Clinical psychologist, writer. Editor of On the Couch: Practical psychology for everyday life. karen@onthecouch.co.nz

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The one thing you absolutely need to conquer.

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

You have a dream.

You’re committed. You know it’s right for you. You know, that if you can do what’s required, you’ll be wildly successful.

But you can’t quite make it happen. One week you’re on fire, the next you’ve lost your way, filled up with doubt, wondering if it’s a good idea after all.

Look, pandemic-smashed 2020 has been — and still is — a tough year. It’s messed with our careers, finances, mental health, plans to do Big Things. Or even little, fun ones.

And it’s added to the biggest barrier to our success — the thing we struggled with even before Covid jammed itself into the picture: distraction.


And why you won’t stay there.

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Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

I was at a networking event way back when no-one wore masks.

We were all standing around with a drink pretending to be cooler than we really are. With two big events on in our city at the weekend, one woman asked us all: “which conference are you going to?”

When I gave my reply, she raised an eyebrow: “Really? But that conference is for Ordinary Women.”

I tried, probably not very successfully, to hide my smile. Imagine the horror of spending a weekend with Ordinary people? Imagine the nightmare of being Average?

We’re all different, but the same

In a dog-eat-dog world, we’re terrified of being Average. Sick to the stomach with the thought of not making the most of ourselves, of not Making Our Mark on the world. Of not soaring as high as we can soar. …


But I probably wouldn’t have listened to.

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Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin

I didn’t set out to become a relationship coach.

But every therapist quickly learns it’s an essential part of the job because relationships are such big players in our lives.

We learn that good relationships are the source of so much happiness and, when they go wrong, so much pain.

And that helping people understand and improve their intimate relationships is often best way to help them improve their lives.

We each have our own relationship “journey” and that means learning some things the hard way, down in the trenches. But, if you’re up for a shortcut, here are some things to ponder. …

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