About me – the brief version
Hi, I’m Rebecca. I spent four years in the Police, and eight years as a volunteer Lifeline telephone counselor. In 2014 I graduated from the University of Auckland with a Ph.D. in Health Psychology – the study of the interaction between mental and physical health.
I’m handy in a fight
I joined the NZ police at the ridiculously young age of 20. Even worse, I was immature for my age. I still am, but now my immaturity is more of an asset than a liability. While I had two key skills for succeeding in the police – I’m handy in a fight and can scull a jug of beer (the latter being especially impressive as I don’t like beer) – my physical courage did not extend to the paperwork.
Overall the experience fueled my passion for social justice. Despite my early years growing up in a state house, I never lacked for food, books, or a warm bed. The same cannot be said of the children of gang members and associates. I will not rest until every child who wants to go to university has the same opportunities I did.
Saving lives. And not.
Lifeline. I couldn’t stop my uncle from taking his own life, but it eases the pain to remember the caller – a young man – who said he’d decided not to kill himself because of talking to me. While I stopped volunteering at Lifeline crisis counseling about three years ago, joining the organization was one of the best decisions of my life. I learned so much about myself and I miss the callers. Sadly, the organization is currently disintegrating.
My Ph.D. involved four years playing with healthcare robots. Weird, I know. Just think mobile computers stuffed to the gills with mental and physical healthcare devices and software.
Cats and humans
Barely domesticated myself, I live in crazy, beautiful New Zealand surrounded by a feral cat and gorgeous humans.
About me – the longer, gossipy, version
…I’ll tell you about how I left university at the age of 19 with a handful of C’s, a few ‘Did not completes’, and one A in psychology.
However I left university with something much worse than my crappy grades – I felt like a failure. Which is the loneliest feeling in the world.
I’ll tell you about how I returned to university at the age of 35 and overcame bad study habits and procrastination to achieve a Ph.D., to go with my First Class Honor’s Master’s thesis.
I’ll tell you about how I was both bullied and a bully. I’ll tell you what the sex therapist said to me on our way to a burlesque show. I’ll tell you about the horror of discovering that I’m a control freak. I’ll tell you what it’s like being in control freak recovery.
I’ll show you how to make and break habits. I’ll explain why there is no such thing as laziness. Seriously. Laziness does not exist as a legitimate psychological construct. I’ll tell you what so-called ‘laziness’ really is.
I’ll tell you about my embarrassing stuff-ups. I’ll explain how to overcome fear of criticism. I’ll show you how to failure-proof yourself. I’ll tell you about the life-altering event that happened to me at the Tantra workshop.
I’ll explain why ‘self-esteem’ is complete crap, and why unconditional self-worth is the new black (shout-out to Brené Brown). I’ll explain how, never mind the other people, forgiving others is good for you.
We don’t need to be perfect
I’m telling you these personal stories for several reasons.
One reason is to illustrate psychological strategies I’ve used to life-changing effect on myself and others.
A second reason is I feel strongly the key to better mental and physical health is getting over the fact that we are not perfect. And that we don’t need to be.
As humans are a profoundly social species – feeling we are alone in the world with our imperfections can be a profoundly distressing experience.
I felt defective
Due to difficult family circumstances, I grew up believing there was something wrong with me. That I was defective & unlovable.
I’ve since realized the only thing wrong with me was I believed there was something wrong with me.
So I deeply hope that sharing my personal stories, along with my clinical & academic experience, will help you realise that you are not alone.
I hope you realise that the only thing wrong with you, is that you think there’s something wrong with you.
There is nothing wrong with you. There never was. There never will be.
Nothing that can’t be fixed with a few simple psychological tools anyway.
Wishing you all the very best things in life. You deserve it.
P.S. Coming soon…The 21 day myth: A step by step guide for rapid habit change – incl. procrastination!
As well as my blood pressure sky rocketing whenever someone mentions it takes 21 days to change a habit, I worry about how many people are suffering unnecessarily for lack of simple psychology tools – how many people struggle with procrastination, and believe they have so little self-control they’ve given up making New Year’s resolutions.
My book provides the psychology tools I developed and used to get myself from university dropout to Ph.D. – and have been using ever since to help others. I’m launching The 21 day myth on the 1st May 2018. Click here to read more about the book and where to get it.
In the meantime, you may wish to subscribe to my fortnightly newsletters for general goss, progress on the book writing and launch, and detailed behavior psychology strategies for rapid habit change.