Dr. Venus Nicolino, known to many as Dr. V, is a renowned leader and celebrity in the mental health space. Dr. V holds a master’s degree from New York University in counseling psychology, a master’s degree in clinical psychology, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She’s a Los Angeles TimesNo. 1 bestselling author of Bad Advice: How to Survive and Thrive in an Age of Bullsh–t, a book that was lauded by the New York Post as “one of the five books that will change your life.”
In addition to her writing, Dr. Venus Nicolino has been featured in a wide variety of digital and print media, ranging from Steve, The Dr. Oz Show, and Rachael Ray to LA Shrinks and her podcast, “The Tea With Dr. V.”
Her childhood in West Philadelphia is where Dr. Venus Nicolino acquired her work ethic and developed a deeply engaged and fiery passion for helping real people with real problems with genuine advice and guidance.
Dr. Venus Nicolino’s interests include everything from guided meditation, overcoming heartache, and financial well-being to couples therapy, macroeconomics, and female evolution.
However, she’s perhaps best known for creating her own subset of the self-help genre, one that can be summarized as follows: Nobody’s an expert. With an uncanny ability to connect with people from all walks of life and the astuteness to dig down to the root causes of our most challenging issues, Dr. Venus Nicolino is rewriting the self-help narrative, helping people one carefully planned initiative at a time.
Here are six nuggets of wisdom from Dr. Venus Nicolino for better mental and personal well-being.
1. Write your own story.
Life may be defined by our struggles, but those struggles are by no means the be-all and end-all of who we are or what we can achieve.
“I grew up in a working-class family in West Philly,” she said. “An area filled with gritty people who didn’t have any quit in them despite their problems. As a child, I’d hear about various issues when neighbors gathered and chatted and I had a sense that more could be done to solve these problems.”
Families that struggled in Dr. Venus Nicolino’s West Philly neighborhood often said the problems and challenges that they faced were “just a part of life.” Rarely did they ever think that they could rewrite their own stories. Nicolino believes that nothing could be further from the truth and the quicker you realize that you can if you think you can, the better off you’ll be and the sooner you’ll be able to make the life-changing decisions, improvements, or adjustments that are just waiting to be made.
“You are absolutely capable of creating real and immediate change in your life,” insists Nicolino. “It can be as simple as changing what you wear, what you have for dinner tonight, or the route you take to work tomorrow. One change leads to another, and you may find the smallest action creates a domino effect you never could have foreseen.”
2. Courage trumps fear. Every time.
Nicolino understands fear. She just believes you have to muster up the courage to overcome it. She likes to quote the Latin phrase “per aspera ad astra” — “through adversity to the stars.”
“It’s the motto of police departments, cities, fire departments, and universities the world over,” she said in an interview with Thrive. “One of the reasons it’s so popular with groups like these is that it’s a reminder of the human potential, or courage.” It’s a succinct summary of our potential to do great things.
As the saying goes, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, and there’s only one way to find out if a new endeavor, project, career path, or decision will work. Carefully weigh the pros and cons, speak to your trusted family, friends, and advisers about what to do, and then fearlessly take that leap of faith.
3. By giving, you can have an impact. But first, figure out what you want to do.
It is not easy to build a large, engaged, and loyal following. However, you don’t necessarily need celebrity status to have an effect. According to some studies, you can have a direct or indirect impact on hundreds of thousands of people, your friends, their friends, and the people you pass by every day in life, without even knowing it.
However, your impact can be that much greater when you know what kind of impact you want to have. Are you a teacher? An artist? A storyteller? A healer? A builder? A planner? An adviser?
“When you feel like what you do matters, and when what you do connects you to others in a meaningful way, other people feel that, too,” says Nicolino. “Ask yourself how you want to give back in life, and your focus will shift from what you want to take from the world to what you have to offer it.”
4. Calm. Creativity. Meditation. Repeat.
It’s OK to have nothing to do, and it’s OK to feel overwhelmed. Take time for yourself, explore your creative gifts, meditate, take a nap, but when you do so, stick with it. This should be me time.
“You don’t need to be meditating on a mountaintop. Just slow down. Just do nothing and give the machinery in your head a rest.” Nicolino says,
5. You matter. And you are beautiful.
There are three easy strategies that anyone can use to feel beautiful, Nicolino told interviewer Ming S. Zhao.
The first is to remember that internal beauty matters and is eternal. Don’t be selfish. Think of others. Be kind.
The second is to understand that imperfections, however we may perceive them, are vital components of beauty. Irregularities in an otherwise vast ocean of mundane sameness hold value and can be flaunted as something beautiful.
The third? “Your greatest ally and worst potential foe can be found in the same place: the mirror,” she says. “So eat carbs.”
6. In the end, it’s you against you.
You can bring yourself up or impede your progress like no one else, so take the time to internalize the advice above, understand who you are and what you want to do in life, determine your strengths and personal competencies, and make the most of every day, month, year, relationship, connection, and opportunity that comes your way.
“You matter,” says Nicolino. “You are irreplaceable. and it’s because you matter so much that it’s vital for you to create a connection with something bigger than yourself. The world needs you. You matter.”
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