In this case, return to normalcy or homeostasis is linked to getting rid of the stressor--namely, eliminating the lack of approval. Anxiety, on the other hand, is akin to suffering a pinched nerve in the brain's fear-threat system. The pain is real enough, but it's the result of something happening inside of you, and not a response to an external, physical threat. For instance, if you had a pinched nerve in your leg, you wouldn't call an ambulance. You would feel pain, and it might hurt terribly, but you would (1) recognize that the pain was coming from the inside of your body, not from an outside assault; (2) focus your attention on trying to breathe through the cramp and relax your leg; and (3) eventually engage in some limited exercise to work through any remaining soreness. So how do you embrace your purpose? Here is a seven-step process that will help you complete this important part of self-care: Get connected to your inner self, and the answers you are seeking will come. To live your life in divine purpose, start out by being quiet and listening to your inner voice, the spirit that lies deep within your soul. Embrace the quiet moments by tapping into your deep beauty, which contains the essence of your personal values, passions, and strengths in the spirit of your virtue. You must be quiet and still to hear and listen to your inner voice, which will guide you to your purpose. Be committed to listening to your inner voice. In sacred silence, you will find your peace, passion, and purpose. Just keep practicing your meditation. Stay connected with like-minded people; listen to inspirational and spiritual experts. Also, it is of great benefit to study by reading, writing, and reciting. It a great and fun way to learn and grow. Create a sacred place of silence. In meditating, select a consistent time so you can develop the habit of meditating daily. Find a quiet and comfortable space. Minimize light exposure.

When you are having an aha or defining moment, be sure to respond with action. If you don't write it down immediately or take action when your insights have arrived, you may miss a crucial opportunity. Share love. Living in your purpose, you will discover the highest form of love and peace that resonates within your soul. In life, always share love. You feel anxious. Don't act out. Don't start thinking obsessively about what you can or should do to try to get control of whatever is happening around you. Instead, check the feeling. Ask yourself, "Am I responding to an imminent (not a past or potential future) threat to my life or safety?" Remember, fear is an appropriate response to an imminent threat. It kicks you into high gear in the moment so that you can escape some clear and present danger -- and then it goes away. That's how fear is supposed to work. How Can You Overcome This Self-Defeating Habit? The sort of practice necessary for making lasting changes involves changing the perfectionistic ways you think and respond to life situations. Since there are such deep physiological roots to the habit of demanding perfection, getting rid of the problem will require serious work. You will need to change your ordinary way of responding to not satisfying your perfectionistic demand. Making such changes will take willpower! Willpower is like a muscle; it gets stronger the more you exercise it. So it's going to take serious practice, but it will be worth it in the amount of stress you'll avoid and the sense of freedom you'll enjoy--freedom from the tormenting strain of demanding perfection and never seeming to achieve it. I can't express enough the power of meditation.

When you enter into your sacred place of silence, you will gain insights. In your sacred place of silence, you will get rid of the fears that have been holding you back and paralyzing your soul for years. Once you find and create your sacred place, you will start listening to your inner voice. In sacred silence, you will find your peace, passion, and purpose. Where there is peace, there is power. I will forever believe that you do not have to find your purpose; your purpose will find you. Just stop, get out of your own way, and allow your God-given purpose and mission to come to you. Then you will get connected to your inner self, and the answers you are seeking will come. Your life purpose will unfold naturally and with ease; you never have to force it. Why do I say that? When you start looking for your purpose, you may find yourself trying to pick and choose what you think your purpose should be. Often your purpose in life may not come close to what you may have imagined. Perhaps you are totally confused with your purpose because you are trying to duplicate someone else's gifts and or talents. Or perhaps you are blocking your purpose by practicing one or more of the following: According to logic-based therapy, demanding perfection is the master fallacy--the fallacy from which all or most other fallacies that create behavioral and emotional headaches are inferred. If you demand perfection, you can bet your last dollar there are other fallacies inferred from it that are also helping to frustrate your personal and interpersonal happiness. For example, suppose you demand that you never make mistakes, and you just made one at work. You gave a presentation before the company bigwigs and stumbled over your words. "What a stupid idiot," you say to yourself. "How could I have gotten up there and made a total fool of myself?" Here, in using the negatively charged terms "stupid idiot" and "total fool," you degrade yourself as totally worthless. In so doing, you feel hopeless and demoralized, and you foresee your future prospects for happiness in the bleakest of terms.

Anxiety, on the other hand, tends to be a fear response triggered by something that has either happened a long time ago, has not yet happened, or may not actually be happening at all. Likewise, instead of kicking you into high gear so you can escape an imminent threat to your life or safety, anxiety tends to hang around and haunt you. For instance, if you are afraid you might have said something embarrassing while out to dinner with your friends last week, you might keep replaying the scene over and over in your head and experience a low-grade sense of dread. Or if you have to give a presentation at work next week, you might imagine all the ways you might make a fool of yourself and struggle with a constant feeling of dread and terror. Or, alternatively, for no reason at all, you might just be suddenly struck with an overwhelming sense of panic that causes you to feel like something terrible is going to happen. Are you searching for the perfect purpose versus listening to your true calling? Do you dislike silence and need to be in a lot of noise? Are you afraid of being alone? Do you devalue the unconscious mind? We need occupations where our strengths work for us and our weaknesses are not too handicapping. We need jobs where there is both structure and variety. We need each day to be the same overall and yet to have details that vary. That's one of the reasons I chose psychiatry over pediatrics. I loved taking care of very sick kids and their families in the hospital, but I realized that isn't what pediatrics is actually like. One red eardrum or runny nose looks pretty much like another. In psychiatry, no two patients are alike, even if they happen to have the same diagnosis. Most patients are different each time I see them, too, especially if therapy is being effective and they're changing. So with my ADD, psychiatry is just right for me. There is structure and yet every day is different. I work on a tight schedule and don't have to be making decisions about what to do next; I simply see the next patient on my schedule.

But each session will be different and therefore interesting. That is the perfect job for a person with ADD, variety within structure. And there's opportunity to exercise creativity, which I need to do within each session. Well, if you put on your critical thinking cap, you can see that your self-worth was not flushed down the toilet with your mistake. That's a fallacy, and it is fueled by the demand that you not make any mistakes. That's one type of demand for perfection (taken up in Chapter Four), and, as you can see, like a virus, it can lead to more serious infections. Before you know it, you are ready to throw yourself onto the junk heap! This book will help you identify such syndromes of fallacies (Cohen, 2003) that can be your own undoing, but only if you (that's right, you) let them! Refuting the must within your demands--proving to yourself that it is irrational and self-defeating--is key to your happiness, because as long as you keep telling yourself that the world must exist in some state of ideality, you banish yourself to a life out of sync with the imperfect nature of the universe and its cosmic inventory, including human nature. So you tell yourself you must always succeed. But sooner or later, inevitably, you will fall short of your absolutistic goal. Unfortunately, failure is something you just can't accept. Consequently, you walk a tightrope without a net, carrying the angst of what to you is unthinkable: that you will eventually fail. It is not that you courageously confront the inevitability of failing, like the tightrope walker who faces the peril of walking the line without a net precisely because it is death defying. Rather, you do not even accept the dreaded possibility of failing. So today maybe you have succeeded, but there is always tomorrow, when failure is still possible, or the next day, or the next, and so on. Your only escape from this kaleidoscope of stress is to come clean and give up your must; to give yourself permission to be human--which means accepting that you are imperfect. Ah, freedom! It feels so good when you let go of that damn must! The feelings associated with each of these experiences is not fear, but rather anxiety, because you are not responding to an imminent and obvious threat to your safety or wellbeing.