Listen in to hear the details of that experience, plus a time a a psychiatrist blamed a client’s suicide attempt on my appearance, and more. It’s relatively short in comparison to my usual diatribes, but make sure you don’t turn it off before my “call to action” after Marcia asks me where people can find me! It’s a simple yet powerful shift we can all make in our daily lives.
I was interviewed for Never Liked It Anyway‘s Woman Crush Wednesday. Check out the best and worst gifts I ever got, my go-to pick-me-up, and my advice for all things love, sex, and dating :):
This week’s Woman Crush Wednesday is the one and only Megan Bruneau – aka the incredible talent behind One Shrink’s Perspective. Megan is so real, raw and honest that you notice it through her writing, and within the first five seconds of meeting. We met recently at a panel hosted by Forbes for women, and within an instant I was struck by her smarts, sass and direct manner. It’s an inspiration and naturally brings out a level of conversation that’s all too rare these days. Megan is an expert in all things love, breakups and moving on; and approaches it all with refreshing candor and energy. Here’s what she had to say about all things love, sex and dating.
What’s the best gift you ever got?
An ex gave me a necklace that means “Follow your dreams,” even though he knew me “following my dreams” likely meant we weren’t going to stay together. It was heartbreaking and deeply motivating at the same time. Since then, I moved to New York to follow my dreams, and we broke up. I wore it every day for two years. I’ve since swapped it out for a different piece of jewelry with different meaning, but it still sits on my desk and reminds me why I’m here every day (READ MORE).
John and guest Megan Bruneau talk healthy relationships, being open, the dangers of closing yourself off, how to commit, when the right time is to leave a relationship, figuring out what you want, surviving breakups and how to get to know yourself.
My dad was a criminal lawyer for 43 years. He spent Monday through Friday between court and the office, escaping every Friday in summer to the lake, and every Friday in winter to the mountain. This highly privileged life (by most accounts) is traditionally appealing, but I feel panicked at the thought of replicating it.
The bust-your-ass-for-five, enjoy-life-for-two routine served my dad for those 43 years, as a similar version may have served your parents. Still heavily influenced by their parents’ trauma from the Great Depression and WWII, our parents sought the safety and security that accompanies a respectable profession such as law (READ MORE).
In this episode we discuss why the “happiness” movement has done us a disservice and sometimes makes things worse, how perfectionism creates an illusion of control and distorts your reality, how to become aware of the critical inner voice at the root of your pain and unhealthy habits, the incredible power of self compassion, and much more with Megan Bruneau.
Megan Bruneau is a psychotherapist, wellness coach, writer, podcast host and creator of oneshrinksperspective.com After years of perfectionism-fueled depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, she discovered how to like herself, take risks, and find success without beating herself up to get there.
Why Megan advocates a holistic approach to mental health
Why the “happiness” movement has done us a disservice and sometimes makes things worse
How to become aware of the critical inner voice at the roof of your pain and unhealthy habits
What your “secondary emotions” are and why its so important to pay close attention to them
How you internalize self judgement from your childhood experiences
You can have expectations about mood not just performance and that can create suffering
The importance of giving yourself permission to feel feelings even when they are uncomfortable
What your physiological symptoms look like when you experience a fight or flight response
How to build tolerance and grow your “emotional muscle”
The tools you can use (with a concrete example) to stop a downward spiral of anxiety
Things you might do that actually make a negative emotional response worse
The importance of making space for difficult feelings ( through mindfulness )
How to have deep self compassion and treat yourself with kindness
What exactly to say to yourself when you’re dealing with difficult emotions
Why you should treat yourself like a dear friend who is suffering
How the “self esteem” movement screwed you up and created many of your emotional challenges
What happens when your self worth is dependent on being better than other people
How Megan defines perfectionism (and why you might be a perfectionist without even realizing it)
The critical importance of self compassion and how you can practice it
The importance of understanding the concept of “common humanity”
We define mindfulness and its core components, and discuss how to practice it
Why painful feelings don’t make you broken, but are a natural part of the human experience
The huge downsides of having your self worth tied to your achievements
Why your fear of difficult and uncomfortable emotions is the roof of your suffering
The exact internal dialogue you should use if you constantly put too much pressure on yourself
The massive danger of “globalizing” negative experiences
Why giving up high expectations actually enhances your performance
Why you should change for your focus from being productive to focusing on what’s meaningful
How you can “become friends” with difficult emotions
And MUCH more!
If you are frustrated, suffering, or struggling with uncomfortable emotions, listen to this episode!
After my last breakup, dating again was a clumsy and painful process.
I fumbled my way back into the scene by downloading (then deleting, then re-downloading, then re-deleting) the essential apps. I shamelessly hit on the hot ref in my soccer league. I lobbed out a few “how ya been?” texts to old hookups. And for the next six months I found myself attracted to men who lived on other continents, struggled with depression, had girlfriends or wives, or were workaholics or misogynistic jerks (READ MORE).
I recently broke things off with a guy because I felt too vulnerable. I hadn’t experienced “those kind” of feelings for someone in ages, and it left me paralyzingly uncomfortable. Now look, a shit-ton of anxiety is a natural symptom of falling for someone, and feeling vulnerable in relationships is necessary; however this felt extreme. I tried to sit with the discomfort and “be cool,” chalking my distrust up to past betrayals or attachment issues. But something wasn’t right. My spidey-sense kept going OFF, so I honored my intuition and called it quits (READ MORE).
For many women — especially those who have bumped into a glass ceiling or two — the possibility of electing America’s first female president fueled their dreams and drive for a more equal workplace and world for women. But for these women, what began as a hope and excitement-filled Tuesday quickly transformed into emotions including heartbreak, disbelief, confusion, and anger.
And as the shock wears off, so many of us wonder, ”What now?” How do we maintain heart and continue the fight when all that was shattered was hope? How do we cope with anxiety surrounding the future? (READ MORE)
It’s Sunday morning and I’m at City Bakery listening to Piano Ballads on Spotify. It’s unusually quiet here in contrast to the typical Manhattanite brunch-rush. There’s a trio of neon yoga gear-clad women sharing a confectioner’s sugar-dusted muffin in the corner, and one other MacBook-sheltered freelancer who’s been texting for the past nine minutes. I wonder if he knows about iMessage for his computer.
For a long time, I dreaded Sunday mornings as a single person (READ MORE)
The Native Society interviewed me on my most challenging moment, biggest success, role model, and more! Follow the link below to read the full interview!
What do you do best?
Find the positive in a difficult or unwanted situation. Or, as some might call it, “rationalize” (haha). I read Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl when I was 22, and it changed my life. A quote that really stuck with me was: “Even the most negative aspects of human existence such as guilt, suffering, and death can be viewed positively, given the right attitude.” This is not to say that we shouldn’t have compassion for ourselves during challenging times, but trusting that we’ll find meaning in that suffering is essential to resilience. I live by the philosophy that life is our teacher and there’s a lesson in every disappointment and challenge.
I chatted with my gal, Terri Cole, about what perfectionism is and how to recover on the Hello Freedom podcast. Check it out!
When we think of perfectionists, an image of super overachievers bravely changing the world with risky new ideas or inventions might come to mind, but for the true perfectionists this description is inaccurate. Perfectionists tend to pursue goals that they KNOW for sure they can accomplish so the risk is minimal, even if the workload is insane (READ MORE).
1. Change is inevitable and uncomfortable, and you’ll survive it. We go to great lengths to avoid change or to ensure we’re totally prepared for it, but you can never totally prepare. Change/transition is inevitable and uncomfortable, and we can choose to view it as liberating or devastating. Humans are adaptive and I promise as long as you survive, you’ll survive.
2. You can’t just “choose” happy during shitty times.Moments and periods of difficult feelings are likely there for a reason–to tell you something. And contrary to what the happiness industry wants you to think, they don’t go away by “choosing” happy. Instead, give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling, turn inward to the emotions, and figure out what they’re trying to tell you.
“I just want to feel more confident” is a request I’ve heard from countless clients over the years. They’ve tried positive thinking, affirmations, and “faking it ’til [they] make it” (spoiler alert: they didn’t “make it”). Yet here they are, in my office (or these days, on my computer screen), frustrated that they haven’t achieved the confidence they’ve been told they ought to have.
Their “low self-confidence” can manifest as social anxiety, performance anxiety, test anxiety, generalized anxiety, perfectionism, passivity and passive-aggressiveness, eating disorders and negative body image, depression, and addiction. It can create challenges in our relationships (insecurity, continued reassurance-seeking, poor communication), keep us from ever getting into a relationship, and hold us back from career success (for example, not apply for positions we believe we’re “not good enough” for, underselling ourselves to our peers and superiors, or experiencing crippling anxiety in interviews and meetings). (READ MORE)
As a woman who’s deeply fulfilled by your career, your days are peppered with inspiration and gratitude. But there are times when your meaningful path is punctuated by pain. Here are five challenges that come along with being a woman who chooses to follow her career dreams:
You will feel judged.
When you prioritize work. When you’re assertive. When you travel alone. When you give your opinion.
Some people will attribute your success to your sexuality. Some people will accuse you of “never being satisfied.” You’ll try to explain to them it’s not the outcome that drives you, but the process . They’ll raise their eyebrows anyway. You’ll realize you can’t please everyone, which will be both defeating and liberating. You’ll give less f*cks what people think, which will both empower and concern you (READ MORE).
Check out my tips on handling grief, loss, and disappointment on the Class Pass’ blog, The Warm Up (Excerpt below)!
Whether it’s disappointment, scary events, sad news or heartbreak, everyone has something tough to face. The pain that can come with any of these is common to us all and can threaten to derail us if we don’t take steps to work through it.
Working through it, of course, doesn’t mean just locking feelings up in a box and ignoring them (hello, recipe for disaster and future meltdown). Nor does it mean retreating into endless sadness or isolation for an indeterminate amount of time. We need to process, to grieve, to allow ourselves to feel everything we’re going through, and eventually, we need to face the reality of moving through the situation.
If you’ve been through something that fits these categories—and we bet you have—you’ll be familiar with the harsh truth that the world continues on, which can sometimes feel cold, like the rest of the universe doesn’t acknowledge how hard things are right now. It’s important to always take the time you need to work through your situation before you try to move through it.
To tackle tough news without losing your spirit for too long, consider this expert advice from Megan Bruneau, a New York City-based psychotherapist (read more)
Host of Forbes’ The Failure Factor, Megan Bruneau, M.A. RCC, discusses how our early environments shape our adult lives, highlighting how techniques like mindfulness and somatic experiencing can slow our conditioned reaction to cues and stimulants. She also discusses our biological need for both community, and connection to something greater than ourselves.
Megan: Absolutely. We learn how to self-regulate and cope with difficult feelings in an environment that enables us to do so. When evolutionary responses like ‘fight-or-flight’–which happen in the reptilian part of our brain called the amygdala–are piqued, it’s through the safety of healthy, reliable, and stable relationships that we learn how to manage those uncomfortable feelings and react to them in healthy ways. But if a child grows up in a home where abuse is the norm, or where there is neglect of the child’s attachment needs, then ultimately they develop while constantly feeling fearful, feeling anxious, or having that distrust response heightened (Read more on Capture Queue)