Reflecting on What Empowered My Sense of Confidence and Self

Yesterday in the mail, I received a newly published book written by my friend, colleague and mentor, Dan Gottlieb. Thumbing through the first few pages of The Wisdom We’re Born With: Restoring Our Faith in Ourselves, I began to reflect back on the lessons I’ve learned from Dr. Dan over the 35 years of knowing him.

We first met when I was a ripe old age of 25, fresh out of graduate school, eagerly engaged in family therapy training at The Family Institute of Philadelphia. Dan was my teacher for the first half of a three and a half year program. He stood out as markedly different from most of his peers in that he wasn’t threatened by my burgeoning feminism. He loved it, engaged it, challenged it and has steadfastly supported it.

How powerful it was way back when to share dinner with my teacher and have him look at me and say in a non-threatening way: “I don’t think you’re really as confident as you seem to be.” Trusting it was OK to be honest, I replied, “Of course I’m not.” We held a gaze and in that moment I knew…

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Musings From a Psychotherapist About the Effects of Secrecy and Shame in Our Lives

Last night, I had the privilege of leading a talk-back following a production of Neil LaBute’s “In a Dark, Dark House.” I read the script for the play last month and thought the playwright brilliant for his ability to comprehend what actually goes on as a result of childhood sexual abuse. Himself a survivor of child sexual abuse, LaBute crafted a play that asks the audience to bear some pain, experience some confusion and appreciate some of the complexities involved when a person grows up living with being sexualized way before they’re even old enough to know about sex.

I woke up today thinking about the play. I thought about how…

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Outsmarting Stress and Negativity

A number of months ago, I had the good fortune of traveling to India with my family. I wasn’t so keen on taking this trip, fearing that I’d get depressed from seeing the country’s massive poverty. Having read many novels written by Indian authors, I was primed to witness people living in conditions that I’d never before set eyes on.

For a number of months, I had a nagging sense of worry that got me feeling way more stressed than I wanted to be. The Inner Worrier would beckon me from out of the blue, telling me to worry about how I was going to feel while in India. It got me doubting whether I would feel OK or not — and got me squirming…

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Overcoming Doubt and Fear in Order to Foster Self-Confidence

There’s a surge in conversation about the challenge for women to claim confidence and counteract self-doubt. The newest book on the topic, The Confidence Gap, shows, yet again, that women are less self-assured than men, and to succeed in the work world, confidence matters as much as competence.

Let’s dispel the mystery behind the scenes so that we are not so shocked by what the headlines tell us. Females, by and large, grow up playing the game of life with different rules than our male counterparts. I remember many years ago walking into my daughter’s day-care center and noticing how the boys…
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Dr. Beth Weinstock at an event for AWE (Alliance for Women Entrepreneurs)

Wake-Up Calls Inspired My Change From Overdrive and Sleep Deprived

Wake-up calls come from many sources and, at their best, incite us to transform the ways we live. Recently, I heard Arianna Huffington speak about her realization that she needed to make concrete changes in the number of hours she worked and slept. The co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group broke her cheekbone and gashed her eye as a result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. Surrendering to the realization that something had to change (and then making changes), Arianna is now inviting us to challenge assumptions we hold about what’s needed to live well and succeed.

Promoting her latest book, Thrive, Arianna shared with a Philadelphia audience, “We’re all living under the collective delusion that to succeed, you need to work 24/7.” She went on to say that wherever she’s speaking, she…

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