Tuesday, 03 May 2016 15:28

Never Good Enough

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 “I am enough.” This is a motto I encourage my clients to use every day.

 

The repetition of this straightforward saying over and over (both out loud and in your head) will ultimately make it difficult for your mind to oppose to it. As one of my client said, even though she didn’t feel skinny enough, smart enough, rich enough, or successful enough, when she first programmed the words into her phone, little by little, her unconscious mind began to believe in this powerful message. 

 

In my years as a health and wellness coach, I realized that the origin of so many of today's problems—hoarding, excessive drinking, compulsive shopping, over-eating and just plain unhappiness — backtracks to an inert and deep need to fill a worthlessness of not feeling “enough” with external things. The more you tell yourself you are enough, the more you’ll believe it. It seems absolutely simple—and it is—and all you need is the belief that it will work and the commitment.

The majority of us have a blueprint of behaviors we’d like to tweak, and we know that self-improvement is a positive deed and strength in our lives. But when we feel routinely required to better ourselves, it’s also easy to end up feeling like we’re never good enough.

Maybe you hope to be more disciplined, be a better parent or improve your relationships. Maybe you would like to be more spiritual, a better budgeter, or make healthier choices. Or perhaps, it seems like every time you get close to reaching a self-improvement goal, the goal changes, and you can’t feel content with what you’ve accomplished.  Sound familiar?

It’s imperative to keep in mind that not everything is within your control, and there are some barriers that no amount of willpower will shift. Additionally, change takes time, so if you’re waiting for everything to be perfect in order to feel OK — to be happy — about your life, you’ll be disappointed for a long time.

Here are a few suggestions for an achievable and more gratifying approach to personal growth, but first let's begin with some familiar myths about self-improvement. 

Beliefs to OVERCOME

Believing you’re broken. When we see ourselves as being broken or needing fixing, we only make our existence worse — the reverse of self-improvement and self-love. You are not broken. Our behabious and thoughts have been influenced by our parents, teachers, and cultural rules and standards that make it difficult not to buy into it.

Thinking you’re completely fixable. There are a lot of things about ourselves and our lives that we can change, but there are a lot of things we can’t. Persistently trying to fix things we cannot change makes our life very frustrating. Unfixable things consist of physical conditions, psychological characters, family dynamics, or life situations like aging, grief, or loss.

We often buy into the idea that with the right attitude, the right thoughts, or the right spiritual orientation, we can heal ourselves of anything. Our mind is powerful, but not invincible.

Having idealistic expectations. Maybe you think that one day you’ll get it all together: You’ll be perfect, organized, supper healthy, balanced and grounded, and financially stable, and you’ll always work in alignment with your highest values. But in reality, “crap will happen”.

We live in a supper busy culture and we have too many responsibilities, all of which complicates and hinders our reach of our self-improvement goals.

Blaming yourself for failure. We feel like a looser when we fail and we can't change. We blame ourselves and assume that we're not trying hard enough and then in our little, silent voice, we whisper "What’s wrong with me"?

Some of our negative emotions — jealousy, anger, sadness, fear, resentment, insecurity — get in the way as you try to make the changes you want. While we certainly can choose how we convey our emotions, it’s impossible to feel calm or on top of things all of the time.

Connecting success with happiness. If you’ve ever noticed that your joy at reaching your goal or a milestone is short-lived, chalk it up to the character of your ever-changing mind. Achieving your goals isn’t what makes you happy. Your goals are always superseded by another new goal. A steady stockpile of new objectives could be a source of motivation or disappointment.

Line of attack FOR SUCCESS

Embrace who you are today.  Live in the now.  Assess where things stand for you now — demands on your time, financial concerns, your responsibility to others, and your health. Make it your priority to work on accepting yourself with love and kindness. Treat that as the heart for making positive changes in your life.

Accept what you can’t change. The best way to achieve peace of mind starts with fully accepting what you can’t control — including life circumstances, and other people’s attitudes and behaviours.  Stop worrying about those things.

Focus on your response to life. Once you’ve recognize what you can’t change, you can react to negative situations with kindness, serenity, and as much positiveness as possible. So, instead of focusing fanatically on how you want your life to be, adopt a more peaceful attitude and focus on how to respond skillfully and gracefully to life’s circumstances — whether good or demanding.

Be mindful. Become more conscious of your thinking — more mindful. If we repeatedly are aware of our habits of thinking negatively and in fear, we can catch ourselves and change our thoughts. Surprisingly, this simple exercise will bring you closer to your goals.

Treat yourself as your best friend. Give yourself kudos. When you focus on your shortcomings and never-ending “opportunities for improvement,” you neglect to pat yourself on the back for the things you do well. Recognize on a daily basis, how difficult it can be at times to achieve even the smallest victory. Keep a lookout for small “wins” to rejoice, whether successes at work, raising a happy child, skill at your favorite hobby, or just being a good friend.

Dream big. Your life is not a dress rehearsal. Live your best life every day. Forgive yourself. Your time is limited; don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by a code of belief, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And have the courage to follow your heart, intuition and your dreams.

Last modified on Friday, 06 May 2016 13:21
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