Mind Matters Blog

About Dr. Debbie Covino

Dr. Debbie Covino

Dr. Debbie Covino, the First Lady of Cal State LA, is certified as a Master Clinical Hypnotherapist and Integrative Life Coach. She has spoken to diverse groups throughout Southern California about the importance of self-care and inner well-being, including staff, faculty, and students at Cal State LA. Dr. Covino has also taught courses in self-hypnosis for personal and professional success through the College of Professional and Global Education at Cal State LA. She is the co-founder of the Cal State LA Mind Matters initiative, which focuses on the inner well-being of the campus community.


Achieving your goals one step at a time

Bad Thought: This is too big to accomplish

I remember about kaizen, the Japanese word for improvement, referring in the corporate environment more specifically to continuous improvement through small steps. The concept has been fleshed out more philosophically and psychologically in Robert Maurer’s 2014 book, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way. Maurer recognizes that while big goals can feel intimidating, one small step toward that goal always feels doable. 

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by a big job or goal? Maybe you need to lose 50 pounds, clean out the garage, or find a new job. For me, it’s often writing projects. Let’s say I want to write a book-length account of ways to become a more positive thinker. Flashes of brilliance flow through me and I take note of all the marvelous possibilities! I’m eager to dive in and make it happen. But then comes the hitch in my thinking: That sounds daunting! A book is, after all, a huge undertaking. Then I think of kaizen, and am reminded that writing even one sentence is a step toward the book.

This thought actually prompted me to start the “Bad Thoughts Blog” you’re reading now. Here I can identify commonly experienced bad thought phenomena, and briefly elaborate each one. A single entry on its own may not be very substantial, but thought-by-thought, point-by-point, I am creating a larger work. A series of small steps, added together, becomes a full-sized accomplishment.

Next time you feel overwhelmed at the thought of a big goal, ask yourself what one small step you can take toward that goal. Then do that, and revel in the idea that you are already on your way. 

You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, and creator of the Master Your Own Mind self-hypnosis program.


Your place in the conversation

Bad Thought: What I have to say is of no value

I was at a holiday party, talking to a couple of men who are university administrators. As always seems to be the case (in that particular dynamic), the men were more interested in subjects related to their work than in whatever I had to offer. I tried to find a way in to the conversation--something that would get their attention . . . 

Flash back to my childhood. I’m outside with my big brother and his buddies. I’m clowning around to be one of them, but they feel aloof. I think they see me as a nuisance. I don’t fit in, and I desperately want to. I identify with them more than with girls my own age.

Such scenes (I have a very long list) prompt the belief that what I have to say is of no value. Do you have this thought at times? It’s a killer. It’s stopped me from putting my whole self forward in too many ways to cite. It makes us all shrink up and feel small. It makes us sad and lonely.

Another way of being, another way of seeing is possible: I love listening to these guys so much. It’s fun that I get to be a part of their world, listening in, learning about their ways and views. Maybe they’re performing, in part, for me. Showing not only each other, but also the girl in tow, what they know, what they want out of life. Maybe I’m their audience. That’s a pretty important role to play!

I feel much better already.

Opportunity for change: Next time you’re in any group dynamic, professional or personal, ask yourself what role you’re playing. Are you a glue of some kind: without you, the others would be less cohesive? What would the conversation or activity be like if you were absent? How does your presence make the whole scene more functional or meaningful?  

You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, and creator of the Master Your Own Mind self-hypnosis program.



Mind Matters Update, Part Two

Mind Matters Update, Part One

File Away Your Problem

You will learn that you can give yourself the good feeling that you most want to experience.

You will learn that you can improve your mood by finding something good in just about any event.

Using the power of your mind to shift a negative feeling into a good feeling.

Elevate your mood through the magic of memory.