Coaching Case Study: Navigating a Career Change

Client Profile:

In my experience, the clients that have made the greatest strides towards their goals come to me when they were:

  • Ready for a change. These clients were tired of trying to meet the expectations of everyone else and were finally ready to start listening to themselves. 
  • Ready to put in the hard work. I didn’t find or earn anyone their new job. All of the clients that have had success put in a lot of work and dedication.
  • Ready to take on responsibility for their past choices and future action. One of the best ways to avoid making the same mistakes is to take an honest inventory of what is working and what isn’t. 


Key Elements of Success:

Serenity in the midst of uncertainty

This is a key first step. It allowed for the client to take a beat, reflect, and actually understand what is and isn’t working for them. All of my clients have felt initial pressure to doom scroll job sites because it helps them feel like they are doing something. This is useful energy, but I helped clients learn how to direct this energy into efficient and positive momentum in the most aligned direction.  

When we have taken a step back, the clients that I have worked with are able to see the big picture. This is important because by doing this, my client’s have felt less immediate pressure to just pick the next thing that comes along, and they have become more decisive and confident in their next steps forward. Essentially they are being more present in their life. 


Manifesting their job

By talking through what clients want out of their next position, we were able to unlock a new perspective on the situation. See, the clients were then able to look at the job search in a totally different way, taking the blinders off and capturing the opportunity that was right there. Once they could see themselves in the role they were able to achieve it.

This strategy encourages networking and community and opens possibilities.

Most of these clients were only able to see themselves in one career because that was all they had known. By using transferable skills the client was able to see themselves as capable in many different career environments. 


Understanding their values

Through coaching, clients were able to understand that values have more to do with happiness and satisfaction at work than they imagined. Clients were able to discern where to categorize their values, finding fulfillment in many areas of their life. 

The clients have found a deeper connection to self, trust in themselves, and confidence in their decision. This brought about patience and not settling, ultimately, feeling comfortable in the unknown. 



80% of my clients have successfully transitioned through a career shift, finding more fulfillment, better boundaries, or the inspiration that they needed to start a personal project or side hustle. 




Life coaching can help you meet your goals and navigate life transitions with less stress.

You can work with our certified life coaches in person at The Happy Hour studio, or virtually from anywhere in the world.


From People Pleasing to Living Your Truth

As humans, it is natural for us to want to be liked. In early civilization, our ancestors had to fit into the “in group” to be safe and healthy. Historically, labels were an effective way to identify others as a friend vs. threat. Fast forward to modern times, and though we no longer rely on this approach for safety, many of us innately tend towards people pleasing behavior that may not be in line with our wants, needs, and truth. 


Why does this matter? Because when you move through life making decisions based on others’ thoughts and needs you may find yourself stuck, on autopilot, and not really knowing what makes you tick. If you feel this way, don’t fear. You are actually at an exciting point to explore and define who you are at your most authentic core. When you do this, you can begin making choices that align with what lights you up inside and ultimately live a more fulfilled life. How great does that sound?


Here’s how to start moving from people pleasing to living your truth: 


STEP 1: Find small moments throughout the day to mentally drop into the present

It’s nearly impossible to tune into your own wants and needs when your mind is focused on the future or dwelling on the past. It will probably feel a little forced at first, but over time, it will become second nature.  Remember, just like when you go to the gym, working on your mental game takes practice


Some exercises to help you drop in:

  • Tune into your five senses. Name 5 things you see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2  things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste. 
  • Before you start your day, ask yourself, “How am I feeling right now” and “what do I need today?” Keep it simple, don’t overthink this. 
  • As you move throughout your day, notice things that you like in that moment.  This could be the color of something in nature as you’re on a walk,  or a song you hear while driving to work. The practice here is in slowing your mind down enough to notice what you like and how it feels to like something. 


STEP 2: Investigate Yourself

Let’s go a bit deeper and start asking the big, deep questions. Here’s the trick – do not overthink the answers to these questions. Practice answering them with what feels like truth, even if you don’t really know. Put your best foot first, and ask these questions time and time again. Your answers may change everyday, and that’s great…you’re evolving!


Ask yourself and journal any of the following:

  • What feels/felt good to me today?
  • What do I enjoy? (Pro tip: think back to when you were a kid)
  • Who am I?
  • What does freedom mean to me today?
  • What am I most proud of today?


After doing this consistently, are you starting to put together any themes or patterns? What are you curious about now? How will you follow that curiosity?


STEP 3: Amp up the feeling, turn down the thinking

We tend to overuse our thinking experience and underuse our feeling experience, but we can’t get to know ourselves unless we are aware of both our thoughts and feelings. When faced with a decision, we can use mindfulness to help us make the decision that is most aligned with what the present moment calls for. Remember, mindfulness means being in the present moment with kindness, wisdom and compassion. Here are some exercises to get you started:


  • Think about a small decision you need to make this week. Close your eyes and visualize yourself stepping up to this decision. Consider your first option, think about it, visualize it. Notice- are you feeling the decision anywhere in your body? (i.e. tension in shoulders, tightness in hips). What is your heart saying about this decision? What is your mind saying about this decision? Next, do the same thing for the second option. Now that you’ve considered your thinking and your feeling, which option will you choose? Practice this time and again. Start with small decisions and build up to bigger ones!


STEP 4: Practice and take the next best steps

When you start to consciously take account of what you’re feeling, what you want, what brings you joy, and actually pause to feel the joy, you will begin to make decisions that lead you towards joy instead of going on autopilot towards something you feel you “should” do because of external factors. 

Start small, practice, and take the next best step! 




Life Coaching Was The Lifeline I Didn’t Know I Needed

I’ve always been a strong believer in asking for help when life gets overwhelming. I’d sought out therapy when life threw me curveballs in the past, and it had really helped me process grief and the residual fear from a traumatic experience. But what happens when life isn’t overwhelming? What do you do when life is decidedly underwhelming?


A friend introduced me to The Happy Hour, and after speaking to them, they confirmed my suspicion that I wasn’t in need of therapy, but instead encouraged me to give life coaching a try. As a high achieving, driven, and organized person, I’d never thought life coaching could make a big difference to my life. Turns out I was wrong because life coaching was the lifeline I didn’t know I needed.


After grad school things didn’t turn out quite as planned… which seems to be par for the course for many millennials. I found myself overworked, uninspired and burnt out. So instead of diving back into the corporate world, I decided to do some freelance work while I figured out what was next for me. Freelance turned into starting my own business, and working reasonable hours with clients I felt passionate about. This shift left me more fulfilled in some ways but wasn’t without its tradeoffs. The corporate world can provide financial security, community, and a clear career trajectory. Entrepreneurship can lack all of those.


All that said, I was doing okay, my life just didn’t look how I’d planned. In many ways I felt like a failure, even though rationally I knew that wasn’t true. While I couldn’t put my finger on any one thing that was majorly wrong, nothing felt majorly right either. If you were to ask me how things were going, the most honest answer would have been “meh”.


3 ways life coaching was a game changer:



After my first session with my coach, I was in tears. WTF? That was not how I saw that going. She didn’t just listen to me, she heard me. This became apparent when she nudged me out of my comfort zone by challenging some of the stories I was telling her… and myself. I realized some of the things I was fixating on actually weren’t that big a deal, but that there were underlying limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors that I wasn’t consciously aware of. 



After we spent some time diving into those limiting behaviors – why they were there, how much they were rooted in reality, and what we could do to move past them – she helped me map out an action plan. As a goal-oriented person this was right up my alley. She made sure my goals were incremental, attainable, and would serve me in the long run, rather than just being a temporary band-aid. 


We also allowed for flexibility in this plan. Sometimes the journey isn’t linear, no matter how much I want it to be. She coached me through learning to bend and pivot. I learned to accept that maybe the initial destination I defined was actually just a lesson on the way to something much bigger and much more aligned with who I am.



I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I don’t pre-book a gym class, or workout with a personal trainer, I’m much more likely to hit snooze when my alarm goes off at 5am than I am to get up and work out alone. I need that accountability. For some reason needing that same accountability when working on my life in general, my happiness, my fulfillment made me feel like a failure. (Remember those limiting beliefs I mentioned before? This was one of them.) 


I now know the only way I can fail myself is to be too proud to ask for someone to hold me accountable for taking action. It keeps me on track to my goals, and in the grand scheme of things, serves as a reminder to put myself first. When I put myself first, I’m a better business owner, and a better friend.


Did life coaching solve all my problems? Nope. It was never supposed to. What it did do was give me perspective, helped me define a new direction, and provided me with the skills I needed to take things in my stride without being so hard on myself.

It also made me realize some of the things I thought were problems, weren’t problems at all. Coaching helped me to establish clear boundaries (in life and work), and to rebuild the confidence that I’d lost- which has made me happier and more fun to be around. As a whole, I now feel like I’m in a place of flow. And when I next feel stuck, I know my life coach will be there to help me navigate my way back to peace again.


This guest blog was written by one of The Happy Hour’s coaching clients who has requested to remain anonymous.

Curious about what life coaching could do for you?

Give the studio a call at 615-953-3934 to learn more, or read about our certified life coaches here.

Ready to transform your life?


Three Unconventional Dating Tips

If you find yourself on a carousel of stagnant nights out, repeated conversations,  and uninspired dating, you aren’t alone. Dating in itself requires trust, stepping out of your routine, and opening up to a stranger. These factors alone can cause many of us to remain within self imposed, invisible boundaries that: 

  1. We don’t recognize as being present
  2. Cause our dating life to feel like Groundhog Day


If you would like to reignite your dating life, think about trying these three unconventional dating tips:


1. Date outside of your type

This might be one of the reasons that you feel like you are having the same conversations, dates, and results over and over again. When only dating within “your type” you aren’t giving yourself the benefit of being surprised. Dating within your type is a safe option– you know what you are going to get and you can, with some level of accuracy, predict how the date is going to go. If you are someone who likes control, this can seem very appealing. But, I’d argue that you might not know yourself as well as you think you do. You may find something that attracts you, a certain hair color or job or interest, and, without meaning to, you find yourself drawn to it again and again. But if your type is too specific, you may just be setting yourself up for making the same relationship mistakes again and again. 


Examples: That “mysterious” type you like may actually be emotionally unavailable or avoidant (an insecure attachment style). Maybe you love someone who has a high-powered job but then you constantly get annoyed at the amount of hours they work or that they prioritize work over you.


Over and over again I hear couples that have gone the distance say, “I never expected I would end up with __________”. So go ahead and swipe right, say yes to someone you might typically not, challenge yourself to step outside of your type… you might be pleasantly surprised.


2. If it’s not a 10 feeling, that’s OK!

But Claire, I want to feel on fire after my first date! I want to be swept off my feet and crazy about someone. Don’t you believe in ‘love at first sight?’ 


While love at first sight sounds fun, starting out at a 10 doesn’t really give you anywhere to go but down. Also, a 10 feeling seems like an awful lot of pressure for both you and the stranger you just met. Yes, I said that, STRANGER. 10’s in my experience are a red flag. Remember: you just met this person. Here is a quote from Esther Parel that I love:


What determines the success or disappointment of a first date has less to do with an immediate spark and more to do with creating the right conditions for turning that spark into a lingering flame that leaves us burning to experience more. We seek to maximize the efficiency of our dates, to get through them so we can skip right to the cost-benefit analysis. But our hyperfocus on being productive can cause us to miss the rich tapestry of what makes a person unique, compelling, or even a surprisingly good match. Just because someone doesn’t check all of our boxes, doesn’t mean they don’t have something to offer that we’ve never thought of before.


3. Go on dates

Duh Claire, I know. But listen– you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Read that again. The only way to get better at dating is to go on dates. This complements tip #1. If you are saying yes to more people, more opportunities, more dates, then you are more likely to find someone who you would want to get serious with. Here is the key though, learn to set boundaries around your expectations. This is the key to unbothered dating. Unbothered dating is when you don’t take it personally if the person doesn’t call you back or if the flame fizzles out. Refer back to tip #2. Remember: if a person ghosts you, it says more about their ability to be honest, open, and communicate than it does about you. In the end you will go on the date with “the person”, and that person will be the last one you ever date. But you will miss that person if you don’t get out there.


How do you start? I would suggest looking up events in your city. Find what interests you and put it in your calendar. Make a plan to go. If you are bringing along a friend, let them know that you are interested in meeting someone. Having a wingman always makes new situations easier. If you are talking to someone online through a dating app, use one of these events to meet up with them. That way if they are a dud, at least you were doing something that interested you. This can also give you a good idea as to whether you have complimentary interests, or how the person acts when they aren’t as interested in something. This can give you a great idea if they could be a supportive partner. 


Bonus dating tip:

Try your best to look at dating as an opportunity to have fun, meet new people, try new places in your city, and have new experiences. Even a bad date makes for one heck of a story. Personally, I have met some of my closest friends through someone I dated. The relationship never took off with him, but the connections that I made from the experience have far outlasted him. Having the outlook that this is a fun and exciting time to take chances, learn, and grow will serve you much better than taking on the pressure to find ‘the one’ each time you go on a date. 



Learn How to Rock Relationships

Starts June 1st


In this 6-part workshop series led by Claire Price, CHC, you will gain the tools you need to look for someone with compatible values, without abandoning yourself in the process. We will encourage you to create a fulfilling life on your own before inviting someone else in, and empower you to know your worth when you do.

Amy Jackson, LCSW-MPH will help you identify your specific attachment style and what that means for getting back into the dating pool. Finally you will learn resiliency and how to be ‘unbothered’, which will prove to be one of your greatest strengths!



Attachment Styles

‘Cause you’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down
You’re wrong when it’s right
It’s black and it’s white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up

— Katy Perry, Hot ‘n Cold


Katy’s struggle with her inconsistent partner, while a catchy tune, is an all-too-common problem in the dating world, and a perfect example of a partner with an Insecure Attachment Style. Katy’s partner is unable to communicate their needs clearly, leaving Katy spinning.


Wait…  what are attachment styles?

Attachment Theory (developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth) is based on the idea that we are born needing others. Babies depend on their caregivers for security and love in order to survive, and generally, if their needs are met, develop secure attachments. Securely attached people are able to determine their values, voice their needs in a relationship, and regulate their emotions during conflict. They can trust others and reciprocate love to their partners.


So, what happens when a baby and caregiver do not develop a secure attachment in those first few years?  Can attachment styles change along our lifespan?

Researchers say that insecure attachments from an early age can negatively impact an individual’s ability to find and maintain a healthy partnership. More recent research suggests that harmful romantic relationships as an adult can shift a previously secure attached person to an insecure pattern (Levine and Heller, 2021). The types of insecure patterns for adults are Anxious-preoccupied, Dismissive-avoidant, Fearful-avoidant, and Disorganized.


How do I know what style I have? Is there any hope if I’m insecurely attached?

There are many validated Attachment Style Quizzes available (links below), and yes, Secure Attachment can be grown through personal work and exploration! In our “How to Rock Your Relationships” course, we will take a deep dive into your personal attachment style and how it has impacted your dating life. We will work through the negative patterns that have held you back from the connection all humans deserve.


New beginnings start with knowing how we create the trap that we are caught in, how we have deprived ourselves of the love we need. Strong bonds grow from resolving to halt the cycles of disconnection, the dances of distress.

— Dr. Sue Johnson, leading researcher on Adult Attachment.


Let’s break down your traps and start a new beginning together!




This blog was originally published on 22 October 2021

Learn How to Rock Relationships

Starts June 1st


In this 6-part workshop series led by Claire Price, CHC, you will gain the tools you need to look for someone with compatible values, without abandoning yourself in the process. We will encourage you to create a fulfilling life on your own before inviting someone else in, and empower you to know your worth when you do. Amy Jackson, LCSW-MPH will help you identify your specific attachment style and what that means for getting back into the dating pool. Finally you will learn resiliency and how to be ‘unbothered’, which will prove to be one of your greatest strengths!



Further Reading:



Attached. The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find-And Keep-Love, by Levine and Heller.

 Hold Me Tight, Dr. Sue Johnson



Attachment Style Quiz: Free & Fast Attachment Style Test (

Attachment Styles Test: Attachment Style Quiz from Dr. Diane Poole Heller

Relationship Attachment Style Test (



The Secure Relationship (@thesecurerelationship) • Instagram photos and videos

Community Can Improve Your Life

We often hear that community can improve your life, but what is community? Defined, community is a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. It’s also defined as a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. For me, it’s the second part of the definition that resonates the most. Being part of a community gives us a sense of belonging. It allows us to share, relate, and even grow as we connect with others and the surrounding environment.


Personally, I’ve always been a big community person. Moving from Phoenix to Nashville 13 years ago was a big shift. I went away from everything and everyone I knew to a completely new environment. My journey to building my community was a unique experience. I was fortunate enough to move into the 12th South neighborhood, that already had the infrastructure set up to support connections. With many coffee shops and restaurants, a park, easy places to walk, and local events/activities that encouraged the neighborhood to be out and about. In addition to where I lived, I also work for an organization that supports building healthy communities with Blue Zones Project. Looking at the Power 9 (lifestyle habits of the world’s healthiest, longest lived people) such as purpose, belonging, and right tribe, you can see how each interrelates to support health, but most importantly, a sense of community can improve your life. 


To build a community, you have to be comfortable in the uncomfortable at times. Putting yourself out there, participating and engaging with people and events that might be outside of your comfort zone. It’s also about consistency. Finding spots that resonate with you and showing up regularly to build those relationships. I can be a creature of habit going to the same coffee shops on the same days, going to the farmers market, local boutiques, grabbing a drink up the street, and attending a gym daily that has helped me form bonds with people I wouldn’t have normally met. I love knowing I’ll see the same barista on Wednesdays or seeing the owner of my favorite French wine bar, or see my fitness pals every morning at 6:45am. 


Having a sense of community embraces spirit, character, and pride. It is a feeling that people within the community matter to one another with a shared understanding that their needs can be met through commitment and togetherness. Being a part of a community makes us feel as though we are a part of something greater than ourselves.


Community is unique to each individual as to what and how it meets their needs based off their own definition. Regardless of what it is, it’s important and central to the human experience. 


Journal prompts to help you better understand and build your community and how this community can improve your life.

1)     How do you define community? Are you experiencing that today, if not why?

2)     What aspects about your community do you love and interest you? 

3)     What are ways you can build your community? 

4)     What are 3-5 actions you can take to become more integrated into your community? 



Join Us for The Happy Hour Club

Starts April 19th


The Happy Hour Club. A new type of social club, open to anyone and built on our values of connection, honesty, vulnerability, curiosity and fun. Show up as your true self and connect authentically – this is not a networking group, no need to perform or be anyone but you!

The Happy Hour Club will meet twice a month, gathering at both the studio and for outings in our fun and beloved city. If you would like to connect with new and like-hearted people and are interested in exploring more opportunities in town, this is the place for you.


Month-to-month payment upon request. Call the studio at 615-953-3934.

4 Ways Creativity Improves Mental Wellness

I struggle with the winter time. Short days and limited outdoor activities are a mental and physical challenge for me, but this year I really tried to lean into the winter in a different way, and in doing so, I discovered how creativity improves mental wellness. I vowed to myself I would get cozy, hibernate a little, and try to lean into what the season is meant for. Wishing away the gray days wasn’t working for me anymore, and it felt a little wasteful to discount that time as anything that could bring forth something pleasant. 


One of the best things that grew from befriending the season was that the time spent inside – literally indoors, but also figuratively with my inner self through deep reflection – was my reignited passion for not only expressing myself creatively but experiencing others’ creativity. 


In the past, creativity has come to me in the form of innovation, strategy, problem solving and creation of workshops and business offerings – maybe a slightly more masculine-involved form than what I’m experiencing currently. Lately, creativity has been manifesting itself in the form of writing and sound healing. What I’ve found is, regardless of how creativity comes to life, it connects me to who I am at my deepest core. It roots me in my deepest truth, connects me to my authenticity, and allows me to better understand myself, so I can more joyfully experience the world around me. 


I had a brainstorm with our artist in residence the other day, and I found myself giddy and lit up with excitement from our planning of the community art piece. Really enjoying this feeling of fulfillment, I pondered ‘what is it about creativity that makes me feel like this?’ 


Here are 4 ways creativity improves mental wellness:

  1. Creativity doesn’t lie to you. If a piece of art, a poem, or whatever you’re doing creatively lights you up in an inexplicable way, it means that it is speaking to a part of your soul. Not necessarily your thinking brain, but to something way deeper. How fascinating it is to explore that level of depth! 
  2. When you are fully immersed in creativity – your own output or others’ – you are forced to be fully present in the moment. When you are truly present, you are able to tune into your whole self in that solitary moment. When you can do that, you can understand more about how you’re feeling and what you need. 
  3. When you can connect creatively, you can move emotions and meaning through you in ways that sometimes can’t be described with conversation only.  
  4. Flow and creativity are linked, but I don’t know which one comes first. When you are in a creative mode, you are more in flow (and vice versa). When you are truly in flow, your subconscious helps you make decisions that align with your intentions. Before you know it, you’re living more purposefully every day. 


Something I can’t express enough is that you don’t have to be a Pulitzer prize winner, a professional, or even a “good” artist in any way to exercise creativity. For decades, I believed I simply wasn’t creative, that I shouldn’t even try to exercise that part of my brain. I learned that was a lie I was telling myself, and when I started to remember some of the creative outlets I loved as a kid, and started practicing them again, a whole new level of relief and release opened up to me. 


A few years ago I began a consistent journaling practice. Last year I amped it up with a poetry masterclass, and then sound practitioner training, which, in tandem, has opened up a whole new way to express myself and communicate to others. I don’t know if I’ll ever share my poems with anyone, nor the written intention that goes behind each sound bath (I don’t want to ruin the magic). But that’s not what it’s about. 


When I started writing again I became happier, more present, and more inspired by what might have been previously thought of mundane things happening around me. Creativity fosters connection with yourself and with others. Connection fosters ideas that feel like little hits of dopamine. And to me, that makes the world feel like a better place to be.


I’ll leave you with a little inspiration from Jungian author, Helen Luke: 


Here is a great truth, which is valid at every stage of the quest. If we refuse, or are not able to express, to make actual in some form or other our vision, such as it is at any point, then we are not only unable to go forward to the next step but we are probably in for a regression. For instance, a dream or vision will retreat again into the unconscious and have no substance unless written or perhaps painted – made visible, audible, or tangible in some way – [then] shared with one another and attended to so that it alters our attitude.



How to Overcome Self-Sabotage

In our series, From Dr. Frock’s Desk, we sit down with Dr. Frock to gain a psychiatrist’s perspective, anecdotes, and tools on a variety of topics. This month, we are talking about why it can be so hard to do the things we know are good for us, and how to overcome self-sabotage.



Can you explain what self-sabotage is?


It’s important to understand that self-sabotage is something we all do. It’s not inherently pathological, or representative of a specific personality issue. The best way to think about self-sabotage is as any behavior or action, conscious or unconscious, we engage in that is directly in opposition to a stated goal.

There are some more dramatic cases that we all might be familiar with. For example, someone is in a loving and healthy relationship but then engages in behavior that might abruptly end the relationship. It can also be something comparatively minor like procrastination or perfectionism. There’s a wide range of self-sabotage – so you can think about it as a broad term that describes a behavior that takes us down a path that seems to conflict with our goals.



Procrastination is such a common example. We know it’s not helping us, so why do we do it?


Procrastination is often perceived safety. We are consciously or unconsciously thinking, “I’ve never really done this before, so why try so hard just to fail?” It might seem appealing to just not try and avoid the failure up front. Perhaps in the past, not reaching a goal led us to disappointment, pain, or embarrassment, so we self-sabotage as a form of short-term relief from the anticipated failure. “If I don’t try, I can’t fail.” The payoff of procrastination is short-term, but ultimately it is quite limited and doesn’t get us anywhere.



If we’ve learned the hard way in the past, should we listen to our brains?


It depends on the issue. There was a point in time when it really benefited us to be trained to be afraid. If you imagine living in 4000 B.C. and you were attacked by a tiger after walking past a specific tree, it would be very advantageous for you to think about the tiger attack every time you walk by a similar looking tree, and even avoid those trees altogether.

The legacy of that primal fear response has carried over to the present, but in our day-to-day lives in a modern and much different society, our brain tends to treat things as a threat that simply aren’t life threatening. For example, just because your last four relationships have gone badly, doesn’t inherently mean that the fifth one always will. In this way, “protecting” ourselves by ending the relationship prematurely, isn’t actually helpful even though our brain may see it this way overall.    



Could you explain how to overcome self-sabotage?


The opposite of self-sabotage is self-care. However I don’t mean the kind of self care that people often think of – the consumerist driven idea of self-nurturing (like bubble baths and candles, spa day, etc), but rather being honest with yourself and caring for yourself with tough love. We want to be careful to not engage in “self-care” that is actually just further avoidance. 

An example might be, if you’re struggling financially, yet continue to live paycheck-to-paycheck. Instead of wondering where all your money goes every month, sit down and make a spreadsheet of all your debts and spending so that you can address the root of the problem. Another example, for folks who struggle with deadlines or assignments, would be to actually buy a calendar, take some time to map everything out in a highly detailed way. Self-care is not an inherently pleasant thing and is more so an investment in your future self. 

In order to overcome self-sabotage, we need to assess the situation and what we truly want, and then look in the mirror and say, “I don’t want this. I’m not going to settle for less. I’m going to change it.” 

There is a radical difference between offering ourselves self-care through tough love and self-care through nurturing. Both have their place, but the tough love is the one that will see you address the elephant in the room, break through any self-imposed boundaries, and take action to feel better about yourself and your situation.



If self-sabotage seems to be a cycle, do you have any tips for combatting it? 


Before we really engage in the kind of self-care I mentioned, we actually need to assess what is going on. What is the behavior I am actually doing, and what is it getting in the way of? When we’re doing something that is different from what our stated goal is, there’s definitely something there to explore. We have to identify what is actually underneath the surface and what’s driving this self-sabotage behavior. 

First off, we might not actually want to do what we say we want, but it’s rather something we feel like we’re expected to do. However, if we do indeed want to achieve our stated goal, there could be a painful core belief getting in the way of productive behavior. For example: “I’m not very smart, so I’m not going to apply to this program.” or “I am not lovable, so I’m not going to put myself out there.” 

Sometimes these behaviors are so ingrained in us that even after we’ve identified them, we’re not sure what the next step is. I think it’s okay to admit that, and to work with a coach or therapist to help jumpstart our behavior change and learn how to not avoid hard and/or scary things.



What if you can’t identify the driving behavior?


It’s very common to identify a pattern of behaviors but not be able to grasp the deeper meaning or root cause. In fact, I would say that almost everyone has difficulty with this when dealing with more complicated aspects of our lives, such as relationships. We are overall just not very proficient at self-assessment in an objective way. I think this is exactly where psychotherapy comes into play as it can help us uncover these triggers and limiting beliefs that might be holding us back from our full potential.

This is actually a common reason, whether they know it or not at the time, why people might seek psychotherapy or coaching

Without this deeper level of understanding, self-sabotage behaviors lead many of us to thinking “What’s the point?” This then can drive emotions like anxiety, anger or depression, and behaviors like isolation or acting out. This is often a chief issue that can be addressed in therapy with the goal of bringing about positive change.



Nurturing Your Family Dynamics

What do you think of when you hear “Family Dynamics“? Let’s think beyond the obvious and clichéd conversations of what makes a family, and things to do or not do in order to lead a happy family life. These concepts miss the true nature of why exploring and nurturing your family dynamics is viable, healing, and necessary for healthy family structure. 


Something to remember, a healthy family does not necessarily mean being happy and fun-loving all the time. If we’re honest, the dynamic of family can be difficult, confusing, painful and down right hard work at times. This complexity is why we encourage a deep dive into your family’s dynamics, and how they shaped the person you are. 


For some, the benefit of developing your understanding of family dynamics might not be something you prioritize. Sometimes we disconnect, leave, or find other ways to separate from who and what we consider to be “the problem.” But what happens when you fall in love, get married, or commit to a spouse/partner? What about having children, becoming a parent? And there’s also extended family… 


Family, and navigating the dynamics of those relationships is important, and isn’t something we can just leave or walk away from. The connection of family may be a priority for reasons ranging from medical and health concerns, the need of resources, to love and support. Instead of avoiding, or changing what you have, adopting an approach of nurturing your family dynamics may be a better solution.


Family plays a significant role in connecting our dots and learning ways to support these relationships can lead to balance and happiness in our individual choices. The objective is not to change others but to learn how to be healthier in how we decide to engage. Imagine existing in “what is.” Making choices that work, and experiencing positive movement from the reality of “what is”, versus operating from places of “what was”, or “what should/shouldn’t.” Getting in touch with our family dynamics can create this kind of movement, end the perpetuation of negative, unhealthy patterns and enlighten us to how we experience wellness in the family.  


The way we develop family is rooted in culture and tradition. It’s our first introduction to socialization, the beginning of the process of developing our worldview, and structuring our psychological development. So, even if we disconnect or separate from “the problem,” the imprint of family is always there. Although some days of working through the details of family dynamics may be difficult and hard work, it’s worth it! Remember the cliché: anything worth having is worth working for. Working for a better version of self is always worth it.  


Who doesn’t want to experience having better expression, being a better role model, having better conversations, better experiences, outcomes, and best of all, actually experiencing wellness within the family. Healthy attention in this area leads to things being better on so many levels, but best of all, it leads to a better you!


Tonia’s Tip:

Remember, when exploring psycho-social topics through educational workshops, you’ll want to ask yourself some questions to evaluate whether or not the information offered will give you the depth and insight you may be looking for.


Does this information address the actual problem(s)/concern(s) I experience?

Are the recommendations thoroughly explained?

Is the information realistic and applicable to my life?

Do the solutions offered come from evidenced based research or credible sources?


Join Us for Family Dynamics – Thursdays starting February 23rd


We’ll be taking the time to understand your family dynamics, and how they unlock the code to understanding yourself at a deeper level; allowing you to build upon the good behaviors and dismantle those that no longer (or never did) serve you.

This unique group series provides the opportunity to learn from all of our licensed therapists.

Save 10% by signing up for all 6 sessions!




Mindful Self-Compassion

Being human is not about being any one particular way; it is about being as life creates you—with your own particular strengths and weaknesses, gifts and challenges, quirks and oddities.

Kristin Neff


Do you find it awkward or uncomfortable to think or speak kindly about yourself? Do you find it easier to do the same toward a loved one, like a family member or friend? Oftentimes in the U.S., women and those who hold other minoritized identities are socialized to be humble and are told that speaking about accomplishments is labeled as bragging. The impact of this message is holding judgment toward the self, easily finding faults, and shrinking to fit in. This is harmful for our mental health and can lead to diminished self-esteem and feelings of worth.


The practice of mindful self-compassion (Neff & Germer, 2018) allows for people to begin showing the same love, compassion, and kindness toward themself that they show to their loved ones (self-kindness). With the central question, “How would you treat a friend?,” we can begin taking steps toward encouraging ourselves, acknowledging our strengths, and living a more content and happy life. 


All humans experience suffering and pain (common humanity), yet when we offer ourselves self-compassion, we are able to work through this suffering, instead of feeling inadequate, panicky, or judgmental. If your loved one made a mistake, would you spend time shaming them and making them feel bad about themself? Likely, you would not do that and instead would comfort them, remind them that everyone makes mistakes, and tell them you still love them. What would it be like to be that kind of friend to yourself? 


The three components of mindful self-compassion are self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness in this process allows us to be present in the moment, to notice our pain, but not judge it, to check in with how we feel, and to begin offering our self some kindness. One way to do this is to have a regular loving kindness meditation practice. Try this one from Kristin Neff & Christopher Germer’s Mindful Self Compassion Workbook (2018, pp. 65-67):


Allow yourself to settle into a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down. If you like, put a hand over your heart or another location that is soothing as a reminder to bring not only awareness, but loving awareness to your experience and to yourself.


A Living Being That Makes You Smile

Bring to mind a person or other living being who naturally makes you smile—someone with whom you have an easy, uncomplicated relationship. This could be a child, your grandmother, your cat or dog—whoever naturally brings happiness to your heart. If many people or other living beings arise, just choose one.

Let yourself feel what it’s like to be in that being’s presence. Allow yourself to enjoy the good company. Create a vivid image of this being in your mind’s eye.

May You . . .

Now, recognize how this being wishes to be happy and free from suffering, just like you and every other living being. Repeat silently, feeling the importance of your words:

  • May you be happy.
  • May you be peaceful.
  • May you be healthy.
  • May you live with ease.

(Repeat several times, slowly and gently.)

You may wish to use your own phrases if you have ones you normally work with, or continue to repeat these phrases.

When you notice that your mind has wandered, return to the words and the image of the loved one you have in mind. Savor any warm feelings that may arise. Take your time.

May You and I (We) . . .

Now add yourself to your circle of goodwill. Create an image of yourself in the presence of your loved one, visualizing you both together.

  • May you and I be happy.
  • May you and I be peaceful.
  • May you and I be healthy.
  • May you and I live with ease.

(Repeat several times, using “we” rather than “you and I” if you like.)

Now let go of the image of the other, perhaps thanking your loved one before moving on, and then letting the full focus of your attention rest directly on yourself.

May I . . .

Put your hand over your heart, or elsewhere, and feel the warmth and gentle pressure of your hand. Visualize your whole body in your mind’s eye, noticing any stress or uneasiness that may be lingering within you, and offering yourself the phrases. 

  • May I be happy.
  • May I be peaceful.
  • May I be healthy.
  • May I live with ease.

(Repeat several times, with warmth.)

Finally, take a few breaths and just rest quietly in your own body, accepting whatever your experience is, exactly as it is.


This practice takes time and we are here to support you through this process at The Happy Hour. Therapy is a great place to learn how to provide yourself with the self-compassion that you deserve!