Use This Self Care Wheel To Create A Better You In 2017!

Its the new year! That means it is the time for setting new intentions and thinking about how we could enrich our minds, bodies and souls through our everyday practices!

The “New Year’s resolution” is a wonderful tradition that sometimes gets flack because it is hard to follow through with. Traditionally people will joke and point out that most new years resolutions don’t last more than the first month. According to this study only 8% of Americans actually follow through with their resolutions and 38% of Americans don’t even attempt to make a resolution. This statically low success rate and the awareness of it ironically creates and perpetuates the environment where we expect ourselves to fail.

So how do we succeed??

We change our mindset.

What does failure look like? Its an interesting thing to look at because when do we actually fail? Is it when we stop trying or is it when things get hairy?

Maybe you are trying to cut sugar out of your diet and about, oh I don’t know, 1 month and 14 days in your partner buys you some amazing caramels from a local chocolatier as a random act of consumer driven kindness (IE a valentines day gift). AND what if you enjoy the crap out of those caramels. (You wouldn’t want him to feel rejected right??? RIGHT???)

Does this equal failure?

Did you fail at your goal to cut sugar out of your diet? Well I guess you could say yes. Then you could just give up and not try anymore.

Maybe you need to re-asses your goals and be more clear about what you want- Do you want no more sugar ever, or do you want to drastically reduce the amount of sugar you eat?? Once you figure out what your goal is this can help with the progress at hand. The question still remains-what if you truly wanted to go zero sugar and you slip up?

Well let’s try to look at it this way; maybe the fact that you slipped up is just an affirmation that your mind is really profoundly changing and the resistance is a sign that you are holding on to the old you? Maybe the presence of the slip up or the desire to slip up is just a sign that you are about to really change and the old you is scared? Maybe you are so resolved that you CAN’T succeed that you have to prove yourself right? Your old self sees the new and better you and is saying “uh-uh, not in MY HOUSE!”

Wow. Who does the old you think they are??? Why do they get to call the shots! Maybe it’s time for a new person in charge, right!!? It’s time to lovingly say to your old self “You don’t get to call the shots anymore!” Even if we slip up- we only fail if we let our old selves get the last word.

(This was very much so inspired by the work of Jaime Smart if you do not know him please check out his website! He is very intelligent and has helped me change myself for the better)

So with that being said I want to present the most important change you can make in your life with this new year!

Self Care – EVERY DAY.

I know “self care” is a popular term right now and there is lots of conversation around it. I think lots of people are familiar with the idea around it but how many of us are actually pursuing this regularly?

This isn’t just some trend! It’s not just some lingo to use to fit in with your meditation club! (is that a thing!!!?) It’s a real bonafide practice that promotes better physical, emotional and spiritual well being and was developed by doctors and mental health practitioners over the last 4-5 decades!

I remember a counselor giving me my first ever self care list over 10 years ago! I was really excited!

So what is it? Well generally speaking it is something that keeps you healthy (mentally, emotionally and spiritually) and really can vary from person to person. Some general self care things would be; getting enough rest, eating healthy food, drinking enough water, regular exercise, journaling, talking to special people, meditating, etc.

Some of you may already be overwhelmed!! How do I do ALL of these things everyday! Well the simple answer is you don’t.

You start out by changing your thinking. You are not just adopting a list of duties everyday- that would be self defeating in a way. You would still benefit from them, but you are less likely to withstand long term change if you do not feel the deeper sense of self worth that is available from these practices.

Any doctor can tell someone to change their eating habits but how much higher is the success rate if that person deeply understands what is going on physically and chemically when they eat nutritious food and truly understand their worthiness of this kind of pleasure and peace!

So here is an easy way to start.

Find your time- everyday. Doesn’t have to be the same time everyday, although that is beneficial to creating new rituals it can be difficult for those with unpredictable schedules or children. SO just find a time. (**side note- you do not have to be child free or even home from work to do most of these, if the wheel lands on one of the few activities that would be hard to do with children around or at the office then just spin again!)

Sit in the beginning and just close your eyes for 30 seconds to 1 minute and really assess how you feel.

Say out loud to yourself: “I am worthy of self care. I am worthy of feeling good. I value my own well-being.”

Spin the “Self Care Wheel”- and do the self care act.

Say out loud to yourself: “I am worthy of self care. I am worthy of feeling good. I value my own well-being.”

Sit and close your eyes for 30 seconds to 1 minute and really assess how you feel.

The end.

This can be 10 minutes, it can be an hour. You can do multiple things or you can do just one. Be sure to really assess how you feel before and after because if you can really see the benefit you will feel more motivated to keep at it!

Do this everyday, and remember when you start to feel yourself thinking “agh I don’t have time” or “I don’t want to do that”, or you notice that you haven’t done it for a week STOP YOURSELF, say to yourself “Wow look how profound the change I am making is that my old self is resisting it! I should keep going!” AND DO.

I hope you all have a beautiful and self loving 2017! Be sure to keep an eye out for the TruBirth: your conscious and connected reproductive journey e-learning course coming out in March!

Here are some good tips on the items on the wheel:

Self Massage: This is a great way to release stress, it can be done to any part of the body and there are several great tutorials on YouTube! Here is one for the head and neck:

Self Acupressure:

Salt bath: For this you can use your bath tub and take a whole body bath with salt- or you can fill up a sink or bucket and soak your feet. Add some coconut milk and an essential oil for a extra special experience (Make sure to add a fat with your essential oils to dilute them. It may seem like a whole tub full of water would dilute it enough but it doest dilute it at all. Since oil does not mix with water and our skin is waterproof this means that the oil will sit on the top of the water and our skin will absorb it as if it was undiluted)

Oil Pull: You can use 1-2 tsp of either coconut oil, sunflower oil or sesame seed oil and swish it around in your mouth for 15-20 min. This has been shown to gently detox your gums and teeth and has even been shown to whiten teeth!

Yoga: Do a simple sun or moon salutation! YouTube has several videos to choose from that can guide you through the process!

Meditation: These can be found on Youtube. You can select from 5,10,15 minute and so on! Another great tool is the HeadSpace App!

Rebounding: This is usually done with a trampoline but can also be done by preforming jumping jacks on the floor or using a jump rope!  This is a great resource for learning about rebounding:

Journaling: You can focus on one idea or let your mind explore! Write down what comes to mind! Listen to what your mind has to say!

Daily energy routine: This is a 5 minute routine that can really help your body!

Breathing exercises: There are several kinds of breathing exercises here is a really simple one:

Grounding: This is the act of connecting ourselves to the ground, much like the appliances in our house which ground to secure their electrical stability, we also have electromagnetic properties and grounding ourselves from time to time is a very healthy and helpful practice. It can be done by stepping outside (ideally on soil or grass) with bare feet. If you are incapable of getting outside barefoot you can purchase grounding mats to use or just go outside with shoes on (this does not have the same effect as going barefoot but it is undeniable that going outside has its own benefits that can help)

5 Steps To Pursuing Self Awareness

Self awareness. WTF is it?


When I describe TruBirth sometimes what I often find myself talking about is how the class is a tool to create connection and self awareness in your reproductive journey. One way I actively promote this idea is through my online Facebook community. I regularly post questions designed to get members thinking and talking about their feelings and growing their tools of self awareness. Throughout my TruBirth E-learning course I have tools to aide in this process but I wanted to spend some time really identifying a general ability to be self aware.

You may be saying, “I am self aware! For instance right now I know that I really want to read this blog post.” 😉

You may be saying, “I feel like I’m self aware most of the time, sometimes I forget to turn off the toaster oven or eat lunch but I’m generally on top of my feelings.”

You may be saying, “Most of the time my emotions catch me off guard. I wish I had a better handle on what I felt and why.”

You may also be going, “Emotions??? What are those?”


Wherever you are this can be helpful, especially if you are even thinking about starting your reproductive journey! So let’s look at ways you as an adult can go back and create an inward environment that welcomes your emotions and, in turn, self awareness. Let’s talk about the 5 steps to self awareness.

Step 1. Creating an open space within your mind and heart.

This will be something you may need to return to frequently but it is simply saying to yourself, “I am open to feel what is with in me, and I will love myself wherever that is.“

You can just say this to yourself right now, but the more frequently you are saying it, and the more visible this is to you, the more your heart will open up to the reality of this statement. This is your self awareness key.

Maybe consider making it a note on your desk at work, or on you bathroom vanity. Maybe embroider it on a pillow or get it tattooed! The point is the more visible this is to you on a regular basis the more powerful it will be.

Step 2: Spend time in thought daily.

You may be thinking this seems too easy to be including in the 5 steps to self awareness, but stick with me for a minute. In today’s world where technology is handheld and can even join us in the bathroom for our daily poop, most people are spending what in the past would have been time to think or process on Facebook or reading their Kindle.


Now this post is not a guilt fest for using technology or even to imply that technology is the root of all evil. I’m not saying technology is intrinsically bad by any means, because at the end of the day you have the power to control your devices. You can chose to put them down. You can say “I will no longer take a device with me to poop” or “When I nurse my child I will not look at a device.” It’s up to you what is right for use of your technological devices, all I am suggesting is finding SOME sort of time that YOU want to be in thought.

That is all, just find time and be in your own thoughts. This time is not meant to be structured at all. What we are looking for here is unstructured time in your open thoughts.

All self awareness is the ability to assess right? But what do you have to assess if you do not sit with yourself regularly? It’s kind of like time spent with a good friend. Generally speaking you have no real objective other than just to be together. You probably are not doing regular psych evaluations with them yet you probably still feel you have a good idea of who they are. That is because there is so much to see when you just spend time with someone. When you just learn to listen.

So go for a walk without your phone, workout without music, turn off the radio on your drive home. It doesn’t have to be constant, just some time everyday. Who knows you might actually find that you enjoy being with yourself! 😉

Step 3: Broaden your emotional vocabulary.

We might all know things like mad, or sad or happy. Maybe you know more than that and that’s great.

There are literally 100s of words to describe your feelings!

A great assessment tool (perhaps you would call it a self awareness tool) would be to write down all the words you know that describe feelings. Maybe even try to define what they are or give examples. Then when you are all done, look up a list of words and commit to learning 5 or 10 new words! You might realize you already know more than you thought, and even this can be a great reminder!

With limited language skills comes limited ability to assess (see I keep using that word). If you only know the colors red and black, how well are you going to be able to dialogue about the sunset and refer to your assessments? This will be much easier the more language around the subject you understand! This is true with all areas of study, including your emotional self!

Step 4: Notice trends.

When you are spending time with yourself daily (DO IT!) do you notice any trends?

For example I might notice that when I think about writing I start to feel bad. Or when I think about the conversation I had with a co-worker I feel happy! You can really help yourself out in the beginning by writing theses down. Note in the examples that this does not have to look like some sort of PHD-level paper on emotions, this is very basic simple feelings, with whatever emotional language you might have. (It helps to have lots of language around this! Don’t you agree?)

This is what I call peripheral self awareness, in other words, this is the outer edge of your self awareness and is a step that can be/should be done ALL THE TIME. Like a reaction to stubbing your toe, the more you do this the more of a reflex it will become! Thus paving the way for you to further assess whats going on!

Your truth stands in your trends. If you can access these reactions and trends then you begin to find your deeper belief systems. Knowing these is like finding the road map to yourself.

Step 5: Asses your trends and draw conclusions from them.

Note: You are not on trial here. These do not have to be perfect or even 100% accurate – it is all a process. You are navigating new waters and you may follow an idea, only to realize it doesn’t really resonate with you after all and that time was not wasted! The process is what we are looking for NOT THE OUTCOME! 

Let’s take a second here to remind ourselves that all feelings are welcome. Maybe re-read your self awareness key from Step 1? In order to be able to dig this deep you must create an open and loving environment for yourself so you can avoid defenses coming up and stopping the reflection process.

When you hear yourself saying “no don’t go there,” or “no don’t write that,” take note of that. This could be your mind’s way of pushing feelings down that we have deemed socially unacceptable or even “bad”. Be kind to yourself. This can be scary but if you feel ready push yourself there. This is most likely an area of yourself that really needs love and healing. This part of you may need to hear.

Look at the trends you wrote down and try to see if any conclusions you come up with feel right to you. By feel right I don’t mean that they don’t meet any resistance, but that they seem to fit. Finding this feeling might be hard, so if you cannot find one that feels right you can just write out as many as you can come up with and leave it at that. Next time you are thinking about it in your unstructured time, it might just come to you.

Examples of conclusions:

“When I think about writing I feel bad.” Some conclusions might be:

  • I am scared to write
  • I don’t like writing
  • I feel insecure in my writing ability

“When I talk to my co-worker I feel happy.” Some conclusions might be:

  • I feel connected to this particular person
  • I have feelings for them
  • They remind me of my father

Listen to the things that pop up in your mind, because this is WIDE OPEN. There are so many things that you could come up with. At the end of the day we are looking for the things that sit right with YOU and feel the most true. (it could be multiple)

You are a work in progress just like every other person on this earth. We are all navigating this life and trying to find our way. This can be a tool to help you find more joy and confidence in yourself and to feel deeper and truer connection with those around you. I hope these steps are helpful. Please feel free to comment any other ideas you may have that have helped you find your self awareness!


Why Saying “All That Matters is a Healthy Baby and Healthy Mom” Hurts and What to Do Instead

34% of women these days are reporting their birth expense as “traumatic”(1), 28% are showing some or all of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in regards to their brith experience (2). Despite the growing ideal of “natural childbirth” over the last 10 years our cesarean rate has stayed in and around 30% nation wide.

As a childbirth educator and lactation consultant I see lots of moms just before and just after they experience birth. I know that in my experience there are moms who desperately do not want interventions at birth, that regardless of the precautions they take or the education they get they end up with the very things they did not want. I also know that lots of moms who experience this are told not only by those close to them but by society as a whole that if they should “just be happy for a healthy baby and healthy mom”.

This notion of being grateful for “healthy baby and healthy mom” is not lost, nor is it wrong, it is just used inappropriately and (likely) unknowingly by those around new parents in order to deal with the discomfort of the listener. I don’t think any mom is going to say, I am ungrateful for my healthy baby and being healthy myself. The notion that this statement somehow is the antitheses of the pain and loss mothers may feel is where the problem comes in.

When we practice self awareness and making space for the experience and feelings of others (as is spelled out 5 Steps to Pursuing Self Awareness) we realize that no two sentiments ever cancel each other out.

Birth trauma is used to describe experiences that pose a real or perceived threat to the safety and well being of the mother, father or baby in birth, including the threat of death. It can also be used to describe experiences where the traumatized person perceives a threat to the physical or emotional integrity of the mom, dad or baby. Note that this concept is not determined by outcome but by perception and experience of the traumatized person, so, for example, all that matters is that the risk of death be present, not if the baby or mom died. (This experience is not indicative of birth trauma, though it absolutely would fall under the umbrella of this definition.)

Birth trauma has a wide range of instigators from having medical procedures pushed or forced upon moms, to the loss of mom or baby, to the mourning of plans lost from the ideal birth a parent envisioned.

The presence of birth trauma is never to negate the fact that mom is grateful for the life of her baby or her own life. I have often heard women criticize those who are mourning and feeling the wide range of emotions associated with birth trauma as selfish or silly for caring more about ideals than the health and well being of baby/mom. I can tell you that in my time spent with those mourning the loss of an ideal birth or other traumatic experiences I have never met a mother who does not love their baby or the fact that they are both healthy.

The presence of birth trauma points to the fact that our existence is so much more that purely physical. Our physical life is not more important or more significant than our emotional or spiritual existence. This would imply that someone who lives enslaved or oppressed has the same quality of life as someone who isn’t simply because they are physically alive. I don’t know many people who would debate this fact, but if you deny people the space to feel their emotions to the fullest simply because they are physically healthy and alive you are imposing this idea. SO though a mother and baby who experienced a birth trauma may be physically healthy whats to say that they are emotionally intact? At the end of the day is it really up to ANYONE other than the mom or day them self to decide whether their feelings are important or not?

So lets not devalue your sentiment of how grateful YOU are for a healthy mom and baby by forcing your feelings on someone else! Those feelings belong to you and there is nothing wrong with that, if you want to interact with new parents feelings around their birth-ASK!

It may be helpful to think about why you want to move the conversation to the feelings of gratitude rather than listen to what really is going on in moms mind and heart.

One thing that is pretty common is a general discomfort with emotions that may be deemed as “bad” in our society. This would basically be anything that isn’t happy or anything that brings up feelings of sadness.

Another common reason people will be so quick to shut down the emotional processing of certain emotions in another is because they themselves have similar emotions that were not allowed to be felt, or were shut down by someone else. You yourself may have experienced birth trauma or even another form of trauma in your life, and have never allowed yourself to mourn and feel the feelings that go along with it. So when that person starts to talk about these things you yourself are triggered back to these repressed emotions and in order to shut it back down again and shut down the person you are talking to.

Identifying that this is at the root of your response gives you the ability to now decide if you would like to either work through your own experiences or if you are uncomfortable talking about this traumatic experience and maybe need to distance yourself from this conversations about the trauma at hand.

If the latter is your sentiment then simply say “I hear what you are saying, and I want to honor that. This is triggering some things in me that I am not ready to open up. I can not talk about this at this time.”

Once we have done that, we have set up a safety net to catch ourselves when we are talking to a new mom/dad about their experience. Then you can try one of the following:

Train your brain to ask questions and listen.

Offer to write out a birth story for the family as they tell it to you while nursing/feeding the baby.

LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. Then offer to call tomorrow to listen some more.

Offer sympathy with their experience, acknowledging that their experience is important.

Remember that what they say is valid, even if it sounds “wrong” compared to your experience/feelings.

Know how you can help and don’t be afraid to ask for specifics if you are unsure.

Watch for signs of PPD and offer love and help if mom needs it. Be delicate and gentle here but don’t be afraid to speak up.

Moms need us to start listening, asking questions and speaking up for their well being. The first step in doing this is identifying any personal prohibitors we may have and addressing them fully. Through our own emotional awareness we make space for others to find themselves. So next time you catch yourself thinking or saying “all that matters is a healthy baby and healthy mom” Stop yourself and instead say “Your experience matters and I am here for you.” You never know how big of a difference that could make in the new families early weeks.

Did you feel free to mourn your birth pain or birth trauma? Have you ever found yourself saying “all that matters is healthy baby and healthy mom”? Why do you think you said this?




The 15 kinds of Defensive behaviors

You have been there. You are in the middle of a disagreement with your partner and all the sudden they start saying things that don’t make sense. Their energy shuts down and they may even start to say things that hurt.

Or maybe you are the one. You are just talking about what way the toilet paper roll should go and they make a remark that you do not like. Then you start acting out hurtful, or you shut down and walk away, or you decide not talk to them for days.

These are our defensive mechanisms.

Defensive mechanisms were researched heavily and really brought to the psychological limelight by Anna Freud the daughter of the well known Sigmund Freud. Sigmund laid the way but Anna was really the one to draw out the 18 particular methods used in defensive behavior.

What is a defensive mechanism?

Well if you think about the term defense, what does it mean? It is the act of defending or protecting something from attack.

So where does this come into play with emotions? This can be answered through several more questions:

  • What are things that can FEEL like an attack emotionally?
  • What are things that cause us anxiety?
  • What are things that make us feel sad or mad?
  • What emotions we do not welcome into our being?
  • What are things that bring up our own weakness we are not ready to accept?

I would categorize these emotions as UNWANTED or UNWELCOME.

Also, just to set the record straight, defensive mechanisms when used to prevent growth and connection are not good, but there are times when these mechanisms are helpful and can help keep us from acting out in self destructive manners.

For example I really do not like my boss. I can not express that to them without risking losing my job. Therefore defensive mechanisms can come into play to help keep me from living in the pain of rejected emotions and self destructive behavior.

That being said, let’s dive into the types of defensive mechanisms.

There are 3 categories of defensive behaviors: Primal or primitive; Intermediate or less primitive; and Developed or mature.

The way these are categorized usually has to do with their relation to when we see them in human development. e.g. Primitive would be things we see in very young children.

Be open to the idea that while most of the time you may be able to resort to developed defensive behaviors, you probably utilize different behaviors from all three categories, depending on how you expense the particular unwanted or unwelcome emotion inside.

While reading these, take note of emotions that you know you have seen inside yourself, and emotions inside your partner.

When you see yourself doing these things you can take them as a cue. When you see this cue you can do a couple different things.

First, you can say to yourself, “This is an area where I am experiencing unwanted or unwelcome feelings and I see potential to grow from this, so I am going to push my comfort level, allow these feelings to come to me and maybe even expressing them to others.”

Second, you can take note of the defensive behavior, and ask yourself what feelings are making you defensive. You can simply acknowledge this to yourself with out allowing the feeling in, and move on.

Be kind to yourself! Not all instances of using defensive behaviors are wrong or right. They are a mechanism we have to serve a purpose. When you allow yourself to be open to your own self reflection, and stay away from needing to be right or wrong, you will really learn who you are and how to love yourself.

So here we go!

Primal Defensive Behaviors:

Denial: Using this mechanism people will pretend that whatever the unwanted or unwelcome emotion is does not exist. For instance, I do not like that I feel sad in my relationship so I will just pretend to be happy. Another example may be someone with an addiction pretending that the addiction does not exist.

Regression: This is defined by moving backwards through developmental stages or personal victories. For example, someone who has worked a lot of being able to express emotions, when a parent dies they do not want to deal with the sadness so they will regress to isolating and shut-down behaviors. We see this a lot in children who have just welcomed a new sibling. They are overwhelmed or sad with the stress of sharing the attention they may begin to act as though they were a baby too.

Acting out: When someone acts out in a form of defense you will often see them do something very out of character. These reactions are very extreme and can sometimes be violent. For example, someone is angry and instead of talking about it they throw something at you or break something. We see this a lot in acts of violence societally, like a driver speeding up their car towards protesters or a protestor destroying property.

Disassociation: Someone who is dissociative will detach from their reality and cling to their own version of reality. Often times associated with multiple personality disorder but it can be less severe than this. This is very common for victims of childhood abuse.

Compartmentalization: This is when a person keeps two parts to themselves separate from the awareness of other parts to maintain the illusion of certain values that may not be represented by both parts. An example of this might be someone who advocates for strong family and christian morals but then goes and pays for hookers on the weekends. These two things remain independent from one another to keep the value systems untainted by one another.

Projection: This is attributing ones unwanted or unwelcome feelings onto another person. This mechanism relies heavily on the persons denial of feelings or lack of self awareness. So an example might be a partner who is cheating, always suspecting and claiming their partner is cheating.

Reaction Formation: This technique utilizes forced reactions polar to the unwanted or unwelcome feeling to make it seem that the unwanted or unwelcome feeling does not exists. An example of this would be a person in a committed relationship sees a person whom is not their partner and feels sexual attraction towards them. Instead of acting upon this, which would be detrimental for the committed relationship, the person might pretend he is repulsed.

Intermediate Defensive Behaviors:

Repression: This is the blocking or the distortion of certain memories. Common in victims of childhood or long term abuse. This defense mechanism is unconscious. An example might be someone who experienced a trauma, that sincerely does not remember the event.

Displacement: This is a redirecting of one’s unwanted or unwelcome feelings from one outlet to another. An example would be a person who feels really unvalued by their boss, but can not express their anger towards the boss. They then go home and act out in anger towards their partner.

Intellectualization: This is the act of replacing or suppressing unwanted or unwelcome feelings with rigorous or obsessive study. This can be illusive because the study will be related to the root of these unwanted or unwelcome feelings, making it seem you are dealing with the situation, however they are decisive in not dealing with the unwanted or unwelcome feelings. An example would be finding out a family member has an incurable fatal disease and getting lost in researching the disease and possible cures. This is not to say you can not be dedicated to helping your family member heal without it being a defense mechanism, it is only when this is used to avoid dealing with the unwanted or unwelcome feelings.

Rationalization: This is when someone changes their outlook on what has happened in light of changing reality to avoid the unwanted or unwelcome feelings. For example a mother who is trying to get her child into a private school may be over the moon about the school, until the child is rejected. Then the mother will bad mouth the school and say she never wanted to send her child there anyway.

Undoing: This is the idea that you can reverse actions with other actions, usually with polarity. For example you shout at your child, and to try to undo this action you spend the rest of the day being overly nice to that child.

Developed Defensive Behaviors:

Sublimation: This is the channeling of unwanted or unwelcome feelings or thoughts into acceptable ones. For example, someone who is a recovering addict might focus on charity work. Humor is frequently used here as a buffer, and fantasy can be used to help one visualize or focus on manifesting what they do want. These tools are all used to shift the focus onto a more palatable or pleasant experience.

Compensation: This is the shifting of focus from unwanted feelings or unwelcome feelings in one area where you might be struggling onto and area where you are thriving. This can be over used causing problem (common term being “overcompensation”); however, it can be used to lift the person to a place of self love and self acceptance. For example; I am not very good a public speaking but I am very good at doing research. This shift of focus acknowledges that we do not have to be good at every thing in the world. Over compensation might be someone who brags constantly about one strength, in this form it seems that it does not empower the person but it becomes an obsession.

Assertiveness: This is firm, respectful expression of your wants or needs. This is the balance between speaking up for your needs and listening to others. An example of an assertive person might be someone who reads somethings hurtful written by a friend, and choses to share their hurt with a friend. In this example the person would remain respectful, staying away from accusatory statements, but would be firm about the value and validity of their feelings while being an active listener to their friends prospective.

We all use these mechanisms at different times in our life. They are here to serve a purpose for us. What ways do you see yourself using these mechanisms and is this something you want to change?