Addiction Recovery, Personal-Growth and Self-Esteem


One of the most common excuses people give for procrastinating and not completing tasks is that the are “ lazy”. We can all relate to the feeling of not wanting to exert ourselves, especially for a difficult or “non-stop preferred” task. A lazy episode is normal, however by using the label of lazy to describe yourself, you predict that you will not accomplish much in your life. The longer you stay lazy, the more of a habit it becomes. Here is what is really going on with people who do life in a lazy way. Insecurity and fear of failure often stops a person from taking action. Insecure thoughts, such as “ I probably won’t do it right or be able to complete it,” suggest failure and therefore discourages taking action. A generalized negative pattern of thoughts such as, “ doing it really doesn’t matter” or “if I take the time to do it, I won’t be able to do anything else”, creates a no win situation.

Children who are not encouraged to set goals and are not given responsibilities by their parents are prone to being lazy. Lazy behaviors lead to under-achieving which causes shame and depression. To break the pattern of being lazy, stop calling yourself “a lazy person” and start addressing your fears and insecurities. Then set small daily goals and reward yourself for any action you take towards that goal. It’s not about doing things perfectly, it’s about action vs in-action.

Rebecca Sperber, M.S., MFT

Addiction Recovery, Personal-Growth and Self-Esteem, Relationships

How to Become More Assertiveness

Learning to be more assertive is crucial in the development and maintenance of healthy relationships.  Too often people will aggressively blurt out their feelings, wants, and expections of others. Constructive assertiveness is not aggressive. It’s about speaking up for yourself, whereas aggressiveness is speaking out against another person. The difference between saying “I would like you to pay more attention to what I say,” and “You better show me more attention or else” is obvious in tone.  Here is an assertiveness model that illustrates how to address issues of importance:

Assertiveness Template

  1.  State the facts regarding the event or issue
  2.  State how you feel about the facts
  3.  Make a request of the other person.
  4.  Consequence (Optional depending on the situation)

Sometimes a request is made and the other person cannot or does not want meet it. There is an assertive not an aggressive way to decline the request. A simple, “No, I cannot do that” with a brief explanation, is an acceptable response. The goal of the assertive model is to limit judging and threatening.  It is an exercise in staying out of control patterns that aim to force people to change. Rather, assertiveness is about influencing what you want to happen by using clear, civil communication.

This model is clear about the issue,  how you feel about it, asks for something to happen that might help the conflict ( a request replaces a “complaint”) and suggests a consequence which expresses the importance of the issue .

Asserting boundaries and feelings is at the core of effective communication.

Rebecca Sperber, M.S., MFT