If you’re looking for an epidemic hardly anyone is talking about, listen for self-sabotage.

I hear it in academia, in work and as much as I hate to admit it – personally.

The art of taking something perfectly good and turning it into something perfectly bad.

Example from a student:  “I should have known better” but why would that be?  We are not soothsayers, we’re people.

“I overthink” – no, you saw sawdust and obsess but it’s not overthinking or else you would have soon realized that you became overly concerned.

“I can’t make friends” – well, in a post pandemic world, it’s not easy to get social again (and the solution is to break the ice because the other person will likely jump to your gesture of friendship).

“I feel like a failure” is a common one but it’s actually a compliment because most of the meaningful successes from people we admire confronted adversity.

To reduce stress, rethink the words that tend to hurt our self-esteem and put them together in ways that are authentic, positive and meaningful.