Perhaps you grew up in a family or in a society where more attention is paid to giving off good impressions or being ahead of the crowd than to authenticity. Perhaps low self-esteem is causing you to feel you have to be better than others or be something that you’re not just to gain their love and approval. If you look underneath the veneer that you present to the world, do you find that you often pummel, criticize and pressure yourself yourself about flaws, mistakes or weaknesses? If any of these scenarios ring a bell for you let me ask you one question: Has this ‘strategy’ ever worked? Do the behaviors and attitudes that you adopt in order to feel or appear in a better light make you feel better about yourself? At peace with yourself? Self-accepting? Have you ever felt good enough just as you are?
Could it be that the strategy of trying to appear to be more or better rather than just being yourself doesn’t actually work? Take a moment to reflect on the cost of maintaining this survival strategy in terms of time and energy? What percent of your energy is being invested in keeping and maintaining your survival strategy?
A sustainable strategy
1. Identify and liberate the core cause: Try to look inward and reflect on the root of the issue. Try to look at the issue objectively, as if you are standing outside of it rather than in the thick of it. Try to put it into perspective, and understand that your strategy, whatever it is, can be improved upon making. If this is difficult for you, do not despair. The issues that hurt, limit and hold us back from realizing our true potential can be complex. Through practice with gentle introspecting (while remembering to be kind rather than cutting with yourself), journaling, or getting professional help, you will be able to gradually identify and start to work with the core issues.
2. Dare to dream (and then follow your dream): Imagine the time and energy you invest in keeping up your appearance were freed up toward pursuing your dream. What would that be like for you? What do you aspire to? What is your dream? As you reflect on these questions, try to feel where they are coming from. Are they in your head? Your gut? Your heart? Which of these do you feel is best suited to drive your life direction? Why? What do you need to do to start moving in the direction of your dreams and aspirations? Start by connecting to your overall vision and direction and then break it down into simple and manageable steps that you feel ready and happy to take on. You may find this easy and be able to move forward with ease. It is also possible that you experience outer obstacles or inner resistance that require further introspection or help from a coach or psychotherapist.
101 reasons to go to therapy
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If you would like help overcoming any issues that are preventing you from living a happy, harmonious and fulfilling life, or you would like to explore your potential and personal development, you are welcome to fill out the contact form or call Margot to set up a free 30-minute consultation.