Tag Archives: change

Apr 21

First and foremost our number one goal for kids we work with, all kids we work with, is to produce “self-efficacy”. By that we mean, “self-reliance”, “persistence”, “courage to endure adversity”, “resilience”, and “confidence”.

In order to achieve this we believe we must focus on certain aspects of a child’s makeup. Primary in our focus is “attitudes, values, and beliefs”. Secondarily, we focus on anti-social behaviors. Thirdly, we focus on personality factors. You will learn more today (probably more than you ever wanted to) on the mechanics of how we approach this change process.

Charles Swindoll once wrote: “We cannot change the past – we cannot change the fact that people will act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”

We use a tool called, Thinking, Changing, Rearranging, which is really a primer on Rational Emotive Therapy developed by Jill Anderson. A major premise of this tool is not letting your emotions control your life, that facts are more important than feelings, and that you can’t control events and others, but you can control how you react to them. It’s a rare person who doesn’t get discouraged but we all must learn to endeavor to persevere to be successful.

The value of courage, persistence and perseverance has rarely been better illustrated than the life of one famous American:

At age 22 – Failed in business
“ “ 23 – Ran for Legislature and lost
“ “ 24 – Failed in business
“ “ 25 – Elected to the Legislature
“ “ 26 – Wife died
“ “ 27 – Had a nervous breakdown
“ “ 29 – Ran for Speaker of the House and lost
“ “ 31 – Defeated for election
“ “ 34 – Ran for Congress and lost
“ “ 37 – Elected to Congress
“ “ 39 – Defeated for Congress
“ “ 46 – Defeated for Senate
“ “ 47 – Defeated for Vice President
“ “ 49 – Ran for Senate and defeated
“ “ 51 – Elected for President of the USA

This is the record of Abe Lincoln.

Also, central to our approach is accountability. Choice and free will are the cornerstones of our philosophy. We believe that regardless of a child’s background they can learn to do things differently, see things as they truly are, and learn to think rationally. Unfortunately, most of the kids we work with follow Ziggy, the cartoon characters philosophy of “I like things the way they aren’t”.

We want kids to actually get better not just feel better. Good mental health is not the absence of problems; it’s learning to cope with problems rationally.

Apr 07


“I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Frank Herbert “Dune”


“Courage doesn’t always roar. Some times it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.”


Fear can stop us from making the changes we want to make in our lives. It can cause us to not take the first steps because the thought of changing our lives completely can be frightening. Why? Consider some of the following issues:

Our fear of trying to change and then failing:

Most people don’t make significant changes without mistakes. These setbacks are a part of life. Some people view these mistakes as failure and revert to past unhealthy behaviors.

Our fear of being vulnerable:

We believe that we can always get what we need, regardless of how we have to get it. If we stop using these tactics, are others going to take advantage of us? Will we become like people we’ve taken advantage of or manipulated?

Our fear of the unknown:

If we make major changes in our lives, what kind of person will we become? Will we be able to handle painful situations that arise? Will we be able to live up to other’s expectations? Will we be able to earn back the trust of others? Will we like and feel comfortable with the person we have become?

Recent Academy Award winner, Jeff Bridges, was asked about ‘fear’ and about doing the role he was about to do. He said, “Fear is your friend, it’s like fire. It can warm your home or burn it down, you have to respect your fear but not let it control you.”

Our fear of giving up:

After trying hard to change, will we be discouraged and quit? Will we fall back into our old attitudes of self-pity? “Why try?… Who cares?… Who am I kidding?… I can’t do this…” Will our old habits return and take control of our lives again? Will we be like the people we despise?

Fear is a powerful force that can hold us back in some situations – but it helps us in others. My fear of failure can motivate me to weigh decisions more carefully. If we listen to those fears they can stop us from doing wrong. But our personal fears can also be a wall – a wall we feel unable to climb. It’s tempting to use our fears as an excuse for not changing. Yet, if we deny these fears, we give them even more control over our lives.

Change is possible if we face our fears… if we recognize, accept and deal with our fears. We can do this through hard work, refusing to give up and accepting the help of others. For some, it will not be one day at a time; it will be one moment at a time.