One of the big things that so many of us seek in life is simply the desire to feel good, to feel happy. We want that feeling of being totally relaxed, not a care in the world…or the high of something exhilarating that gives you such a rush of being on top of the world. There’s nothing wrong with those feelings, the problem is, it’s just not something that typically happens every day.
Everybody wants to feel good and not dwell on struggles in life. To wake up each day expecting something great to happen in our lives, and then if it doesn’t, we’re dissapointed. Or maybe you’re okay with not expecting something great to happen, you just hope that nothing bad happens.
It’s a roller coaster way to go through life, so many ups and downs, highs and lows, and unrealistic expectations that we have for ourselves. When it comes right down to it we have to ask ourselves, “how has this worked out of for me so far?” am I truly experiecing all that life has to offer, am I actually embracing life for what it is with an open mind, taking in each experience for what it is, and using it as a learning tool for the future?
How exactly do we figure out how to do that, how we find a way to live a satisfying sustainable life, with the ability to embrace the great days, ride out the low days, and take each experience in with an open mind? And how does that fit into your life if you’re a trauma survivor?
If you’re asking yourself those questions right now, then my chat with clinical psychologist and motivator, Dr. Jennifer Guttman might be just the ticket for you.
When you read her mission statement, you can’t help but intrigued about the possibilities of what her Sustainable Life Satisfaction can do: To use my experience, expertise, voice and pen to help people realize there is “a path to sustainable life satisfaction through a belief in your inherent lovability.” “Sustainable Life Satisfaction” SLS® is based on theories that I have researched and developed from cognitive-behavior therapy and refined over my 20 years of interaction with clients. My brand of therapy and therapeutic success is based on the precept that the majority of people do not have an inherent belief in their likeability or loveability…With life satisfaction comes an ability to conquer inner fears of inadequacy and the profound discovery and trust in your “inherent loveability.
Since the summer of 2016, Dr. Guttman has been featured as a Contributor and/or has written articles in over twenty nationally recognized publications and blogs including; The Washington Post, Redbook, Reader’s Digest, The Hill, Family Education, and Thrillist, among others. She has talked about a wide range of subject matter, from health/wellness, relationships and dealing with adolescent issues to coping with divorce.
The focus of our chat is on those 6 techniques, and Dr. Guttman gives some insight on each one, what they mean, and the benefits of applying each technique to your life.
- Starting is Easy, Closing is Hard: Learning the importance of closing tasks-not just starting. It’s imperative not just to start, but to also finish and close
- Decision Making: Feeling confident in decision-making, without fearing mistakes or ramifications improves self-confidence and in turn improves chances for “closing.”
- Facing Fears: Do not be afraid to be afraid. Use your fear as positive motivation to propel and compel you to move forward.
- Reduce People Pleasing Behaviors Avoid situations of co-dependency and enmeshment. Learn to live an authentic life without living in “service” of others. Watch people pleasing behaviors which secure feelings of indispensability while averting fears of abandonment
- Avoiding Assumptions: Avoid making assumptions about what other people think or feel about you. Your actions should be based on fact and not assumptions. Making decisions about how to proceed in a given situation based on guessing instead of facts is a dangerous exercise.
- Active Self-Reinforcement: Providing tangible self-reinforcement for “closing” or a job well done. Make a cognitive shift from aspiring and needing reinforcement and praise from others to be willing to accept self-praise.
Putting together these 6 steps gives you such a feeling of empowerment, of self-control, building your self-esteem, resilience, and your ability to embrace whatever life throws at you. I was inspired just listening to her share about these steps, but also how the program actually came to be.
During a time of emotional struggle and physical health challenges, Dr. Guttman realized that it was time to reevaluate where she was in life, what she was doing for herself and her clients, and make some positive changes. Through those experience, SLS was born. I personally found it incredibly fascinating because I too went through a health struggle and the loss of a loved one, and through those challenges I reevaluated much of my life and made some significant changes. It was one of those “ah ha” moments when you can see just much positive change can come out of personal tragedy.
We also discuss something else very key, that I touched on earlier, which is the feeling of “being happy”. As Jennifer points out, her research and own life experiences indicate that: “Happiness, is the wrong goal, because it’s not the foundation for a contented life. It doesn’t equip you with the skills needed to face the endless challenges of each day. It’s simply not sustainable because people can’t feel joy and happiness as a constant steady state.
We’re constantly told that we should be happy, and feel happy, and so we chase that feeling constantly and when it doesn’t happen, we feel like a failure because we “should” be feeling this way.
Satisfaction and Contentment are achievable, with moments of happiness and joy along the way…”
I found that very reasurring for myself personally and a positive reinforcement of what I’ve also been working on embracing in my own life. Perhaps you’ve struggled with trying to be happy, or find happiness, and it’s causing more frustration than actually fostering the feeling that you’re chasing?
Dr. Guttman gives us more insight on this and so much more, so be sure and check out the podcast! If you’d like to learn more about the Sustainable Life Program, you can check out her YouTube Channel, and find her on GuttmanPsychology.com
Thank you Jennifer for coming on Beyond Your Past! I’m looking forward to having you back on the show in the future!
If you’d like more information on working with a certified life coach, or if you have questions about how working with a life coach might be right for you… go for it and schedule your free intro session! Always remember, You Are Worth It, and there is hope for moving forward from what holds you back.
This post and podcast is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, mental health counseling, diagnosis, or treatment.