Anne C. Frazier Counseling, LLC
The comparison trap is a 1,000 lb weight attached to your psyche making your journey to authenticity nearly impossible.
For years I thought comparing myself to others was causing jealousy and insecurity. Later, I came to realize it was actually what was happening in my mind after the comparison that was causing my suffering. Once I worked through those cognitive processes, I was able to put down the weight.
Understanding the comparison trap as a three-step cycle will help free you from its’ grip!
The first step, the comparison itself, is simply an involuntary observation, a neutral experience where you become aware of a difference between you and someone else. It’s instinctual and not something you can necessarily control.
“She makes more money than me.” See? Just an observation.
Next, after that initial comparison, your mind makes a judgement of some kind. You tell yourself that one of the things you’re observing is negative in some way and the...
Confession: Every time I use the phrase “self-love” whether it’s in a session with a client, or a conversation with a friend, I feel a little inauthentic. Not as if I’m lying, but more like I’m trying to sell something that I can’t completely get behind, like pickle-flavored potato chips, or sweaters for dogs.
Do I love myself? Sure. I think so. Well, sometimes. Oprah (who also exists as a voice in my head) asks me, “What do you know to be TRUE?”.
Okay, O., this is what I know to be true:
I VALUE myself, all of the time. I haven’t always. But I do now. My 40s triggered the awakening of a deep knowing of my inherent value. My inner voice is no longer a whisper I question when it goes against the grain, but rather a compass I trust wholeheartedly to guide me. I know now, more than ever that there is a place for me in my community, the world, and in the hearts of my family and friends, even with...
The ability to make thoughtful yet timely decisions that are in alignment with your authentic self is key to living a fulfilling life.
When I'm faced with a decision, I often ask myself what my 7-year-old son would do. I do this not because he makes great decisions (that’s funny) but because I’m fascinated by his mental process. He seems to ask himself only 2 questions before taking immediate action: one, “To what degree is Mom going to freak out if I make this choice?”; and two, “Which choice results in the maximum amount of awesomeness for me?”. Done. Decision made.
Adults are a completely different story. We develop roadblocks to decision-making based on fears, insecurities, responsibilities and thought distortions.
From what to wear to when to leave a relationship, there are decisions with varying degrees of consequences at every turn. And for many people, decision-making is challenging, even debilitating. The thought of...
You may think you’re a good listener but are you an authentic one?
Being good at something denotes being capable but having authenticity in a skill denotes sincerity and passion. I’ve considered myself a good listener for most of my adult life but lately, I am striving to be an authentic listener.
A good listener understands the basics of what is referred to as “active listening” (eye contact, showing empathy, paying attention, not interrupting…etc.) and I agree these skills are effective in relationship building. However, the practice of being an authentic listener takes place before the conversation starts. It’s both a profound yet simple mental shift.
The shift is this: the consistent willingness to be changed by something another person might say, even if it’s in some minute way. This requires a level of vulnerability and abandonment of ego that most of us on a daily basis are not willing to do. Are you willing and open to...
I used to feel guilty that I wasn’t a drug addict.
Early in my career, I worked at a drug and alcohol treatment center. The setting was a petri dish for my rapid growth as a counselor and in hindsight, as a human.
We taught our patients that recovery from addiction was a journey, not a destination and how to commit to recovery every single day. I admitted to my supervisor that I felt guilty I wasn’t a recovering addict or alcoholic like many of the other therapists. I wanted the patients to feel I was qualified and worthy of guiding them through this journey. He responded, “Anne, we’re all recovering from something”.
As time went by, I began to understand that I too was on a path of recovery. I was recovering from an addiction to people pleasing. It was and still is my “drug of choice”.
We all engage in behavior that doesn’t serve our highest self. That behavior can become habitual or...
I knew early on I was a sponge.
I absorbed the emotional states of others until I felt the heaviness of their emotions in my own heart. I soaked in the pain and suffering of other people as if it was my own. Taking in peoples’ emotional energy was my way of trying to understand, relate, and help. This was how I empathized. I believed this was how people connected deeply with one another. And, I desperately wanted to connect.
This instinct was observed by my family and echoed back to me as a compliment. I was praised for being selfless. I was called “empathetic” and “sensitive”. And, when children are praised for instincts, those instincts become ingrained as virtues. I wore the virtues of empathy and sensitivity proudly. They were badges of honor that eventually grew into an identity and led me to pursue a career in counseling. Those virtues are a part of me. I don’t deny them or judge them. I recognize...
Self-worth is the core belief that there is a place for me in the world and in the hearts of others.
I have decided the only person I’m going to aspire to be more like in my 40s is me, at 11 years old.
I can see her so clearly. She just cut bangs and got a guitar that she’ll never learn to play. No need, she already rocks it, and the bangs, in her mind.
She hasn’t figured out yet that there is a body type that is relentlessly celebrated in the media and it isn’t hers.
No one has told her yet that there are dreams she shouldn’t pursue because they don’t lead to a lucrative career. And, it hasn’t even crossed her mind to compare herself to other girls.
She experiences spontaneous, unbridled JOY several times a day!
She’s bold. She raises her hand when she knows the answer. She does this because there is trust, in herself, and in her world. There is…self-worth.
Through the lens of her...