Is it achievable?
we, and we alone, often stand in our way of personal growth. We deny, avoid,
blame, hide, and postpone our way to happiness.
Quit denying that you have a problem.
Don't hide your problem in alcohol or drugs, or fake a smile. Don't think
that your mild
depression is simply because
the weather is gloomy, or your car needs tires.
The funny thing about denial is when
it sees itself, it denies it. By denying that you have a real problem - or
issues that need to be corrected and dealt with - you are essentially being
self-protective, taking a defensive action to avoid admitting that you are
It is in this stage that we often feel
'anger' towards another person. If we can successfully abolish our own
shortcomings and blame it all on somebody else then we have denied having
a problem, and we can deny that we are the ones that need fixing
and that our issues are the ones that need solving.
Sometimes we do admit we have
a problem, but either place the blame for the problem on somebody else, "I
wouldn't be so controlling if they weren't so distancing," or we pretend
helplessness to fixing our problems and bettering ourselves. We tell ourselves
things like, "I can't change my neediness because I am just not intelligent
enough to be self-sufficient", "I tried to take better care of myself once
but my lifestyle is just too hectic and I need to smoke/drink to relax",
or "I really want to find happiness but how can I be happy when he/she refuses
to change their ways?" We have mistakenly blamed others for our unhappiness,
or taken a defeatist and helpless attitude towards improving or changing
ourselves. We become self-righteous, pointing the blame at circumstances,
outside influences, or helplessly being without options. When people are
stuck in this self-righteous stage they are at the most unhappiest point
in their life. As long as they are blaming circumstances, or others,
for their unhappiness then their unhappiness will continue and they will
never learn that it is up to them to change - not up to the world to
Another problem is when we encounter
both acceptance and responsibility, but postpone doing anything about it.
"Yes, I know I am insecure, but until I lose weight I can't feel good about
myself and I just am too busy now to start a diet. I'll wait until after
the holidays." Although postponing some of our problems to be dealt with
at a later date can stop us from becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of
it all, it is not good to get stuck in the procrastination stage. We just
keep postponing and postponing personal happiness.
By breaking up our goals for personal
growth and self-improvement into smaller steps they are more easily accomplished.
Instead of saying I have to lose forty pounds, which can seem overwhelming,
say to yourself. "My goal is to lose 5 pounds this month." Or, instead of
saying I have to quit this nowhere job and get a better one, say to
yourself, "I think I'll take a few night courses in business management.
That should be fun and enlightening." Small changes, baby steps, and reachable
are much more easily attained and administered than overwhelming, consuming
jobs. When we catastrophize our problems they seem consuming and
Resolving to let go of our issues is
a huge step in improving our overall health and happiness. To let go of
an issue means to stop denying and acknowledge that it does exist; to stop
blaming others for it; to stop postponing facing it; to stop catastrophizing;
and to accept it, justify it, and then let it go. "Yes, I do have
insecurities but that is because as a child I was abandoned/rejected by my
father/mother. Of course that would make one grow up to feel inferior! But
right now I am going to let my insecurities go because I am a worthy human
being. I give my parent's rejection back to him/her and totally accept
myself. I forgive myself for my shortcomings and I forgive those who I believe
have caused me pain. After all, we are just humans and human's make
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