Navigate / search

Ask Julie: I Feel Like a Failure As A Mom And Fiancee

Q: I am a stay-at-home mom, and lately, I have been feeling like a failure. I feel like I can’t do anything right and that everything I do goes unnoticed. I have a wonderful fiance, who works hard to take care of our family and who loves me very much, but the problem lies with me. I can’t express my feelings to him. I have so much guilt inside of me: I feel guilty when I need money and my fiance gives it to me. I feel guilty if he comes home and the house isn’t spotless, even when the baby was a handful. I feel guilty if I take time for myself or if we go out without the baby. I feel guilty when the little one cries or throws tantrums when my fiance is at home, because I am supposed to be a good mother and a good housekeeper and a good fiancee, but I don’t feel like I am. I am a failure at everything, and I am just so sick of crying everyday. How do I get past this? Please, please help me.

A: Thanks for your email. You sure put a lot of pressure on yourself! But who says you have to be a perfect fiancée, house keeper, or good at finances? It sounds like you want to be more than just good at those things, it sounds like you want to be perfect. I wonder if there’s something deeper going on, or how you learned to be so hard on yourself. Watch the video for the full answer.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Five Ways To Boost Your Confidence: Studio 5

Confidence is one of those characteristics that almost every woman desires for herself. We understand that in many ways, confidence is key to happiness, assertiveness, and success. But how exactly do we acquire it? Here are 5 actionable items to boost your confidence:

1) Be Conscious of Societal Context

Sometimes, we as women believe that struggling with confidence is a weakness we alone experience. But the truth is that many of us feel insecure and inadequate at times. Remember that although women have come a long way in the rights and opportunities available to us, we still need to continue to advocate for our equality. Feeling self-conscious or unconfident is part of the result of a bigger systemic picture. If you struggle with these feelings, know that you are not alone!
Read more

Ask Julie: My Anxiety Is Hurting My Relationships

Q:All my life, I have never been able to do what i like to do for the fear of being judged by other people. It has come to such a point that I cannot think for myself; it always has to be “if I do this, what will others think?”I have good friends who keep advising me to be more social, but my fear gets the better of me. I haven’t had a serious relationship in a long time. I am scared if that if I keep being such an introvert, I’ll end up with no life. I have lost all sense of emotions in the last few months and am becoming desperate for companionship and just to be accepted.

A: Thank you for writing in. I wish I could talk to you to clarify how long this has been going on. I do have a few thoughts, though. You may have developed social phobia or another form of anxiety disorder. What you’re describing sounds like more than just simply being introverted. I really think you should get some help from a professional. Watch the video for the rest of this answer.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

5 Ways to Develop Resilience: Studio 5

unnamed

Everyone goes through challenging experiences: loss, illness, divorce, and other hardships can take a heavy emotional toll. Resilience is being able overcome these kind of struggles and is the ability to “bounce back.” But you don’t have to wait until the storms hit to develop this skill. Here are 5 ways to build resilience for when you really need it:
Read more

Ask Julie: How Do I Open up Emotionally to my Therapist?

Q: How do I open up to my therapist? I am constantly worried that he might think I’m trying to get attention. I have an eating disorder, and I’m slightly overweight (according to my BMI). I’m just not able to be truly open and honest. He really is a great therapist, and I have a deeper connection with him than most others in my life. I have these feelings outside of therapy, but when I go in, I put on a face that everything is ok. How do I work on this to communicate better?

A: Great question! The emotional pattern of guarding your feelings is likely part of the reason you’re in therapy in the first place. I think the first step is to tell you’re therapist that you’re having a hard time opening up! Watch the video for complete answer.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

“Who Am I Without You” 5 Reasons Self-Esteem is a Myth

IPPY Award-Winning Author of This is How We Grow, Dr. Christina Hibbert and I have been close friends for over 8 years. We’ve seen each other through many ups and downs, through stresses and successes, and I am thrilled to get to share one of Christina’s latest successes—her brand new, just-released book, “Who Am I Without You!”  A fabulous guide to overcoming a breakup, divorce, or any life transition or loss, “Who Am I Without You” shares 52 short lessons and tools for overcoming, becoming and flourishing! I received an advanced copy of the book and here’s what I had to say about it:

“With just the right blend of empathy for the reader’s pain and encouragement to move forward, Christina Hibbert has written an accessible, practical, and compassionate guidebook for reclaiming self-worth after a breakup. I’ve seen hundreds of women in my psychotherapy practice who feel unworthy of love, and whose self-esteem has taken a blow after a failed relationship—and I wish I’d had this book to recommend to them! Who Am I Without You? is a much-needed companion on the road to resolving emotional barriers, reclaiming your worth, and re-envisioning a life of love after loss.”

—Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW, psychotherapist, author of The Burnout Cure, and owner and executive director of Wasatch Family Therapy

Check out this excerpt from one of Dr. Hibbert’s favorite chapters and then check out the book! If you don’t need it, then you probably know someone who does.

Read more

How to Stop Comparing: Studio 5

unnamed

Comparing ourselves to other people; it’s something we all are guilty of (particularly women). Whether it has to do with looks, money, talents, relationships, or belongings, many women perceive themselves as less than someone else who seems to have a better life. In a society that so often ranks us, it’s no surprise that this is so common! But at what cost? Comparing ourselves to others can eat away at our happiness and lead to more anxiety and lower self-esteem, but thankfully it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are 5 strategies to avoid the comparison trap:

Read more

How To Be More Assertive: Studio 5

How to be assertive

“Assertiveness” is a word that can have some negative connotations. Some might equate being assertive with being pushy, bossy, or controlling. But in reality, assertiveness is a communication skill that can help us express our feelings and needs and ultimately grow closer in our relationships. The truth is that assertiveness is extremely important in having the life we want. Here are some strategies to help you be more assertive:

Read more

How to Harness the Power of Procrastination: Studio 5

Most all of us have procrastinated at one point or another. We delay doing things like taxes, cleaning, work projects, etc. While we tend to think of this as a bad habit, it’s possible to manage the tendency to put things off to actually benefit you. Here are 4 ways to harness the power of procrastination:

Read more

Boost Self-Esteem to Improve Relationships: Huff Post Interview

confidence

No matter what great things we accomplish or how much confidence we build, the truth is that all of us have weaknesses and insecurities. And sometimes, unfortunately, they can get out of hand and interfere with our lives. Have you ever felt a strain on a relationship because of a nagging insecurity of yours? If so, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that the way we feel about ourselves, for good or for bad, is a critical factor in how happy we are in romantic relationships. 
Read more