In the fitness industry where the message is FASTER, STRONGER, HARDER, HEALTHIER, it's a risk to say "you are enough." I know that YOU ARE ENOUGH- each and everyday. Sharing words from a therapist, Erin Barbossa, that might help on those days / years when goals aren't being met. Thanks for reading ~Carol
If you believe that everything you strive to achieve is unobtainable then you will achieve everything in striving for it.
Any basic coaching says, "make reachable goals" and believe me, it sometimes works to lower your bar and get excited when you reach it. However, I've recently come to a new place in perfectionism recovery, you don't have to lower the bar you just have to be okay with never reaching it.
When we set an intention and resolve to work towards a goal, we can feel like we are failing when we don't meet our self imposed expectation. When we shift our mindset to knowing we won't "succeed" and surrender to the idea that there is no end point, suddenly the pressure is off meeting the arbitrary goal.
This works for a wide range of goals, regardless of if you are shooting for a number on a scale, attempting to eat less carbs, or something more abstract like being more present in mothering or trying to be kinder to yourself. When you realize you can't achieve these goals an amazing thing happens... there is ease in attempting them. Instead of force, you feel flow.
Wait, you might say, "if I can't reach my goals then 'F it,' why even try?" You might fear that if you stop tracking the numbers you'll give up completely and spiral down. But when your goals are aligned with core beliefs you'll keep at them even when they are unobtainable. Trusting yourself that you won't give up on them because they are ingrained in your spirit will allow you to naturally adapt to finding ways to keep yourself accountable to them. We get "accountability to progress" and "meeting goals" confused. What happens when you break down your work out goal to it's most pure form? Is your goal for your body to function at it's best potential? Feel strong and healthy? Have less pain and discomfort? Soak up endorphins? Live long enough to see your kiddo's kiddos? Maybe all of these.
So maybe counting how many times a week you work out is useful way to measure your accountability to yourself. Or eating less pasta will help that number on the scale shift. But will you ever meet your goal of "health?" When you can let go of the end point of "healthy"and surrender to the fact that you will always be working towards health and never "succeed," you may find yourself in more of a health flow than ever before.
Really all of what we strive for can be looked at through this lens. Balance, compassion, non-judgment, service to others, community peace & justice... Achieving any or all of these is not attainable, but the process and experience of striving for them is what fulfills us. Letting yourself off the hook for achieving the end result, but not giving up on the process of trying is how we achieve what we want.
If everything you strive for is un-achievable, you will achieve everything striving for it.
Erin is a licensed clinical social worker who has a private therapy practice in Ann Arbor. After 10 years of working in highly competitive, and high stakes environments ranging from live TV production, to addiction treatment, she brings a unique blend of creativity, leadership, and passion for social justice to her work.
Her practice focuses on helping individuals to activate their intuition and experience more alignment in their lives. She uses an integrative approach to increase functioning and decrease stress in family, career, and promote overall personal wellness.
To learn more about Erin and her practice, check out erinbarbossa.com. Erin works on sliding scale fee, and also takes Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plans.