All posts by Jessica Downs

About Jessica Downs

Jessica Downs was a valued member of the Colorado Counseling Center team through the summer of 2018, when she moved to Grand Junction to be closer to family.

On Scarcity and Being Enough

By Jessica Downs

Many of us walk through this world, lost in a hustle—we are exhausted, worn out, and often unsure of why we are where we are. With the ever-growing, ever looming presence of social media, and the pressure from our cultural values to perform and perfect, it’s hard to catch a break from all the things we are not, and that can work to create uncertainty and anxiety.

  • There are not enough jobs for me to find one that will make me happy.
  • I’ll never have the time to be the parent I want to be.
  • I’m not making enough money
  • My house is dated. My wardrobe is dated. My face is looking older—I’m dated!
  • I’ll never be as good-looking, fit, well-liked, successful, talented or witty as “so-and-so.”

And so we hustle. We pin, and we post, and we self-loathe because we are just not keeping up. Continue reading

About Jessica Downs

Jessica Downs was a valued member of the Colorado Counseling Center team through the summer of 2018, when she moved to Grand Junction to be closer to family.

Quieting the Inner Critic

Photo by Simon Wijers on Unsplash

Your Personal Drill Sergeant

We have all had some exposure, likely through Hollywood movies, to the overbearing drill sergeant yelling at a group of soldiers:

  • “You’re a maggot!”
  • “You smell like failure!”
  • “You’re worthless! . . .  Drop and give me twenty!”

The drill sergeant’s objective is not to provide care and compassion, but to yell, push, and criticize in order to prepare the soldiers for threats. It may be hard to identify at first, but if you slow down and notice some of messages you tell yourself, you may find that a voice similar to the overbearing drill sergeant has taken place in your mind. This is called the “inner critic.” Continue reading

About Jessica Downs

Jessica Downs was a valued member of the Colorado Counseling Center team through the summer of 2018, when she moved to Grand Junction to be closer to family.

I Shouldn’t Feel This Way

By Jessica Downs

The word “should” has become somewhat of a “bad word” in the counseling community. We often hear the playful warning to be careful not to “should all over yourself.” The push here is to let go of what you think you should do, in exchange for doing what you want: a practice that has allowed many to reduce shame and dissatisfaction and find a more meaningful path for themselves.

But the word “should” pops up in other nasty ways, outside of our “to do” lists and judgments around our motivation and priorities. In the same way we apply judgment and pressure to our actions, we can apply it to something we have even less immediate control over: our emotions.

“I know I shouldn’t feel this way.” Continue reading

About Jessica Downs

Jessica Downs was a valued member of the Colorado Counseling Center team through the summer of 2018, when she moved to Grand Junction to be closer to family.