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What is Self Love?

What is Self Love?

Teena Evert, M.A., LAC, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified coach with Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She specializes in wholehearted living and empowered relationships. She can help you connect with your true self, and cultivate thriving relationships with others.

Understanding Self-Love

What is self-love? Why is self-love so important? The importance of self-love cannot be overstated. “Self Love” refers to our ability to hold ourselves in esteem and have confidence in our worth, no matter what happens around us.

Allow me to give you an example of the power of self-love, and how the lack of self-love can negatively impact you.

Lack of Self-Love

Does this sound familiar?

You feel like angry gremlins are coming at you, you’re exhausted from hauling the weight of the world on your shoulders, you’ve got this imaginary ball and chain locked around your ankles, and if that isn’t enough you’re at your wits end from constantly dodging bullets that are aimed right at your head and chest!

The truth is, you may not even actually be emotionally attacked or dragged down. But when you’re feeling vulnerable or insecure, it can seem that way. These are all distortions we can experience when our self-love tank is running on empty and our self-hate tank is topped off and running on full throttle.

The Importance of Self-Love

Did you know that the level of our self-love affects every aspect of our life?

The way we feel about ourselves impacts our relationships, our careers, how much money we make, how happy we truly are, and how people perceive us.

To determine your level of self-love, here’s a quick “self-love” quiz:

  • Do you believe that it is your job to define your own worth and lovability and no one else’s job, OR do you believe your self-worth is based on how people feel about you?
  • When you make a mistake are you able be compassionate with yourself and learn from the situation, OR do you beat yourself up?
  • Do you feel guilty for taking care of yourself, OR do you do practice self-care on a regular daily basis?

How to Practice Self-Love

Your self-love will increase if you begin to see who you really are, rather than seeing yourself through all the false beliefs and distortions. As adults, we need to take responsibility for knowing who we really are. When we are able to embrace this responsibility, then we know we are connected to our authentic or truest self. At the very essence of who we really are is a deep reservoir for our capacity to love, experience joy and compassion.

Reminding yourself that you are a good person, worthy of love and respect, will help you swat away the false beliefs telling you otherwise.

Here are 3 positive affirmations for self-love, to help guide you towards expressing your true authentic self

  1. “I don’t allow other people to define who I am.”
  2. “The worth of my true authentic self is intact, unchanging, and nothing can change it and nothing I do can take it away from me.”
  3. “My self-worth is not based on my performance or how others think of me.” (Otherwise, your self-worth will fluctuate based on those events.) 

Why Self-Love is So Important

Many of the issues that people struggle with, such as depression, anxiety, and relationship issues are really symptoms of a lack of self-love and disconnection from their true authentic self. When people feel insecure, they can worry, feel sad, or even lash out. In contrast when you feel confident and embracing of the real you, those bad feelings are less likely to arise.

Examples of Self-Love

Be kind to yourself as you learn to apply these principles of self-love into your daily living.

Believe in yourself as you open your heart to the magnificence of who you truly are.

Allow yourself to be curious as you learn to raise the level of joy in your tank of self-love.

A powerful form of self-love can even be reaching out for support when you need it. When you work with an experienced therapist or life coach, you can understand the roots of self-worth issues, and begin building yourself up from the inside out. When you feel good about yourself, you’ll feel not just happier but more empowered in your life and your relationships. 

I believe you deserve that, and I hope that you do too.


Warmly,

Teena Evert, M.A., LPC, LAC, LMFT

Constant Arguing in a Relationship? Here’s How to Stop Having “The Same Fight”

Constant Arguing in a Relationship? Here’s How to Stop Having “The Same Fight”

Teena Evert, M.A., LAC, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed addictions counselor, and certified coach with Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She specializes in whole-hearted living and empowered relationships. Teena can help you connect with your true self, and cultivate thriving relationships with others.

Stop Fighting, and Start Understanding

So you disagree with one another. You’re not seeing eye-to-eye on an important matter that impacts your relationship. It’s causing a lot of tension that quickly escalates into a debate where no one wins. It’s exhausting to say the least, but you’re just not willing to give up trying to get the other person to see your point of view and understand your feelings. It matters to you that your partner gets you, feels you and is able to work with you to solve a perpetual problem in your relationship.

The reality is that you have both failed at your attempts to try to resolve the issue for years. You’re both finally at your breaking point and considering reaching out to a  professional marriage counselor or couples therapist in hopes of saving your relationship.

Resolving Arguments: What Doesn’t Work

What hasn’t worked is trying to prove your point by going over the facts and details of what happened and what was said in hopes that you will come to some sort of agreement that will end the argument.

The conversation instantly becomes heated and after a failed attempt to persuade your partner that their actions and ideas are wrong, you step away feeling defeated, hopeless and at your breaking point. You may even threaten to break up or divorce because you can’t continue to have this same argument over and over again with no resolution. [Check out: How to Stop a Divorce and Save Your Marriage]

Are You Stuck in a Negative Relationship Cycle?

I have worked with hundreds of couples who have struggled with this dilemma. They are highly distressed from getting stuck in this negative cycle. They need help getting out of it so they can resolve the argument at its core and enjoy the good things that they share in their relationship.

The truth is, this is not a quick fix, particularly if this pattern has been repeating itself for years. It will take some time to untangle and get to the root of the problem so that it can be handled in a manner that prevents it from continuing to grow, fester and take over your seemingly great relationship otherwise.

How to Resolve a Chronic Argument in Your Relationship:

  1. First, you must be willing to be 100% responsible and accountable for your part in the argument.
  2. Second, you must be open to taking a look at what your partner does that triggers your behavior and therefore impacts your partner’s reaction to you.
  3. Third, you must also be willing to explore the emotions you feel and identify your relationship needs.
  4. Fourth, you must be willing to take a look at your worst fears and be able to talk about this with your partner.

You’re Not Alone

Every couple has arguments that if not resolved can turn into a negative cycle of interaction. [Check out: Communication 101] This can leave you feeling estranged from your partner, which often includes feeling alone and isolated. The truth is, there is no way to keep from getting caught in a negative cycle from time to time. If you don’t have the knowledge and skills to work through this together, then partners become stuck in a disconnected alienated impasse.

Working with a trained couple’s therapist or relationship coach can help you break out of these negative cycles and as a result you will become more resilient and experience more trust and security in your relationship.

This is what I want for you so that you can enjoy your life together, grow stronger together and have a happy and fulfilling partnership. If this resonates with you and you think you could benefit from some professional help, then please set up a free consultation with me so I can help you move forward.

Warmly,

Teena Evert, M.A., LAC, LMFT

4 Common Relationship Issues That Drive Couples To Seek Couples Counseling

4 Common Relationship Issues That Drive Couples To Seek Couples Counseling

Teena Evert is a licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed addictions counselor, and certified coach with Growing Self Counseling & Coaching.  She specializes in helping people live wholeheartedly, and create empowered lives and relationships. She can help you connect with your true self, and cultivate thriving relationships with others.

When Is It Time For Marriage Counseling?

If you’re in a committed relationship and experiencing issues with your spouse or significant other, you’re not alone. It’s very common to have challenges in your relationship from time-to-time, as there is no perfect relationship. With that said, it’s important to learn how to work through these relationship challenges as they come up, so they don’t grow into bigger issues later.

As a couples therapist and life coach, I’ve worked with hundreds of distressed couples who have come to me for support and guidance due to challenges in their relationship that they have not been able to resolve on their own. The good news is that many of these relationship issues are solvable.

In my experience there are four main challenges that drive couples to seek marriage counseling or couples therapy:

Needing to Be Heard, Understood, and Respected

The first is a desire to have more clarity about your needs and how to get them met within the relationship. Whether we are aware of them or not, we all have needs in a relationship. A sure sign that your needs aren’t being met in your relationship is irritation and frustration that often builds into chronic resentment.

Many people grew up believing that it wasn’t okay to have needs. As a result, they become hyper-focused on their partner’s needs to the point that they neglect their own. This pattern doesn’t lead to lasting happiness and fulfillment.

Therefore, getting clear about what you need in your relationship to feel loved and cared for is how you learn to express your emotional needs with one another. Understanding how to work in partnership in life, regarding simple daily tasks and expectations addresses the functional needs of a relationship. We need both our functional and emotional needs to be met in order for the relationship to be harmonious and resilient enough to survive challenging times.

Wanting to Be Closer To Your Partner

The second is wanting an emotional connection and greater intimacy with each other. Feeling out of sync and disconnected from your partner is what can break down the intimacy in a relationship. Your emotional connection is necessary to experience true intimacy with your partner. [Read: “How to Connect With Your Partner“]

Emotional intimacy allows your relationship to provide more of a sense of relaxation, expansion and joy, rather than a state of chronic stress, contraction and fear. If you get out of sync with your partner,  it’s essential that you learn how to get back into sync as quickly as possible, so that any missteps can be repaired and the confidence in your connection can be strengthened.

Working As a Team With Each Other

The third is how to work as a team to manage life stress that comes with aging parents, raising a family or becoming empty nesters. We are stronger when we work together as a team, rather than in opposition to one another. Being in opposition will only create more stress and friction in an already difficult situation.

Major transitions in life often lead to stress that will test our resilience. This is a time that not only requires strong communication skills, but also an ability to empathize and to put others immediate needs before your own. As I mentioned earlier, relationship needs are important, however managing certain life stressors particularly related to big life transitions, will also require us to make certain sacrifices that we often can’t anticipate or prepare for until they’re happening in the moment. Working together as a united front will help you successfully navigate and manage these inevitable life events.

Improving The Communication in Your Relationship

The fourth is ineffective communication and feeling a lack of support and understanding from one another. When we can’t communicate well with our partner we often feel misunderstood and there’s a lack of support that’s felt almost immediately. This can become not only exhausting over time, but we can also feel defeated inside.

This leads to feeling stuck, stagnant, and stressed, which does not serve to foster a close connection with your partner. Communication breakdown is the primary culprit to feeling discontent and inadequate in your ability to be happy or feel satisfied in your relationship. Communication problems to not get better on their own, and if communication issues do not get resolved the harmony in the relationship will suffer to the point where hostility is the norm.

Real Help For Your Relationship

I give my clients hope that these issues can be resolved, but I also let them know they must be willing to be responsible and accountable for their part in the challenge. It doesn’t have to take a long time to feel relief, but it does require both partners to prioritize their relationship and be open to learning and applying new relationship and life skills to improve their situation long-term.

If you are experiencing challenges in your relationship, I encourage you to seek professional couples therapy or marriage counseling sooner than later. Most of these issues can be resolved fairly quickly when you invest in the right support and have a strong desire to improve your relationship and the life you share together.

Warmly,

Teena Evert, M.A., LAC, LMFT

 

Four Steps to Getting Out of a Funk

Four Steps to Getting Out of a Funk

Teena Evert is a Life Coach, Therapist, Marriage Counselor, and Relationship Coach at Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. Her empowering, affirming approach to therapy and life coaching helps you create positive and meaningful change in your life and relationships.

How to Be Happy Again

Have you been experiencing sleepless nights, sadness, or worry about the future? Here’s how to get back on track and start feeling happy again.

Feeling down lately? You’re not alone: As a therapist and life coach, I often have new clients come to me who are turning to counseling or life coaching because they are feeling stuck in negative feelings and don’t know how to break free. There are many reasons why people go through a rough patch. Perhaps something has occurred that makes you sad. Maybe you’re trying to get over a breakup. Perhaps your relationship with your spouse feels negative, you’re experiencing a loss of a loved one, a significant other, a pet, or even a job opportunity.

What you’re struggling with might be a current situation, or something from your past that has lingered and continues to distress you. Your way of coping with the distress is not working anymore. You may be feeling concerned because you have not been able to shake the sadness and discontent in your life. You want to make positive, optimistic long-term plans and feel like you are on the right path, but you’re stuck.

When you’re  in the muck of sadness, expecting the worst and sometimes dealing with sleepless nights it takes a toll. You probably know you’re missing opportunities to feel better, but discontent has such a strong hold on you that it might be difficult to keep your eyes open to the possibilities. Thank you for allowing me to step in to help you today.

Take Time To Heal

The first step to shift into a better-feeling state is to be willing to take the time to heal. Taking time does not mean putting more on your plate that’s probably already full. It’s about taking something off of your plate in order to make room for healing. Your intention might be to take off some of the worry by getting support to help you ease the weight of painful memories and release it for good. Trust that sadness will pass and you’ll eventually see this situation’s purpose in your life. Take time to heal so that you can release painful memories and move bravely forward.

Forgive Yourself

The second step of healing is often forgiveness. Forgiveness is a powerful healer. Don’t hold on to energy of past disappointments or conflict. It’s very important that you remember to forgive yourself for choices you might wish you’d made differently. You did the best you could at the time, and allow yourself to move on.

Learning to shift your mindset is essential right now. Our own thoughts are often the true culprits behind the trouble we fear. [Check out: “Uncover Your Inner Obstacles”] Release your unhelpful guilt, and realize that regret is a wasted emotion. Instead, turn your attention to the amazing possibilities for the future, and leave the past behind.

Reevaluate Your Situation

The third step of healing is to reevaluate your situation. Many times, solution that you are seeking is closer than you think. However, when you’re not feeling good emotionally, it can be hard to see the path out. But even small opportunities for change and growth can reap enormous benefits. Consider the possibility that even just being drawn to read this article, positive forces are working to assist you now. Even though you may not feel this way, you do have many options for change and growth, and a chance to accept the help that is being offered to you.

By taking the time to heal, learning to forgive yourself and reevaluate your situation you will get to a place where you can honestly say that the challenging times are behind you, and brighter times are ahead. You will be able to look to your future with optimism, excitement and confidence.

Receive Support and Guidance

For many people who don’t feel great about themselves and their lives in the moment, it can be hard to believe that feeling optimistic, hopeful and positive about life is even possible. That’s why it’s so important to get the right kind of support and guidance right now.

Having a partner for growth and change will help assist you to get your life back on track and begin to make positive, optimistic long-term plans on your right path. One of the biggest obstacles that many people who are feeling down have to struggle with is the negative thoughts and feelings that will sabotage your efforts to turn things around.

Part of my role as a counselor and life coach is to offer support and guidance that helps you push back against those forces, so that you can create positive change. This is what I want for you — and for you to know that you’re not alone. I believe you can get back to a place of feeling hope and happy expectation, where you can envision your life the way you want it to be and to take action in that direction. I hope these ideas help you get there.

Warmly,

Teena Evert, M.A., LPC, LAC, LMFT