• Set the Bar Low

    Let’s face it. You’re expected to have ambitious goals. You’re expected to be the best. You’re not supposed to set the bar low.

    You know you should: Work out more… Make more money… Come up with an unattainable goal that is impossible to achieve. Okay, maybe not the last one! 😉

    Point is, the pressure to succeed at things can lead me to set goals that are too high. Super high. So high I can’t imagine how I’ll ever accomplish them. And when I can’t imagine how I’ll accomplish something, it’s pretty hard to do it.

    Setting the bar high isn’t always the best method for progress. In fact, it can be the enemy.

    Extreme goals screw me over every time.

    You know what I’ve learned? High goals keep me from reaching any goal. Even if I make progress, I don’t feel satisfied. High goals perpetuate a sense of confusion about what I’m doing because I’m looking so far down the road, rather than where I am. And they generally keep me from celebrating things I’ve done. In short, they suck.

    So I have a new philosophy. Why not set the bar low? Real low. And see if I can’t get somewhere. 🙂

    Here is some valuable advice on how to set the bar low (in 3 parts):

    How to set the bar low: A dark pinterest image
    Set the Bar Low Part 1: Wait until you’re at a low point to mark the beginning

    (so you can notice improvement quickly!)

    Oh, I love to cheat my sense of progress. It is an amazing life hack.

    Here’s my favorite way to do it.

    Let’s say I want to lose a bit of weight.* Shall I hold off collecting my “start” weight until I’ve gotten into a bit better shape? Hell no!

    Check that start weight at your worst moment! Right after you’ve eaten a huge meal, and haven’t worked out since forever.

    One week into the new fitness routine, re-weigh yourself first thing in the morning (before you eat or drink anything and right after you poop). Voila! Unbelievably fast results.

    Ah, It feels great… Maybe it is a bit artificial… Okay, maybe it is an absolutely horrible control condition! (Technically you’d want to weigh yourself under the same conditions each time.) But you know what? The progress makes me feel great.

    I did something! And more importantly, I didn’t screw myself over by making some progress, then saying, “this is square one.” Which it actually wouldn’t be. You know what? Go ahead and own your low point.

    Go ahead and own your low point.

    By gaining evidence that your efforts have resulted in change, you’re setting yourself up to pursue your goal some more.

    *I don’t advocate weighing yourself obsessively, even every day. Most of the time I don’t do it at all. But it is a good way to take occasional stock. It is not the only way to measure your health and this is just an example. 

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    Set the Bar Low Part 2: How to do it wrong (a tutorial)

    Once upon a time, I decided, “This year I’m running a marathon!” Flash forward to nope. Setting a goal like that landed me right back on the couch where I came from. Here’s why. I decided I wanted to be a “runner,” But I really just wanted to get in better shape. So I set the lofty goal above. My thinking went a little bit like this:

    There are only X months left until the next marathon! I’ve got to train! This weekend I’ve got to run at least 5 miles. By next weekend 10! Better sign up for a half marathon first! Omg there’s one in 6 weeks! I going to do it!

    Flash forward to the next available Saturday morning. I’m all suited up in various running apparati. Shoes. Shorts. A fancy iphone arm holder. I need to run 5 miles. I stretch out. Walk out my door, and sprint like hell.

    Whoops! About 30 seconds in, I’m out of breath. I kept going. 5 mintues in I had a huge stitch in my side. 7 mins in I could barely breathe. And 10 mins in I collapsed. Yep. Right on the path, I just tripped and fell over. Then I stayed there. I didn’t move for about 20 minutes.

    I realized right then. I was not a runner. I had evidence.

    And so I didn’t try running again for about one year. Wow what a fitness achievement! So, what did I do wrong?

    • Set a hugely insane goal (when I didn’t know what I was doing)
    • I pushed myself too hard
    • I ended up in pain (a lot of pain)
    • I created evidence that my goal is unattainable
    • I bailed after just one attempt
    • Never tried again

    Very very genius, no? So what should you do instead?

    Set the Bar Low Part 3: Aim for the knock-off version of your goal

    Okay, let’s so you really DO want to run a marathon. Or double your income. Here’s what you’re going to do:

    1.Take your original goal and make it concrete.

    How far do you want to run by when? Let’s say 10 miles in 2 months.

    Exactly how much do you want to make by which date? Let’s say 40% more in 6 months.

    2. Chop that goal in half. Then chop it in half again. (Or double the time. Then double it again.)

    Your new goal is to run one-quarter of that distance in 4x the time. Now you’re running 2.5 miles in 8 months.

    Your new goal is to increase your income 10% in 2 years. (Ooh these seem a little more do-able!)

    3. Figure out how to get to your knock-off goal.

    Now you can do things like run around the neighborhood once a week. Then twice a week. Maybe after a while you actually measure the distance and increase it.

    Now you can talk to colleagues and see how much you can expect your earnings to increase. Does that already meet your knock-off goal? Okay, work a tiny bit smarter than that.

    So that’s why to set the bar low

    Set the bar low. Figure out what you’re doing. Give yourself room for failure. Give yourself TONS of room for failure. Go slow. 🙂

    It is better to move towards a mini goal multiple times, than to only move toward your big goal once. The reason for this is that you (likely) need to use a habit to reach your goal. You’ve got to train to run. Got to do well at work consistently to make more money.

    Give yourself the time and space to form a habit. Before you know it, you will hop over that low bar. Then, my friend, you can raise it.



    Dr. Erienne Weine

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  • Stop Caring What People Think

    VIDEO: Have you ever wished you could just stop caring what people think?

    Here are 5 MIND HACKS that are absolutely essential if you want to stop caring what other people think of you, asap.

    In short:

    1. People’s snapshot of you is TINY! You’re not on their mind for very long.
    2. Imagine having a conversation. Suddenly everyone seems like a potential friend.
    3. Sing an “I don’t care” song in your head. (“I don’t give a… “)
    4. Realize people only see their concept of you. They don’t really know you.
    5. Realize you’re only worried about your concept of other people. You create that concept and you have control over it.

    Ultimately, what really matters is what YOU THINK of you. ♥

    Thanks for watching!

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    Much love!

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  • Use the Law of Attraction

    Have you ever heard of the Law of Attraction?

    2017 was the first time for me!

    Judging by the name, I thought, “it sure sounds mystical!”

    Apparently, I’m not the only one who thought that…

    The first time I heard of the Law of Attraction

    The first time I heard of the Law of Attraction, it was from someone I just met. I told them I was a Cognitive Psychology Professor, and we started talking about mental stuff. Then suddenly my new friend interjected, “I don’t believe in the Law of Attraction, tho!” Almost as if they wanted to assure me they didn’t believe in something wrong. Something not scientifically supported. Something mumbo-jumbo.

    So I looked into it.

    And you know what I think?

    I think the Law of Attraction is awesome! I think it does a very good job of explaining some key aspects of being human.

    But here’s the thing. This is TOTALLY not studied in academic psychology. It is not a scientific law. And I can certainly see why people might want to detangle themselves from it if they want to be taken seriously as a scientific-believing individual.

    On the other hand, the Law of Attraction is a pretty popular topic. Tons of peeps find it a good way to understand their reality, and even more people are curious about it. I think we’re going to hear about it a lot more.

    Well as your friendly fresh philosopher, I’d like to offer my insight!

    Here I provide my own theory. A non-mystical psychological explanation of this popular idea. Turns out the Law of Attraction is a great way to understand yourself, whether you believe in the spiritual or not. Let’s dive in.

    The Law of Attraction: What is it?

    The Law of Attraction is the idea that your vibe, or the energy you put out, will be heard by the Universe. And the Universe will respond by sending that vibe right back to you!

    What you “feel” creates vibes. Those vibes go out into the world. They bounce around. And they come back to you. They come back in the form of situations that generate more of your original vibe. Thus your feelings are validated.

    That is…

    You “attract” your own vibe.

    The Law of Attraction is about feelings.

    Do you feel beautiful? Then you’ll attract situations and people that make you feel more beautiful.

    Do you feel like a loser? Then you’ll attract situations and people that remind you-you’re a loser.

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    My Story of Attraction (or A Time I Freaked Out)

    I see a water filter on someone’s social media.

    They just purchased one for themselves.

    Well, I had been thinking about getting one. So I commented, asking a question about the product. I asked, “Was it expensive?” The response I got was NOT VERY NICE.

    They told me, being unhealthy was more expensive than the cost of the product.

    OMG rude! I was so offended. All I did was just ask about buying something which I WANTED to buy, and I get someone telling me I’m unhealthy if I don’t live his exact lifestyle.

    So as you can imagine, I spent about half a day stewing about this. I felt very offended and judged and mad. And I thought about posting, but did not actually post, something like this:

    Yeah, I guess I’m super unhealthy and I’m going to die unless I live exactly like you. Except oh wait didn’t you just literally buy this? So you’ve been unhealthy all your life. Best of luck to you with all that you do, ridiculous hypocrite!*

    Definitely some negative vibes (*btw I did not actually post that).

    Well my friends, this was a perfect example of the law of attraction, as I soon came to realize.

    A Perfect Example of the Law of Attraction

    When this guy called me unhealthy, he created a template of judgment, dislike, and hate. And I filled it (or I really wanted to). If I had responded to him, I would have sent to him exactly the negative vibe he sent to me. It is only human.

    Because of the negativity he put out, all I wanted to do was respond with more negativity.

    That is the Law of Attraction: Psychologically.

    What you provide as possible ways of interacting with you, because of your mood, tenor, or general vibe, forms the only slots others can reasonably fill when they interact with you.

    As others come to you, with their own energy, they automatically warp it to fit the shape of your energy on that day. I prefer to think of this as the psychological template that you’re using to interpret the world. And also the pathways by which the world is able to interact with you.

    So far, this sounds like a story of how someone was a jerk to me. Well, I came to realize, I had a part to play in this attraction business too.

    Actually, I Attracted the Negativity to Me

    I’ve been meaning to get a water filter. But also I hate to admit that my water is “poisonous.” Hasn’t it been fine all these years? Might I actually benefit from adding a layer of protection to something I trusted? Well, that would mean admitting I was wrong! I’d really rather not.

    It is actually a Freudian defense mechanism to reshape our own insecurities as being someone else’s insecurities.

    When I asked about the water filter, I could have used any phrase. Instead of saying, “Was it expensive?” I could have said, “How much was it?” Or, “Wherever did you get it?” But I didn’t. I chose these words instead.

    Why? Maybe because if this item were a bit pricey, that would actually be great for my self-esteem. I would be wonderful to have a reason not to get a filter (other than my own stubbornness).

    Well, you know what, this dude totally called me out on it. He said, “Being unhealthy is more expensive.” Which is true. He made me face my inner BS.

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    My Psychological Explanation of The Law of Attraction

    Why did I attract this to myself? And how did I do it?

    I made my inner struggle an outer struggle. This is something I can see in my words and my decision to write a comment.

    In doing so, I attracted, or created, a psychological niche for our conversation. And it just so happened that our conversation filled that niche with the exact same vibe I put out.

    This guy wasn’t negative. He was only a mirror of my own negativity.

    Or, more realistically, I interpreted his words as negative. But I didn’t have to.

    I put out inner blockages and calling things expensive. He put out inner blockages and calling things expensive. What I emitted came back.

    On a deeper level, our mental concepts and the ideas we use to communicate tell us something subtler about ourselves. They tell us about our inner world.

    We can use many different words, phrases, gestures, body language, emotions, and vibes to communicate. And the ones we choose are often the easiest ones to grab. The ones that are active in our psychological subconscious. Shiny. Easy to use. At the top of the mind.

    Sometimes our consciousness picks up on things in our subconscious which we’d prefer not to hear. Things leak out.

    And when they do, they get out into the world.

    Actually, I’m pretty grateful that I had this exchange with someone I don’t even know. It showed me something about myself. It was hard to look at it, but there it was.

    Personally, I want to know. I want to know about myself. Because I always want to improve myself. Keep exploring who I am.

    And from now on, I’m just going to pay attention to the words and feelings that come out of me.

    I’m going to pay attention to what I attract.

    Much love,

    PS – New to the Law of Attraction? Here’s the famous book that put it on the map!

    Large green pinterest image for law of attraction psychology explanation

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  • Overcome Public Speaking Fear

    I don’t care what you call it, public speaking is just one person (you) talking to other people (the audience) about something you know (your topic).

    Sounds simple right?

    Well leave it to us humans to make things complicated!

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    I’ve spent tons of time freaking out. Judging myself. Predicting the terrible. Worrying that no one will care what I have to say. And worst of all, believing that I need to know every single little thing about my field (for example the entire freaking field of cognitive psychology) before I could even allow myself to speak.

    Now that is a whole lot of fear and anxiety! Especially for something that will take, maximum, 1 hour of my life? And probably less.

    Freaking out is very a human thing to do. But that freaking out is ultimately coming from a lie that we believe deep down.

    Below I’m going to dispel the #1 myth about speaking that can paralyze speakers everywhere.

    You need to convince your audience that you’re an authority!

    OMG. This is the worst. feeling. ever.

    The feeling of being an imposter.

    It is where you feel like you’re not a real -fill in the blank.

    Everyone is going to find out!

    Then they will laugh at you!

    A series of unfortunate events will be triggered!

    Then your life will be over!

    Anyone? No? Just me?


    And here’s why:

    Being a speaker is a template in each audience member’s mind. You’re just sliding into it. People already know what to expect.

    You don’t have to reinvent anything. You don’t have to prove that you’re a worthy person to talk. And you don’t have to command authority to force people to listen to you.


    Realize that your role as a speaker is a template for those watching you.

    In their mind, they already have an idea of what a talk is like.

    They already know what a professor does. Or a guest speaker. And a business pitch presenter. Your classmates and teacher already know what to expect from a student presentation.

    They’re already prepared to:

    Sit their butt down. Listen. Take notes. And view you as someone who knows what they’re talking about.

    You don’t have to make this happen because the template does it for you.

    So all you have to do is step into that template. The template of a speaker!



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    A template is a group of connected ideas in our mind.

    That means a template is a set of ideas about how something generally goes.

    Like, “making dinner.” You have a template for that.

    When you think, “I’m going to make dinner!” do you ever also think, “Ah how can I convince my family or roommates to eat food I’ve made in the evening (then help me do the dishes)?”

    Absolutely not.

    You just do the thing you know about.

    First, you chop up the veggies, make the food, and spread the word that its time to eat. And other people do the thing they know about (which is to eat your food and avoid the dishes).

    This means you have a template for making dinner and sharing it. You have a template for dishes. For grocery shopping. For watching a presentation. And for hearing a lecture.

    The situation itself will guide you into acting in line with what you know. You’ll automatically just go stand up there, say things, maybe point to some visuals, and end with “any questions?” Followed by smiling and looking at the audience.

    This is true for your audience too. They’ll listen to you meaningfully because that’s what hearing a talk is like.


    So take a deep breath, and go slide into the template of a speaker.

    You’ll do this just be standing and speaking. Easy!

    Good luck. 🙂

    Dr. Erienne Weine

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