Have you been in therapy, or gone through different workbooks or programs to change things in your life – only to find yourself at square one? Have you felt like you know information but you can’t apply it to yourself? Making change in our lives is not as simple as mainstream media would like to make us believe. We can know we need to stop people-pleasing, or start setting boundaries. We can know that we should feel good enough about ourselves but still have the voice in the back of our head that says we aren’t.
Affirmations & Manitfestations Falling Short
Positive affirmations and manifestations are a huge thing right now. While creating a positive self-talk language and focusing on bringing in more light into your life can be a great thing, it can also be incredibly invalidating. If you have struggled with applying these to your life, you feel stuck you aren’t alone.
Too often we attempt to bypass our inner critic. We try to tell it that it’s wrong, we are enough, we can say no & then, a little while later we end up in the pattern we were determined to get out of. Then we end up kicking ourselves, questioning how this could keep happening. We give ourselves affirmations & manifest “good” into our lives. You are missing a huge piece if you aren’t listening to the inner critic.
Moving from the surface to what’s underneath in unlocking change
I’m not saying put the affirmations aside, but notice when you can’t feel them in your body – when you feel the lack of truth in them. Notice when you end up in patterns of behaviors that you have tried to shift. Ask yourself – what am I missing here?
If you notice yourself continuing to struggle with setting boundaries, with needing to be a perfectionist ask yourself these questions:
– Where did I learn this behavior from in my past? (This could be through watching a caregiver often give themselves away to others, hearing from a loved one that saying no was wrong, or other learned messages – often from childhood)
– What is this behavior protecting me from? (Often the parts of us that we don’t like or want to change are there to take care of us. If we can get curious we can change how we care for ourselves)
– Is there some way that I can support myself in acknowledging this protection & shifting towards greater trust within myself?
This process is often not a quick one, and if you find yourself getting stuck in the old stories that you learned it may be a sign that deeper re-wiring of the brain may be needed. Check out our Brainspotting page to learn more about how this innovative therapy could support you.
Know that this is a process, it takes time, patience and compassion with yourself. These stories & actions that you have lived out have had purpose. It takes re-teaching to change them, and a new found trust within yourself.
Patrice Flanagan-Morris, LCSW
Empowerment Within LLC