With January comes a fresh start. A new year. And all of those well-intentioned plans to change something about our lives. It’s well known, however, that by the time February rolls around, many of us have managed to neglect, or even forget, our best-laid plans. The pain of this ‘failure’ to reach our goals can often lead us into even more self sabotage.
In my experience, both personally, and professionally, we often start with steps that are simply too big to follow. Sometimes, based on what we’ve heard, read, or seen, we believe we have to make big strides in order to reach our goals. It’s great to dream big. However, our eager big strides often throw us so far out of our comfort zones, that we scramble back to the safety of sabotage. Or, perhaps they’re so big that we never muster the courage to get started.
Self sabotage, of course, is often, if not always, tied to the desire to stay safe and comfortable. It acts as a form of self-protection. So, rather than beating yourself up for failing to stick to an exercise routine, or get that project finished, send yourself some compassion. Realize that continued sabotage is a call to look deeper into why it feels safer to sabotage than move forward. You may want to ask a professional to help you uncover the deeper issues that may be keeping you stuck.
The belief that it’s not okay to be where we are often leads us to seek quick fixes. The problem with quick fixes is that they rarely work. We usually fall back to where we started, or even further back, when we fail to make quick progress. This just breeds more dissatisfaction with ourselves, which can trigger unhealthy coping behaviors, seeking yet another quick fix, or giving up completely.
As hard as it is, when we accept where we are, warts and all, we can begin to take the appropriate steps to move forward. We can ask for help where we need help. We can commit to activities which are most beneficial for our current situation. What’s more, we can clarify what works for us, and what doesn’t.
Often it’s the slow, consistent path that’s actually the fastest route to our goal. When we’re able to commit to a doable plan, we find our way forward. One step leads to another, and another, building momentum, and a beautiful sense of accomplishment.
Acceptance, as opposed to resistance, is about fully acknowledging exactly where we are. So often we spend far too much time resisting or denying our circumstances. This resistance just keeps us stuck, preventing us from taking the most beneficial steps to move forward.
What I’m recommending here is to accept that a current situation feels uncomfortable, or painful. To accept that perhaps we’ve made mistakes that have contributed to our situation. Or perhaps that we’ve been betrayed in some way. To get real about where we are, so that we can get clear about our next step forward.
This form of acceptance might not feel good, but it’s crucial. It’s this acceptance that leads to deeper understanding of what we truly need in the moment to help us move forward. Conversely, when we refuse to accept, or feel, what’s really going on, we risk falling down the self-sabotage rabbit hole.
When we’re not ready for them, the giant steps, the rigid schedule, the diet, the intense exercise routine, are rarely, if ever, sustainable. It’s the small, doable steps that get us closer to our goals. We make these small steps by first understanding where we are, what we need, and what’s in our way. Grounded in this understanding is truly the way forward.
Happy Moving Forward,
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