News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™


Experience More Joy, Love, and Peace in 2013!

Attitiude Reconstruction  


September 2013
News etc.
Forgiving Yourself
5 Ways to Give Up Being Self-Critical
Stop Comparing Yourself
Jude Bijou
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Attitude Reconstruction

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About Jude Bijou MFT


The daughter of pioneering behavioral child psychologist Sidney W. Bijou, Jude Bijou earned a BA from Reed College and an MA in psychology from Carleton University. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Santa Barbara CA, a teacher of communication through Santa Barbara City College Adult Education, and a longtime student of Indian Vedic philosophy. Her theory of Attitude Reconstruction™ evolved from years of working with clients to help them lead more happy, fulfilled lives. Her first book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life, has won numerous awards and is receiving rave reviews. Her new ebook is 33 Bad Attitudes and What You Can Do With Them
I just received this lovely email from So. America.

"Thanks for all the help and attention I received from you, even from a distance. Your emails and reading tips helped a lot to understand people, friends, family and colleagues and the environments around me. Thank you and God bless you to continue for mission and making a difference in people's lives."   

                           Jeferson A. 

Greetings friends,

It's back to school. The reality has sunk in that it's no longer summer. September always feels like the beginning of the year for me. I think it's a particularly good time to choose to be a bit kinder to ourselves.

I'm dedicating this newsletter to sharing 3 ways you can truly, deeply change how you think and feel about yourself. Do any one strategy and you'll increase the amount of joy that you experience, and feel your self-esteem, confidence, security, and worthiness rise. Yes, you can turn that unhappy you into that genuinely happy person. 


According to the results of 1000 people who recently took the
Attitude Reconstruction Survey on my website, the second 
strongest of our destructive core attitudes is that we make negative self-judgments. Primarily this tendency is associated with the emotion of sadness. (The most dominant destructive core attitude is tied to fear. It is that our attention is in the past or future rather than the present.) View all the survey data.


 59% of people surveyed said that "half the time," "often," or "most of the time" they are making negative judgments about themselves. Just imagine! About six out of ten of all people you see on a given street, mall, campus, office, or restaurant at any moment are also telling themselves they are somehow not okay!  


We all are in this boat together.  It's time to choose to make one little change.  


But first, here's a nature update...


As I was surveying my garden from my window, I noticed a little chipmunk on my newly planted red yucca plants and California gold gravel.I often see squirrels but rarely chips. I watched the little critter as he/she started to dig in the ground with its 2 little front paws. Then what did it do? I do believe it pooped, making various twitches with its tail and body! After then pausing for a minute, it darted away. Now I ask you, how many people have ever seen a chipmunk "eliminating"? It was definitely a first for me. It was the same routine as my cats and not that different from us humans. More living proof that "we're all connected" is more than a platitude!


That bit of nature reminds me of something I saw on 60 Minutes recently. The news crew was illuminating us on the plight of the tortoise in Africa. The crown jewel of their presentation was some footage of a female digging a hole and then dropping down some big eggs. They talked about how rare this event was!


I was harkened back to the cabin my folks had in rural Indiana when my dad was at the University of Illinois in the 70s. I was out strolling around the lake when I came across a good-sized turtle in the middle of a farmer's dirt road. As I watched, she was squatting over a hole... and dropping big ole rubbery eggs into it. I scurried back to the house to have everyone come see and we all stood there marveling at the event we were witnessing. That image today is as vivid in my mind as when it happened. Nature is indeed awesome!


If you feel so inspired, do send me your amazing nature stories. 

     Forgiving yourself


Recently I had an opportunity to practice forgiveness - of myself. If we're out of balance and make a mistake, it's easy to start feeling bad about ourselves. Our minds start to continually replay what we did that we regretted and produce an icky, creepy feeling inside. When this happens, there are a couple of things to do:


1.     Shiver when you think about it, and say "I forgive myself."


2.     Interrupt sinking in thoughts about what you did. Don't keep ruminating about what happened. Firmly but lovingly interrupt the chatter and forcefully tell yourself (at least eleven times) "I forgive myself." Or remember "We all make mistakes." Or that "This feeling will pass. This situation is temporary."


3.     Express any sadness, anger, or fear physically and constructively when you start to think about the "terrible" thing you did or said. Pound a pillow, stomp around, or have a cry. Shiver some more.


4.     When you get a bit of distance, look within and determine whether there is anything you need to do or say to rectify the situation or if you need to just let it go. If you need to say or do something, get clear on what it is, and then just do it.


5.     Sometimes there is nothing. In that case, look for the lesson learned, and know that we all make mistakes and we're still whole and complete. Your mantra: "I forgive myself. We all make mistakes."

5 Ways to Stop Being So Self-Critical  


Are you considering buying pajama jeans because your womanly curves yell at you in the mirror? Do you park your Camry a block away because all the other housewives drive Escalades? Got a barrage of brutal self-talk to ready-aim-fire every time you interview for a new job or go on yet another date?

Being too self-critical is epidemic in our society. It's almost a national pastime to beat ourselves up over real and imagined imperfections. We became unwitting devotees watching our parents and teachers direct their anger towards us with negative judgments and demeaning labels instead of channeling emotions in appropriate ways. Being receptive little students, we pledged allegiance to those unkind messages and internalized commitments to keep them alive. Today we know the words by heart and speak them inside without even thinking.

Whenever we criticize ourselves, we compound the issue. We turn one problem into two -- there's the social blunder, a poor financial decision or disapproving glance in the mirror -- and the demeaning self-loathing that follows.


Are you more than ready to silence the tyrant? Then try these five effective strategies to stop being self-critical when you make a mistake so you can show yourself more love:

continue reading 


Hey Jude: I'm continually comparing myself and my accomplishments to others and always come up short. Can you help me out?


Comparisons are a no-win situation. Every time you think someone else has something you don't, or does something better than you, your attention is on others. Additionally, you're fueling your own unhappiness, anger, and sadness with your comparing thoughts. The antidote? Shift your focus from out there, to yourself. Pick a truth along the lines of "What I'm seeking is within me" or "My job is to do the best I can" and mercilessly repeat it anytime and especially whenever your old thoughts start to play.

Click here for a list of some other Truth options.


You'll really need to wage a battle with your mind because our old "comparison" habit is mighty deep. We're all unique and we all have our own talents. If you keep acknowledging your assets and accomplishments, and strive to be the best you can be, you'll let that "not good enough" mentality go and be on your way to loving yourself, no matter what.


We all need a few truths about ourselves to roll around in our brains so it becomes we know unequivocally is true. Having self truths installed within will offer an anchor to hold on to  when we get blown astray and "forget."

I hope these tips will help turn your frown upside down.
Let me know what worked for you. I enjoy hearing your comments.

Wishing you abundant joy, love, and peace.