As the holidays have come to an end, the thought of following through on New Year Resolutions can be daunting. Have you ever felt stuck with creating or sticking to your New Year goals? Not sure what objectives you would like to focus on or prioritize? Are you concerned about failing or falling back into troublesome habits? Feeling pressured to uphold to societal norms? Wanting to make a change and feeling like the past is holding you back?
It is common to encounter these obstacles while forming personal and professional goals. These experiences are typical for many people and there are ways to help manage the emotions as they surface during your search for solutions. When we think of ambitions, our inner critic strengthens by repeatedly scrutinizing and reprimanding us which can bring up feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, inadequacy, undesirableness, and fear of following through due to failure.
These self-doubts can morph into other areas of our daily lives and end up in creating negative patterns of uncertainty or self-sabotaging behaviors. Instead of judging and criticizing yourself, you can learn to have compassion and kindness. Self-compassion means you are sympathetic and understanding when faced with something you don’t like about yourself. It isn’t always about change, many times it’s simply about accepting those parts of ourselves and embracing them.
Therapy is a place to be self-explorative, while learning about yourself in a safe atmosphere and finding self-love. It provides a warm and non-judgmental environment where you can face your personal challenges head on, by examining your self-judgements. Therapy is a journey of self-growth that can serve as a tool for reaching your untapped potential and achieve your goals.
Written by Dr. Sourena Haj-Mohamadi, Psychological Assistant and Associate Therapist to Dr. Katja Pohl and Adjunct Assistant Professor at USC