In more than a third of the interviews I conducted, the interviewees were out in their backyards or garages, talking quietly on their phones so no one could hear, or they were behind locked doors in their offices. That lonely silence can be a death sentence in the most severe cases. Let's talk briefly about the studies on the severe dangers of perfectionism. There are far too many to quote here, but it's important to point out that highly qualified researchers have been working on this issue for years. Perfectionism as a psychological problem was first described in 1984 by noted educator and psychologist Asher Pacht. Then in 1995, Sydney Blatt continued the discussion of its risks. Edwin Shneidman, the founder of the American Association of Suicidology, in his book Suicide as Psychache: A Clinical Approach to Self-Destructive Behavior (1993), proposed that what he termed "psychache" (unbearable psychological pain) was associated with suicide more than simple depression. That concept led others to look at the relationship between perfectionism and psychache, and Ricardo Flamenbaum and Robert Holden (2007) found that there was a strong connection between socially prescribed perfectionism and suicidality. Yet through some bizarre logic that will never cease to amaze me, I watch people get suckered time after time. Some jerk (a.k.a. boyfriend, mother-in-law, boss, skinny friend, etc.) will level some vague and unfounded criticism, and because we haven't done the work to amass the facts, we buy into it and stick it right dead center in our self-concept. We even do it to ourselves with our own opinions! In examining your self-concept, then, you need to be really clear about what's fact and what's not. Opinions are only opinions, and opinions can be changed. What I want to help you do is stop dealing with opinions about yourself, and instead get in touch with the facts about yourself. Once you know the facts, you'll engage the world in an entirely different way. You'll stop saying to yourself, I have to earn my right to be here by being clever, rich, funny, pretty, anything. Instead, you'll communicate to the world, I have the right to be here, because I know from the inside out that I have qualities that are worthy of your acceptance. I know that about myself. It may take you some time to see that or not, but I know who I am, and I know that if you know me, then we are good to go.

It is a really uncomfortable truth with survivors. In some cases, the guilt of surviving is the fact that the reason you survived is a survival instinct took Picture now if you will a mental image of what a stereotypical, depressed person looks like in terms of body language. If you really want to check this out, then stand up. Roll your shoulders over and look at the floor. Have your chin down on your chest and slouch. Whether you have actually stood up or are just imagining it say out loud, "This is the best day of my life." I am sure you will agree it does not feel that way at all or at the very least sound convincing. Stand tall by imagining there is a string at the top of your head that pulls you up straight. Shoulders back and look either straight ahead or up. Then with the shoulders back, relax them a little. You are not on parade! Voltaire suggested that we are free the moment we choose to be free. In my eyes, this wisdom applies to so many states of being. I believe that we can sparkle the moment we choose to find and feel our sparkle; the moment we tune into the aliveness and vitality that is already glistening within us. In our most blissful moments, often simple and quiet moments in which we sense true gratitude for our lives, we see that real happiness isn't somewhere out there', it is already ours to enjoy. <a href=''>To</a> realise this joy is to find and feel our inner sparkle. <a href=''>It's</a> time for you to shed your shell and be free of a negative body image. <a href=''>You</a> may be scared or feel unprotected, but you won't be vulnerable forever. <a href=''>Eventually</a> you'll grow a new shell, and the new way that you relate to food, your body, and others will start to feel like home. <a href=''>Remember,</a> not changing is often harder than changing. <a href=''>Consider</a> your options: Stay stuck and stagnant with a negative body image for the rest of your life or do some tough emotional work so you can accept, understand, and love yourself for who you are and finally achieve all your weight, health, and life goals. <br /><br /><a href=''>Your</a> body image is a crucial element of how you feel about yourself. <a href=''>Though</a> it can be related to your weight, simply dropping pounds won't improve your body image--you must first learn how to love and appreciate your body regardless of its appearance. <a href=''>Addressing</a> the barriers described throughout this chapter and completing the sample exercises will help you to develop a new perspective on your body. <a href=''>If</a> you've unsuccessfully attempted weight loss before, it's time to set a new, attainable weight loss goal. <a href=''>Be</a> realistic about your goal weight, make time for yourself to meet it, and follow through with your plan to the best of your ability. <a href=''>So</a> what is socially prescribed perfectionism? <a href=''>In</a> their recent book, well-known researchers on perfectionism Flett, Hewitt, and Mikail (2017) divide perfectionism into three groups: self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially prescribed. <a href=''>Self-oriented</a> is expecting yourself to be perfect; that striving comes from within you. <a href=''>Other-oriented</a> is expecting others to be perfect. <a href=''>Socially</a> prescribed is when you feel immense pressure from others to be perfect; it follows the logic that basically the better you do, the better you're expected to do. <a href=''>This</a> last category is especially dangerous--not that the other categories can't be--because it can create a tremendous sense of hopelessness, the psychache that Shneidman discussed, and a major factor in suicidal behavior. <a href=''>You</a> can identify with all three forms of perfectionism, just two, or primarily one. <a href=''>If</a> you live with any of them, your awareness of stigma and need to avoid recognition is likely more than troubling. <a href=''>Let's</a> stop and give you a chance to journal about your own awareness of where your perfectionism lives within you. <a href=''>I'm</a> making such a big deal out of this because I know that in any life, too much distortion (baseless opinion) creeps into self-perceptions and thinking. <a href=''>Often</a> times it happens without your even knowing it. <a href=''>It's</a> as if your authentic self were an image projected on a wall. <a href=''>In</a> the beginning, the image was crisp and focused. <a href=''>The</a> colors were brilliant, its edges were razor sharp; there could be no doubt about what that picture was. <a href=''>If</a> you had been asked, "Who are you?" you would have pointed at the image and said with confidence, "That's who I am." Then the world started bumping the projector. <br /><br /><a href=''>Upsets</a> and challenges and difficulties jostled and shook it so that the image blurred. <a href=''>Your</a> own responses to those events contributed to the shimmying and shaking. <a href=''>This</a> commotion went on for years. <a href=''>Along</a> the way, you stopped testing everything for accuracy, and certain things started getting to you. <a href=''>Now,</a> when you look up at the wall, you see only a hodgepodge of fuzzy lines and motley colors. <a href=''>Your</a> authentic self has fallen completely out of focus, facts blurred by the opinions of you and others who may not have had your best interest at heart. <a href=''>Push</a> your hips forward slightly (what Pilates might callzip up'). Now say out loud, "This is the worst day of my life" and that really does not feel or sound convincing either, does it?! Now add a smile. From your toes up. Wiggle the toes. Stay like this for at least a minute and see how your mood changes. This not only works with being stood up. Try it when sitting too. One of the simplest ways to flood your body with good feelings is to release a chemical known as serotonin. You will have heard and likely said, "Things are looking up." Well our language reveals literal truths very often. Paying attention to our language is an excellent behaviour. It is one of the key tools I use in working with clients. Remember how to use the technique of listening now by placing your tongue behind your teeth now. Maybe even wiggle your toes, you are about to learn something new.

This practice is a good way to start the day and continue during it. I always have a home. A safe, peaceful place I can go to be myself, to breathe and to relax, to see myself tenderly as I am. I simply close my eyes, breathe in and out, and there I am, at home. I look around and see a place that I love. My heart is at perfect peace. I feel my mind and body loosen, and my spirit at ease. I feel my breath begin to flow again. At home within, the hurries and worries of the outside world melt effortlessly away. I am free and safe to restore myself here in quiet bliss. This place always was and always will be my true home. A place to know myself deeply, care for myself lovingly, and love myself truly. Here I am now, at home within. While you're on the path toward a healthier lifestyle, it's important to remind yourself that appearance isn't everything. Weight-related prejudice is real and can be hurtful, but do not let your weight dictate what you do and where you go in life. Start working on improving your body image today. It will facilitate your weight loss efforts and allow you to feel deserving of a happy, fulfilled life. Let's consider for a moment the three categories of perfectionism: self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially prescribed. We're getting a little more in depth here, so take your time. Remember, there's no right or wrong.