How to cure low self-esteem – 19 ways to higher self esteem

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Believe in you.

Self-Esteem.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Ways to boost your self-esteem.

Don’t feel good about yourself? Here are some ways to solve the low self-esteem problem.

1. Stop putting yourself down – negative self-talk causes low self-esteem

If you tell yourself you can’t then you won’t. Telling yourself negative things will keep you stuck. Putting yourself down will not protect you from failure it will protect you from success.

Continued self-criticism is the surest way to lower your self-esteem. Don’t do that to you and don’t put up with others doing it either. Don’t repeat the negative things you have been told to yourself.

2. Do something.

High self-esteem is based on what you accomplish. The more you try, the more you learn how to do things. The more you do the more you will accomplish and the more you have to make you feel good about your life. Make sure you tally up the successes, not just the errors.

3. Stop rating yourself.

Accept yourself as you are. The process of rating yourself points out where you are less than perfect. No one is perfect. There is always room for growth and improvement.

Remember that half-empty glass. Concentrate on doing, not measuring, and you will find that you will have less need of boosts to your self-esteem.

4. Stop discounting the positive.

Learn to give yourself credit for the things you do well. Practice accepting praise and compliments from others. If you do not count your successes then the tally will be only failure.

5. Write out a gratitude list.

Knowing the things that make your life good, paying attention to those things can help you to feel better about yourself.

6. Don’t listen to the haters.

There are plenty of haters in the world who need to pull you down to feel good about themselves. There are those evil trolls under every bridge. Do not listen to them. Do not believe them. Do not waste time on them.

Arguing with haters brings you nothing but pain. Sinking to their level can only destroy your self-confidence.

7. What would your best friend say about you?

Don’t dismiss the things your real friends and loving family might say about you. They know your good and your bad and they like you anyway. What are the good things they see in you? Not sure? Ask them what they see as your skills and abilities. You may be surprised to find how much others think of you while you have been thinking you are coming up short.

Don’t have family or friends that would see the good in you? Work on developing a positive support system.

8. Watch who you are comparing yourself to – looking over your shoulder.

Focus on what you are doing. Constantly comparing yourself to others will cause you to become discouraged. No one wins all the time. Do not compare your everyday life to someone else’s lifetime achievement.

9. Start over each day – past successes and failures do not count today.

Stop beating yourself up for the mistake of yesterday. Each day you start out fresh. Do your best to make today better than the day before.

10. Pick friends that support you.

Surround yourself with people who like you the way you are and will support you. Being surrounded by people who like you is a great way to boost your confidence.

11. Look for the evidence – are you really stupid?

Do not discount all the evidence that you are a worthwhile person. If you only count up the negatives you miss all the evidence that you are a person of value. Not enough evidence that you are accomplishing things? Do more, not less, and you are likely to do some worthwhile things.

12. Avoid emotional reasoning.

If you are sad that does not mean things are going poorly. Just because you feel down right now does not make you a failure. We can all have times when we are discouraged. Being discouraged means you need to take another look at what you are doing. It does not mean that you are not a worthwhile person.

13. Compliment others.

Get in the habit of noticing the good in others. Tell them what you like about them. Cultivate a positive good-seeing vision and you will be more able to see the good in yourself.

14. Accept compliments.

Do not dismiss compliments. You know when people are sincere and when they are buttering you up. Being able to accept compliments and say thank you helps you to feel good about yourself. Stop chasing the positive away from your door.

15. Tell yourself you can – positive affirmations.

Start out each day by saying good things, positive affirmations, and your brain will work on making them come true.

Restart your day at any time by telling yourself that this is a good day. You are a worthwhile person and you do not need to do or say anything to be acceptable.

16. Have a successes resume.

It is easy to remember failures and harder to remember successes. Make up a list of the things you do well. Write them down. Review that list periodically and add to it. You will be surprised how many things should be on that list that you may forget otherwise.

17. Do things.

The more you do the better you will feel about yourself. Do things for the sake of doing not for the success points. The more you do the better you will feel.

18. Play your own game, not the old family role.

Families have roles. You may have been handed the “stupid” hat or the “black sheep” hat when you were born. You can change that role. Stop living down to the things others tell you and the names you may have been called. Stop saying you are stupid or bad and try on a new role. You just might like the “OK person” role.

19. Stop keeping score all the time.

Life only happens for so long and then it is over. A hundred years from now no one will remember your mistakes. Life is about having the experience, not the score. Enjoy the trip.

Really your worth as a person does not depend on your algebra test score or your golf score.

There are my suggestions – 19 ways to cure low self-esteem. Most involving putting away the tape measure and accepting yourself the way you are. Do you have any other suggestions? What has helped you to feel good about yourself and the things you do?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Surviving sadness – avoiding depression

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Sad child

Sad.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How do you cope with sadness when your life goes on?

Sadness is a normal part of life. You feel sad sometimes and then the sadness passes and you move on. Sometimes we feel sadness and we get stuck there. The longer you stay stuck the more likely you are to slip down into the quicksand of depression.

So what should you do when that sadness feeling comes lurking around?

1. Let yourself feel what you feel.

It is OK to feel what you feel. Some things are sad. Sometimes we feel sad just because we do. We hear of someone else’s misfortune and it makes us sad. We see something and we feel this feeling. This is called empathy, the ability to understand and experience what others feel. Put yourself in another’s shoes and you will understand some part of their sadness.

Do not try to stop the feeling the second it comes on. It is OK to experience it. Just do not stay there and wallow in the feeling. Understand that this feeling like all other feelings can pass if you permit it.

2. Share with someone else.

In times of trouble, we need to share our sadness with others. We talk about our pain and grief with friends or family. If you have religious faith or a spiritual tradition you will want to seek out those with like beliefs.

When there is no one that you feel comfortable turning to, when there is no one there or when you do not feel comfortable putting your sadness on those close to you there are professionals that can help. Seek them out.

3. Share with yourself – write it out.

Sadness that continues to rattle around in the head magnifies itself. A first step in getting loose from the sadness is to get it out.

Some people find that journaling, writing about their sadness or depression, helps discharge it. Others use drawing or dance to express these sentiments.

4. Turn sadness into motivation.

A sad event in your life can be the tipping point that turns your life around. Lose someone to a drug overdose and you may be motivated to become a counselor.

How might your sadness, pain, and suffering become tools to help you find your purpose in life?

5. Treat yourself to things you like.

Learn those things that make you happy and make it a point to allow yourself those items on the list that are positive.

6. Budget extra sleep time

Not getting enough rest, being over tired, is a way to let sadness and depression overcome you. Get plenty of rest. Make bedtime a regularly scheduled event.

One type of depression (atypical features) results in people who start to stay in bed all the time. They eat more than normal, like a bear ready for winter and then sleep day and night. If you find that you are tired all the time and just do not have the energy to get out of bed and do things, try setting a time for bed and one for getting up. If that still is a problem consider an evaluation by a professional for possible depression.

7. Eat regular meals.

Failure to eat on time, lack of energy can result in sad, tired feelings also. This makes it hard to get back into life after a life event that creates sadness. Take care of yourself and that especially means eating in a healthy way if you want to reduce the impact of sadness on your life and mental health.

8. Invest in laughter.

Laughing can be a powerful antidote for sadness. Watch a sitcom, visit a comedy club, tell jokes, and your sadness fades. Not able to laugh when the rest of the crowd does? That is a sign that your feeling has moved beyond sadness to major depression. Laughter is a great medicine, take some daily if possible,

9. Hang out with positive people.

You become like the people you spend time with. You friends are your future. Hang with the winners if you want to win. Hanging out with downers will pull you down.

10. Take frequent short breaks.

When you are down and sad, things can be overwhelming. Do what you can. Do not give up. Do a little and then take a break. Repeat as needed. Be kind to yourself when times are tough.

11. Exercise.

A little movement can brighten your mood. Walk around the block if that is all you are up to. Exercise is a good prescription for depression and a little can be a preventative when it comes to the progression from sadness to depression.

Try to include some exercise in your regular routine to improve both psychical health and mental health.

12. Change the scenery.

Get out of the house. Take your lunch break away from the office. Do something new on your time off. A change of scenery can create a new perspective on life and on your troubles.

13. Learn to say no.

When sad we tend to give in and go along. This can create feelings of resentment. Learn to set boundaries. Do not let yourself be taken advantage of. Saying no to requests that are beyond your current abilities can reduce your stress and keep your sadness from drowning you.

14. Avoid negative people.

Misery may love company, but it loves miserable company. If you want to get out of the sadness trap seek out positive people. Limit your exposure to naysayers and Negative Nellie’s.

15. Plan for time to yourself.

When you are down, too much commotion and too many people can be overwhelming. Include in your schedule quiet time for yourself.

16. Reconnect with supportive people.

Make sure those people you do contact are supportive. Call an old friend. Attend a self-help meeting even if you do not feel like it. Being around supportive people is good for your recovery and for your future mental health.

What other positive coping skills have you discovered that keeps your sadness from becoming a serious depressive episode?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Avoiding downsizing

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Dream job sign

Dream job.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Ways to make you the last to go when the company downsizes.

Downsizing and layoffs happen. Sometimes these are temporary slowdowns. Other times being downsized can mean a period of long-term unemployment.

Companies cut back in times of business slowdowns, recessions, and depressions. They also downsize to try to temporarily boost profits or because the company is becoming less competitive.

If you are a young worker in a non-competitive company or a dying industry, potential downsizing may be the thing you need to push you to learn new skills and move on to a job with better prospects.

If you have a lot of training and education invested, student loans to pay, or if you are close to retirement age,  you may want to hold onto that job as long as possible and try to weather the downsizing storm.

One way to stay on board when the others are being tossed overboard is to make yourself irreplaceable at work. Here are some suggestions on ways to make yourself the one the company chooses to keep to the very end.

1. Be the only one who knows how to do things – learn all you can.

If you are the only one who can perform a certain operation or the only one that knows the computer system you will be far less likely to be let go.

Take trainings when offered. Do not avoid things because “that’s not part of my job.” Learn new and extra skills. Become the go-to person at your work site. As long as they keep the doors open they will need you.

2. Be the best at what you do.

The slower, less productive people are at the top of the list to go. Sure seniority and being the bosses cousin can count for something’s but when they have to make the who to let go decisions the unproductive or slow worker is the one they try to ease out first. Do not be that low skilled, low productivity person.

3. Get along with everyone – make small talk.

Hard to get along with people disappear in downsizing even when they are productive. Do not think that work skills alone will keep you on the job. Happy people who like the others they work with are more productive. If your presence is bad for morale they are looking to end that problem and you along with it.

Casual, small talk can help you to get along with others. This should not be taken as an excuse to spend vast amounts of time around the water cooler but an occasional “Hi” and “how are you” will keep others wanting you around.

4. Make your boss look good.

Make your boss or supervisor look good and you look good. Help not hinder them in meeting their productivity goals. Do not waste time trying to be right by making your boss wrong. The bosses and supervisors turn over more slowly than the line workers. If your department looks good they cut fewer positions.

5. Act like you want to be there.

If you act like you wish you were working somewhere else the people above you may help make this come true. No one wants to be around someone who hates their job. Even other employees who may wish things were better still have to work there and you adding to their misery will not make you popular.

6. Be open to new things.

Everything changes. Companies adopt new technology, enter new markets and over time embrace new ideas. Companies that do not change lose market share and die. Every change is not successful. Know that sometimes your workplace will try new things and then revert back to the old way of doing things.

Being open to change will keep you on the team. Insisting that the new idea will not work and being unwilling to try it, will get you removed from the team even if it later turns out you were right. Being right is not much consolation for being unemployed. Be a team player and give the new plan a try.

7. Believe in what you’re doing.

If you do not think the thing you are doing or the place you work has value to society find another place to work. Why waste your life working at something that is a waste.

People who are enthusiastic about the work they do are better workers. Believing that your life work has meaning makes you happier and happy workers get more done.

If you are not sure, then try to think of all the ways what you are doing is of value. Your work may not have cosmic spiritual meaning, but what you do or make may contribute to meeting someone’s desire or needs and you are helping them be happy while the job keeps you in income to meet your needs.

8. Follow the rules.

Unless the rules are unsafe or downright immoral, the more you follow the company’s rules the more they will want you on the team. You may not see the reason for the rule but staying in step with the company helps keep the team together.

9. Be productive.

The more you get done the more the company needs and wants you.

You may do all these things and the workplace still lets you go. They may not see the good in what you do, they may need to cut people for the company to survive economically. You can do everything right and still bad things can happen. Buy the more you do to make yourself someone the company wants and needs to keep the better the chances you will be the one kept on when that great downsizing happens.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

16 Ways to make this a great day

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Good day

Today is going be a good day.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Try these 16 steps to create a great day.

1. Let go of things before you sleep.

Great Day Flowers

Great Day Flowers
Photo courtesy of Flickr (johnbanchory)

Your brain tends to spend all night working on the things you give it to think about. Try to clear the memory of negativity before you sleep. Pray, meditate, read something positive and think about how you will make tomorrow a great day.

Spending the night with your mind working on happy thoughts will set up the next day in the right direction.

2. Lay things out the night before.

Decide what you will wear. Pick out the clothes. If something is dirty or not where it should be the time to solve this problem is the night before not when you are rushing off to work. Anticipate morning problems and solve them the night before.

Lay things you will need for work out. This prevents forgetting something and starting the day with problems. Plan your lunch menu if possible. Taking a small lunch packed the night before can save you a lot of money over eating out.

Make sure to plan this ahead of time or you may discover you do not have time to make things you would like. Include a few treats that you will look forward to.

3. Get to bed on time – allow time for rest.

Staying up late cuts your sleep short. Being tired first thing each day makes the whole rest of the day harder.

4. Do not start your day off rushed.

Allow time for everything and do not stress yourself out by having to rush. Most people allow less time for travel than it will take. The result is that you will become angry and stressed before you arrive at your workplace.

5. Have a morning routine.

Having a morning routine help you start the day in the zone. Familiar is comforting. There is time enough for variety and excitement later in the day. Keep your morning tranquil.

6. Eat something good for you.

Healthy does not have to taste badly. Spend some time planning healthy and enjoyable things to eat. Make grocery shopping and meal preparation an adventure, not a burdensome chore.

7. Make your commute relaxing.

Look for the least stressful or most enjoyable route when possible. Have things in your car that make the trip more enjoyable. A cushion for the back, a holder for your drink all add to the flow of the day.

Start on time or a few minutes early and avoid the “crazy’s” by allowing all the room and time you need to keep the commute relaxing.

Some places have horrific commutes these days. You can make your trip an ordeal by fire and fumes or a relaxing ride in your cocoon before the stress of the day. The difference is primarily in your preparation and your attitude.

8. Listen to your music.

Whatever your music is, try to have some available for the commute. The news is fine, traffic and weather are fine, but a steady diet of disasters makes you stressed. Try to relax and pamper yourself throughout the day whenever possible.

9. Take time to call or email a friend.

Work an email or a call to a friend into your schedule at least once a day. Put this personal contact on the calendar if only as a mental note to self. Email before work or before bed to have something to look forward to. Call and talk in person when possible.

Staying in touch with positive, supportive, people reduces stress and frames the rest of your day with a happy light. Don’t try this while driving or during other activities that require sustained attention. Multitasking is a myth.

10. Smile early and often.

Smile and others will smile back. A smile makes others less stressed and they will reciprocate. Even if you do not really “feel it” smile all you can. Think to yourself that a smile will keep your competitors wondering what you are up to.

11. Watch a bird.

Look for the things going on in the world all around you. In the poorest places, you will see the birds working on their nests, mating and having babies. Watch them soar and your spirit can climb with them. We are all always connected to the rest of the creatures surrounding us.

12. Enjoy a flower.

There are small snips of beauty everywhere. The weed in the vacant lot still puts out an occasional flower. Look for the beauty and take the time to let those moments of joy sink into your brain. You will need those happy thoughts when the day becomes challenging. Save up the positive and let it soak in.

13. Read a good book or story. Watch a funny video.

Books can transport you to alternate realities. They can expand your imagination and creativity as your mind fills in the details that you can’t see.

A good video can inspire or amuse you. There are plenty of negative stories out there. Look for the tales that enlarge your world and expand your happiness.

 14. Pray, meditate or follow a religious practice.

People with a religious or spiritual faith, who consistently practice that faith, have happier, less stressful lives.

15. Say an affirmation.

Positive self-talk can brighten and improve your day. Find an affirmation that you believe can come true and repeat it to yourself. Your brain will work on making this affirmation a part of who you are.

Remember not to tell yourself any lies. Don’t try to tell your mind today will be an easy day when you know it will be difficult. Say to yourself that today will be a challenge but I will get through it and you will find that you got through it.

Tell yourself this will be a bad day and it will. Tell yourself that you will have a good day no matter what life throws at you and you will have a lot better day.

16. Be of service to someone else.

Help someone else for a brighter day. Anytime you help a child or someone in need it makes you feel better. Do enough good deeds and you become a better person. People who know that their goodness is based on being of service to others feel really good about themselves.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

12 Ways to make your head a better neighborhood

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Bad neighborhood.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Is your mind a scary place? 12 Ways to clean up that neighborhood.

1. Adopt a daily affirmation.

Fill up that space between your ears with positive thoughts. Tell yourself you can. Remind yourself of the things that you do well.

Self-talk matters and replacing negative self-talk with positive affirmations can really help improve your mental neighborhood.

2. Before bedtime make up a list of things that you did well today.

It is easy to focus on the mistakes and to beat yourself up over them. To make your mind more positive make sure that you learn to accept compliments and to give yourself credit for things done well. You need lots of thoughts about how you did something well to withstand the storms of doubt that are sure to come.

3. Think of a favorite mental place and visit your happy place whenever times get bad.

Remember those good times and places. Take a short mental trip back to the mountains or the beach. Remember that time you were at the theme park or at grandma’s house.

Wherever and whenever you had a moment of happiness, hold fast to that memory and reinforce it so that it is a bright spot in your inner thoughts.

4. Increase the number of friends that inhabit your memories.

More friends, more happy memories. Watch out for acquaintances and drinking buddies. True friends want the best for you. You may have few or you may have many but cherish all you have.

5. Face your fears and anxieties.

If something is scaring you do not cower in negative thoughts. Face that fear boldly. Let it know that you will not allow that fear to ruin your mental home. Take small steps to create a safer world and to loosen the grip fear and anxiety holds on your mind.

6. Stop angering yourself.

People do not anger you. You may think they are but realize that there are a lot of sick and stupid people out there. They do sick and stupid things. Do not let them ruin your inner peace. Rather than insisting the world be the way you want it to be work on changing whatever small aspect you have the power to change.

Mostly what you can change are yourself and your attitude.

7. Forgive yourself repeatedly.

If you have made an error, been less than you wanted to be, learn to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself often, repeat as needed.

8. Accept your past made you who you are.

You may have experiences in the past that you would never want to undergo again. Accept that those experiences made you the unique person you are and then try to move forward from there. Make peace with the past but do not let it continue to run your present.

9. Stop blaming others and insisting they change.

Others are who they are. You are who you are. Take the actions to make you the best possible you. Do not blame your circumstances on them. They may have wronged you, hurt and injured you. You can let that run your life or you can choose to take back as much control of your life as is possible.

Creating a happy successful life is the best way to erase their influence on your life.

10. Stop looking for someone or something to make you better.

You are the best expert on you. You can choose the things that are right for you. Do not wait for that one person that can come along and “fix” you. Make use of the coaches and counselors that come your way. Learn from each and every teacher but remember you are the one who is directing your thoughts and take them in the direction you need them to go.

11. Avoid seeing things as black or white, all or nothing.

Do not fall into the trap of thinking that things are either perfect or no good. Having some happiness is better than none. Enjoy the things you have. Be grateful for the blessings you receive. No one is ever all the things they want to be.

12. Thinking that your past has determined your future keeps you in the past.

Your past set you on the path to a possible future. You have many possible futures. Do not think that because you have one past that you have only one possible future. Be the architect of the path forward.

Set out today on your own mental urban renewal project and see what a wonderful neighborhood you own mind can be.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

How to have a highly productive life.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Productivity

Get more done.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Highly productive people, how do they do it?

1. Productive People Set Goals.

Life happens whether you are ready for it or not. Knowing where you want to end up charts your course. Productive people think about the end result they want. What will it look like when they have accomplished that goal?

2. Productive People Plan the Steps.

Goals are nice. Someday you want to own your own business or you want to be a professional athlete. What are the steps you would need to take to move that plan into reality?

Break that goal up into the steps you will need to take to get there.

What skills will you need to learn? What will you have to practice? Most importantly, what other pleasures will you need to forgo along the way. Lots of promising, talented people fade between the start and the finish because they get distracted by the pleasures of the moment and forget to do the work needed to get where they said they wanted to go.

3. Spend more time doing than planning.

Planning is needed. So is preparation. But if all you ever do is dream, the dream stays in your head and does not materialize in reality.

Once you have that goal set and know the steps to get their make sure that each and every day you are doing something, no matter how small that thing is, that will move you toward your goal.

4. Evaluate what you are doing.

The best plans do not always anticipate the changes that happen in the world. Circumstances change, plans do not work out or they need to be modified.

People with very productive lives periodically reevaluate their plans. They know what is working and what is not working. They also reevaluate that goal. Is that goal still where you should be headed?

5. Adjust plans as needed.

Be open to modifying plans when it is clear that you need to do so. Do not make frequent changes out of insecurity and doubt.

That career you planned on in high school, those occupations may not exist. Technology changes, demand changes. Your plans may need to change with the circumstances.

6. Get advice from a coach.

When you are out there doing, you can’t see the things you are doing well or the things that need improving. Top athletes work with coaches who can spot flaws in their performance.

Working with a good coach can take your efforts to a whole other level.

7. Have a plan B that flows from your plan A.

If you plan to be a professional athlete what happens if you don’t make the team? You can keep trying, but eventually, the dream meets up with reality. Even those who do reach that goal find that they can’t go on being a professional forever. What happens to you if plan A does not work out exactly the way you planned?

College athletes are well advised to get that degree and develop their other talents. After your career as an athlete, long or short, what will you do? With a degree, you can teach. Maybe coach. Your options remain open.

8. Always be looking for the next step.

Periodically you need to look off into the distance. What is the next step in your development? When you get this goal accomplished what then?

Many people set goals, achieve them and then lapse into a depression. Their one reason to exist is over. Now what?

9. Do not be easily discouraged.

In attempting anything there will be setbacks. Expect setbacks. Plan on having failures. Learn from those obstacles and perfect your skills.

Learn and practice your skills along the way and you will find that you were able to accomplish much more than you expected. Do not quit before the miracle happens and if you continue to work you are bound to experience some miracles.

10. Do not let obstacles stop you.

If one obstacle causes you to give up you will not get much done.  The more you accomplish the more the obstacles. Learn to climb over them. Sometimes you will need to change course and go around them.

An obstacle is a chance to improve what you do and how you do it not a permanent defeat.

11. Learn something new each day.

Add to your knowledge base. You never know when something you learned will turn out to be useful in the future. Do not wait till you are desperate for an idea to go looking for one.

Many innovations have been the result of taking something that a person had learned in one field and applying it to another area. Be that creative person who can synthesize and create new and novel approaches.

12. Build a team by being a team player.

Most highly productive people have a team that they can depend on that backs them up. Develop that team by being a team player. Get along with and value others around you.

13. Maintain your mental health.

Take care of your emotional health. Do not let things discourage you. Do not become overwhelmed with anxiety.

In the area of mental health, prevention is important. Have a support system. Learn ways to manage your stress and when those problems of life overwhelm you get help.

14. Treat your body well.

The mind depends on the body for its fuel and energy. Eat well, sleep well and play frequently. A healthy body is far more productive than an impaired one.

15. Get a support system for you non-work life

Great producers at work have good lives outside of work. Many a work problem originated at home and was brought to work. If you want a productive life do not neglect your non-work life.

16. Know your work type.

Every job has its characteristic work type. If your personality fits the job you will be more productive and happier. Happy people are more creative and productive.

Look for projects that fit your personality and try to avoid taking on projects that will make you unhappy.

Keep these productivity principles in mind and work towards becoming more productive each day. Over time you will be pleased to see how much you have gotten done and how much your life has improved as a result.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Lies you are telling yourself.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Truth or lie

Separating truth from lies is hard work.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

If you are telling yourself these things you are lying to yourself and may not even know it.

1. I can’t do it

Can’t usually means won’t.

By telling yourself you are not able to do a thing you convert your own mind into an enemy. Your brain starts creating this failure. Tell yourself you will fail and you will.

People who are positive are much more successful. They tell themselves they can and many times this turns out to be true.

2. Other people think badly of me.

Most of the time, most people are too involved in their own lives to pay any attention to you. Unless they are saying they do not like you and what you are doing, it would be a mistake to think that others disapprove.

Blaming other people for not liking you creates just that result. You think they do not like you, you do not like them and then you’re not liking them results in their not liking you.

You started this avalanche of negativity.

3. I am a failure.

The biggest failure of all is to never try. I see this in a lot of young people who are overly hard on themselves. A few recent graduates do get jobs at top companies. But the majority of them have to start out at the bottom and work their way up. Do not think you are a failure because you are not more successful than everyone else.

The biggest failure of all is to never try.

Accept that you are where you are and then work on improving yourself. You are not a failure because of what you did that did not work. Those are learning opportunities. The ultimate failure is to accept defeat and stop trying.

You have not failed. You just haven’t succeeded yet

4. People will talk about me.

People talk about the President, they talk about the Pope. What? Are you saying you are more important than them?

Having people talk about you indicates you are doing things. No one talks much about those who never try. No one knows they exist.

5. Not paying my bills means I am saving money.

If you came from a poverty mentality then you learned that if you paid the power bill there might be no money for food. What people who live that way miss is that those late charges and extra fees add up.

Learn to manage money, not be bullied by the bills. Pay your bills on time. Budget for what you will need and if there is not enough money find ways to cut expenses and earn more. Avoiding your responsibilities is not an effective way to save anything.

6. I can’t afford to save anything.

Savings is simple. Spend less than you earn. Simple is, of course, not easy.

The more people earn the less able to save they seem to be. Savings do not need to be a lot to add up. Save a dollar a paycheck and at the end of the year, you will have fifty dollars saved up.

Most people in America spend a little more, sometimes just a dollar or two, each pay period than they make. Eventually, this adds up to a mountain of debt.

7. I should do or be —

Beware the tyranny of the “shoulds.” This doing things because you think that you have to can rob you of a lot of time and happiness. Now there are some things you should not do because they are illegal or will cause you problems. There are other things you need to do like pay your bills and care for your children.

But most of us every day do a bunch of things that rob us of time not because we really needed to do those things but because somewhere in our heads we recorded a rule that things always need to be a certain way.

8. Doing things for me is selfish.

Good self-care is not being selfish. Self-neglect is abusive. Do positive things for yourself to maintain your ability to do things.

9. Other people are the cause of my problems.

Blaming others is an excuse. It can keep you stuck. Rarely will you be successful in getting them to change to do things your way. Learn to work around those obstacles. Change yourself, your circumstances, or your reaction to those people, and you can often dissolve the power they have over you.

10. Others can do more than I can.

So? If you use this as an excuse for not trying you will never do anything. You do not have to be perfect. You do not have to be the best at anything. You just need to be you. Do what you can and accept what you do. Just make sure to be truthful to yourself and do your best.

11. Nothing will ever change.

Everything will change – eventually. In the long run, we are all dead. The question is do you want to start living a real life or do you want an excuse for why you do not try?

12. No one cares about me.

Start caring about yourself. No one in your life is likely to care more about you than you do. If you do not care about yourself you make it difficult for others to care about you.

13. I am right, I know I am.

Insisting you are right can be some comfort but it is rarely helpful to waste time arguing about who is right. Have the courage of your convictions but do not insist that everyone see things your way.

Be open to the possibility that sometimes you can be mistaken. When new information arrives reevaluate your thoughts on things.

14. I don’t have enough education.

Do what you can with what you have. People often overestimate the education and training they need to find a job, a partner or to be able to do something.

If you do lack the formal credentials for an opportunity you would like, consider going back to school. Do not tell yourself you are too old to learn. People are living longer these days. Jobs go out of existence. More people than ever before are returning to school in their 40’s and 50’s and beyond.

You are never too old to learn something new.

15. If I just had – Then I would be happy and successful.

If you are not happy in the process of getting to your goals you are unlikely to be happy when you get there. Happiness is not a destination it is a process you learn along the way.

16. I don’t have that talent.

Talent is overrated. Lots of natural talents practiced thousands or even tens of thousands of hours to get that talent. We are all born with the possibility of becoming talented at something.

Most talent turns out to actually be skills. The more you learn, the more you practice, the more skilled you will become.

17. I was just born this way.

You are nothing like you were when you were born.  People grow. They develop. They learn things. If you learned something and it is not working you can unlearn it and learn a new way of being.

Genes turn on and off based on your life experiences. Do good things. Practice happiness skills and those thoughts you think are “just me” will change as a result of new learning and experiences.

Have you been lying to yourself? Would you be happier and more successful if you started telling yourself the truth?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.