90 episodes

I'm Dr. Z., a clinical psychologist and an author. In PLAYING-IT-SAFE I will share with you research based-skills, interviews, readings, insights, tips, and all types of curated info to get unstuck from worries, anxieties, fears, obsessions, and ineffective playing-it-safe actions. 
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

PLAYING-IT-SAFE Dr. Z. - Patricia Zurita Ona, Psy.D.

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 30 Ratings

I'm Dr. Z., a clinical psychologist and an author. In PLAYING-IT-SAFE I will share with you research based-skills, interviews, readings, insights, tips, and all types of curated info to get unstuck from worries, anxieties, fears, obsessions, and ineffective playing-it-safe actions. 
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    90. Overcoming fear of failure

    90. Overcoming fear of failure

    Drop your standards! Let go of your perfectionistic tendencies!
    If I were paid a dollar every time I heard this message, I would have a large bank account by now.
    When you’re pursuing a top performance – from athletic to intellectual to artistic ones – it’s fundamental that you distinguish those common principles that improve your performance and your well-being altogether.
    In this episode, Brad Stulberg and I discussed research-based skills to deal with high-achieving and striving behaviors in a skillful manner and without losing yourself. 
    Key Takeaways

    How to distinguish when perfectionistic actions are working for you or against youThe difference between values-based goals and ego-driven goalsHow to avoid burnout in the information eraHow to manage your proneness to perfectionistic actionsDay-to-day experiences of experiential avoidanceTips to handle the fear of failureHow to figure out what is on the other side of your fearsHow to practice self-compassion when handling our fears
    Show notes with time stamps
    00:31 Understanding Fear-Based Reactions
    01:02 Overcoming Perfectionism
    01:36 Interview with Brad Stulberg: High Achieving and Striving Behaviors
    02:19 Reflecting on Your Life and Overcoming Overthinking
    03:28 Living According to Your Values
    04:10 Using a Values-Based Review to Live the Life You Want
    04:46 Conversation with Brad Stulberg: Balancing Productivity and Wellbeing
    05:43 Understanding the Double-Edged Sword of Optimization
    08:44 Dealing with Fear of Failure and Regret
    17:48 Navigating Ego-Driven Goals and Values-Based Goals
    24:09 Overcoming Experiential Avoidance
    (*) Receive free weekly science-based, compassionate, and actionable skills to stop ineffective playing-it-safe
    (*) Figure out your playing-it-safe profile in 5 minutes and identify the key thinking strategies that keep you living in your head
    (*) Learn ACT skills for anxious achievers by taking Dr. Z. ACT courses

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 32 min
    89. Exploring the intersection of perfectionism, procrastination, and performance

    89. Exploring the intersection of perfectionism, procrastination, and performance

    Perfectionism isn’t a personality quirk. It’s a pattern of reinforced behaviors that can seep into every aspect of your life.
    You may set certain standards for yourself, certain rules about how things are supposed to be or how you are supposed to behave; while you may meet those standards for a while, they eventually - and inevitably - fall short. Then, you feel crushed. Then, you criticize yourself. And then, to drown out the negativity, you set new goals, standards, and expectations for yourself. The cycle of ineffective perfectionistic actions repeats and maintains itself.
    There is nothing wrong with striving to do things right and perfectly - that’s natural when you deeply care about things and what matters to you. And, as you have heard me say before, it’s extremely important that you learn to harness the power of perfectionistic actions without losing yourself. 
    In this podcast episode, I chat with Monica Basco, Ph.D. We discuss specific topics related to perfectionism in detail:
    (a) A large part of the conversation clarifies how having high standards and being perfectionistic can be both, beneficial and detrimental, and finding the balance between the two is crucial.
    (b) We also discussed the interplay between perfectionistic behaviors and procrastination as two sides of the same coin.
    (c) Monica and I highlighted the fact that setting high-goals is productive when one can tolerate failure. However, learning to pursue what matters and learning to let things go - as the right thing to do - is also important.
    (d) Finally, we discuss ideas for you to conduct a functional analysis, or in other words, we discuss key questions for you to understand your drive to engage in perfectionistic actions (e.g., what is my mind trying to protect me from right now?)
    Key Takeaways
    Discussing perfectionism and high-achieving behaviorsUnderstanding the impact of high goalsThe role of confidence in goal settingThe intersection of perfectionism and procrastination
    Show notes with time-stamps
    01:00 Understanding Fear and Perfectionism
    01:31 Dealing with Perfectionism and High-Achieving Behaviors
    02:35 Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Perfectionism
    04:14 Setting Goals and Dealing with Failure
    05:12 Understanding Overachievement and Expectations
    08:37 Dealing with Rejection and Pursuing Goals
    20:43 Understanding the Intersection of Perfectionism and Procrastination
    (*) Receive free weekly science-based, compassionate, and actionable skills to stop ineffective playing-it-safe
    (*) Figure out your playing-it-safe profile in 5 minutes and identify the key thinking strategies that keep you living in your head
    (*) Learn ACT skills for anxious achievers by taking Dr. Z. ACT courses

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 31 min
    88. Harnessing the power of values-based exposures

    88. Harnessing the power of values-based exposures

    Today’s episode takes off with discussing fears of driving. This is the starting point to discuss a key process within acceptance commitment therapy: values-based exposures.
    In this episode, you will learn the principles to approach your fears, worries, and anxieties in a flexible way and in the service of your values.
    Brian Thompson, Ph.D. and I covered different ACT skills such as defusion, values, willingness and what you can do if you’re getting stuck in conquering your fears or you’re afraid of starting the process of facing your anxieties.
    Key Takeaways

    What is willingnessHow to deal with uncertaintyWhat to do when you’re powering through a fearful situationWhat is exposureUnderstanding fear-based reactions and safe behaviorsExploring the concept of exposure in overcoming fearDealing with physical sensations during fearful situationsThe role of acceptance and commitment therapy in overcoming fearUnderstanding the concept of willingness in therapyAddressing fear of uncertainty and unpredictabilityIntroduction to the upcoming book on act-informed exposure for anxietyUnderstanding act and exposureDealing with chronic worryEffective problem solving vs. worry
    Show notes with time stamps
    00:31 Understanding Fear-Based Reactions and Safe Behaviors
    01:00 Exploring Exposure Therapy and Anxiety
    01:09 Dealing with Physical Sensations During Panic Attacks
    02:44 Strategies to Manage Anxiety and Fear
    03:39 Addressing Intrusive Thoughts and Fears
    04:16 Understanding Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
    07:33 Exploring Willingness in Therapy
    14:28 Addressing Fear of Uncertainty
    17:28 Introduction to ACT-Informed Exposure for Anxiety
    19:19 Discussing the Book and Its Approach
    19:44 Recommendations for Approaching the Book
    19:45 Understanding the Process of Exposure
    20:38 The Role of Repetition in Exposure
    21:37 Handling Chronic Worries and Ruminations
    22:12 Using ACT for Chronic Worry
    23:11 Writing Imaginal Scripts for Worries
    26:13 Effective Problem Solving vs. Worry
    26:50 Distinguishing Between Productive and Unproductive Worry
    (*) Receive free weekly science-based, compassionate, and actionable skills to stop ineffective playing-it-safe
    (*) Figure out your playing-it-safe profile in 5 minutes and identify the key thinking strategies that keep you living in your head
    (*) Learn ACT skills for anxious achievers by taking Dr. Z. ACT courses

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 34 min
    87. How to perform your best when it matters most

    87. How to perform your best when it matters most

    Ever catch yourself engaging in incessant mind chatter in a high-stakes situation? The kind that fills your head with self-doubt, comparisons, and anticipations of failure? You're not alone. We all do it. But what if there was a way to overcome these self-limiting beliefs and embrace life's challenges with confidence? 
    I had a chance to talk to Dr. Mitchell Greene, Ph.D. regarding performance anxiety, managing self-doubt, and comparison thoughts among athletes or overthinkers. 
    If you have been following the podcast, you know by now that by making room for your thoughts, rather than struggling against them, you can redirect your focus towards the present moment and towards what matters. 
    In today’s episode, we discussed other micro-skills to manage mental chatter with curiosity and courage. 
    Key Takeaways

    The pitfalls of positive thinkingManaging mind chatterHow to shift your attention from hypothetical worries to the present momentRedirecting your attention from “what if” to “what is”How to manage lapses in confidenceA useful mindset to perform challenging tasksExploring the concept of positive thinkingUnderstanding mind chatter and its impactStrategies for managing mind chatterApplying mind chatter management in real-life scenarios
    (*) Receive free weekly science-based, compassionate, and actionable skills to stop ineffective playing-it-safe
    (*) Figure out your playing-it-safe profile in 5 minutes and identify the key thinking strategies that keep you living in your head
    (*) Learn ACT skills for anxious achievers by taking Dr. Z. ACT courses

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 22 min
    86. Breaking free from worry loops

    86. Breaking free from worry loops

    Picture this scenario: you encounter an ambiguous and uncertain situation, and then, of course, you quickly try to solve it. You anticipate all types of scenarios and try to prepare for each one of them, without realizing you are worrying and consumed with anxiety.
    Worry is primarily a thought-based process, and that’s what makes it tricky. Unpacking worry thoughts and distinguishing the unhelpful from the helpful ones are crucial.
    We all worry from time to time, that’s unavoidable. But playing-it-safe by worrying all the time takes a hefty toll on your well-being, happiness, and relationships.
    In this episode, I interview Dr. Chad Lejeune, Ph.D.
    We discussed the subtleties of worrying, what keeps worry cycles, and the importance of developing a new relationship with your mind. In the second part of the interview, I shared with Chad an unexpected situation I encountered when traveling, and we used that as an opportunity to discuss micro-skills to manage uncertainty, what-if thoughts, and reassurance-seeking and information-seeking behaviors.
    Key Takeaways

    How to develop a new relationship with thinkingHow to distinguish effective problem-solving from ineffective oneUnderstanding fear and anxietyDefining worry and its impactThe role of thoughts in worryDistinguishing between productive and nonproductive worryThe consequences of worryAddressing beliefs about worryChanging our relationship with our thoughtsDealing with unexpected situationsEmbracing uncertainty and ambiguityThe anxious brain and uncertaintyProductive thoughts and problem-solvingThe power of narratives and storytellingThe distinction between problem-solving and creating narrativesThe danger of excessive information-seekingThe power of accepting uncertaintyThe importance of learning from the past
    Show notes with time stamps
    00:27 Understanding Fear and Anxiety
    01:26 Defining Worry and Its Impact
    02:27 Distinguishing Between Worry and Problem-Solving
    05:50 The Consequences of Worry
    06:43 Addressing Beliefs About Worry
    11:27 Changing Our Relationship with Our Thoughts
    17:41 Practical Example: Dealing with Unexpected Situations
    22:59 The Power of Productive Thoughts
    23:56 The Mind's Narratives and Their Impact
    25:46 The Distinction Between Problem Solving and Worrying
    28:15 The Power of Acceptance and Living in the Present
    28:20 The Pitfalls of Excessive Information Seeking
    29:12 The Role of Google in Reassurance Seeking
    32:29 The Importance of Embracing Uncertainty

    (*) Receive free weekly science-based, compassionate, and actionable skills to stop ineffective playing-it-safe
    (*) Figure out your playing-it-safe profile in 5 minutes and identify the key thinking strategies that keep you living in your head
    (*) Learn ACT skills for anxious achievers by taking Dr. Z. ACT courses

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 41 min
    85. Embracing self-acceptance, self-compassion, and self-exploration

    85. Embracing self-acceptance, self-compassion, and self-exploration

    We all experience anxiety in some form, in some way, and in some shape. Because anxiety, fears, and worries can be so uncomfortable, we quickly play-it-safe. And when you’re prone to deeply caring for what you do - as high-achievers, strivers, and perfectionists - then the fears of being a failure or not being good enough are amplified.
    In this conversation, Annick Seys and I discussed the many layers in which these fears show up and how nourishing your observer-self can shift from self-criticism into self-acceptance, from self-judgment into self-compassion, and from emotional avoidance into curious behaviors.
    Cultivating your observer-self isn't just about self-distancing; it is about your well-being and living a purpose-driven life.
    Key Takeaways

    How to deal with the gap between expectations and realityHow to practice self-acceptanceHow to unpack the fear of being a failure in the momentHow to understand the fear of being a failureThe problem with toxic positivityRelational Frame Theory of LanguageHow to nourish your observer-selfUnderstanding the observer-selfThe power of curiositySelf-compassion on-the-go
    Show notes with time stamps
    00:31 Understanding Fear-Based Reactions
    01:00 The Struggles of Time Management
    01:07 Dealing with Disappointments and Failures
    05:31 Exploring Self-Acceptance
    06:01 The Ongoing Exercise of Self-Acceptance
    11:45 Unpacking the Fear of Failure
    14:12 The Impact of Toxic Positivity
    17:47 Tapping into the Observer Self
    18:01 Exercises to Connect with the Observer Self
    20:50 Understanding the Observer Self
    24:03 Experiencing Different Moods
    26:11 Relating to Past Experiences
    29:59 Overcoming the Fear of Failure
    (*) Receive free weekly science-based, compassionate, and actionable skills to stop ineffective playing-it-safe
    (*) Figure out your playing-it-safe profile in 5 minutes and identify the key thinking strategies that keep you living in your head
    (*) Learn ACT skills for anxious achievers by taking Dr. Z. ACT courses

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

vcolfari ,

Useful info and amazing interviews

Dr. Z is a true expert in ACT for anxiety disorders and OCD, and I love listening to her practical suggestions for managing these symptoms. She always has excellent guests and they do a great job of presenting complex concepts in accessible ways.

Jessicarew ,

Crucial advice and resources for resolving mental health issues

I found Dr.Z after both my daughters needed treatment for OCD. Her office has been incredibly helpful for helping them develop unhooking skills and better emotional regulation. I enjoy this podcast because doctors he has such a friendly approach to speaking with other experts, and getting to the crux of how their interpretation of various treatment methods could help listeners highly highly recommended for anyone looking for tips for emotional regulation.

Qui9 ,

Dr Z is fantastic!

What a great interviewer and such solid topics!

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