As we head into the last quarter of 2022, you may be feeling the pull to end the year on a high. Perhaps you started the year with good intentions and plans…but other things got in the way?
But the reality is, there is always something that will get in the way.
If you’re looking for perfect timing, or the ideal conditions, then chances are you could be waiting for a while. And although feeling prepared will help your confidence, procrastinating and letting time slip away, will eat into your confidence even more.
It’s a cliche that “we always regret the chances we didn’t take”, but regret and frustration from not taking action can really eat away at self esteem. And it impacts how likely we are to put ourselves forward for things in the future.
Recognise where you might be holding yourself back by waiting, and ask yourself whether waiting is actually serving you in the long term.
If not now, when?
Photo credit: Brett Jordan via Unsplash.com
How long do you spend thinking about a problem? And how long do you spend thinking about the solution? There are some questions we can ask ourselves when it’s difficult to focus.
When we have a problem or issue that we need to resolve, it’s so easy to get caught up in a spiral of negative thinking. We go round and round, stewing on what’s gone wrong, and we become focussed on what we’re not happy about.
Solutions focussed therapy approaches problems by looking at the desired end result, and works backwards. It can be helpful if you find that the same issues keep coming up, or you have cycles of negative thoughts or habits.
Taking some time to think through our issues, or journaling our thoughts can help to work through what’s going on, and helps us discover possible solutions.
Here are some prompts that you could use:
- Where are you now on a scale of 0-10?
- Where would you like to be – what’s possible right now?
- What would need to happen for this score to improve?
- Which elements can I control in this situation?
- What can I change?
- When or how could I do this?
- How would things look in one week/one month’s time if I took this action?
- How committed am I to taking this action?
- What’s stopping me?
When we have recurring issues or problems, we tend to catastrophise, and we think that everything is failing.
We lose sight of the good things or our successes. And we can underestimate our strengths and skills because our focus is all about the problem.
By being more aware of where our focus is, we become more open to solutions and ideas. If we can imagine things being different and more positive, rather than focussing on what’s wrong, we can move forward.
So, if you’re finding it difficult to focus, I hope these questions will help.
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash
Consistency is key…but accountability is not far behind, surely?
We’ve reached that stage in any ‘normal’ January where the promises and goals of the New Year might be starting to slip. (Disclaimer: This year it’s ok if things have gone a little bit awol!)
But some form of monitoring needs to happen if we want to see improvements and instigate the changes that got us motivated to begin with. We can get caught up in the planning, and list making, and daydreaming about how productive we’re going to be this week, and then life happens.
There is no bigger regret than the things we didn’t do, and it is really easy to let other stuff take priority. I’ll catch up next week…next month…I’ll leave it until the better weather…. Sound familiar? Me too.
Yes we need to be a bit more kind to ourselves right now. But being kind also means holding ourselves to account every now and then, and having a bit of a pep talk with ourselves. Remember why you started, remember what you’re doing this for.
Make a diary note or appointment to catch up with yourself along the way. And write your “reasons why I’m doing this” next to it. Just in case you start to forget!
And how awesome is this image btw!?! Photo credit to Marten Newhall @laughayette via Unsplash.com