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The ABCs of Not Taking Things Personally

Hey there,


Do you find yourself getting defensive at feedback?

Do you keep playing certain conversations over and over in your head?

Are you upset, annoyed or angry with someone and can’t seem to get over it?

Are you uncomfortable around a particular person and beginning to think there’s something wrong with you?

Well, you’re not alone.

In fact, Albert Ellis, an American psychologist considered to be the father of cognitive-behavioral therapy, found that people can get stuck in an irrational belief system that holds us back.
Our beliefs aren’t necessarily true.  If we don’t examine our beliefs, question them, or are aware of them, they can end up controlling us as if they are the truth. Ellis came up with the Three Basic Musts, which tend to be at the universal root causes for why we over react or take things too personally:


  • Must #1 (a demand on yourself): “I must do well and get approval, or else I’m worthless.” This ones causes anxiety, depression and lack of assertiveness.


  • Must #2 (a demand on others): “You must treat me reasonably, considerately and kindly, or else you’re no good.” This leads to resentment, hostility, even violence.


  • Must #3 (a demand on situations): “Life must be fair, easy and hassle-free, or else it’s awful.” This leads to hopelessness, procrastination, giving up.


Granted, Ellis is over-generalizing, but his point is that everyone and everything is fallible—people and the world at large—and that unless we stop taking things so personally with no consideration for another’s perspective or other possibilities, we’re doomed to being miserable and acting out in ways that we may well later regret.

Easier said than done, right?! Fortunately, Ellis was also all about self-help and coming up with techniques to help people change their beliefs and thought patterns. In other words, just because you think or believe a certain way doesn’t mean it’s correct and that you have to act upon it.

He can up with the ABCDE technique (easy to remember!), which is a tool I practice myself and share with my clients, many of whom have found it to be a game changer.

A = Identify the ACTIVATING event.

Think of it factually, without interpretation. For example, Someone drove into my lane, causing me to brake quickly.

B = What is your BELIEF about what happened?

Now give the unedited version of what you’re really thinking. That guy was a total A$$hole…careless and stupid!

C = What is the CONSEQUENCE of your belief?

How does it make you feel? I’m so angry and can feel myself wanting to scream.

D = Now DISPUTE your belief.

What’s another way of looking at what happened? Maybe that guy was rushing to the hospital because his wife was in labor. Or maybe he just didn’t see me.

E = Notice the EFFECT of disputing your belief.

Huh, I’m no longer angry now. By giving someone else the benefit of the doubt, you give yourself the benefit of calm.

The more you practice this technique, the more empowered you’re going to feel. Trust me, it really works. We may not always know the reason someone did something or why something happened. But that’s not the point. The point is that most likely, it had nothing to do with us! And this realization can be very liberating, calming, hopeful and, like I said, empowering.

I’ll leave you with this recent anecdote that perfectly conveys the point:

A client was complaining to me that her boss was suddenly using a harsh tone with her and being very dismissive. She felt that she wasn’t being respected, and it was wreaking havoc with her work and emotions. So, I threw out a dispute for her feeling/belief—one that had nothing to do with her or her performance. “Before jumping to the wrong conclusion, maybe consider that he’s stressed out about something in his own life and taking it out on you without realizing. Can you take a breath and possibly find out if something else is going on?” Before long, she learned that her boss’ wife was battling breast cancer.

Moral of the story: We don’t always know what’s going on with other people, nor can we control everything. The one thing we can control is how we feel…and ultimately, respond. 

I’d love to know if you try practicing this technique and how it works for you. Keep me posted, okay?! But if I don’t hear from you right away, I’ll try not to take it personally. ;~)



p.s. Want some extra support with a situation you’re dealing with now? You know I’m here for you. Just schedule 30 minutes to chat for a complimentary coaching session.


How to stop thinking about work all the time

Hey there,


One of the most stressful things I hear clients struggle

with is that they can’t turn off…

even when it’s time to relax and be with loved ones. 


It sucks when you’re with your family or friends,

but not really with them, you’re checked out…  


It’s like you’re just a body at the dinner table, half listening, 

half ruminating about the upcoming presentation 

or replaying an exchange you had a with a coworker. 


Usually this is a symptom of something bigger happening… 


Maybe you’re:

  • overwhelmed and working too much
  • not getting the support you need
  • not feeling confident that you’re doing a good enough job
  • saying yes too much
  • taking things personally


The problem is, when you're thinking about work and

wasting your precious (and probably too little) time 

with your loved ones, it eats away at you.  Literally.  

And just exacerbates things at work. 


Research has shown that our relationships are the biggest predictor of our happiness.  

And that love, literally nourishes our bodies, impacting our brains, cardiovascular system, 

immunity, decision making, and even the DNA that's expressed in our bodies. 


So when you’re not allowing yourself to be nourished by those around you,  

by intimate and real connections - you may be entering a vicious cycle  where you:

  • Resent your job even more
  • Feel out of balance 
  • Not care about things you used to care about
  • Question whether you’re in the right place
  • Wonder if you’re good at anything at all
  • Lose hope and motivation, disengaging from work even more 


Most people think they just need to meditate and develop a mindfulness habit. 

They blame an addition to their phones, or checking emails. 


I'm always an advocate of meditation and training your mind. 

But that alone won't solve this. 


Other folks just try to work harder. 

But that also doesn't help because if you're out of balance 

and probably not getting enough rest, you're not effective - 

so you take longer to do things. And that takes you away from home even more. 


Some people just do nothing at all. They just hope it will shift on its own. 

“It's just this one project that's keeping me busy. 

Then things will return to normal.”

But it's not just about this project. Is it?


I used to be this way. I felt like I was always working on my business. 

My husband would regularly say, "Stella, I'm feeling distant from you” 

after spending the whole day with me. 

Or, we’d go on a trip but I found myself just stressed 

about what was waiting for me at home instead of enjoying my vacation! 


That's when I started instituting some key strategies and practices. 

And it’s changed my world. 

Now when it's 5pm, I shift gears and I'm PRESENT. 

I get to savor moments with my family and my weekends feel fun again. 


Would you like to fix this and stop being absent in your life 

and be more engaged at work?


Here’s what I want you to do. 


Just click on the link below, let me know a bit 

about your situation and then you’ll see a link to my calendar.


You’l be able to book a complimentary 30 minute session 

with me on the phone. And I’ll show you exactly how to 

overcome this, step by step, using a three part strategy.


While the steps are universal to everyone, it has to be customized for you. 

If I just share it here, it wouldn’t be making much of an impact for anyone

unless it’s specific to your life. 


This is something I’m very passionate about it. I HATE hearing 

about people losing their sense of self and connection to those they care about 

because of work (even if you love your work). 




Your life is way too precious, your loved ones are too important,

and your time is too valuable to waste not being alive in each moment. 


Hope to talk soon.



p.s. If you’re hesitating, just ask yourself how much longer 

are you willing to let this happen? Are you waiting for your kids to 

grow up? The prime of your career to pass?


Just book a strategy session so I can help you and 

explain a system so you don’t do this alone - and waste any more time.


p.p.s. This isn't very hard. And won’t take long to shift. Promise. 


What My Daughter Taught Me About Love

Since becoming a mom, I love working from home so I can sneak playtime and cuddles with my 16-month-old in between calls.

It never ceases to make me feel INCREDIBLE when I walk out of my office and see the sheer glee on her face at seeing me. She claps her hands and runs into my arms.

There. is. NOTHING. Better. Than. That.

Every night, my husband and I reflect on the sweet moments we've each had with Linor, and I shared with him how her greeting me absolutely overwhelms me with joy.

And that's when I realized...why don't I do that?

I mean, I absolutely ADORE my husband and am beyond grateful to have him in my life. But when he comes home, I give him a hello and a kiss…usually rushed because I’m preoccupied with getting dinner finished (or started!) and whatever else I’m thinking about. Maybe I won't clap for joy the way Linor does, but why don’t I take a sec and greet him with the sheer love I have for him?

According to researchers Ed Diener and Sonja Lyubomirsky, our relationships are the biggest predictors of our happiness—above and beyond our health, our success, even our wealth.

And yet, we so often take those we love the most for granted. Especially when it’s been a few years…and life gets in the way.

So, I am now taking a cue from the wisest one in our family—our 16-month-old daughter, Linor—and choosing to REVEL in the presence of those I most care about.

What about you? Does this sound familiar? If yes, can you think of better ways to express your love and appreciation for those you cherish most? How might you be more purposeful in the time you have with these special people?

I would LOVE (no pun intended!) to hear your thoughts and ideas on this one. In the meantime…

Showing you love,




This One Thing Was Ruining My Life

One of the biggest things that’s negatively impacted my confidence, sense of worth, stress levels, overall health, and the amount of bickering I have with my husband - is being unhappy at my job. And while we’re at…it’s also affected my paycheck and our ability to put a down payment on a home. 

If you’re not happy at work, take a moment to ask yourself, what is it costing you?  

If you're... 

  • watching the clock to get through the day
  • coming home depressed but trying to hide it from your loved ones
  • feeling like the life has been sucked out of you
  • forgetting what it feels like to be energized and PROUD of what you do
  • neglecting your health
  • not having much fun
  • overwhelmed and not seeing a way out

You're paying way too high a price for staying where you are. 


When I first launched WOOPAAH, and invested so much time, money, sweat, and soul into it, I quickly wasn't all I thought it would be. 

But I was too afraid to admit that to myself, so I turned to Netflix. And I isolated myself. 

Not a lot of people knew that I was struggling, but it was affecting everything.

The problem was that I was trying to fix it all by myself. Technically I had all the training and information I needed. I had a masters in applied positive psychology and spent over 10 years in branding and entrepreneurship. 

I "knew" what to do. I just wasn't doing it for myself. 

And then, I hired a coach to hold me accountable and serve me my own medicine. 

Let’s just say, I don’t have time for much TV anymore. I’m energized by my work and inspired by the people I talk to each day. I also feel a sense of ease and possibility that I hadn’t in a very long time.  We’re in the midst of searching for our dream home - and I’m so grateful to have a thriving business that supports our ability to do that. And while Ilya (my husband) and I still bicker every now and then about where the socks go  - I can’t wait to tell him about my day and how damn grateful I am to get to do what I do. 

In three months I shifted what I had been avoiding for years. 

How much longer are you willing to take it? Are you going to let another year go by?

How much longer will you choose to sacrifice your very valuable time, career growth, well-being, and precious moments with those you love?  

I want you to know...with all my heart...that it doesn't have to be this way. 

I'm not saying you need to change jobs or careers. 

But to do nothing is not only costing you, it's costing us all. 

We need you. We need your light to be turned on bright. In the wise words of Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Seriously. You have a gift - and even if you don't believe it anymore, it's true. If you're not in your most alive state and sharing it - then we all lose out. 

From my own experience, and the thousands I’ve supported, I know it’s really hard to go at this alone. 

I’d love to support you. So let’s talk. I’ll share my proven Work Happiness Method framework with you, and we can explore if working with me is the right fit for you. 

You can book 30 minutes here and you’ll walk away with tools for how to shift NOW. You’ll be surprised at how simple it is and how quickly you start transforming. 

My best to you,



I'm So Crazy Proud Of This Client..

Hey there,

I'd like to share a story about a client of mine, Amy, an Emergency Room Doctor, who took The Work Happiness MethodI'm SO damn proud of her. 

Before I share her story, just a quick reminder that even if you're not a client, I'm STILL here for you. Let's talk. 

The best way that I can help you be happier at work is to understand what's personally going on for you. 

That's why every so often, I make space available for 30 minute strategy sessions to my community - as my gift to you ($500 value). These are very limited, so first come, first served. You can apply here.

Okay, back to Amy... Amy was on maternity leave when we started to work together.

Amy dreaded going back to work so much so that she started taking computer programming classes - she seriously was considering switching careers. 


When we got to the root of her issue it turns out that one of her major concerns was pumping breast milk at the hospital (promise you'll be able to relate even if you don't have breasts - just keep reading).

Sure, technically by law she could take breaks to do it...but based on the demands of being an ER wasn't so simple.  

This was Amy's second child and she remembered the first time around it was very difficult to schedule time for pumping breast milk. 

For those of you who don't know what it's like to breast feed or pump, if the milk doesn't come out when the breast is full - it's painful and can cause infection.  

Clearly if you're in discomfort like that ... your performance can be impacted. 

Have you ever had to work in conditions that negatively impacted your effectiveness? And yet, you found yourself just taking it?   

Amy knew this was important to address but she didn't feel like she could speak up for her needs. 

She was afraid that she'd be perceived as whining or creating trouble for her department...and she feared that this might impact her ability to be promoted. 

I. could. not. believe. my. ears. 

It's 2-0-1-6 and yet, this was a real issue. And we're talking about medical professionals here. Oy vey! 

I asked Amy, "What kind of promotion do you want to get?"

Amy wanted to become an department administrator to create policies for more effective management and care. 

Okay. Well, I asked, how might you START ACTING like the leader you want to be? 

Amy woke up and realized that she had to say something. 

We created a word for word script of how to make her request.  And in a matter of weeks the department created a new policy around how to schedule shifts for breast pumping needs. 


Before our conversation - Amy didn't think this conversation was an option. She thought it would make her look bad. 

Meanwhile, the department chiefs asked, "why hasn't anyone mentioned something sooner?"


Do you think that the only way out is quitting or another career?

Before you do anything drastic, let's talk!

In our strategy session- we'll uncover what hidden behaviors or thoughts you may be engaging in that are sabotaging your success and happiness. 

You'll leave with an action plan so that you can be more calm, hopeful, and excited about what's to come. 

You can apply for your session using this link. 

You'll just need to answer a few questions first and then pick a time that works for you. 

As for this story. I hope you realize that if you're in pain, you're probably not the only one. Don't ASSUME you know how someone is going to respond to your needs and certainly don't stay QUIET because of fear of the conversation. 

If you truly want to lead, start now. 

All my best,