It is often this time of year that people are thinking about the changes they would like to make in their lives. Perhaps you have set yourself a New Year’s Resolution with the hope of changing or improving something you don’t like. Perhaps your resolution is to do something so that you like yourself better. How are you doing with this goal? Often by February many of us have given up and feel frustrated.
You may not have set a resolution, but just taken some time to re-evaluate your life. Maybe you are not happy with your job, or perhaps you feel trapped in that job or in your relationship. It can feel suffocating and desperate. I work with many people who struggle with aspects of themselves or their lives that they are not happy with but who also feel that they cannot make a change. They feel completely and utterly trapped.
But are we really trapped? If your best friend was in the same situation what advice would you give them? We are often kinder to others than we are to ourselves. We set standards for ourselves much higher than we do for others. Perhaps it is time for a kinder and more realistic standard for yourself. Sometimes good enough is, well, good enough. That high-flying job you are striving for may not be worth the sacrifice of your mental health. That relationship that you cling to may actually be causing you more damage.
If there are things about yourself or your life that you want to change, then perhaps you need to explore why you haven’t changed them before. What are you holding on to? Are negative self-beliefs in control? Maybe you are too nice to others, but not as nice to yourself.
Here’s an exercise to try.
Sit or lay down in a quiet room and take a few moments to look at yourself and your life as if you were a caring friend. Perhaps you could see yourself as a small child in need of protection. What kindness would you say? What advice would you give? How would you want to protect you? Set yourself 3 goals based on what you see.
Remember, you are that small child.
Be kind to yourself. Show yourself the love and protection you need.