In the pursuit of our goals, we naturally look forward. We look forward to those things we’d like to be and the things we’d like to have in our lives and in doing so, the look and shape of our lives changes as these things begin to make their appearance.
It’s also natural to look to the past, to think of things that we already have and that we want to improve or have more of, or maybe things we’ve lost along the way, or perhaps even things that others’ have had that we would like to have or experience too.
Indeed, looking back, to some extent helps us shape our futures, because we’re not only looking for examples of the things we feel are missing from our lives, but also the positive things we already have or have experienced. This can help us to identify the circumstances we already have in our lives which will help to support us going forward.
But what if these circumstances change?
It’s natural that circumstances will change, in fact as we know, change is a constant state. Some changes come about as a result of birthdays passing and independence growing or, at the other end of the scale, diminishing as elderly relatives become more dependent. Our children need us less whilst others may need more support from us.
We may experience positive changes to our circumstances like a planned house move coming to fruition or we may pass our driving test and as a result experience more independence. Alternatively there could be negative changes to our circumstances due to the loss of a job, illness or a broken relationship.
So if change is such a constant in our lives, why do we have so much difficulty in making changes as opposed to waiting for them to be thrust upon us and then having little, or indeed no control over the outcome?
The truth is, that for some strange reason, we often trust other people’s ideas and plans much more than our own. Consequently, we put far more effort into supporting their goals than pursuing our own dreams and desires. We then unintentionally fall into the trap of supporting and working towards things that aren’t what we really want.
We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.
Very true, Mr Anderson, but it’s not only about trusting other people, it’s equally, if not more important to trust ourselves. Afterall, if we don’t trust ourselves then we won’t make the decisions and commitments which will propel our lives forward in the direction that we actually want to go.
It seems amazing how easily we can lose trust in ourselves, and then how easy it is to allow that mistrust to grow and solidify our beliefs. Furthermore, we are often very attached to our views and ideas on things and people and will argue for their preservation despite evidence to the contrary.
This is most prevalent when we convince ourselves that we cannot do something. We can’t speak out or get that promotion or buy that car or lose the weight…the list can be endless, and yet it all comes back to a view, idea or belief that, (for us but not for others, apparently 😉 ), the thing we desire is impossible.
I guess then that means that we don’t trust ourselves. Don’t trust ourselves to do the work or to step up, or we don’t trust that we are worthy of that thing or experience. And so, for this and many other complicated reasons, we don’t even start.
But why shouldn’t we just make a start on our own goals? So what if we fail, or make really slow progress or even give up before we really get going? After all, who cares? Who cares if we fail, make slow progress or give up just a few steps in? We all seem to be so hung up on gaining other people’s approval that we forget that the only person who needs to approve our actions is ourselves. And so, if it’s only us who cares, or put another way, only us who’s really watching, what’s to lose?
So, as we edge ever closer to the end of 2015 and into 2016, when the lure of New Years Resolutions will be at its strongest, why not trust yourself this time to actually fully commit to your resolutions and call them GOALS? Write them down, go public and make the plans. It’s ok if your plans will need further work, but the very act of setting GOALS and ACTIONS down on paper will be far more motivational than a loose resolution to ‘try harder’ in 2016!
Go on, trust that you can!