The Seana Method Freedom Through Organization Mon, 19 Jun 2017 01:07:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 88360408 Could Your Nickname Be Hurting You? Mon, 19 Jun 2017 01:07:05 +0000

Names are funny things. In simplest terms, names are simply a collection of letters (or sounds) that are used for identification, providing basic pieces of information, such as:

  • Family of origin
  • Family by marriage
  • Placement the family line (e.g. John Smith Jr.)
  • Religious affiliation

Our name is the primary way we have of stating who we are. Some people have one name, while others have many.

Nicknames tend to carry a more personal significance than given names, finding their origin from a variety of sources, including:

  • Physical appearance (e.g. “Red” or “Shorty”)
  • A family story (e.g. “My little sister couldn’t pronounce my name”)
  • A personality trait (e.g. “Tiger” or “Bulldog”)
  • The need for clarity (e.g. “Bob” vs. “BJ” vs. “Robert”)
  • Dislike of a given name (e.g. “TJ” vs. “Thomas Joseph”)

In general, nicknames have positive and endearing connotations. However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, sometimes we adopt a nickname or self-moniker to cope with a bad feeling we have about ourselves.

Recently, I was chatting with a client about a new fast food store opening nearby. She said she would like to go, but she shouldn’t because she is a “fatty.” I winced. I’d heard her use this nickname before. In fact, I’ve heard clients refer to themselves by a variety of derogatory nicknames, including “Lazybones,” “Packrat,” “the Late One” and “Stupid.” When I hear someone refer to him/herself in this way, I know that they are struggling with an area of insecurity. In some cases, a cruel parent or bully imposed the hurtful nickname, while in other cases it is the manifestation of self-recrimination.

Unfortunately, adopting a deprecating nickname can actually become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We internalize the shortcoming as part of our identity, rather than seeing it as a habit or trait that can be changed.

If you have fallen into the habit of labeling yourself with a pejorative nickname, here are a few thoughts I’d like you to consider:

No voice is louder in your head than your own.

If you repeatedly refer to yourself by a disparaging name, you are subtly weakening your motivation to behave differently. With the right support, we can learn new skills and develop new abilities. However, if we believe a behavior is part of our character, we are unlikely to even attempt a change.

Everyone has areas of both strength and weakness.

Typically, we undervalue what we do well, and compare our struggles with others’ strong points. The “Facebook era” has exacerbated this temptation, leading us to believe that we are somehow “less” than our peers. It is important to remember that you do many things well, some of which may be unrecognized by society but are nonetheless of incredible importance. I’ve never seen an awards show for “The Best Listener of the Year,” but I certainly know that a good listener is a priceless treasure.

You are enough just the way you are.

Your value and worth have nothing to do with the order in your home, the clothing you wear, the success of your children, the salary you earn, the title you hold, the number of organizations that you volunteer for, the number of miles you can run or anything of the like. You may desire to grow or perform better in a certain aspect of your life, and that is terrific. I am a firm believer in lifelong learning. At the same time, performance does not equal worth.

You can change your name.

Just as legal names can be changed, so can nicknames. In fact, the easiest name to change is the one by which you call yourself. You can choose a new nickname, one you want to be known by. Print the new name out and hang it up where you can see it multiple times a day. If appropriate, ask others to stop using an undesirable nickname, and audibly refer to yourself by the name that captures the person you want to be. Over time, you may find yourself changing your behavior to align with the new name.

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Have you ever had a hurtful nickname? Do you believe a new nickname could be empowering?

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Collecting vs. Accumulating Mon, 12 Jun 2017 00:28:41 +0000


Collecting is a fun hobby that provides a variety of payoffs:

Memory Stimulation

Collecting items such as postcards from our travels brings back happy memories. Looking at these reminds us of a pleasant place, time, person or experience.

Investment Value

Many pieces (e.g. art, baseball cards, coins) have a numerical value in the marketplace. When we acquire pieces like these, we not only enjoy looking at them, but also build a collection that may pay financial rewards in the future.

Connection to the Past

Often we gather items (e.g. linens, dishes, vintage clothing/toys) simply because they maintain a connection to days gone by. 

Reminder of Individualism

Many people collect items that represent our specific interests, hobbies or preferences. A fisherman may keep duck decoys, or a woman may accumulate items that correspond to her nickname. Having these items makes us feel special and unique. 


Many people collect items in a series or group, finding pleasure in the process of assembling a “complete set.”


Regardless of why you collect, it is important to adhere to a few guidelines to keep your hobby from getting out of control.

1. Clearly define exactly what you are collecting.

Frequently our collections are too broad, and we end up collecting too much.  For example, rather than collecting “old toys,” consider collecting “vintage wooden toys from the first half of the 20th century.”

Similarly, limit the number of collections you have. Collectors benefit from focusing on collecting one or two types of objects rather than collecting a dozen. You may collect a variety of items during your lifetime as your interests evolve. If/when you start collecting something new, seriously consider letting go of the old objects.

2. Determine where the collection will “live.”

Just like any other object we own, our collection needs to have a home in our space.

If the collection is being held for investment purposes, make sure everything is being properly stored to protect the value (e.g. art away from direct sunlight, wine in a climate-controlled location, etc.) Need some help with properly caring for your pieces? Here is a book that comes with lots of great advice.

If the pieces are primarily for sentimental value, it is desirable to store them in a designated display space. Sentimental collections add little value to our lives if they are squirreled away in a difficult-to-access box. Instead, bring your collection out so you can enjoy it. Some items can be hung, some do well grouped on shelves, and others are best stored in albums or cases. Think creatively about how to enjoy what you’ve saved. For instance, a collection of stones can go outside in a rock garden, while shells can be displayed in a clear vase.

In some cases, there are storage cases made specifically to hold the pieces, such as a coin album or box lined with silversmith cloth.

3. Insure investment pieces.

If a collection has value, it should be insured separately from regular homeowner’s/renter’s insurance. Be sure to photograph the items periodically so there is an accurate record of the complete collection in case of damage or theft.

It is also wise to keep a list/inventory of everything in your collection. This can become part of the fun, because it enables the collector to look back and remember the provenance of each piece.

If the items you assemble come with authenticity paperwork, either secure this to the back of the piece or keep it in a separate, labeled location. Purchase receipts should also be kept for high-ticket pieces.

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Collecting can add joy and fun to life, but if it isn’t done wisely, it can lead to piles of clutter and a loss of value. Remember, not everything you own multiples of is a collection.

Are you a collector? Do you have any tips on how to make the most of this hobby?

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My Most Popular Thoughts Sun, 04 Jun 2017 23:12:20 +0000 Seana thinking

One of the great benefits of the technological era is the ability to “touch” people via the Internet. If you are reading this, you have found me via my website. I like blogging because this is the platform where I can explore topics in detail. At the same time, I also love posting tips, thoughts and laughs on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. [Note: if you wish, you can follow me on these platforms by clicking on the buttons on the right side of this page.]

The approach of a new season may be stirring you to think about your life, your goals, your desires and your plans. Hence, I decided to look back and see what some of my most popular thoughts have been.

I hope you find some inspiration!











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Do any of these resonate with you?

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