Skip to main content
All Posts By

Rebecca Frank

Relationships and Attachment

By Counseling No Comments

Have you ever noticed yourself struggling with the same thing over and over again in your relationships? As we grow up, we develop a style of relating to people from our experiences and upbringing. These relational styles drive our sense of developing meaningful and fulfilling relationships. The styles we develop from our early experiences and upbringing are called attachment styles. Attachment has been researched for many years and has been proven to play into the context of our lives. There are four dominating attachment styles:

1. Secure Attachment
2. Avoidant/Ambivalent Attachment
3. Anxious Attachment
4. Disorganized Attachment

Each of these styles is unique in what we learned growing up through our everyday encounters with our caregivers. Some of the encounters are at the forefront of our mind while others are buried deep in the back of our mind. Our brain holds the key to our survival, and these attachment styles were developed to protect us in our relationships and our connection with people. Our attachment style has a huge impact on our mind, brain, and relationships. Each attachment style holds patterns and behaviors that are acted out in different ways depending on the individual. A description of the attachment styles are as follows:

Child Attachment Styles

  • Secure Attachment (58% of population)
    •  Developing a secure attachment style typically means that parents were: attentive, caring, nurturing, attuned with child’s needs/emotions, and predictable.
    • The belief that a child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently is “help will come”, “I matter”, and “I can depend on others and myself”.
    • Some traits that are developed with this style are trust/safety, connection, resilience, and empathy.
  • Avoidant Attachment (Insecure) (23% of population)
    • Developing an avoidant attachment style typically means the parents were: dismissive, inattentive, non-nurturing, unavailable, and rejecting for much of the time.
    • The beliefs that a child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently are: “I don’t need you”, “I don’t matter enough to deserve your attention”, and “I am alone in the world”.
    • Some traits that are developed with this style are distrusting, independent, distant, and critical.
  •  Anxious Attachment (Insecure) (19% of population)
    • Developing an anxious attachment style typically means the parents were: inconsistent, intrusive, noncommunicative, over nurturing, and unpredictable most the time.
    • The belief that the child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently are: “I must work consistently to get what I want” and “I must control everything to make it predictable”.
    • Some traits that are developed with this style are clingy, controlling, untrusting, and low self-esteem.
  • Disorganized Attachment (Insecure) (18% of population)
    • Developing a disorganized attachment style typically means the parents were: unpredictable, abusive, noncommunicative, neglectful, and chaotic.
    •  The beliefs the child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently are: “the world is not a safe place” and “the way to survive in this unpredictable world is to be unpredictable”.
    •  Some of the traits developed from this style are aggressive, unaffectionate, extreme, and distrusting.

It is easy to see how attachment can have an impact on our adult relationships. Now you ask, these are all attachment styles that I developed as a child, what does that mean about my adult relationships? Our attachment styles typically carry over into our adult relationships unless there is an intervention. The adult attachment styles and descriptions are as follows:

Adult Attachment Styles

Secure – For most of the time people are: able to regulate themselves in stressful situations, comfortable in relationships, able to seek help from others, resilient, and empathetic.

Dismissing – For most of the time people are: greatly independent, often do not seek out relationships, highly critical, emotionally withdrawn from others, and intolerant of others.

Preoccupied – For most of the time people are: fearful of rejection from partner, desire extreme closeness, controlling and blaming behavior, unable to regulate self (often need others to do it for them), codependent in relationships, and living in extremes.

Unresolved – For most of the time people are: chaotic, insensitive, aggressive, unpredictable, unable to regulate self, abusive, and explosive.

**All listed qualities are not a must in every situation. These are general researched characteristics for each attachment style**

Adult attachment styles are important to understand because it is how we relate to people and the world around us. Whether it be friends, significant others, coworkers, bosses, acquaintances, and other environments we find ourselves in. Our attachment styles also tell us about how we think about ourselves and the relationship we have with ourselves. It impacts our self-esteem, our self-worth, and our self-love. Attachment styles do not have to remain the same forever. It is important to understand and build awareness around our styles because through awareness we can begin to develop a healthier sense of self and connection with people.

Attachment work takes time and effort to work through. Our brain has created these patterns to help keep us safe because when we were young all we had to rely on was what our parents conveyed to us. The one thing we understood was: we had to do what was needed to survive. If you are trying to break these patterns, and you continue to find yourself repeating the same behaviors over and over again, you are not alone. With the help of a therapist who specializes in attachment, these patterns can be replaced with healthier and more secure ways of attaching. Therapists can help you develop and reach emotional regulation goals, relationship goals, “self” goals, parenting goals, and other life goals.

Generational Trauma – Implications and Steps to Healing

By Counseling No Comments

We pass down all kinds of things to our children. We pass down genes, traits, personality types, culture, and behaviors. It is true that children are like sponges and they continually seek outside of themselves to develop their “normal”. Children are constantly learning and observing, they recreate what they see and brain patterns are formed. Children start to build who they are based on the environment they are recreating around them.

As I begin to write about generational trauma I want my firm belief to be known that “everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.” I do not believe that people purposefully try to harm or make other’s lives less than what they are supposed to be. They are typically repeating what they know and based on how they were taught to do it.

What is Generational Trauma?

The definition I will use to define generational trauma is: maladaptive behaviors and patterns that are passed down from parents to children then passed to the children’s children. Many people will have heard the phrase “when the abused becomes the abuser”, as this is not always the case in every situation, there is truth to the phrase. This is an example of generational trauma.  This also related to the idea of attachment, beliefs, behaviors, and relationships.

What Happens in Generational Trauma?

Generational trauma is a accumulation of neural network in the brain that are established by patterns in behavior and hormones. Trauma can be a very difficult thing to heal. The more engrained it becomes in family systems, the harder the chains are to break. When we look at behaviors, beliefs, and patterns we often can begin to see a recurrence in the previous generation. These behaviors become a repetitive part of the system that children learn from and then develop the same neural networks in the brain as the parents.

Within the same neural networks come the same hormones. If a child grows up in a family where domestic violence is prevalent they are constantly learning from the behaviors as well as having stress hormones that are triggered in the body as a protective agent. Elevated levels of stress hormones in children can cause the brain to register that those hormones need to remain elevated for safety. Elevated levels of stress hormones can health effects later on down the road, and they can present current symptoms that can be seen as anxiety, attention deficit hyper activity, oppositional defiance, and depression.

Mirror neurons in the brain are exactly as they sound, when we see something we often do it back. If we see someone smile we often smile back. If we see someone crying, we often feel sad. The same is true for anxiety and anger. If we see someone highly anxious our body tends to increase in anxiety. If children are in a household of high anxiety, they often learn to be anxious. Therefore, anxiety can be generational.

How Can You Heal Generational Trauma?

Many people don’t recognize their behaviors as maladaptive because they simply are taking what they learned and applying it in the best way that they know how. Awareness is the key to change. Without recognizing that there is something happening in your family system there cannot be change.

  • First step is seeing the patterns. Some are more obvious than others: domestic violence, abuse, anxiety, gender roles, among others.
  • Second step is building the awareness around what triggers you to step into these established patterns. Is it yelling, disrespect, feeling devalued, physical aggression, watching people bully others? The list could be endless.
  • Once you are aware of triggers, the fourth step is becoming aware of how you react to the triggers. Do you shut down, become angry, become violent, yell?
  • Fourth step is learning to put road blocks in those patterns. Setting up a trigger word or phrase that helps you recognize when you are going down a pattern. Setting up a support network to be held accountable.
  • Fifth step is give yourself grace. These are patterns that have been engrained for a long period of time. Generational trauma does not heal overnight or over a week. It takes time.

Asking for help from a professional is a great option to supplement these steps. Sometimes the trauma you encountered and be so engrained for protection that extra help may be required. Trauma is stored in the body and stored in the brain.


When Life Hands You Lemons

By Counseling No Comments

I think most of us have heard the saying “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. My goodness wouldn’t it be amazing if it were as easy to do as it were to say. When we are handed lemons life gets hard, we struggle for the next step, people to turn to, our next move. Lemons are the struggles that we experience in life, they are the hardships, the breakups, the losses, and the hurt. Lemonade doesn’t come easy from these things. If it were only as easy to do as it were to say, but if you think about it, making fresh squeezed lemonade by hand is no easy task. It takes time, strength, tools, and knowledge of how to do it. Many times we don’t have the time, strength, tools, or knowledge to handle the lemons that life gives us. Sometimes it is all we can do to keep the juice from stinging our wounds. While working with people I have witnessed some common ways that lemons have been dealt with in life and they are as follows:

  1. Throw the lemons to the side(run): this is one of our natural instincts. Run when things get hard and overwhelming and continue to find ways to get around the mounds of lemons in our lives.
  2. Destroy the lemons (fight): this is another natural instinct. When the going gets tough, get tougher and rougher and hard.
  3. Pretend they don’t exist (avoid): this is where we fill our lives with other things to distract us from the mound of lemons even though they are trickling out of the closet.
  4. Live with the lemons (accept): this can go two ways. Accept defeat as is and struggle with the load of lemons with no movement forward OR accept the reality and move in other ways to rid the lemons one by one.

How do you handle the lemons in your life?

What I have found is that each person has their own unique way of dealing with lemons. Lemons are hard to deal with, no matter how we deal with them, and each way of dealing with the problems of life has consequences, both positive and negative. Some ways are easier and allows us an out. Some of the ways can cause us a little more stress and heartache along the road, but ultimately get us to where we want to be.

The goal in dealing with lemons is to get to the place where we make lemonade. Making lemonade is not an easy process; like I stated before, it takes time, strength, tools, and knowledge. When we make lemonade we take time to explore the lemon and understand what is needed in the next step in the process.

  • First the time and knowledge: I lumped these two together because it takes time to explore and fully understand the lemon for what it is, how it is operating in your life, and the purpose behind the lemon. Knowledge comes not only from education, but also from awareness of yourself and your experiences. Every experience we have is built into our make-up of who we are and where we are going. Lemonade typically has more ingredients depending on the type of lemonade you want. In this arena, we take the time to write our story, and find a way to create a new ending.
  • Second is strength: It takes both inner and outer strength to make lemonade. It is not easy to face the lemons in our life, it is really hard and it can be draining mentally and physically. One thing I know is if you use one of the four escapes listed above you are experiencing the same physical and mental exhaustion, just without moving forward in a purposeful way.
  • Third is tools: Most of us are not physically strong enough to rip a lemon apart and squeeze all of its juice into a pitcher. Typically we need knives, strainer, juicer, cups, and pitchers. This is just the same for the lemons of life, only slightly different tools. We need skills that can lead to effective communication and relationship building with others, healthy ways of dealing with and sorting through the lemons of life, ways to develop a stronger sense of self, skills that lead to emotional stability, among other things in life.

If life has handed you a bunch of lemons and you are struggling sorting through and managing the lemons and the emotions that go along with them please contact me. Life’s struggles can be hard sometimes and you don’t have to go through it alone. Sometimes another perspective and a little guidance and encouragement is what we need to sort through what we are dealing with. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you courageous because you are taking a stand and fighting these battles on the inside and out.

Grow Your Confidence Through Self-Respect

By Counseling No Comments

Confidence and Self-Respect

In order to maintain confidence we must be able to grow and nurture self-respect. When we learn to lean into our own self-respect we can maintain our confidence in a whole new light. Some of the things that get in the way of self-respect are: people-pleasing, negative people, hurt/anger, careless situations, not knowing yourself or the people around you, and not hold yourself or others to appropriate standards.

Self-respect is based on what you do. When you do or allow those things listed above to be in your life you are taking a toll on your self-respect. When we do well and surround ourselves with positive things our self-respect goes up, and when we feel good and surround ourselves with positive things our confidence goes up as well. There is a correlation between self-respect and confidence, often times if we have one we have the other. If we increase our self-respect and the things we need to have self-respect, we are able to increase our confidence as well. There are key ideas that can help us create a greater amount of self-respect, but the three that I want to focus on are: boundaries, gratefulness/positivity, and our support system.


Boundaries are a very hot topic, and for a good reason. One of my favorite authors, Brene Brown, simplifies boundaries as “what’s ok, and what’s not ok.” Simple yet profound. Many of us have a hard time establishing what is ok and what is not ok. We struggle finding that balance of helping others and still maintaining ourselves. We either help everyone and give too much or we withhold from others because we are afraid of giving too much or resentful because we already have.

When we hold tight to our boundaries we give ourselves the opportunity to harness compassion, love, and understanding with ourselves and with others. Having these qualities in our field because we are boundaried gives us the ability to increase our self-respect and confidence because we feel stronger about the way we interact with others and we maintain what is important and key in our lives and relationships.

Gratefulness & Positivity

When we develop a sense of gratitude in all that we do we start to view the world and our life from a different lens that increases our confidence. Science shows that when we take time to notice the good we are able to create positive pathways in our brain that begin to create a more positive outlook on life. When there are positive things happening in our lives we have the ability to increase our confidence because we feel better about who we are and what is happening around us. When we become intentional about noticing the good in our life we are more likely to have a positive outlook on life and various situations and people. If you take 10-30 seconds and focus on the good and write down one positive thing that happens for 30 days you will start to see a difference in your outlook on life and on yourself.

We are able to build more respect around who we are and what we do when we start identifying the positive things that are happening in our lives. The less positive we see the less respect we accumulate. When it comes to being intentional about the positive things in our lives we have to take an honest look at the things that bring us down: negative beliefs, family members, boyfriends/girlfriends, work, our own pattern of thinking etc. We have to find ways to take these areas in our life an cut away the bad, add more positive, and maintain the things that are good now.

Support System

Knowing who the important people are in our lives are so important in regard to our self-respect. When we have a healthy and functional support system, we give ourselves ample opportunity to be grateful, maintain boundaries, and maintain our self-respect. There is the idea that when we are in negative company we ourselves become negative, but when we surround ourselves with positive company we ourselves become more positive. When we have positive influences and positive people in our lives then we increase our respect for ourselves and for our confidence.

Moving Forward

When we start to align things in our lives and put in place necessary actions to increase our self-respect then we have the ability to naturally increase your confidence. Some of these areas in our lives are not always easy to maintain or change. If you need help to navigate some of these or all of these areas contact me. Going through this alone is hard work and having someone to walk through some of the challenges with can help you find the deeper respect and deeper confidence that you desire.

How to Develop Core Confidence

By Counseling No Comments

There are so many voices in our head that come from us and from others around us that tell us we are not worthy or good enough. Those voices crush our spirit and with it, our confidence. While on one hand, these voices clearly have weight and have an impact us. On the other hand, the one voice that matters the most is the one that belongs to us, and our voice often unheard. We can combat these voices that bring us down by knowing, accepting, and loving ourselves in a more authentic way.

Knowing & Trusting Ourselves

When we are building confidence in who we are, we need to first understand who we truly are. The key is knowing that core self of who we are and what makes us function the way we do. If we want to become confident in ourselves, we must understand the ways we respond and why, ours needs, and our desires. We must learn to tune into our body and mind so we can understand our reactions and what each event tells us.

When we take the time to explore our relationships and the way they operate and work along with our values and beliefs and how they track with us throughout our days. When we start to understand our passions that drive us in daily life we can start to build confidence on who we are rather than second guess everything that we do.

Here is a list of questions that you can ask yourself to start this journey of self-exploration:

  1. Looking back on my past, what are three common themes that I can say were a part of my life?
  2. What are three driving forces for me in this current stage in my life?
  3. What are my top three values that I hold dearly to my heart?
  4. What do my relationships tell me about myself and the way I connect and relate to others?
  5. What are the three things (material and non-material) that I hold closest to my heart?
  6. Who is the one person that was the greatest influence and why? What do those qualities say about who you are or strive to be?

These are some of the key ideas that will help you find greater understanding in who you are. In turn, you will begin the process of becoming more confident in who you are and the way you operate in the world. As you walk through each of these questions and explore the implications each area has on your life it is important to remember that we all operate in our own unique and beautiful way. We have to learn to stay kind and true to who we are and the people around us.

“Being confident and believing in your own self-worth is necessary to achieving your full potential.”         -Author Unknown

Accepting and Loving Ourselves

In order for the above to take place we have to learn some self-acceptance and self-love. In order to accept ourselves we have to start looking inward and stop looking outward. When we look outward is when we fall into the comparison trap, and we begin lose our joy and our passion for things in life.  When we learn to love ourselves for who we are and recognize our strengths and weaknesses in such a way where we grow and prosper we have that ability to love ourselves (even the parts that are hard to love). There is no methodological or linear way to work through accepting and loving ourselves, and each person has their own beliefs and visions about who they are and what they have to offer. This process takes time and there is a constant battle going on between love and hate and acceptance and denial. There are some small things you can do in order to help yourself start to take the steps toward loving and accepting who you are.

Allow yourself to be loved by others

Often times when we struggle to love and accept ourselves we struggle to accept those offerings from other people. When someone shows you affection learn to embrace it and sit with it rather than push it away. This will help us learn what positive feels toward yourself will feel like.

Celebrate your strengths

Start recognizing areas of strength and write them down. If you have a hard time with this do one a day, and reflect on something you did well that day and how that could be interpreted as a strength. Create awareness around more positive and uplifting areas in our life.

Forgive yourself

It is very difficult to make it past regrets, and when we get hung up on those regrets it is difficult to move toward self-acceptance. We have to learn to forgive ourselves and learn from the regrets and the mistakes and move forward in a way allows us to be stronger and better prepared for future endeavors.

Surround yourself with positive people

Our environment has a big impact on who we are and what we believe. If we are constantly surrounding ourselves with people who bring us down and offer negative company, we will find ourselves in the same state of mind. If we surround ourselves with people who build us up and accept us we will find ourselves in the same state of mind.

Each of these are little steps you can take in order to start working toward building confidence and acceptance in yourself. This process takes time and it is so important to be kind to yourself during it. This topic is a tough one to handle so if you need help or want a neutral party invested in your growth and transformation please contact me. I would love to walk through this journey with you toward a more confident and whole-self. You don’t have to do this on your own, and I know taking that first step is hard. We can set up a free 20 minute consultation to see if this would be a good journey for you to begin.

3 Ways We Shadow Our Sunshine

By Counseling No Comments

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Confidence is our sunshine. Many of us want confidence in our lives, but we are often overshadowed and the confidence gets displaced in insecurity. Having sunshine doesn’t make us cocky or arrogant (which is a fear of many). Confidence is grown and hindered in many ways. The key is understanding that we are the only ones that can actually allow our confidence grow and emerge, but anyone, including ourselves can hinder our confidence. Let us look closer at confidence.

Confidence is one of those virtues that we see in other people and crave for ourselves. Many of us want to be confident, we don’t enjoy walking around insecure and uncertain. Most people don’t know how to work toward building a more confident and strong self. There are many ways to approach building self-confidence, but I want to focus on the idea of how we get in our own way of being confident. We demand so much from ourselves and we typically beat ourselves up over things that we miss or things that we struggle with day in and day out. Even when we conquer an uphill battle, at the end, we expected it of ourselves or “it wasn’t that big of a deal”. Either way, it never seems like we can win with our eyes, we are always fighting to be good enough. If you want to be a more confident person here is some ideas to identify where we sometimes struggle:

Stop Beating Yourself Up

We put so much effort and use so much energy on correcting, critiquing and criticizing ourselves. The way we look, our performance, our personal life, our status, our finances, among other things. We aren’t:

  • “pretty enough”
  • “thin enough”
  • “smart enough”
  • “wealthy enough”
  • “busy enough”
  • “happy enough”

These are all things that some of us say to ourselves on a daily basis, and hearing these thoughts stream in and out of our head can leave us feeling pretty insecure and uncertain with ourselves.

Take a second take a deep breath and imagine the difference it would make if for every criticism you had instead you had a compliment for yourself? This is something you can try: every time you catch yourself saying something negative or critiquing yourself you have to say two positive or uplifting things about yourself in that situation. Every time you judge yourself you have to do something nice for yourself in respect to loving the area that you judged.

Give Yourself Credit

When we accomplish our goals we often times just expect that goal accomplished in that manner. If someone tells us good job we often quickly jump to “it was nothing” or “oh you really thought so? Because I thought…” or that is how I am supposed to be or perform or you are just trying to be nice, it wasn’t good at all. These are just a few of the many conclusions that we jump to when we accomplish any task.

Take a deep breath and imagine how different things would be if you were able to give yourself or accept a compliment. Try walking through the day and allowing yourself to be humbly proud of the accomplishments you have made. Allow others to say good job and simply say “thank you” instead of the thoughts that down play or degrade your work or appearance in anyway. When you are able to appreciate who you are and the work that you do, you will find yourself being much more confident in your abilities and personal life.

Be Compassionate with Yourself

When we make a mistake we are often so quick to jump to all of the things we should have done and all of the things we aren’t. We find it so easy to come down on ourselves for mistakes and missed opportunities, and often think that our actions are who we are.

Yet, often we are quick to offer affirmations, grace, and a caring gesture to help others who make mistakes. We are supportive and caring and we don’t judge or criticize them. We show them compassion. Why can’t we do the same for ourselves? This is one of the hardest things for people to grasp, simply because we do expect so much from ourselves. We want to be perfect, but we should also want compassion for ourselves because our view changes a lot when we give ourselves a little grace to move forward.

There is a big difference between “I messed that up” versus “I am a mess up”. This is many times where we go wrong in giving ourselves compassion. We don’t see how we could be given grace because we internalize our mistake. We then make the mistake part of our identity instead of looking at it as an action. It is much easier to look at an action and give compassion to the person who made a mistake than it is to give compassion to a person who is the mistake. Taking a second to re-frame what has happened as an action rather than as an identity is key to being able to give ourselves to compassion and grace we need when we fall flat on our face.

If you can walk through and move those criticisms to compliments or to grace, we can build confidence. It is so easy to beat ourselves up over our wants and our dreams, but the reality of it is if we beat ourselves down we can’t build ourselves up in order to achieve those wants and those dreams. We must love ourselves and build ourselves up in order to gain confidence a move toward a more well-rounded sense of self.

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
– Louise L. Hay

There are so many reasons why we are built on criticisms and negative thought patterns, and they could have been self-started or they could have been patterns we picked up from a young age. Exploring these patterns can help us break these cycles that are running our lives and it enables us to create a new story and a new journey in a new light. Navigating through these experiences or the “why” of who we are can be very difficult and can bring up some very hard thoughts and emotions to deal with alone. You do not have to do it alone, reach out to me and allow me to walk with you through this journey. Navigating through the good and the bad, and understanding yourself at a deeper more beautiful level. You can be the confident and wonderful person you know you have to ability to be, sometimes it just takes a little extra work.

Comparison Consumes Our Confidence

By Counseling No Comments

Comparison consumes our confidence. This is the first segment of how we let the shadows of this world overtake our sunshine (confidence).
We are all guilty of playing the comparison game. In one way or another we have compared ourselves, our jobs, or our life to other peoples’. It doesn’t seem like this would have a huge impact on us, but the truth of the matter is it does. When we compare, we limit our thinking, our confidence, our authenticity, among other virtues in our life. When we allow ourselves to be swept over with the emotion of what we wish we had or what we should be.

The way the world is set up has made life a comparison game, always wanting more. There are ads and movies and systems that are in place that allow us to fall in the trap of comparison and wanting. Some of the most common avenues that we compare ourselves are:

  • social media
  • television
  • magazines
  • our friends
  • family members
  • neighbors

There are many different areas that are right at our fingertips that keep us wanting more. Comparison will be around for the rest of our lives, and it will be something we combat nearly every day. The goal is to help you become aware of how comparisons break you down, and to develop the skills to combat the comparisons that we are faced with.


Social Media

Everything in life is gravitating toward social media, but the truth of the matter is that even though there are some great things about social media there are so very damaging influences produced by social
media. Some research states that people spend almost one-third of their time awake on their phones. This gives us tons of time to compare and envy over things that we want or don’t have. Social media is not always accurate, and sometimes it can put up a very false idea of what is realistic and what is true in peoples’ lives.

The first step is: start by becoming aware of how many times you get on social media, the amount of time you spend, and how you feel after. Change the way social media affects you, start following positive, helpful, and hopeful people to fill your screen with positivity, and begin weeding out the negativity that comes across your page.

Next challenge is: get off and get connected. Start building meaningful relationships that give you light into what true life really looks like. Not the surface level “everything is perfect in my world” kind ofrelationships, but the relationship you can sit down and say “you know what life is hard right now and here is why…” and you are met with compassion and care. Connection allows us to foster meaningful purpose in life and true in-person connection gives us a view of reality that social media cannot. This will help you feel more real, more authentic, and less likely to compare yourself to what is happening on your social media.

“Connection is why we are here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

-Brene Brown.


Our “Shoulds” and Materialist Thinking

Our “shoulds” are another huge source or stress for comparisons. Our shoulds portray a way that we need to see ourselves, and it puts a large amount of pressure on us to be inauthentic. When we should ourselves it puts us in a place we are not:

  • “I should be skinnier”
  • “I should be married by now”
  • “I should be further along in my career”
  • “I should have it all together by now”

These among other things can trap us, and we need to learn to turn our shoulds into dreams and aspirations. Change the talk from:

  • “I should be skinnier” to “it is important for me to be healthier”
  • “I should be married” to “it is important for me to find the right person to marry”

It takes the pressure off and it puts things into perspective as to why you are where you are and why your situation aligns with you are at your core.

We need to stop looking at all the things around us that others have or that others are doing and stop
putting pressure on ourselves to be like them. Be YOU. You don’t have to be anything else other than what you want to be. Start turning that pressure of being like someone into the desire to be more of who you are.

Start building awareness around each time that you compare what others have around you. Start asking yourself: “Is what I am chasing after represent who I am or does it represent something I feel pressured to be like?” Start asking yourself that question and you will start to understand yourself a little better and relieve some of the pressure you have put on yourself. When you stop living up to other peoples’ standards and start creating and living by your own, your confidence in who you are and what you are doing will increase as well.


We all fall victim to the comparison trap. This is not an issue that dissipates after a little work. The comparison game is something that is a life long battle. The best way to combat this battle is to build that inner self who is comfortable, certain, and courageous. This issue takes a special type of navigation and validation. If you are looking to start this journey of building your confidence and establishing a more solid framework of who you are contact me. I would be happy to navigate through this mucky waters with you as you begin the journey to a more confident you. Remember that sunshine is what casts out the darkness. We are the ones that have control of our own sunshine, and sometimes finding access to our sunshine is a bit more difficult than other times.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Get In Touch

Confidence: The Sunshine and Shadows

By Counseling 2 Comments

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We can look at many different things in this life as sunshine and shadows, but today I want to look at confidence. Confidence is our sunshine, and when we feel confident in our world, we feel like we can conquer and combat anything thrown our way. Sunshine is amazing and I think we can almost all agree that we all want to live in the sunshine, but when there is sunshine we can also find shadows. Shadows can be cast from various things in our life and they steal our sunshine of confidence. We all know there are outside factors that can get in the way of our sunshine, but there are inner factors to be aware of as well.

We all desire to be confident. We want to feel secure and strong in who we are, and we want to be able to be our true authentic self and feel confident in our identity. It seems like there are so many things that get in the way of our ability to portray ourselves as confident. Throughout the month of March I will be going into depth about the following points (in no particular order) and how they can become a hindrance of self-confidence:

  • Comparing
    • Social Media
    • Place in Life
    • Our Worth in Others
  • Authenticity
    • Knowing Yourself
    • Accepting Yourself
    • Knowing Your Worth
  • Perfectionism
    • Conquer the World
    • Pressure on Yourself
    • “Go Big or Go Home”
  • Getting in Our Own Way
    • Being Hard on Yourself
    • Compassion
    • Give Yourself Credit
  • Appearance
    • Inner and Outer Beauty
    • Exercise
    • Choices We Make
  • Self-Respect
    • Boundaries
    • Gratefulness
    • Our History

Each of these areas are ways that we sometimes (unknowingly) break down our self-confidence. These are the shadows in our life that once we introduce a little light to will no longer be strongly cast shadows, they can transform into sunshine. As you walk through these next few weeks discovering areas in which you find you are more confident and other areas where you find that you could use some development, please feel free to reach out and ask for tips or any other questions that you may have.

The most important thing to remember in confidence is we are the ones that allow confidence to enter and leave our lives. Circumstances or people may try to break us down and when we allow them to have that power to control our lives we lose a small part of who we are. If we do not allow them to have an impact on our lives, then we gain that power back in our lives. We are able to identify within ourselves the inner strength and the inner beauty that we have. Of course, people’s words and actions hurt, and they have an impact on us but the weight that they hold is determined by us.

There are many different responses that come when someone degrades or breaks us down. The emotions we experience can be: hurt, anger, sadness, rage, betrayal, abandonment, and helpless. It is normal and important to feel these emotions that come with the hindrance of our confidence. Feeling these emotions and working through them is key to being steady in our confidence as we move forward. Learning confidence is a process that takes time and work. Confidence doesn’t come naturally to people, and is typically a learned virtue that people. If you are looking to navigate through building self-confidence contact me. I would be happy to work with you to find and master the idea of what confidence looks like and feels like in your life.
The sunshine of confidence is always there at your fingertips, sometimes mastering confidence is really hard. The shadows in this life can cause us to only see darkness and fear, but that is not how it has to be. Our previous learned habits and attachments do not have to define who we are now. We have the power at our fingertips and it is finding a way to harness that power into our lives and become confident people in our own unique way. We can leave those shadows behind us and harness the sunshine that we deserve in our life.
Get In Touch


Close Menu