Are our goals still working for us?

Sometimes we find ourselves determined to follow a certain path in life. We may  discover we have a talent for something. It may have started as a hobby. Now we want to make it our chosen career path. Others may have encouraged us by saying we have found 'our niche'. And we may feel lucky that we have done so.

Such determination however can lead to us becoming trapped within the very area of expertise in which we may have invested so heavily. What we do no longer seems to bring us happiness and satisfaction. It may start to hurt us emotionally. We may suspect that things are no longer working for us; but a part of us wants to deny it. We feel in conflict but unsure what to do. So we continue. And this can develop into self-defeating behaviour.

When we come to rely on our determination for fulfilment and happiness all else seems not to matter. In a sense, we have allowed this 'thing' to control us. We tell ourselves we are only happy when we are doing 'what we love'. But what happens when 'what we love' becomes something we hate? Still we tell ourselves that nothing else will do. There is no plan B. We are even more determined to make whatever we are doing work. We stop listening to others. And we stop listening to ourselves.

If we can find contentment in whatever state we find ourselves in - good or ill health, rich or poor, in a great relationship or not - then the worry about change can be greatly diminished. Making a change which seems to be taking us in a different direction can be challenging. It feels risky. It may be comforting to know that uncertainty, in time, can bring a sense of certainty. Therapy can offer this.

In therapy, we can learn and discover how to be more in tune with our inner selves. In therapy we can listen to our inner voice. We can pay attention to it. It is trying to tell us something. For a while we can put a halt to our need to being focused and single minded and consider what is driving us on. Is it still serving us well? Is it still what we want to do, or is it somebody else's goal?

Rather than focusing on goals which seem increasingly unattainable thus risking stress and anxiety to ourselves) choices can be made about new goals which are exciting, attainable and doable. Therapy offers an opportunity to ask questions of our inner self. It helps us reflect how we have arrived at where we are now. It can silence  the 'background noises' (such as others telling us what is best for us) and consider what we want for ourselves.  

The way ahead may become clearer. At the very least we have put the brakes on and stopped to consider where we are heading. Plan B may be in sight.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Lyn Reed, MA,MBACP(reg),Pro.Adv.Dip.PC, Pgd.Cert in Clinical Supervision

I offer a professional, confidential counselling service. I've acquired considerable expertise and knowledge having worked in the social care field for many years. I understand life's road is often rocky!

I offer a good value high quality service especially for those living with anxiety and stress.… Read more

Written by Lyn Reed, MA,MBACP(reg),Pro.Adv.Dip.PC, Pgd.Cert in Clinical Supervision

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