Category “change & challenges”

The 6 Personalities of People-Pleasing and How I Overcame Them

“The truth is, you’re never going to be able to please everybody, so stop trying. Remember, the sun is going to continue shining even if some people get annoyed by its light shining in their eyes. You have full permission to shine on.” ~Unknown

I used to be a rebel. I was the girl at the party who would waltz into a room and have everyone in awe, their attention and curiosity caught by my presence. I felt it, they felt it, it was magnetic. I loved it—I had become the girl I wanted to be.

That was until one …

How I Found My Place in the World When I Felt Beaten Down by Life

“Some people are going to reject you simply because you shine too bright for them. That’s okay. Keep shining.” ~Mandy Hale

After I finished school, I was excited about moving forward with life.

I thought about the career that I hoped to have, where I hoped to live, and the things that I wanted to accomplish.

After starting off as a secondary high school English teacher and becoming disappointed with the ongoing changes in the public school system, I went to graduate school for law. I thought it would open up a lot of possibilities, but it did not.

I …

How I Stopped Dismissing Praise and Started Believing Compliments

“I’ve met people who are embattled and dismissive, but when you get to know them, you find that they’re vulnerable—that hauteur or standoffishness is because they’re pedaling furiously underneath.” ~Matthew Macfadyen

It was impossible to miss the dismissive hand gesture and distasteful look on her face in response to my comment.

“You ooze empathy,” I had said in all sincerity to my therapist.

“And what’s it like if I blow off or disregard that compliment?” she countered. Then, as usual, she waited.

“Ah, it feels terrible,” I sputtered as the lights of insight began to flicker. I was acutely …

The Fascinating Reason We Sabotage Ourselves and Hold Ourselves Back

Sometimes we self-sabotage just when things seem to be going smoothly. Perhaps this is a way to express our fear about whether it is okay for us to have a better life.” ~Maureen Brady

Have you ever decided to try something new—like getting into a new relationship or doing something that would help you experience success in your career/mission or offer you more vibrant health and well-being—and you were able to follow through for a bit, but then you stopped? Was this self-sabotage? Was it procrastination?

Did you know that self-sabotage and procrastination can be survival mechanisms, and …

Free 7-Day Sleep Challenge: Meditations, Tips, and Tools for a Restful Night

Does stress cause sleepless nights, or does a lack of sleep cause stress?

Both have been true for me, especially since becoming a parent, and I’m guessing for you too.

When life gets challenging, it’s hard to shut your brain off at night.

You know it’s important to get a good night’s sleep. You know you feel better in the day when you’re well-rested. But it’s hard to relax, physically and mentally, when you have a lot on your mind. It’s like there’s a tornado inside your head, and all the sheep-counting in the world couldn’t pull you out.

And …

Why I Now Love That I’m Different After Hating It for Years

“Only recently have I realized that being different is not something you want to hide or squelch or suppress.” ~Amy Gerstler

I grew up during the traditional times of the sixties and seventies. Dad went out to work and earned the family income, while Mom worked at home raising their children. We were a family of seven. My brother was the first-born and he was followed by four sisters. I was the middle child.

I did not quite know where I belonged. I oscillated between my older two and younger two siblings, feeling like the third wheel no matter where …

How I Finally Healed When I Stopped Believing a Diagnosis of Incurable

“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.” ~Rumi

The quarantine has felt oddly familiar. That’s because I spent thirteen years largely homebound with a mysterious, viral-like illness. It even started with a cold on a flight back from Asia in 2005.

My nose was an open faucet, and my head felt like the cumulus clouds outside my window. When I returned to San Diego, I was so weak and exhausted, I could hardly get out of bed. My brain and body were on fire.

I couldn’t focus or recall names of coworkers. Although I’d previously been …

7 Reasons I Was Scared to Take up Space and How I Boosted My Confidence

“You are allowed to take up space. Own who you are and what you want for yourself. Stop downplaying the things you care about, the hopes you have.” ~Bianca Sparacino

I deserve to take up more space. Plain and simple. By taking the space I deserve, I further build the confidence I need to live a rich life that resonates with who I truly am.

Over the past several years, I’ve had to navigate a new life after hard breakups, difficult career transitions, and moving back home. I’ve had to face the feeling that I’m not doing enough. …

How I Reclaimed My Life When I Felt Numb and Unhappy

“All appears to change when we change.” ~Henri-Frédéric Amiel

The biggest life-changing moment in my life would have looked unremarkable to an outsider looking in.

I was at a point in my life (my late twenties) where everything seemed to look good on paper. I had a great job, I was living in downtown Seattle, and I enjoyed the live music scene. Aside from not being in a relationship, I thought I had “arrived.”

The only problem was, I was miserable, and I barely acknowledged it. A part of me knew that I wasn’t happy, but I tried to …

The Surprising Strategy I Used to Stop Bingeing (and Why It Worked)

“Sometimes the thing you’re most afraid of doing, is the very thing that will set you free.” ~Robert Tew

I recovered from binge eating and bulimia by giving myself permission to binge. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

My decades-long weight and food war started in my teens, immediately after reading my first diet book, about Atkins, to be exact. I spent the following two decades trying to lose weight (only to keep gaining) and struggling with food.

By my early thirties, I’d finally managed to lose weight, but it hadn’t end the war, it had just started a new one. The …

How to Get Through Your Darkest Days: Lessons from Addiction and Loss

“You are never stronger…than when you land on the other side of despair.” ~Zadie Smith

In the last years of my twenties, my life completely fell apart.

I’d moved to Hollywood to become an actor, but after a few years in Tinsel Town things weren’t panning out the way I hoped. My crippling anxiety kept me from going on auditions, extreme insecurity led to binge eating nearly every night, and an inability to truly be myself translated to a flock of fair-weather friends.

As the decade wound to a close, I stumbled upon the final deadly ingredient in my toxic …

How to Motivate Yourself with Kindness Instead of Criticism

I don’t always make the best choices, but today I choose compassion over intolerance, sympathy over hatred, and love over fear.” ~LJ Vanier

It’s crazy to me now, to look back and realize how freaking hard I was on myself for decades.

Had I ever talked to anyone else the way I talked to myself, it would surely have left me friendless and jobless, and I definitely would have been kicked out of school.

Basically, I was a bully. Just to myself.

If I said something awkward, I called myself an idiot.

When I couldn’t find the motivation to …

My Secret to Overcoming the Painful Trap of Perfectionism

“A meaningful life is not being rich, being popular, or being perfect. It’s about being real, being humble, being able to share ourselves and touch the lives of others.” ~Unknown

Hello, I’m Kortney, and I’m a recovering perfectionist.

Like so many of us, I spent the greater part of my life believing that unless something was perfect, it wasn’t good at all. There was really no in-between. If it wasn’t perfect, it was a failure.

One of the problems with perfectionism is that it’s common to believe it’s a positive thing. In our society, people tend to value it. If …

Easing Anxiety: How Painting Helps Me Stop Worrying

“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” ~Kahlil Gibran

Anxiety has followed me around like a lost dog looking for a bone for years now.

I feel it the most acutely when I’m worried about my health or my daughter’s health. I notice a strange rash or feel an unusual sensation and all of a sudden: panic!

My worries are not limited to health concerns though, and my ruminations go in the direction of dread about the future of the world, worries about my finances, and fears that I’m not good …

The Magic of Rewriting Our Most Painful Stories

“When you bring peace to your past, you can move forward to your future.” ~Unknown

It amazes me how things that happen in our childhood can greatly impact our adult lives. I learned the hard way that I was living my life with a deep wound in my heart.

My father was a very strict man with a temper when I was little, starting when I was around seven years old.

He had a way of making me feel like all my efforts were not enough. If I scored an 8 in a math exam, he would say, “Why 8

How to Stop Procrastinating When Things Feel Hard or Scary

“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise L. Hay

I dreamed of starting my own business for years. Ten years, exactly.

While there are a few reasons it took so long to take the plunge, procrastination is at the top of the list.

It’s hard work to change careers, uncomfortable to leave a steady paycheck, and nerve-wracking to think of failure.

Even after spending months and years learning, studying, and getting certified, when it was no longer a matter of having the skills, the uncertainty of success …

Congruent Depression: What It Is and How to Overcome It


“Not all of the depression that people experience is an illness… Unlike clinical depression, congruent depression is actually appropriate to your situation.” ~Dr. K

​Every day is the same. Every day I’m stiff. Every day I’m tired. These are the two main things that people with fibromyalgia deal with. It’s been like that for a couple of years now. Six to be exact.

I’ve faced so much hardship all at one time: no job, no income, no friends, dealing with an emotionally immature/narcissistic mother, and not living where I want to live. All of this is making me sleep poorly.…

10 Quotes You Need to Read If You Struggle with Anxiety

Have you ever received well-intentioned advice while facing intense anxiety, only to feel judged, misunderstood, or condescended?

Like, “Calm down!” Or “Just be positive!” Or “Don’t worry so much!”

The people who try to help generally want to do just that, but it’s always easier to advise someone when you’re not feeling what they’re feeling, because you have the benefit of rational thought—which goes out the window when fight-or-flight mode takes over.

And if you’ve never felt the depth of anxiety some of us experience—perhaps because you weren’t conditioned that way through trauma, or you’ve learned to block or …

The Cages We Live In and What It Means to Be Free

“Cages aren’t made or iron, they’re made of thoughts.” ~Unknown

I recently read Glennon Doyle’s Untamed, and like many who have read it, I felt as if it had changed my life—but not because it made me think of all the things I was capable of (as was the case with many of friends who read it), but because it made me realize how capable I had already been.

The book on the whole is beautiful and inspiring, but the part that stuck with me the most was the story about Tabitha, a beautiful cheetah that Glennon and her …

Why I Now Believe Everyone Is Doing the Best They Can


“You just never know what someone is dealing with behind closed doors. No matter how happy someone looks, how loud their laugh is, how big their smile is, there can still be a level of hurt that is indescribable. So be kind. Even when others are not, choose to be kind.” ~Andrea Russett 

Everyone is doing the best they can. When they can do better, they will.

“I disagree,” you say. “I see people who are not doing their best all the time!”

Before the year 2006, I had a ton of complaints about the world and the people around …