The Irrational Fangirl

September 30, 2015 § 2 Comments

If you’re a fangirl, you tend to learn towards the irrational. Don’t believe me? Have you ever had any of these thoughts?

I need [insert actress] to be in this episode or I’ll die. 

Everyone should reblog this post on Tumblr. 

Nobody understands this character the way I do. 

If I don’t make it home for this episode, I’m going to lose it. 

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Sure, we joke about these extreme ways of thinking, but they take their toll. You get anxious when you miss a trailer, and you assume the worst when nobody reviews your fanfic in the first 15 minutes. So what do you do?

There’s a form of therapy called REBT that teaches us to change how we think about our thoughts. Sound confusing? Let’s break it down.

  1. Your fangirl thinking influences you more that what actually happens.
  2. So to be less crey, you have to change your thoughts.

How do you change your thinking? You practice your ABCs. Let’s look at an example.

A= Activating Event. Traffic is bad, and you might miss your favorite TV show.

B= Belief. I must watch this TV show live or I will die.

C= Consequence. I feel anxious! OH nOOOOO!

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How do you change the consequence? You go back and examine the belief.

D= Dispute belief. Hmm. There were a lot of shows I never watched live, and I still enjoyed them.

and with that, we have

E! More Effective View. I like watching TV live, but I’ll be okay if I miss an episode or two.

When you can adjust your beliefs, you’ll feel less upset when the fangirl world doesn’t quite go your way.

So try it out! What irrational thoughts do you have about the way people act in your fandom or your fanfic? You can still enjoy your unicorn nature without sacrificing your sanity.

5 Therapy Tips to Help Manage Life’s Problems

October 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

My latest from lifehacker.com!

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Not everyone has access to professional therapists or psychologists, but we all face life’s difficulties and need to find ways to deal with them. With some simple therapeutic tactics and methods, you might be able to help yourself overcome your more manageable problems.

In fiction, change is sudden, romantic, and powerful. A villain is confronted with the error of his ways, and he starts leading a better life. An addict hits rock bottom and has nowhere to go but up. But close your book or turn off the television, and you’ll find that change is horribly sluggish, full of stops and starts. It’s hard to create change in the real world.

Change is also expensive if you’re shelling out $100-$200 every week to sit across from a therapist. If you’re suffering from anxiety or self-doubt, or you’ve just been feeling down lately for no particular reason, here are few simple tips to spark some real change and help yourself.

Read the rest here.

What’s your Story Arc?

January 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hi kids, 

Just checking in again to see how your 2014 is going! Today I wanted to talk a little bit about using fangirl concepts to craft motivation for the goals that you have for yourself. 

To start, I want you to imagine one of your favorite badass and/or successful characters. Now think of something they achieved or acquired in a book, tv show, etc. Rewind your mind tape a little, and imagine they had internally debated whether or not to pursue this feat and then decided against it. Or procrastinated to a point where the goal or prize was no longer achievable. 

Was this hard for you to imagine? Even if it wasn’t, was it a particularly compelling scenario? Did it make you feel anxious or uncomfortable, perhaps because it resonated with your own insecurities? These types of story arcs don’t exist in fiction, because. . .well because they are boring as hell. Characters may have internal struggles about relationships and romantic love, but when it comes to getting shit done, story arcs are about actively trying and often about actively failing multiple times. 

So today, I want you to think about what you want your story arc to be for this year, or even longer. What if you chose external action over internal strife, even if it resulted in being disappointed? For me personally, there is no worse feeling than knowing I am the only one responsible for sabotaging myself. For more about this, check out chapter 3 in the book. 

Success and failure aren’t different muscles in your mind. They are two sides to the same mechanism, a muscle that is about moving forward rather than being stalled by all the what ifs we use to clog progress. 

Here’s one “what if” I think we could all remember. What if you stopped mentally vetoing the possibilities life holds? And started living your story? 

Feel free to drop a note letting me know how the year is going or if you have a fangirl dilemma. 

Until next time, BAMF it out. 

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