It’s a busy time of year and I recognise I have been absent here lately because of that. It can be a difficult time of year for some. I hope you find some peace over the holidays and are able to find ways to be compassionate and loving towards yourself. I also hope that you find some joy in 2019.
Imagine how your life would be if you felt comfortable with things being good enough? Would you feel like a failure? Or would you feel as though you had achieved an enviable goal? Your response indicates how you dance with life and how you evaluate yourself.
For a perfectionist or someone who suffers from anxiety, the idea of being good enough might feel awful and a second-rate position to aspire to. It might imply that you have not really tried hard enough to achieve excellence and that you are one of those people who is a bit on the lazy side and lacks ambition. For someone who is comfortable with being good enough, the idea of being perfect is an unattainable goal and they may realise that there are many things they wish to focus on in their life apart from work or study or looking perfect. Or it may be that things are far from good enough because you are procrastinating and feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to start changing things.
There is no right answer here and some people are happy with seeking perfection. For others, this can be an anxiety-provoking and isolating pursuit which can be exacerbated by others failing to understand just how important it feels to get everything right or give 100% all the time. In fact, the more others fail to understand the needs of the perfectionist, the more anxious and isolated the person can become. This can lead to arguments and the breakdown of relationships with friends, partners, family and colleagues. The same can be said of poor performance.
If you are struggling with perfectionism or with procrastination and a lack of performance, it can be hard to understand how to change things. You might be stuck and powerless and feel that no one is going to understand. It might be useful to seek some help to explore what is going on and possible changes you could make to live live in a more fulfilling way. Counselling can help you to do this, and to figure out how you would like the rest of your life to be.
Do you ever look around you and wonder what’s the point? Maybe other people say things to you like ‘it’s alright for you’ or ‘you’ve got it all’ and you feel silenced and unable to say how you really feel. It can feel as though you are not entitled to your feelings and feel judged by the people you want to care about you.
Does it ever feel really hard to put one foot in front of the other and function and do all the things you usually do without even thinking about them? Maybe it feels like you are stuck on a treadmill of work, work, work and any space for downtime is filled with worrying about work, your future, mistakes you have made or how you are going to pay the bills. On top of all that, maybe you have started to feel a bit unwell physically. Maybe you can’t sleep and feel exhausted. Or you might have some unexplained medical symptoms and every time you go to the doctor you feel like you are not being believed. How lonely that experience can be.
Do you ever feel like everyone just gets on your nerves? Especially the people you love. Do you feel like you just want to slam the door shut and be left alone and that everyone who contacts you is irritating or just wants a piece of you? Are you fed up with being nice and understanding and think it would be nice if someone understood you for a change?
Sometimes we all feel a bit jaded by life. Stress can overwhelm us and make us withdraw from life until we recover our focus. Sometimes we can’t seem to find our way back to where we’d like to be and we need help with that. It’s an isolating experience to feel that no one understands us or is able to help us feel better. Counselling can be very helpful if you feel lost or confused or alone. Please get in touch.
I don’t know if you have noticed but counsellors talk about feelings a lot. I’m smiling as I write that because the stereotypical therapist is often portrayed in the media as someone touching their chin and asking their client ‘How did that make you feel?’ While I do try to avoid asking that myself, it does happen.
So why is it so important to understand our feelings? Well it might be useful to draw on why you might be considering counselling in the first place. You might find that you are thinking or saying things like ‘I feel lost’, or ‘I feel depressed’. It is your feelings which are being foregrounded here, not your thoughts. Alternatively, it may be that you have no idea what you are feeling and you might say things like ‘I’m bad at relationships’ or ‘My boss doesn’t understand me’. Counselling helps you to understand your feelings. It helps you to recognise the triggers to these feelings and helps you to process them. It helps you to understand how to cope when your feelings are stopping you from doing what you would like to do and to manage them.
If you need someone to help you with the way you are feeling, please get in touch. Feel well.
It can feel exciting to get a ‘new toy’, whatever that ‘toy’ may be for you. Maybe it’s a new car that you just can’t stop admiring or a new gadget that you can’t put down. All these new things can help to break the monotony that can creep into our lives unnoticed and/or provide a welcome break from feelings of stress or anxiety. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It can become problematic, however, when we can’t enjoy or value what we have because we are worried about what we don’t have or what we want next.
Imagine how you would feel if one day your partner, if you have one, looked at you and said something like you’re looking a bit worn so I think I need to replace you. This happens in some relationships. While at some point in the future you might decide you were better off without them, imagine how distressed and unappreciated you would feel. Being able to value what you have can spill into all areas of your life. Sometimes it is hard to figure out whether it’s time to move on or to stay. Counselling could help you to decide.