At this time of year and particularly after the year that we’ve all had, loads of people are thinking about how they want to move forward into 2021 and the focus is always on goal setting, working to targets, trying to progress or develop ourselves in some way. I think it’s amazing to have positive intentions for yourself and how you want to progress and develop as a person. However, what a lot of us can be guilty of is having massive expectations that are so hard to achieve and potentially unmanageable that we are setting ourselves up for failure. We then find ourselves in a position where we’re not meeting those really high goals that we’ve set for ourselves and it really exacerbates a sense of low self-worth and feeling really bad about ourselves because we haven’t lived up to these goals we have set ourselves.
When I’m working with clients, what we do is something I call “stacking” which is where we introduce really tangible and achievable goals fairly frequently for us to be able to stack on top of each other because these little stacks that we begin to make add up to massive transformation shifts. Sometimes when we get too focused on the bigger picture, we don’t pay attention to the smaller intentions that we set for ourselves that really facilitate amazing changes in our lives. For me, even personally, when I work on something it’s all in the detail and it’s all in making myself focus on small intentions that are going to help me to achieve those bigger goals that I am setting for myself.
So, as we are going into this new year, take a bit of time to think about actually what you can do today that’s going to be really manageable and what are some small goals you can set for yourself that if you can achieve them and begin to stack on those achievements, you’re going to begin to really feel better about yourself, empowered and like you are able to make changes happen when you focus my intention on what you want.
We can often feel selfish when trying to reach our goals, particularly when we are parents. Any critical thoughts that we have about ourselves – that we’re selfish, that we’re not good enough in some way, are coming from a critical internal voice that essentially is not to be trusted.
What happens to so many of us is that we get so used to living with that really negative voice within ourselves and we are guided by it, we react to it constantly, we negotiate with it, we try and placate it and actually the solution is to almost step away from that kind of cycle, that pattern we’ve got into and observe that unwell voice. Mindfulness is really your friend with this.
Being mindful, acknowledging it when you can hear it and simply responding with “Wow, my unwell voice is really strong today, it’s giving me a really hard time” and then heap loads of love and kindness and nurturing on yourself because the best strategy for overcoming a really unwell and internal critical voice is love, compassion and kindness towards yourself. The more you practise and persist with being loving and nurturing towards yourself, the weaker the unwell voice will come.
One of the dangers with the unwell voice is that so many people get drawn into arguing with it or negotiate with it, and actually when we give things attention that keeps them strong and powerful so almost observing it and kind of letting it go is the best solution.
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