Be a Walking Buddha
Updated: May 12
Welcome to The Impostor Syndrome Files! Join Kim Meninger and Dr. Avigail Lev, a licensed psychologist who shares her own experiences with impostor syndrome and how she helps others to overcome their feelings of self-doubt. In this episode, Dr. Abby shares valuable insight on how to change behaviors, which helps us to change our thoughts. Listen to learn more on how to handle difficult emotions and experiences in ways you may never have previously learned.
Changing behavior is easier than changing thoughts:
Dr. Abby states that changing behavior can be done through practice, which makes it much easier than training yourself to change the way you think, especially the beliefs you have about yourself. The irony, as stated by Dr. Abby, is that the more we try to take control of our thoughts, the more powerful they become. She advises that what we really want to do is to help people come out of their comfort zones and practice the behavior until it’s not as activating anymore. Dr. Abby also shares an example about her experience with podcast interviews that demonstrates how much she can relate to the topic at hand, even as a mental health professional who helps others with similar challenges. What helped her is practicing a lot of self-compassion, something we could all use more of these days.
The practical solution:
The sitting Buddha is what people tend to envision when we think about meditation and self-compassion but it’s not very practical. Having self-compassion takes time but creating room for difficult emotions and managing anxiety, as well as treating our experiences with kindness helps us to better navigate our worlds, hence, the walking Buddha symbolism by Dr. Abby.
About Dr. Avigail Lev:
Dr. Avigail (Abby) Lev is a psychotherapist, author, mediator, international speaker, and executive coach in San Francisco, California. She is the director of the Bay Area CBT Center, a clinic that specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help individuals and couples break unhelpful patterns, develop healthier habits, and improve all areas of life. She has co-authored three books on utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to strengthen relationships and has presented her research at numerous conferences. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Dr. Drew, Bloomberg news, Verywell Mind, MSN, Psych Central, KGO, Psychologists Off the Clock, Healing Powers Podcast, Dateable, and many more. Dr. Lev is also the founder of CBT online, an online platform that connects people with online therapists who specialize in behavioral therapy and offers CBT resources such as webinars, e-courses, videos, worksheets, mindfulness audio, and much more. Dr. Lev utilizes evidence-based practices to help people who are struggling with a variety of issues live happier and more fulfilling lives. Learn more about Dr. Avigail Lev and telehealth services at https://bayareacbtcenter.com/, https://cbtonline.com/, and Amazon. ~
Outline of the Episode:
[01:44] About Dr. Avigail Lev [02:39] How a mental health professional handles impostor syndrome [04:48] Insight on cognitive behavioral therapy [11:23] Trials of making behavioral changes [18:35] Insight is not enough, but its a part of the process [20:22] Emphasis on compassion [24:20] Knowing where you have control and where you don’t [29:08] How the media gaslights [31:43] Allowing yourself and other people to be vulnerable
And many more!
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Kim Meninger Welcome, Abby, I can’t wait to have this conversation with you. We already started a little bit before I hit record, so I can’t wait to jump in. Before we do that, though, I want to invite you to introduce yourself, feel free to share a little bit about yourself.
Dr. Avigail Lev Yeah, Kim, I’m really excited to be here and chat with you. I’m a licensed psychologist, I do cognitive behavioral therapy. And I’m the founder of CBT Online. I’m the director of the Bay Area CBT center. And I’ve authored three books on using cognitive behavioral techniques to strengthen relationships.
Kim Meninger Wonderful! And my undergraduate degree is in psychology. I always wanted to be a clinical psychologist before I pivoted into the tech industry years ago, simply because I didn’t, I wasn’t in a place where I could do the whole Ph.D. thing at that time. So I’m fascinated by what you’re going to be talking to us about today. And I’d love to start with a question or just, you know, kind of opening up the conversation to what you and I started to talk about offline, which is, what is it like as a mental health professional, experiencing potentially impostor syndrome or self-doubt? I’d love to hear a little bit about how you personally cope with some of that.
Dr. Avigail Lev Yeah, I think that in the mental health field, or in the helping field in general, impostor syndrome is common, because it’s, it’s a soft science, and we’re working on helping people, you know, feel better and live better lives. And there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Society gives us these messages that we’re not supposed to feel sadness or anxiety or worry or insecurity. And so the dilemma there is that I think we are more prone to feeling that doubt in ourselves, because we’re, I think most mental health professionals know the experience of feeling anxious, feeling down, feeling sad, feeling hopeless. And that’s why we go into the field, right to help ourselves and to help others and to understand pain and suffering and try to alleviate it. But none of us are living perfect lives. And none of us are free from difficult feelings and thoughts. And so I think that it’s definitely common in that field.
Kim Meninger So would you say that you’ve ever felt and I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I have, yeah, I used to feel this way. When I started out in coaching. Who am I, to help somebody else with this challenge when I’m not perfect in this area myself? Something along those lines.
Dr. Avigail Lev Yeah, you know, it’s so interesting, because I have moments where I tell myself, who am I to help this person when I’m so messed up? And then I have these other moments where I go, I’m so messed up. I’m the perfect person to help this person. Right. I know exactly how you’re feeling. I’ve been through this.
Kim Meninger I think that’s a great way to re-frame it. Can you tell us a little bit about what cognitive-behavioral therapy means? What are, what are cognitive-behavioral techniques? Like, tell us a little bit more about what you do.
Dr. Avigail Lev Yeah, I think that CBT is misunderstood right now in the society, or in the mainstream would be a better word, because we think that each therapy does exactly what it says. So if we hear cognitive behavioral therapy, we just think thoughts, right, thoughts and behaviors. We hear somatic approaches we go, it’s just feelings, right? Emotionally Focused Therapy, just feelings. And so actually, cognitive-behavioral therapies is an umbrella term. And underneath it there’s many different kinds of treatments that all share the same philosophy. And the philosophy is that insight alone is not enough to create behavioral change. But we all know the experience of knowing that there’s a habit or something that we’re doing that’s making things in our life worse, and we continue to do it. And so when we’re thinking about cognitive-behavioral therapies, we have a second wave of behavioral treatments. And now we have a third wave. The third wave of cognitive-behavioral approaches are taking a more mindfulness-based approach, acceptance-based approach. We’re stealing a lot from Buddhist ideas of making distance from the narratives we have about ourselves and staying with difficult emotions and sensations in the body. And so the treatment that I do integrates acceptance and commitment therapy and schema therapy. And it’s a very experiential approach. Because we could have the same insights. And it doesn’t mean that we’re going to be able to change habits in our life. We need a visceral experience, we need to be triggered and be able to have the skills to do something radically different in the moment. And that’s, that’s the work that I help clients do.
Kim Meninger So what can you share with us about what you might do with somebody who struggles with impostor syndrome or with, you know, self-doubt that’s getting in the way of their success at work?
Dr. Avigail Lev Well, first, I want to say that, well, I work with core beliefs, and they’re called schemas. And if you go to either of my websites, either cbtonline.com or bayareacbtcenter.com, you can take a schema questionnaire, and it will tell you your core beliefs. But what I want to say is that somebody that has impostor syndrome can have different core beliefs. And I would work with them differently depending on that. So for example, somebody can have impostor syndrome, because they have a failure schema. And maybe they have a failure schema, the way they behave, when the thought, the belief that their failure shows up, maybe they start procrastinating, or maybe they avoid doing certain things or they don’t put themselves out there, or they don’t even try, and then it creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where they end up feeling like a failure. Now let’s imagine somebody else who has impostor syndrome, they may have a perfectionism schema, they may be set such high standards and expectations for themselves that it’s, just never feels good enough. This person, right impostor syndrome is going to manifest quite differently than the person who has a failure schema. They may be putting themselves out there a lot, they may be overworking and doing things over and over again, to make sure that they’re just perfect and never feeling satisfied, or good about anything. So I would approach I think impostor syndrome is a global term. And what we first want to do is understand what are the core beliefs behind it. What are the thoughts and the specific feelings that act as a barrier to certain values and certain behaviors? And then I’d want to help people identify their values, and get really clear on what are their behaviors that they want to do in moments when this gets triggered for them?
Kim Meninger Wow, you said a lot there that’s really powerful. And I think you make a good point about impostor syndrome being somewhat of an umbrella term, and that how it shows up for one person may be different from another because of what’s, what it’s rooted in what the sort of source is for that for those thoughts and behaviors. And so how this is obviously a very subjective question, but I’m curious, just based on your experience, how difficult is it for somebody who’s been behaving and believing in certain ways for a long time, let’s say, you know, I’m in my, I’m in my 40s, I’m, I’m a professional, I’ve been doing things in the same way for a long time. How hard is it for me to make the kinds of changes that will help me to overcome this and to adopt new ways of thinking and behaving?
Dr. Avigail Lev Well, one thing is that changing behaviors is difficult. So it’s never easy. The other thing is that actually changing behaviors is much easier than changing thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actually, changing thoughts is quite impossible. Like the more we try to change a thought, the more we try to control the thought, the more powerful it becomes. So the dilemma is that people often want to change feelings and thoughts before doing different behaviors, they want to go if I’m just going to feel secure enough, I’m just going to feel adequate, I’m going to feel good. And then I’m going to put myself out there, when really, it’s the opposite. We have to help people put themselves out there and do it over and over and over until it no longer feels as activating. And so and so really changing behaviors becomes really easy when you’re thinking about it that way. Because we would work on just changing one behavior at a time. So I could give you an example. You know, when I do these podcasts, interviews, I get very nervous. And one, one value one behavior that I notice myself doing is it’s very difficult for me to get present. I will hear somebody, I won’t hear actually somebody will ask me a question. I won’t really hear it. I will just start answering. And so do I need to start telling myself never feel anxious when you’re doing a podcast interview? Or don’t think that it will go awful. Actually, I allow all of those things to occur, I make space for them, I validate the experience, I allow the sensations to show up. And I, I practice a lot of self-compassion with the experience. And then I come back to what are my values. So in this moment, I was bringing the intention of being authentic, and being present, and listening. Because I am much better at listening to my clients than I am at listening in interviews. And I’m going to be more effective if I’m able to hear and respond appropriately. And so now I’ve made a big action much smaller, I’ve also made, I’ve created a situation where I have a lot more control, I don’t have control over the outcome, maybe my answers will be good or bad, or people will appreciate them, they’ll be helpful, or they won’t be. But I have complete control over coming back over and over again to the intention of being authentic and present.
Kim Meninger I really like that intention piece. And that seems like something that you can prepare ahead of time. One of the things that I often recommend practically in the workplace is to think about before you go into any interaction, especially if it’s an intimidating interaction, whether that’s a meeting or a one on one meeting with somebody that’s, you know, more senior than you are whatever it is to really ground yourself in what is my goal? How do I want to show up? Who do I want to be in this in this interaction, those kinds of things. But of course, like you’re saying, it’s very easy to get sidetracked, derailed, by maybe what someone else says that we didn’t anticipate. But that idea of continuing to come back to those intentions gives us constantly new opportunities, right to, to just keep trying it, keep doing it. And so if we can’t be, we’ll never be perfect. But if we have that there available to us, it’s almost like a guide for how to get to where we want to be.
Dr. Avigail Lev And there’s several different components there. One component is really being able to distinguish the difference between values and goals, like I have a value of being honest. And then I have a goal of, you know, getting clients, doing therapy, you know, getting my finishing school and getting my dissertation. I’ve have already done that. But those are goals to get to what I want. And values are different because they are a process and you never actually achieve them. So I’m never going to be 100% present Abby or 100%, authentic Abby, but every moment of every moment is an opportunity to choose whether I’m going to move closer towards these values towards a set of values, or if I’m going to move further away. And so values are like a compass, and they are guiding our actions. And you also want to be considering your experience. So for example, when I’m nervous, I want to bring different values to mind. Whereas when I’m angry, I want to bring different values to mind. When I’m angry, I want to bring values of being curious, being flexible, being kind. When I feel guilty, I want to bring values of being assertive, and being firm and self-advocacy. And so values are, you know, we live in a society where we’re always thinking about goals and the things to achieve. But our achievements are only so much in our control, we have influence over them but not control. Our values are 100% always in our control. So even if I’m angry at a 99% of rage, I still have the same behavioral choice to be kind.
Kim Meninger So what’s interesting to me about what you’re saying is that it sounds like there’s a situational element to how you consider which values you’re going to prioritize at a certain point, right? Like you, you attach different values to different emotional states, different kinds of situations. Do you recommend thinking about that ahead of time, like how do I get more consciously connected to what those values are so that when I might unexpectedly find myself getting angry, you know, maybe I didn’t know I was going to come into this situation. I’m prepared. I have them available to me.
Dr. Avigail Lev You know, as a licensed psychotherapist, I want everything I’m you know, evidence-based. I want everything decided ahead of time. We make agreements we think it through, so yes, definitely. I think there’s many experiential exercises to do to get you there. One exercise I really like is if you write down all of your negative thoughts and feelings about a situation. Then you ask yourself, What have all of these negative thoughts and feelings stopped me from doing. And then that gives you information about your values. So guilt usually stops me from saying no and asserting myself, anger usually stops me from being open and compassionate to the person in front of me. And so it’s not about, it’s not always about necessarily bringing a set of values to a particular feeling. But it’s about noticing that we are building certain neuronal connections so that every time we have an internal experience, when we do a behavior with that experience, we’re strengthening those neuronal connections. So if every time I have an internal experience of guilt, and it comes with thoughts, feelings, sensations, urges, memories, a whole internal experience, and let’s say, my heart is racing, and I feel my hands shaking a little bit, and I’m feeling like this deep feeling in the pit of my stomach. And that experience pulls me into saying, okay, okay, you could borrow my car, you know, even though I don’t want to do that behavior. Now, every time I have that experience internally, I’m more likely to do the same behavior to try to get rid of that experience. And so there’s two pieces, there’s identifying your values and your intentions, and then also relating differently to the internal experience, so that the internal experience no longer has the same control over your actions. So you have this freedom between urge and behavior.
Kim Meninger Hmm, I like that a lot. It sounds to me, like it requires a certain level of awareness or consciousness that this is happening in the first place because I’m assuming that a lot of these experiences that you’re talking about are just happening, they’re happening, and we’re not even necessarily paying attention to them. So you had mentioned before, that insight isn’t enough, but I would assume that it has some part in the process.
Dr. Avigail Lev Absolutely, I think that insight is a means to an end, but it’s not an end in and of itself. And I think of mindfulness, self-compassion, or acceptance, right? In the same way that it’s a means to an end. Meaning that now that Buddhism and meditation and all of these things are becoming very mainstream, there’s a lot of moments of opportunity for kind of spiritual bypassing. So for example, when we’re thinking about getting present, and being mindful and letting go of narratives, we think about ourselves kind of like the sitting Buddha, and we’re in this monastery not moving or doing anything. And that really doesn’t, that’s not practical in our daily life. So practically, the reason to make compassion for our emotions, and to treat kind of treat ourselves like a little crying baby that needs things, and validate, and create some self-acceptance and self-compassion is so that then we have all this space for the difficult emotions, and they’re not driving us as much. So the more space that we have, it’s like being a walking Buddha, instead of a sitting Buddha, we then go, now that I can handle this anxiety now that I can handle this overwhelm now that I’m sending kindness to this experience. Suddenly, I have this space, this awareness in the moment to choose what I really want to be about, rather than doing the automatic thing that I’ve learned to get rid of this pain.
Kim Meninger Hmm. I really want to emphasize the compassion piece, because I think that’s something that’s really hard. Really, it seems to be really hard for us to do for…
Dr. Avigail Lev So hard. And so, so hard.
Kim Meninger And why do you think it’s so hard? I mean, I have my own assumptions about… I think we were afraid that if we go too easy on ourselves that we’re going to get too comfortable? Or you know, I don’t know, what… Can you just say more about your perspective on that?
Dr. Avigail Lev Yeah, I think there’s several different pieces. And I think it’s always related to your core beliefs. So nothing’s ever generalized. There’s always a bit of a uniqueness to it. But in general, I do find that either people feel they don’t deserve it. Or they feel like when they’re being kind with each other and loving with each other, they’re not going to get as much done. They’re not going to be as successful. It’s like, we’ve taught ourselves that we have to be a drill sergeant like this in order to accomplish things or be a good person. And then if we’re being loving to ourselves, we’re not going to be you know, and I tell people often, you know, if you’re a basketball coach or football coach, I don’t know too much about how to be a basketball coach. But would you want a basketball coach to be kind of screaming at teenager is like, this sucks, you suck, you’ll ever get this, right. This is the worst, you get better at this, you’ll, you’ll never make this happen. Or do you think that, you know, kids playing basketball may actually play the game better if you say, Wow, you did your best. And that’s really hard. And I can notice that this is where you need some improvement. And this is where you’re doing really well. And what can we do to help you improve here, but I see that this is really hard, and it’s really overwhelming. And it makes sense that you’re struggling this way, and you’re really doing your best. So right, it’s like, the idea that we need to beat ourselves up to become a better person, right? Like, who’s gonna bully themselves into being a good person. It’s, it’s very contradictory, but that’s our minds could fool us into a lot of silly ideas.
Kim Meninger Oh, that’s, that’s a great way to put it, bullying ourselves into being a good person. And your alternative there, when you gave that example of being a coach shows nuance too, right? Because I think that in any given situation, there are things that we did well, and probably things that we could have done differently. And I know most of us, as painful as it is to hear feedback or to feel like we made a mistake, we want to do better, we want to grow, we want to do it right next time. But if we focus so much on what we did wrong, then we don’t get to appreciate and to really fully embrace the strengths that we bring.
Dr. Avigail Lev And the number one question that I want to ask people before doing these kinds of things is, is this thing in your control or out of your control, like when something is out of your control, self-compassion can never be wrong, like something’s out of your control, why not give yourself compassion. If something is in your control, and you could do something about it, like you yelled, and you screamed at somebody, or you did something that you regret, you could still have self-compassion for the thoughts, the feelings, the sensations, the things that are out of your control, while being able to still have accountability for the things that are in your control. So this is where people get confused, right? And they start thinking that self-compassion means there’s no accountability, and I could just do whatever I want, and I’ll be a terrible person. No, we’re just making space for difficult internal experiences, and you still have the same accountability for the behaviors that you do in life and the things that are in your control.
Kim Meninger I like that distinction because I do think that most of us, especially when you talk about perfectionism, we’re, we’re not comfortable letting ourselves off the hook that easily we want to feel like we’re, we want to just beat ourselves up, punish ourselves. But then the model that you’re describing allows for, for both the accountability piece without the need to just be constantly beating and bullying ourselves.
Dr. Avigail Lev Right. You know, that’s the thing is that people come to me to therapy, people come to therapy with me, they’re always wanting to feel different. And in reality, our behaviors can help us feel differently in the long run and our behaviors, when, when a situation arises in the world, we’re going to feel pain, like if I get hit by a car, and you know, I can’t walk, it’s, there’s no such thing as being enlightened to a point where you’re like, alright, I’ll accept this and move on. But I’m paralyzed, right? Like things are happening in the world. That’s not what enlightenment is, or that’s not what moving towards a good life looks like. It does look like being able to distinguish where we have control and where we don’t, and how we take a bad situation and not make it 1000 times worse. So when I work with core beliefs, if somebody for example, has a fear of abandonment, they do certain behaviors in the moment that make it worse. They may start clinging or accusing or attacking or texting Where have you been? What are you doing? You don’t love me? And then the person ends up making more space from them confirming their belief. And so our beliefs, you know, the beliefs are not the problem. It’s the behaviors that we do that continue to prove those beliefs and confirm them and create a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s where we want to intervene.
Kim Meninger Yeah, that’s a very good point that the behaviors are often perpetuating. Right? I would think that it’s going to perpetuate the belief that you’re abandoning me because you’re pushing the person away through those, those behaviors. I’m curious to get your perspective, just because these last couple of years have been so crazy. And you’ve talked a lot about what’s within your control and what’s, you know, outside of your control. Are you seeing more people struggling right now because so much of the world feels like it’s out of our control right now.
Dr. Avigail Lev I’m really glad that you asked that. Because I think you know, part of impostor syndrome or not feeling good enough, or the comparisons is when our experiences are not validated. So for example, right now, the one thing that I’m noticing is well a) in my personal life. And in my work, I’m seeing how much trauma and pain this pandemic has brought to our collective. And yet, I’m also seeing how out of touch with that process, we are like, for example, you know, I’ve been watching TV lately, and I’m noticing like, wow, there aren’t any shows that are coming back in season that are addressing the global pandemic, everybody’s just moving along like nothing’s happened, and what kind of an impact does that have on our psyche, and us comparing ourselves and wondering what’s wrong with us? So I’m seeing these shows, and people are getting married and having these outdoor weddings, right, and having family reunions and graduations and then people are watching this, and they’re like, feeling stagnant. A lot of my clients say this to me that they’re stagnant, or they don’t feel as social, and I’m like, There’s a global pandemic, right? We, when we don’t notice the context, it creates more of a way that we could internalize it and feel that something is wrong with us personally. So this is a global trauma. And we are all deeply impacted whether we believe in the vaccine or we don’t, or whatever politics we hold and, you know, however, it’s impacted us, the whole world has been influenced by this new shift. And we’re all struggling in one way or another, and we’ve all been impacted. And yet, the more that we ignore it, or we don’t talk about it, the worse it gets. And the more we feel like what’s wrong with me? Why am I not handling this? Well, when actually, none of us are, we are all, you know, having some form of post-traumatic stress right now.
Kim Meninger That is such a good point. And I’m glad you brought that up too about how we’re not seeing it reflected in our general experiences of movies, TV, books, all of the things that we use as entertainment are not on par with our daily experience. So what, what would be something you would advise people to do to stop that sense of I’m, it’s just me, I must be doing something wrong? I’m everyone else seems to be handling this so much more gracefully than I am.
Dr. Avigail Lev My piece of advice to the media would be to start including these things, because it’s another form of gaslighting and spiritual bypassing, and it makes our collective unhealthy, it’s invalidating, it’s invalidating to our collective experience. And individually, I would say, don’t do that in your own microworld. Speak about your experiences. So we have this tendency in our society to go how are you? Good, how are you? Right? I really encourage people to go, how are you? I’m struggling, I’m suffering, I’m feeling stagnant. It’s harder for me to socialize with people. The holidays were really hard. I mean, a lot of my clients this holiday, most people got COVID. So many plans had to change. So many rearrangements have to happen. And I feel so lucky in these moments to be a therapist because I get to witness it and go oh, look, it’s not just me. But I hear all my clients individually going it’s just me, what have I done wrong? And talk to other people. See the ways that it’s not just you. Share what we call negative emotions, difficult emotions, you know, validate emotions. We also have the tendency that we when we do hear somebody share vulnerable emotions, like I’m sad, I’m lonely, I’m a hurt. We want to fix it. We want to go did you do this? Did you do that? Let me give you advice. Let me relate. And number one thing that we’re all starving for is just validation. The validation just sounds like it sucks, right? It makes sense that it’s overwhelming. It makes sense that it’s difficult, it makes sense that it’s scary, it makes sense that it’s enraging, it makes sense that it’s helpless, it makes sense that you feel hopeless, just validating our feelings. That’s, that’s number one, for ourselves and for others.
Kim Meninger I really appreciate that. And that’s so aligned with my mission for this podcast more broadly, is we, we often carry these things around, almost like a deep, dark secret too because we, we’re ashamed right. To say it thinking, Oh, well, we’re now outing ourselves and everybody else is so much better. But that act of vulnerability as courageous as it is, right, you know, it’s not an easy thing to do, can really impact the connection that we have to other people, and it gives everyone else permission to say, Oh, thank God, it’s not just me. I just think it’s such a powerful and contagious effect that when you go back to that idea of what’s within our control that’s within our, that’s within our control, is to show up authentically and give space to other people to show up authentically. And while we can’t do that, necessarily everywhere, we can do that in certain pockets of our lives. And that’s a really powerful place to start, I would imagine.
Dr. Avigail Lev I love that you brought the piece about giving others permission because it is so noticeable when you do it. When you’re in a room full of people, and everybody’s saying one thing, and you do something out of the norm that speaks to a vulnerable, difficult emotion, you feel the whole shift, it offers everybody permission. And suddenly, everybody’s like, me, too. Me too, just like the Me Too movement, right. And so you know what, a lot of times when I do difficult behaviors, when I’m struggling to do something difficult, I remind myself that me doing it helps the greater collective. It makes, if I as a woman can get myself to assert myself more or ask for that raise or do what’s difficult, I help all women, I give them permission, even in the collective unconscious to do that action. And so I love that you said that, because it’s not just about us individual, individually. It’s about us as a collective. And if there’s anything that came from this pandemic, for me, personally, is how interconnected we all are, how dependent we are on each other, you know?
Kim Meninger Absolutely. And while I will argue all day long, that there’s nothing shameful with advocating for ourselves, I do think we’re much more likely to be motivated to do it if we know we’re doing it in service of others, and not just us, right. So it’s a great, a great reminder, when we’re on the fence about whether to do something scary that it’s not just for us, it’s for everybody.
Dr. Avigail Lev It’s for everyone. Yeah.
Kim Meninger So you mentioned having written some books, I want to make sure that everyone knows how to connect with you and the resources that you offer. Where can we find you?
Dr. Avigail Lev So you can find me on bayareacbtcenter.com, or CBTonline.com, you could find my books on Amazon, I have the interpersonal problems workbook. I also have Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Couples and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Interpersonal Problems. I’m also doing several online courses, you can find them on CBTonline. So I have a course to help survivors of narcissistic abuse. I have a course to help people struggling with perfectionism. And also a course specifically for therapists who are struggling with impostor syndrome, and also some courses on strengthening relationships and courses for couples.
Kim Meninger That’s wonderful. Abby, I’m going to put all of those links into the show notes as well. So that if you’re interested in, you’re listening, and you want to follow up, you can absolutely find them easily in the show notes. And I really want to thank you, Abby, I think you brought so many important points to this conversation. And I’m also really grateful to you for your authenticity and talking about your own nervousness around being on a podcast. I mean, I certainly didn’t feel that at all. I feel like you and I have had a really great conversation, a really powerful one that I think is going to benefit a lot of people. So thank you so much for doing this with me.
Dr. Avigail Lev Yeah, and you know, what also made me really want to share that is that every time I do podcasts, the feedback I get is you didn’t seem nervous at all. You seem like you’re just completely, you know, not impacted by that. And then I’m thinking, you know, again for our collective, just because I feel about 80% nervous right now, it doesn’t mean that it’s so noticeable, and it doesn’t mean that I can’t move forward. And I do feel like I was a little bit more present today so I’m glad I spoke to that. And it’s okay to feel nervous. It’s, it’s, it’s a reminder that something is important and it matters and I had a good time being nervous, authentic and present with you.
Kim Meninger Thank you again, Abby. It was such a pleasure.