Move past the confinement of your mind

Image for post
Image for post

It’s not easy to be an introvert in an extroverted world, just as much as it can be challenging to be an extrovert in an introverted one.

Fitting into values that contradict your personality can be difficult and it’s not always easy to find the balance. Before the pandemic, tons of books and articles were written about how to be an introvert in an accelerated and extroverted world; in a world that appreciates extroverted values more — sometimes to the extreme. …


A mental shortcut for people who struggle to say no

Image for post
Image for post

Whoever said that time is our most egalitarian asset and we all have the same 24 hours each day was definitely right about it. But they were dead wrong about it too because the way we dispose of our time, the way we have the liberty and skills to manage our time will vary immensely from one person to another.

Yes, average citizens like you and me, we have the same 24 hours as a billionaire but while a billionaire can outsource a lot of their tasks to liberate time for themselves, not everyone can afford to have a personal chef, a personal trainer, an army of nannies, or anyone else taking tasks off their shoulders. …


How negative body image can hinder you from cooking, not just from eating

Image for post
Image for post

I took on a challenge for this year, to learn to cook 12 different, special dish throughout the year — one new dish each month. It might not sound like a huge accomplishment for some as there are so many options, so many recipes, so many culinary specialities available at arm’s length. But for me, it’s an enormous step towards healing my problematic relationship with food.

When I was around 12 or 13 years old, heading home from school in an early afternoon, I sat down on the bus and took out the sandwich my mum packed for me for the day. I didn’t have time to eat it during that day and the lunch at school wasn’t good — as usual. I took a bite, pensively looking out the window when a couple of older boys started to make fun of me, at first just laughing among themselves, then addressing insults to me. “Come on fatty, you surely can devour the whole thing at once.” “Why does someone so chubby even want to eat!” …


The idea behind dry January and the unchecked alcoholism to check

Image for post
Image for post

According to AA, the first step is to admit and accept that you are an alcoholic. I have never been to an AA meeting and I don’t identify as an alcoholic, but I imagine that this first step might be the hardest of all — in their 12-step program to fight alcohol addiction.

But alcohol and alcoholism worry me. It doesn’t give me the creeps or it doesn’t make me lose sleep, but somehow, like a tiny voice in my head, it’s there. There have been alcoholics in my family and there have been other — equally worrying addictions too. …


Emotional intelligence is in the little things

Image for post
Image for post

Ever since Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and science journalist wrote his book about emotional intelligence in 1995, the concept has been widely discussed and applied in multiple areas of life, from business through leadership to basic human behaviour in any interpersonal setup.

To sum it up in one sentence, emotional intelligence is the ability to make emotions work for you, instead of against you. It encompasses the management of your own emotions just as much as observing, understanding and managing the emotions of others by your own behaviour and actions.

The idea gained vast popularity and added another, distinct layer to explain cognitive abilities — claiming that IQ is not the only measure of one’s characteristics in the field of intelligence. …


5 tips about how to brag responsibly so that people don’t think you are an asshole

Image for post
Image for post

It has been a tough year, 2020. Yes, we all know it. But in fairness, if you think about it it was just another year, where many many other things happened, not just the pandemic, the lockdowns, the restrictions and the loss.

Babies were born, people fell in love, weddings were celebrated, people still got divorced, people still started businesses and wrote books — if you think about it, pretty much business as usual, just slightly uphill.

But it has been a tough year, and the hardships, the loss, the frustration left marks on our collective psyche — even if sometimes on an individual basis some days or even weeks looked exactly as days or weeks of any other year. …


And without ignoring your needs

Image for post
Image for post

As 2021 is here, everyone has high hopes. That it will be better. That life will get back to normal. That we can finally leave everything of 2020 behind and have a year we deserve.

Hope is necessary and being optimistic about new opportunities is a great way to invite motivation. But we shouldn’t forget that life rarely happens according to our expectations. It’s not life’s fault, the problem is with our expectations. Life is just life. In 2021 too.

In order to be happy with what we already have, there is one simple but not too easy thing to do: letting go of our expectations. …


How excessive optimism can make things worse and why a pessimistic-realistic attitude helps you more

Image for post
Image for post

New year, new you. Always look on the bright side. Smile and the world will smile back. Look for the positive and you can find it. You can achieve whatever you want. You are capable of great things. Don’t settle for being ordinary.

Right…

We’ve just closed a year that was mostly labelled as an unprecedented shitshow of a dumpster fire (these are the new words I learnt in 2020) and as we enter into a new year we need to be optimistic, right? We need to have hope that things will get better. We need to believe that life will get back to normal — whatever normal means for us. We need to have plans and ambitions. Sure, we need to have a positive attitude, especially when the going gets tough. Or when things are looking up. …


A new year resolution to become your most unapologetic self

Image for post
Image for post

A lot of people don’t understand apologies.

There are some who don’t understand that it doesn’t mean to surrender to the other, it doesn’t mean losing an argument, it doesn’t mean that one is weak. And for this, they are incapable of apologising — even when they are clearly wrong and their egos are already hurting their relationships.

There are some who think of apologies as solutions and who believe that murmuring sorry will bring immediate forgiveness — without actual changes.

And there are some who truly believe in apologies to an unhealthy extent. Who genuinely think that a sorry needs to be real — all the time. Who overthink situations and if they find they might have wronged someone even accidentally then they owe them a heartfelt, profound apology. Repeatedly. …


I wish I could have saved my marriage instead of walking out on a perfectly good life

Image for post
Image for post

A little over seven years ago, I packed up my stuff, boxed all my books, piled my clothes into plastic bags and suitcases, and moved out from the flat where we had lived for more than a decade with my husband. It hasn’t been a heat of the moment kind of decision, but a long and difficult one — full of sleepless nights, empty arguments and desperate attempts to undo what we had done to each other.

We met when we were 24 and moved in soon after that. We travelled a lot, we bought a flat and we had two kids together. We got married, not out of conviction but rather as an act of inevitability, as we planned to spend our lives together forever. …

About

Zita Fontaine

Check out my book on Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B088GJFM1B. Newsletter: zita.substack.com Email me: zitafontaine (at) gmail

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store