New Year’s Goals and Negative Self-View

It is not unusual at this time of year to feel the pressure to become a “new me”. We are targeted with ads for slimming clubs, veganism, decluttering – the list goes on.

But what does this do to our view of ourselves? For me, it brings up questions around the “good enough” self. Am I living my life exactly as I had always anticipated it? And if I am not, does that mean I am failing, and ultimately, not “good enough”?

It takes a lot of mental energy to block out these negative messages and if we have already had a difficult time over Christmas, it becomes even harder.

Negative thought patterns can be inherited from family members, they can be created in us by family members, and they can also be as a result of trauma in our pasts.

If the mental energy necessary to counteract the negative messages we receive is too demanding, and we feel unable to do so, what other solutions are there?

Reflecting on the self, and identifying how we fall into negative patterns of thought is the key. You will not be surprised to hear from me that herein lies the power of counselling. Identifying through self-reflection where our thought patterns originate is the first step towards understanding them.

But – the aim of this is not to create the “good enough” conflict described earlier. It is to work towards self-acceptance.

In therapy, we talk a lot about personal growth and change. However, these words are not intended to be used to suggest that there is something “wrong” with who you are now – there we go with the “good enough” conflict again!

Personal growth and change can be as simple as recognising your negative thoughts and patterns of behaviour, and working out how to manage that for yourself.

Some examples of this could be:
-You are an introvert, and recognise that you need some time by yourself every day.
-You find having a messy house impacts you mentally and recognise that you need help to manage this from your family.
There is nothing above that suggest you are “wrong” in any way. You are just recognising aspects of yourself and creating a life around you that makes things just that little bit easier. I would say that is definitely “good enough”!

If anything in this blog post has resonated with you, please get in touch for an informal chat!

Kathryn.

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