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Dr. Jane Tornatore on Why Self Acceptance is Good for Your Brain


Dr. Jane Tornatore has dedicated her career to helping people be kinder to themselves. Her style incorporates compassion, curiosity, deep listening, and heartfelt optimism, along with powerful shots of playfulness. She draws from her extensive professional training and wide-ranging life experiences to help people release old patterns and unnecessary stress. A therapist, author, and speaker based in Seattle, local and national audiences rave about her engaging workshops on perfectionism, self-compassion, improving brain health, reducing stress, and the Caregiver Rollercoaster. Dr. Tornatore received a Master’s degree at the University of Illinois and a PhD at the University of Minnesota. She has authored over 20 articles and recently published a book—Everything is Perfect, Just Not ME! A Roadmap for Self-Acceptance. You can find out more about Dr. Jane at


We talked a lot about overcoming perfectionism, self judgment, overcoming fears and how this can improve your health. All of Dr. Jane’s tools and strategies are practical and easy to apply.


Some of the key take-aways are:

  1. Love yourself now, you don’t have to wait. Stress shuts down the brain while self care is an act of self love
  2. A few ways to stop the stress in your body and mind is by changing the words you use. Dr. Jane calls this the ‘Ban These Words’ exercise, where you ban these words: should, must, have to, need and ‘gotta’. Instead replace them with “it’s a good idea”, “it would be helpful” or if it’s something you are actually interested and excited about, you might say “I’d like to” or “I want to”. You want to use words that will motivate you not cause more stress.
  3. A quick way to determine whether you should worry about something or not is using the Circle of Power and Victim tool, adapted from Steven Covey’s Circle of Influence. The inner circle stands for ‘power’, which is everything you have power and control over such as your thoughts, behaviors and actions. Anything in the outer circle is considered the Victim realm, which has to do with anything you don’t have control over like other’s actions, circumstances, the weather, etc. By focusing on your own power and what you can do in the present moment, which might be to breathe and pause, you reclaim a sense of empowerment and take the brain out of fight or flight.
  4. A take on a gratitude practice is to wake up and for a good 30 seconds feel the gratitude, don’t just list it out. Do this before bed in reviewing the day and you can help your brain sort memories in a new positive filing system, of sorts.
  5. You can’t be judgmental and curious at the same time. Any time you want to change your state or get out of judgment, go into curiosity and ask questions that help you to seek new ideas and solutions.

Connect with Dr. Jane Tornatore

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Join host Julie Reisler, author and multi-time TEDx speaker, each week to learn how you can tap into your best self and become your You-est You® to achieve inner peace, happiness and success at a deeper level! Tune in to hear powerful, inspirational stories and expert insights from entrepreneurs, industry thought leaders, and extraordinary human beings that will help to transform your life. Julie also shares a-ha moments that have shaped her life and career, and discusses key concepts from her book Get a PhD in YOU

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