"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 "...that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

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Impostor Syndrome-Do you feel like a fraud? Confident Counseling Northborough MA

Impostor Syndrome-Do you feel like a fraud?

It’s the first day of your new job and you’re excited yet nervous for all that lies ahead. Here you are. You worked hard, probably even over-prepared for this moment, yet you immediately worry that everyone will find out you really don’t belong here. Even though you didn’t lie on your resume, you feel you don’t deserve this. How can they possibly believe you do?

You feel like you fooled everyone into thinking you’re competent, like you “tricked” them. Does this sound familiar? During a moment of success have you doubted yourself or felt that it wasn’t a big deal? It is extremely frustrating to go through moments like this especially when you see others placing confidence in you while you feel like a “fake.” You’re always on the guard, worried that others will “find you out” and realize you’re not worthy.

This phenomenon, Impostor Syndrome is common in perfectionists and overachievers who aren’t able to internalize and accept their success. These people have unrealistically high standards for themselves that it is difficult to meet their own goals. Even when they do reach them, they are more prone to attribute their success to luck than their own skills. This type of intellectual self-doubt is often paired with anxiety and/or depression.

Many people who feel like impostors grew up in families that placed a big emphasis on achievement. Specifically, parents who send mixed messages by alternating between over-praise and criticism can increase the risk of fraudulent feelings developing. Living in a society that focuses on achievements adds to the problem. The result is confusion between approval, love, and worthiness. Self-worth becomes on achieving.

Those struggling with Impostor Syndrome may avoid applying for promotions, for more responsibility and suffer from higher stress. How can you break this pattern?

Challenge your thoughts

You will discover that at the root of your self-doubt is a negative core belief that you’re not good enough. Ask yourself, when will I ever be good enough? What does good enough mean? Challenge this negative thought by finding evidence in favor of it and against it. It helps to ask yourself would I think this of a love one if they were in my shoes? If the answer is no, then ask yourself why you think this way of yourself.

Accept imperfection

Recognize that nobody is perfect. Practice letting go of high standards by doing a “good enough” job and walking away. Make time to appreciate your hard work and create rewards for yourself for completed tasks.

Recognize your strengths

List out the skills you have and learn to accept that you are good at certain things which have value. Yes, there will always be someone better at something, however that doesn’t make your strengths any less important because they are unique to you.

Talk to others about this

Being open and sharing this struggle with those you trust is a way to create awareness for others. They may even help you recognize when you’re engaging thoughts of self-doubt that need challenging. If it is difficult to work on this on your own, consider contacting a counselor to learn skills and challenge negative thinking pattern together. If you struggle with anxiety and depression, a professional will teach you how to cope in a healthy and effective way.

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Truths of road rage by christine becerra lmhc Northborough ma

Truths Of Road Rage

If you’ve ever been in traffic then you’ve probably witnessed or personally felt road rage. Actually if you’ve ever been in a car then you’ve probably come across it. I hate to admit it but I had a recent experience with road rage. This encounter allowed me to learn several truths of road rage.

I was driving home from work in heavy traffic when I was second in line for the toll booth. Another car in a different lane began inching their way next time. As I was next in line I began moving forward when the other car started speeding up while moving closer to me. At this point I realized this car was intent on cutting me and I instantly felt disrespected at their transgression. As sped up, so did he. It was then that I realized we were both losing road and one of us would end up hitting the concrete wall of the booth. I slowed down and let the other car pass.

Immediately I felt stupid for acting so childish over such a trivial situation because I felt the driver cut me in line. I spent the rest of my drive reflecting on this moment and realised several important realizations.

  1. Just how vulnerable we are to your emotions
  2. How much weight we place on daily transgressions
  3. The importance of mindfulness

It was the moment of awareness, being present and analyzing/challenging my thoughts, that saved me from an accident. Since then I take a few moments to breathe and remind myself that I’m happy to be alive, I’m small in this world with so many humans, and that everyone has their story. For all I know that other driver was having a bad day. Either way, just like me he is a human being that is vulnerable to the human condition.

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What can I expect from counseling?

What Can I Expect From Counseling?

If you are in counseling or are thinking of starting, you may have asked yourself “What can I expect from Counseling?” With how the media portrays counseling, it isn’t surprising to have questions or even concerns about what counseling will be like for you.

Of course it is important to understand that counseling is only as effective as you make it. What I mean is that most of the work done in counseling actually comes from you, the client. Imagine the counselor as a guide showing you alternative ways of approaching situations or handling your problems. You as the client have to choose one and carry it out. If you aren’t following through or actively participating, then counseling will be ineffective.

Here are expectations to have for counseling

  • You should expect to increase your awareness of what is causing your struggles and what the roadblocks are.
  • You will be taught new skills and tools to manage your struggles in the present and for the future.
  • Understanding the limits of confidentiality, you can expect a safe place to talk about anything and everything that is on your mind. The limits being that the counselor has a legal obligation to report risk of suicide, homicide or current child or elder abuse. Privacy can also be compromised depending also on whether you have an active court case or if you use your health insurance.
  • You shouldn’t feel judged or worry about scaring the counselor with what you have to share.
  • You should expect to work with a trained professional or have them refer you to someone who will be able to better serve you should they not have the right training or skills to help with your issues.
  • You should feel hope and relief after your sessions.
  • You may feel discomfort and emotional pain depending on what and how severe your struggles are.
  • You should expect to feel “contained” by the end of your counseling sessions and not left unstable or vulnerable.
    • This is important for clients with trauma. As a result, your counselor may wait to discuss a difficult subject at the start of a future session and not at the middle or end.
  • You should expect an environment where are you free to express positive and negative feedback about your counselor’s style or direction of treatment without worrying that they will get upset or offended.

Effective counseling promotes your growth as a person and healing from pain.

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Learning From Disappointment

Have you ever felt disappointed with how you didn’t react to a given situation? Have you ever stood by silently while an injustice took place, only to feel upset with yourself afterwards? I want to share a personal example in my learning from disappointment that happened recently.

A couple of weekends ago I was left feeling unsettled after attending a stand-up comedy show. The show was in Boston and I was going to see a comic that I had followed for a few years. At first, the routine and the atmosphere was fun and enjoyable. Then the comedian began making upsetting sexist and racist jokes including how he finds it funny that African-Americans have a glass ceiling because they have limited influence to cause serious harm to our society and that women shouldn’t get paid as much as men because of reasons that we cost men too much money.

At this point, the comedian pointed to the audience and asked for a rebuttal to his earlier claim about why he feels women should get paid less. It was in that moment that I found myself at a loss of words and unprepared for any intellectual debate. I instantly felt intimidated being in a venue surrounded by mostly intoxicated men. I also worried that I wouldn’t have the floor long enough to even have an intellectual conversation because the comic had the microphone and he had a show to do. Just as soon as the moment had started it had passed and I was left feeling shocked, upset, and disappointed with the comic and with myself.

The following day I replayed that scene over and over in my head thinking of all the comments I could have said and how possible scenarios could have played out. Needless to say, I struggled with the expectations I had and the reality that occurred.

I have since made my peace and realized that I learned several valuable lessons from this experience. I learned that I won’t always have the right words to say and that I may not feel brave all the time. I learned the need for kindness with myself when I fail to act. I learned that I can continue to support causes I believe in by way of donations, writing my blog, raising awareness around me, and by refusing to support those that oppose those causes (i.e. this particular comedian). More importantly, I understand that this it isn’t the last opportunity I will have to speak up and be heard.

Have you ever failed to speak up or act when you felt you should have? What did you learn from it and how has it affected your life?

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