Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Posts tagged ‘frustration’

Self-Sabotage. . . Continued

Recognizing self-defeating thoughts and behavior is the first step to change. Many experts agree that to change the behavior, people must change their thinking. Therefore, the first step is to observe ourselves and our thoughts.

The next step is to take full responsibility for our thoughts and behavior-so that we control them and they stop controlling us. If we accept that we are doing this to ourselves, we can also understand that we have the power to change.

Self-observation is a powerful tool against the behaviors that defeat us. For example, Stan could take his son fishing and be careful to be positive and to stay silent when he feels a
criticism rising in his throat. To do this, he would first have to decide that a good relationship with his son was more important that being “right.”

Setting a goal is the next step. Without blame or shame, choose one behavior to change. For example, Patricia could decide not to be late anymore. To do this, she would have to decide that something was more important than being late-a job she loves, for example. One tactic might be to write a positive affirmation each night in a journal, or set her clock an hour early, or enlist a friend to call her for a week, reminding her to walk out the door. After a while, the rewards of being on time could become greater than the self-defeating cycle of being late.

It’s not easy to change patterns of self-sabotage, but with time and practice-and a good dose of self-love-it is possible to end a self-defeating cycle and live the life we truly want. (AFC 2012)

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I Give Myself Permission (IGMP)

When the calendar flips to December, do you feel a rush of excitement about the holiday season or a surge of emotions related to increased anxiety and frustration?  It is natural to experience additional stress during the holiday season.  I often hear variations of, “there is so much to do and not enough time!”  Already busy and multi-tasking schedules are compounded by additional obligations such as:  parties, shopping, volunteering, travel, creating costumes for the children’s school musical performance…and many more.  I encourage you to use “four powerhouse words” for the holiday season:  I Give Myself Permission(IGMP).  Say this phrase out loud as an affirmation.  What does it feel like to voice these words, or even add some “oomph” to your tone for emphasis?  Let’s review several examples:

· I will attend my neighborhood holiday party, but IGMP to   leave early so I can be in bed by 11 pm.
· IGMP to not send holiday cards this year.
· I will buy holiday gifts but IGMP to downsize my list of purchases.
· IGMP to say “No, thank you” to a party-invitation.
· I signed up to bring a pecan pie to the office party and IGMP to buy the pie ready-to-eat from the grocery store.
· IGMP to use paper plates for our family holiday meal instead of Aunt Mae’s antique china…hooray for easier clean-up!
It may take practice to incorporate this phrase into your self-care language; but, you–and your time and energy–are worth it!

Laurel Burnett

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