How many people have read a book, watched a video or attended a personal development seminar, and after the initial rush of euphoria began to feel less confident, more stressed and began judging themselves? During these seminars or within the pages of books, some of the things we are told include:
- Have a positive outlook on life
- Procrastinating can be overcome by action
- Believe you are confident and you will act that way
- Be less critical of yourself and others
- Love yourself first and then others will love you
- Forgiveness is the only way to peace
This is only the beginning of the topics that we immerse ourselves in, and while it sounds good, and something we could all aspire to…what happens when you are back home, and your reality sets in?
We can start to feel guilty that we are not doing what we should be doing. We start to judge ourselves that we are not being “positive” in times of turmoil, and worse still, we start to criticize ourselves for not being “all we can be”. This is the time to STOP, take stock of where you are in your life, and understand what it is you CAN do TODAY about your situation.
We are human, and part of being human is that we have a range of emotions that we live through everyday, some uplifting and some destructive if continuously felt and dwelt upon. I may be going against the grain of personal development thoughts here, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with feeling anger, sadness or disappointment in our lives. Shock…horror…….aren’t we always meant to be positive and happy and forgive anyone who has wronged us in order for us to lead happy, healthy lives???????
Yes……and no. Those “negative” emotions come to all of us throughout our lives. If we try to be positive when we are actually angry, if we try to be happy when we are really sad, if we try to be less critical of ourselves and others when in reality there are things to be critical of…..are we helping ourselves or hindering our Improvement Journey?
I will leave you to answer that question for yourself, and speak of my own journey. When I experience those “negative thoughts”, I accept them. It is perfectly alright for me to have moments and times of sadness……….the important words here, are moments. Not days or weeks or years! I allow myself to feel my emotions, and then after a time, look at what I can do about the situation that has bought about those emotions.
If there is something I can do about the situation – I do it. That action may not have an immediate long lasting change, but it does change my state at the time. Going for a walk, speaking with uplifting people, watching a funny movie….anything that allows me to move away from where I have been to where I want to go.
I don’t criticize myself. I give myself a break, and do what I can do. Most importantly, I am aware of what I want to be feeling and achieving, and will not allow myself to wallow endlessly about the same situation time and time again.
Remember that our biggest limitation is ourselves. So, relax, don’t take yourself so seriously and understand that you can DO something to improve your life. What you do is your decision alone……just don’t stay stuck in that range of emotions that keep you from enjoying your life…….and remember that YOU are able to make changes in your life.
Little everyday changes and actions will make a huge difference. Wake up tomorrow and do something different…it may just be the catalyst you have been searching for.