The most important thing in this blog is the idea that you need to start going after what you deserve now. Right now. Starting in this very moment. If you don’t start now, there will always be another reason or excuse to put off treating yourself the way you should or allowing yourself to have and experience what you deserve. Even if you don’t think or feel that this is appropriate because it’s not the right time, you haven’t earned it yet, or for any other reason, you still need to start right now. If you couldn’t justify using the same rational you’ve been using against yourself to a best friend, partner, or sibling, why is it ok to use it against yourself?
Often times we have a list of contingencies that we need to accomplish before we can be happy or confident in ourselves. My questions would then be, why are those contingencies there, who are they meant to serve, what purpose do they serve, and are they something that I will ever be able to realistically accomplish or do they have the potential to go on forever? The reality is that these contingencies are really only there to make you feel unintentionally badly about yourself, are more for others than they are for you, and were originally meant to motivate you, but are likely very negative and probably hurtful in nature and will perhaps never be accomplished to the point that you think they should be. Essentially you are probably putting yourself into a never-ending negative cycle that will never end in the way you most want it to.
The problem with this cycle is that your energy is being wasted. Your time, thoughts, emotions, and efforts are being sucked into this negative feedback loop that does not offer any productive outcome. The result will be the same as it was the time before and the time before that. So what do to instead? Step back and acknowledge, maybe even write out, what your own negative feedback loop is. You might have to do this more than once. The reality is that this negative cycle will only ever continue wasting energy. The idea is to not necessarily think differently, but to first do different and your thoughts and emotions will eventually catch up. Start with some action. Make a list of what is holding you back from obtaining what you deserve. What have you been putting off? What would you do differently to accomplished your goal? How would you live your life at that point and how would you feel about yourself? The way to make this happen is to just start. Start small and simple. If something seems too overwhelming, then break it down into smaller steps to accomplish that do not feel as challenging. For enhancing your level of motivation, check out the Depression blog post for August of 2016… there’s a common thread here!
One of the most important things in this process is to recognize that fear, avoidance, and negative self-talk won’t and don’t actually start any change process. In fact, they only dig you deeper into your hole. The same is true with avoidance and giving up. The only way to start climbing out of your hole is to start climbing. Stand up and start with an action. The things you deserve will still be there with or without this level of effort, so isn’t it more useful and a better use of your energy to just go after it? Ask yourself, would I rather spend my energy digging myself into a deeper hole or starting to climb out of it? I would say that everyone deserves to be out of their own hole and live life on stable ground. And even though it might be difficult for you to believe that about yourself right now, I would still challenge you to just act like you believe it. Who knows, one day you might and there’s only one way to find out!
Authored by: Kaitlan Gibbons, PsyD