At ESSENCE magazine's sixth annual Black Women in Hollywood pre-Oscars® luncheon, Gabrielle Union received the Fierce and Fearless Award.
I had never heard anyone be that honest in public or private about the competition and fierce drive to be seen and succeed in Hollywood. So I was inspired by Gabrielle's speech to break open the truth and have a real conversation. Subscribe to O, The Oprah Magazine for up to 72% OFF what others pay on the newsstand — that's like getting 19 FREE issues!
In Runco’s subsequent research, those who do better in both problem-finding and problem-solving have better relationships. Still not equipped with an effective strategy for dealing with problems or unpleasant emotions, the person doubles down on the original strategy since it at least worked temporarily to keep overwhelming emotions at bay.
Aggressively inducing states of happiness and overconfidence when you feel otherwise actively prevents you from becoming more resourceful and creative with personal problem-solving.
I wonder, Duff, about letting people "hit bottom" and then they have to creatively think through what is left nakedly right in front of them?
The thing about hitting bottom is that it could always go lower, and the lower it goes the harder it is to feel resourced and creative about solving one's problems. And with out going to the extreme of "aggressive positivity" how does one help another engage their life with compassion, awareness and clear thinking? Yes I agree…that is my focus also (and remembering to keep myself on keel at the same time). This may be jumping the gun, but I find it hard communicating to people how useful it is to perceive someone acting in positive self-interest instead of acting negatively against you. The other thing I wanted to say was that negative emotions are there to tell you something is wrong. Seeing positive intent, we can see that even total narcissists are just engaged in too much of a good thing (self-love).
Self-focused rumination is a kind of thinking strategy that accompanies depression that is very unhelpful, as you point out. What I mean will hopefully become more clear in my next post, but one distinction is between momentary affect and ongoing patterns of emotion and how to deal with the latter.
I believed in the guru thing for more years than I care to think about – and was pretty depressed the entire time. A radical shift due to disillusionment with self-help and moving from introspection to effective action was the best thing that ever happened to me. Truth: he may get out of his house more, his wife, if they can afford a care attendent would be given free time away from him to learn about self seficiency (sp), and drum roll: will he get his dignity by driving a truck once in the desert? Of course anyone with any psychotherapeutic background at all can immediately pick out the obvious fact that recent attendees from such workshops often appear to be exhibiting manic episodes, have many delusional beliefs, etc.
You have done an excellent job articulating the issues and laying them out in a logical fashion. About Beyond GrowthBeyond Growth is an online resource for learning about how to do effective change work, for thinking deeply about how to live a good life, and for how we might leave the world a little better than we found it. The 2016 Traverse City Film Festival will celebrate the State Theatre's Centennial among other things. She started her acceptance speech: "We live in a town that rewards pretending" and had our rapt attention.

They’re not particularly happy—contentment is a kind of complacency creative people rarely have. Some scholars go further, arguing that lack of creativity—not having loads of it—is the real risk factor [for anxiety and depression commonly thought to be a trait of creative people].
As with most chronic psychological problems, the attempted solution makes the problem worse. Since his organization doesn’t do followups with all of his thousands of seminar attendees (only a select few that are used for video testimonials), this claim is totally corrupted by confirmation bias.
Robbins and other Self Help gurus repeat the mantra that fear is the only thing stopping you from achieving your goals, and then encourage you to actively suppress fear by overwhelming it with aggressive positivity.
Better to engage with one's life right now with courage and compassion, awareness and clear thinking.
I tend to be technique-focused, so I go about studying and learning techniques of compassion, awareness, clear thinking, etc.
I find this stuff especially helpful for on the spot interventions like for a panic attack, or for siphoning off the emotional intensity from intrusive traumatic memories.
Hard to wrap my brain around, but I liken it to treating frostbite with mildly cool water instead of hot water, which causes further damage. I do think that Robbins and other personal development gurus attempt to convince customers to shift from external to internal locus of control as part of what they do.
I do think gurus can have a place even in effective, reality-based growth and spiritual life, but depends on the guru and the relationship between student and guru. I am sorry as a disabled person myself, that is tokenism and what Robbin’s did was dangerous.
Robbins' workshop is a typical LGAT, and the reports of suicide and psychosis from LGATs generally are all over if you do a little searching of Rick Ross and other forums (which have successfully defended their right to free speech from aggressive LGAT lawyers).
As someone who both worked for the Robbins organization as well as attended the programs and read his books, I can really identify with what you experienced and have written. I agree that some of Robbins' methods can be useful to someone basically healthy emotionally but not appropriate for solving deep-seated psychological problems. Get people to say yes multiple times, and they will say yes to everything you say, without contemplation. The biggest danger with Robbins type programs, in my opinion, is that it gives people powerful psychological tools that can cause more damage than good when underlying issues are not addressed. The Watch OWN app is free and available to you as part of your OWN subscription through a participating TV provider.
In his research, Runco asks college students, “Think of all the things that could interfere with graduating from college.” Then he instructs them to pick one of those items and to come up with as many solutions for that problem as possible. A similar study of 1,500 middle schoolers found that those high in creative self-efficacy had more confidence about their future and ability to succeed.
There have been many reports of suicide and psychosis following intensive weekend workshops like Robbins’ on anti-cult forums like Rick Ross.
While a little push may be a useful thing at times to get started, clearly what potentially depressed people need is to creatively think through rather than aggressively break through their fears.
Sometimes such activities help one to become resourced which then allows for clear thinking about real problems. And something all together different to repress fears through aggressive affirmations instead of thinking intelligently about how to confront one's situation creatively.

But I don't think that breaking through fear has much to do with successfully gaining an internal locus of control. I also am also still a fan of introspection (when in balance with effective action), but useful introspection should be differentiated from repetitive self-focused rumination which is not at all useful. What I HAVE heard him say repeatedly is that our experience and the state we are in (emotional, mental and physical) is determined by what we are focussing on.
I know that in the past this is not something you would've advocated – how can you and still be interested in NLP? He says this, following his statement about his work, that often he is called to do an intervention for someone who is, or plans to commit suicide.
For folks with solid critical thinking abilities and healthy emotional balance, I think it can be great! They were sure that their ability to come up with alternatives would aid them, no matter what problems would arise. What if this person were to take Robbins’ suggestion that the firewalk is a apt metaphor for how one should deal with life’s challenges in general? Repetition, as Bruce Lipton says, of methods that work, to be more and better than negative, automatic, early childhood imprints.
This does pose an interesting additional challenge to any potential solutions to getting this cohort of students to think of solutions to possible personal threats, but I think this probably could be taught with just sheer practice.
However, during my employ, I was personally disgusted when witnessing unqualified and uneducated colleagues in the sales process advocate that seminars would help a person overcome deep seated issues such as childhood sexual abuse rather than refer the person to a qualified psychologist.
She says it was founder Michael Moore who had the idea making all the official selections, films that were directed by women.  "We did try to look for more films by female filmmakers this year, and we were shooting for maybe just having fifty percent," explains Weichman.
The unsuccessful self-helper pushes away fear only to then be more unprepared and therefore more likely to fail, becoming even more depressed with each failure. Solving seems to be brainrelated, while it comes down, to regulating ones emotions, becoming resilient in bearing the sometimes unbearable. By not thinking about negative potential problems or future scenarios, one never develops the skill of being able to handle them. While Robbins does include a hodgepodge of other methods of personal change, his strong emphasis on emotional bodybuilding likely leads others to the emotional highs and lows I experienced as a devotee of his methods. However, during my employ, I was personally disgusted when witnessing unqualified and uneducated colleagues in the sales process advocate that seminars would help a person overcome deep seated issues such as childhood sexual abuse rather than refer the person to a qualified psychologist.
Sure perhaps seminars could be helpful in conjunction with other methods, but it is just irresponsible to say it will cure them. Runco’s two questions predict suicide ideation—even when controlling for preexisting levels of depression and anxiety. One can still make a respectable living this way, but will probably not reach the same dizzying heights of fame and fortune.
For exmple, Tony Robbins will be in Traverse City to promote his documentary, Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru.

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