Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

Optimal Mental Health and Well-Being

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

When focusing on areas of our lives we want to change, it is easy to act as if we’ve never done anything right. The problem with this tendency is that it sets us up to fail because our focus is on what we are not happy with rather than focus on what we desire.

It’s critically important to understand that no one is a total failure in life. All of us have our share of victories as well as defeats. When we desire another victory, such as going back to school or stop smoking, why do we focus on our failures? It’s like if your business is not thriving, you believe that focusing on the lack of success is going to bring success. It doesn’t. All we end up attracting is what we have focused on – the lack of what we really want.

I do a lot of work with people in recovery from addiction or some sort of trauma. Just turning their lives around is something to be celebrated, but they can get stopped in their tracks when they want to further improve their lives due to feelings of inadequacy or not feeling worthy of the best that life has to offer.

I remember when I was sober 2-1/2 years, and desperately wanted to go to college, but the feeling of being unworthy stopped me like a brick wall. Why was this? Intellectually, I knew I had been successful in staying sober, but I drew the line at going to college as I would tell myself I wasn’t smart enough. Fortunately, I had a lot of supportive people in my life that helped me break through that wall. Today, I have a PhD in Social Work.

So, if you have been feeling blocked from achieving your goals, rather than beat yourself up, give yourself credit for positive things you have you done, no matter how small. If you are sober, that is awesome. Working on your issues? Way to go! Build on your strengths. Give yourself a pep talk. Let other people who know and care about you fill you with positive energy.

It really is that simple. Start where you are. Focus on what you desire to achieve. Fill yourself with positive self-talk. Let others support you as your success is also their success. Take the first small step and then the next and so on. These are the tools I use in working with my clients because they work. I know, I’ve used them to transform my life.

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