About David Joel Miller

David Miller is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Counselor, faculty member at a local college, certified trainer and writer.

Your thoughts are holding you back.

By David Joel Miller.

Negative self-statements.

Negative thoughts

Negative thoughts.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Saying negative things about yourself creates negative results.

People who routinely practice positive affirmations begin to feel better about themselves.

Running yourself down in your own head will destroy self-esteem and hold you back from being the person you could become.

How many of these negative self-statements have you been telling yourself?

I’m stupid.

A natural impulse when you make a mistake is to run yourself down with a categorical statement such as “I am stupid.” Even the smartest people make mistakes. Avoid such global condemnations. One error does not make you stupid. There is no evidence that calling yourself names is effective in improving your performance. In fact, calling yourself stupid is one way of avoiding trying again. Acknowledge your mistakes and consider them improvement opportunities. Tell yourself to work and study harder so that you don’t make the same mistakes over and over.

I’m too young or too old.

One way of avoiding facing challenges is to tell yourself that you have some inherent flaw which prevents you from accomplishing your goal. If you are alive, you’re not too old to live. You’re never too young to start working on yourself. Many people go back to school and retrain for a new career. Plenty of successful business people have started new ventures at a time when they were past the normal retirement age. Younger people may have an advantage at some things, but not others. The goal of life ought to be becoming the best you can be, not requiring yourself to be better than everyone else.

I have bad luck.

Luck changes by the day. Most “luck” is the result of hard work and persistence. When you use bad luck as an excuse to avoid trying, you create your own bad luck. The people with the best luck are the people who tried the most.

People don’t like me.

The belief that control of your life is out your hands and that your happiness depends on others takes you nowhere. What other people think of you should not determine your self-worth. Most of the time the people you think don’t like you are too busy with their own lives to pay you any attention. If there are people in your life who don’t like you, work on repairing those relationships or decide that those people don’t matter.

It’s too hard.

Worthwhile things are often hard. If you want to build up muscles, you must exercise. To accomplish things in your life, you need to take on challenges. If you go through life avoiding the hard things you will cheat yourself out of many accomplishments.

I will look foolish.

Where in the life manual does it say, you should never look foolish? What’s so bad about looking foolish? The persons whose opinion should most matter is yours. The only people who have never looked foolish are those who have done nothing with their lives, which sounds like a foolish way to live.

No one loves me.

Work on fixing this problem. Start by loving yourself. Re-examine your relationships. Get rid of negative, toxic people in your life where possible. Start small and work your way up. Getting a pet, a dog, or a cat can be a good first step in learning to love and accept being loved. Don’t expect too much from love. Love is not about perfection but about accepting the imperfections.

I’m too fat, skinny, tall, short, stupid, smart.

Believing that personal characteristics can prevent you from a successful life is just one more way of making excuses. Work on improving yourself where possible and the things you can’t change, learn to accept them. Rather than using characteristics as excuses for avoiding things, ask yourself what things you could be successful at and pursue those wholeheartedly.

I’ve been hurt too much.

Part of life is getting hurt. Don’t give up your future by looking back over your shoulder at the past. Put some effort into healing from the hurt. Learn from your life experiences; they have made you who you are. If you look back on your life, the you of today is probably quite different from the you of past years. Don’t let who you are or what you been through prevents you from becoming the who you should be.

I won’t be able to.

This statement is one of the worst of self-fulfilling prophecies. If you tell yourself you can’t, what you’re saying is, I don’t want to. Tell yourself you can, and you will accomplish a great many things that you and others might have thought impossible. You will never know what might’ve been possible if you talk yourself out of trying.

Stop preventing the life you should have by using negative self-statements.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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Faithful.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Faithful dog

Faithful.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Faithful.

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them your strength lies.”

― Mother Teresa

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“Faith consists in believing what reason cannot.”

― Voltaire, The Works: Voltaire

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

What is an E.A.P.?

By David Joel Miller.

E. A. P. stands for employee assistance program.

Man questioning

E.A.P. Sometimes you need a little help.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Many companies have a series of services available to their employees to help with outside of work issues. These out of work problems can affect an employee’s performance at work. Employees with legal problems, tax problems, or emotional and relational problems may have difficulty functioning effectively at work.

Companies may offer their employees the opportunity to consult with a professional about personal issues. The option to use an E.A.P. is often part of the employee’s benefits package. There are outside companies who contract with employers to provide E.A.P. services. The E.A.P. provider then contracts with lawyers, accountants, and counselors and therapists. Some medical insurance companies also offer E.A.P. programs.

E.A.P.’s and therapy.

One important E.A.P. service is counseling or therapy. Plans vary widely in how much counseling and what kinds of counseling are covered. These plans are not meant to replace medical insurance for long-term and serious mental illnesses. What the E.A.P plan does cover is a small number of sessions with a counselor or therapist to help people deal with the problems of life.

How E.A.P. counseling works.

An employee at a company with an E.A.P. plan decides they have a problem they need to talk about, but they may not want to talk to their supervisor about this issue. They call their companies E.A.P. provider. This company has been contracted in advance to provide services for all the companies employees. The E.A.P. company may provide the service themselves, but more commonly when it comes to emotional issues, they will refer that employee to a counselor who can provide the needed service.

Generally, the E.A.P. Company authorizes a set number of sessions of counseling. E.A.P. counseling is meant to be brief in nature. Depending on the employer’s plan, three, six, or even 12 free sessions of counseling are provided. The details of what the client talks about are not reported to the company they work for. Once the counselor sees the client, they bill the E.A.P. company for the session.

What kind of problems does E.A.P. counseling cover?

Relationship issues, with either partners, children, or parents are frequent topics of E.A.P. counseling. Other common E.A.P. counseling topics include drinking and substance use problems, educational issues, moves, deaths in the family and other grief and loss challenges.

What problems are generally not included in E.A.P. counseling?

E.A.P. counseling is designed to be brief and covers a limited number of sessions. It is sometimes described as “non-medical counseling.” Most plans exclude serious and persistent mental illness. If the client receives a mental health diagnosis, they will be referred to a therapist on the client’s medical insurance panel.

Does brief E.A.P. counseling work?

Counselors who work with E.A.P.’s do a lot of brief counseling interventions. These can be highly effective in helping people through an immediate crisis. In my private practice, I do a lot of brief E.A.P. type work. I find it very rewarding to be able to help people reduce their problems and improve the quality of their life.

If you work somewhere that has an E.A.P. plan and you have been struggling with an emotional challenge, consider using your E.A.P. to help you through the struggles you are facing.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Excited.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Exciting adventure.

Excited.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Excited.

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt, The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt

“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting”

― Andy Warhol

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Afraid of compliments?

By David Joel Miller.

Reasons you can’t accept a compliment.

Compliments.

Compliments.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

If you find it difficult to accept a compliment, you need to ask yourself, is it humility or low self-esteem? People with adequate self-esteem can accept compliments when they are offered. If you’re finding it difficult to accept compliments, the thoughts and beliefs below may be the cause of your inability to accept compliments.

People with adequate self-esteem can accept compliments when they are offered. If you’re finding it difficult to accept compliments, the thoughts and beliefs below may be the cause of your inability to accept compliments. If you’re finding it difficult to accept compliments, the thoughts and beliefs below may be the cause of your inability to accept compliments.

How many of these compliment interfering thoughts are you holding onto?

You are used to people giving insincere compliments.

If you grew up in a home where you never got complimented for what you did, and the compliments you did get were backhanded insults, you’ve been conditioned to not believe compliments when you receive them. Abusive relationships may have undermined your confidence. When there’s a scarcity of water, people get poisoned by drinking from contaminated wells. If the compliments you received in the past were insincere, you’ve come to avoid even the truthful compliments.

You think you are a fraud.

If you view your successes as accidents, undeserved achievements, you may have an underlying belief that you are a fraud. Even highly successful and creative people are prone to the belief that their past accomplishments have been accidents and that they, in fact, have no ability. Your self-doubts, allowed to grow in magnitude, can leave you doubting your abilities.

You think they want something.

Most people have experienced encounters with flatterers. These people spread insincere compliments around to manipulate others. There’s a part of us that’s always wondering what the person who complimented us wants. When you receive a compliment, think carefully about the person who is giving you that compliment. Are they trustworthy or are they the kind of person who might be seeking to take advantage of you? Genuine people give compliments as a way of acknowledging achievements. If there are people in your life whose compliments seem insincere, you need to re-examine your relationships with them. Surround yourself with people you can trust, and you should have no difficulty in accepting their compliments.

Do you think accepting compliments makes you egotistical?

The belief that too many compliments make someone egotistical is a common misconception. Some parents try to raise their children by just expecting them to always be perfect. The result of never being praised for good behavior, but being constantly reprimanded for errors is a condition called “learned helplessness.”

Think of compliments in the same manner you think of your paycheck. If you work hard, you expect to get paid. Most people expect that over time hard work will result in pay raises. If your boss never pays you, most people won’t stay on the job long. If the things you do for others are not appreciated, you may find it hard to keep doing for them. The compliments that result in egotism are the ones that are handed out even when the person has not accomplished anything.

You don’t feel good about yourself.

Low self-esteem is both a symptom of and a major cause of inability to accept compliments. Work on accepting yourself just as you are. Getting to know both the good and the bad of yourself. Get comfortable with acknowledging to yourself when you’ve done something worthwhile. People who have an accurate self-view can feel good about their accomplishments, compliment themselves, without the need for excessive praise.

You are uncomfortable with appreciation.

Work on appreciating yourself, and others around you. Strive to believe that you are a worthwhile person just like everyone else. When you are in healthy relationships with others, you will both appreciate them, and they will appreciate you. Compliments are one way of expressing your appreciation for both what others do and for their presence in your life.

Are you ready to change your relationship with compliments?

Mentally healthy people get comfortable with both giving and accepting compliments. They are neither desperately hungry for compliments nor do they unnecessarily reject them. When someone offers you a compliment, consider it a gift. Rejecting the compliment, diminishing it by saying it was no big thing, is like rejecting the person who offered you the compliment

Accept the gift of a compliment just as you would some other small token. If you don’t trust the person or their motives, be careful about accepting their compliments. The best thing you can do when offered a compliment is simply to accept it with a gracious thank you.

What will you do to get more comfortable with giving and receiving compliments?

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Envy.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Envy

Envy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Envy.

“Envy is ignorance,

Imitation is Suicide.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

“Unconsciously we all have a standard by which we measure other men, and if we examine closely we find that this standard is a very simple one, and is this: we admire them, we envy them, for great qualities we ourselves lack.

― Mark Twain

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Why people lie.

By David Joel Miller.

Why do so many people lie so much of the time?

Truth or lie

Why they lie.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

We talk a lot about the importance of honesty. What it comes right down to it there’s a lot more lying than telling the truth going on. When I see couples, they frequently accuse each other of lying, or they both talk about how important honesty is to them. Commonly there are heated discussions about what the truth is.

Why is it so hard to find the truth? Why can’t people stop lying? The phantom nature of truth is behind a whole lot relationship conflicts and parenting issues. Here are some of the reasons why people can’t agree on what the truth is and who is lying.

They believe what they’re telling you even though it’s untrue.

Have you ever met someone who goes on vehemently insisting that something is true when others are equally certain that it’s not true? One common reason for this inability to agree on truth versus lie is that people insist on the truth of the things they believe to be right, up until they discover they were wrong.

I find it hard to call it lying when someone tells me something and really does believe it. I think we all need to recognize that just because someone tells us something does not mean it’s true. This does not mean there lying; it just means they are mistaken in what they believe. You need to make your own evaluation of things. Especially don’t rely on others to be correct when the consequences to you of their being mistaken could be serious.

Impression management, they want you to think well of them.

Most people want to be liked. They will tell you the truth about things that make them look good while leaving out the parts that make them look bad. You ask your spouse if they paid the water bill and they say yes. What they don’t say is they forgot to mail the check, and the bill got paid two weeks late. It’s common to bend the truth not by saying things that are outright lies, but by leaving out part of the story. Kids will avoid telling you when they got a bad grade on a test.

They want to spare your feelings.

Too much honesty can hurt people’s feelings. When we know that the truth might be painful, we tend to leave parts out or sugar coat what we say. The woman asked you, does this dress make me look fat, rigorous honesty is not the best policy. Friends are often reluctant to deliver bad news. If you can’t handle the truth, people are likely to keep it from you.

To avoid conflict, you won’t like the truth.

You ask your partner if they talked to their ex, today. They tell you no because they know you would be extremely angry if you found out they were having contact with that ex. They work at the same company with that ex, and they know they will see them every day. If when they tell you the truth, you punishment them, yell or give them the silent treatment, they stop telling you the truth.

Because it works.

Lying gets them what they want, and out of doing things they don’t want to do. Little kids learn early on to say what they think you want to hear. You ask if they did their homework and they say yes. The result is they get to watch TV or play video games instead of having to do homework. Lying can do two things, get you something you want, or get you out of having to do something you don’t want to do.

To avoid punishment.

The part they told you was true, they just left some things out. You asked the kids did they do their homework. You told them no TV till after the home was done. They tell you yes, I read three chapters of history. They leave out the part about not having done their math or English homework because right now there is a show on TV, they want to watch.

When you ask someone if they did something they were not supposed to do, the most common reaction is to deny they did it.

You are using a different standard.

Ask most kids if they cleaned up their room and they will say yes. To them cleaning up the room means putting one or two things in the closet, probably they tossed their dirty clothes in there. Out of sight out of mind. To you cleaning up the room means a lot more than hiding the dirty clothes.

Those are some of the reasons people lie. Ask yourself if you have ever been less fully truthful. Why did you do it? Was it one of these reasons? Can you think of other reasons you may have lied?

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books