you slam the car door shut and race off to work where an important task awaits.  Your ability to tune out the situation at home and focus on the job at hand is facilitated by your emotional understanding. It’s a form of emotional intelligence, according to Jeremy Yip, a lecturer and research scholar at Wharton. Compartmentalizing enables a person to identify what is stressing them out and to allow other, unrelated factors in their life to stand on their own merits, Yip says.

A woman who only has a career, to the exclusion of a romantic or social life, or other outside interests runs a much greater risk of unhappiness.  If something goes wrong in her life, she has only one box, so to speak.  The same applies for the woman who has a romantic life, but not much else outside of that.

It is smart, dear reader, to spread the risk so to speak in many different and fulfilling areas.

 

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How to Keep a Secret

The feminine woman of excellence, dear reader, knows how to keep a secret.

 

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Biologically, psychologically, and emotionally, however this can be challenging.  For most people, keeping a secret raises stress hormone levels, and this triggers a pretty strong desire to share what we know.  It’s a natural instinct to want to let another person what we know – this has an evolutionary purpose as well – letting another in on a secret could protect you if you need someone’s help in situation.

But there are other times, dear reader, when not keeping a secret is worse than keeping it – when someone could be harmed by revealing it.  It is, for example, not appropriate to share what was told to you in confidence from a friend that trusts you.  A good case study is when a friend tells you about her love life – sharing this information with the wrong people could hurt both her and whomever else might be involved and the personal nature of the information means that if it’s revealed in the wrong context, it will without a doubt cause damage.

 

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Generally, says von Reiche, “secrets do create a lot of separation from other people, and they also prevent you from feeling truly authentic.” But psychologists say there are also situations where it might be better to withhold information from people, even close friends, if the revelation of secrets would cause more pain to you and others. – CNN Health

Oftentimes, it’s highly likely that when you reveal all of yourself to someone, or in certain contexts, that will not turn out well:

It’s important for people to be comfortable and confident with all parts of themselves, McDonald says. But there are situations where revealing part of your identity would do more harm than good.  “It can be unhealthy to reveal certain parts of ourselves if there are people close to us that would be very unaccepting of it, because of the pain and the separation that that would cause to reveal that,” McDonald said.

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Keeping a secret, dear reader, assumes that you have the teller’s trust and confidence; he or she has faith in your self-control and relies on that to unburden themselves, while also not putting themselves at risk of a full reveal for the whole world to know.

Assuming that basic level of self-control is in place, there are a few guidelines to keeping such a secret.

The best way, dear reader, to keep a secret, is to pretend that you have no knowledge of it, that is complete ignorance.  The reason why this is the best method, is that it is very plausible and believable.  There was a point when you didn’t know whatever the secret is, and when you tell someone that you are ignorant, there really is not much that they can do past that point.  All pressure to tell what you know disappears – after all, you can’t possibly tell someone something you don’t even know yourself.  Most people simply drop the subject if this seems to be the case.  There’s far less likelihood that you’ll cave under pressure if there’s no pressure, dear reader (:

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“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” – George Orwell

“The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn’t one.” – Margaret Atwood

“We women talk too much, but even then we don’t tell half of what we know.”

The next best method is to transfer the emotions of the situation or generalize to tell a story that is also true, but not the secret.

At last resort, tell a white lie.  That is, come up with something else that could be the secret.  However, this is a last resort, because most people are only moderately skilled at this.  It is easy for most people to suspect when they have been either misinformed or at least haven’t been told the entire story, and if they suspect this is the case they will in all likelihood want to press for more information.

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