Whether or not you’re considering a New Year resolution, you may be making silent deals with yourself about your future. Or you may be cursing yourself after doing a personal review. We are all our own worst critic. How we handle this is the difference between success and stagnation.
If you have been thinking about 2017 and beyond, please be smart before making lofty goals or falling into patterns that don’t work.
Here are 3 ways I recognize people jeopardizing their future:
- Being Too Extra:
Have you ever made a goal or resolution and then pitched a fit when you didn’t stick to it? What does the conversation with yourself sound like? This is what I see many people saying on social media: “I’m too dumb.” “I’m too this and too that.” “Ugh I can’t even.” “This gives me my whole life.” “What is this life?” See a pattern here? You’re catastrophizing your situation. It seems to be a popular way of complaining, dealing (or not dealing) and not feeling alone as an “adult.” Honestly though, it’s too extra. It’s extreme. This leads me to number 2.
- Being Unrealistic:
Extremes are like a seesaw. Each side is imbalanced. In order to reach the other end you need large forces of energy to shift your weight. This is why “balance” seems so far fetched. People want their lives to be “perfect” but its unrealistic. They don’t even know what the middle of that seesaw looks like. They figure that a change means “doing the complete opposite of what I’m doing now.” This is called “all or nothing” thinking and it isn’t safe. Being realistic about a budget, a career goal, weight loss will help us break down our goals into do-able tasks. Being unrealistic leads to unmanageability. Honestly, living a “balanced” life really means “managing everything well.” Click To Tweet
- Settling For Small:
This may sound like the opposite of being unrealistic but I swear it’s not! Have you ever heard the quote, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” Are you jeopardizing your future by minimizing your strengths? It’s easy to stay comfortable. Shoot, I’d love to stay comfortable and never grow but where does that leave me in 5 years? As a therapist I have to keep up to date on client trends. When I was an addictions therapist I saw a demand for mental health care. I started my internship in mental health counseling after the 2008 recession and I never stopped learning. If you don’t know what your next move will be, look at the trends in our society. Is health care a stable industry? Technology? Expand your horizons and stop limiting yourself.
When people share their doubts with me about goals or plans, I almost always point out faulty thinking. Cognitive errors are the reason why cognitive behavioral therapy is a popular form of talk therapy. Many of our faults or weaknesses can be linked to these thinking traps. And maybe your past resolutions haven’t worked because of these traps?
Regardless of when you set new goals, keep these thinking errors in mind. Stop settling, stretch your wings, keep realistic goals, use a coach to help you stay accountable and stop being so extra. Less complaints and more action!!
Do you have patterns of faulty thinking?
Recommended reading: Do You Live In Extremes?