Let It Go…
New Year, New You, right? Sorry for the language but that is a bunch of bullshit. Why? Because we tend to set resolutions and goals on unrealistic expectations we have for ourselves, others’ expectations, the media, and our own inner voice. I’m all about goal setting, I have said that before, but every day in my work with people with eating disorders I see how goals get out of control. I see goals cause people shame and upset. I’m not here today to tell you what goals to set or what goals will make you a better person. I believe you are already a pretty great person. You do not believe you are a great person because of all these expectations and goals. So today I am talking about some things to let go of to help you see the great person I believe you to be.
1. Let go of others’ expectations for you. You feel like a lot of people want you to act a certain way and do certain things. If you are like my clients these expectations are not necessarily communicated. You put pressure on yourself to do a lot of things for people on a daily basis because you feel if you do not do these things you are letting others down. That puts a lot of pressure on you to perform at your highest all the time and it causes stress. You feel like you let people down if you do perform at your best all the time. Letting go of the expectation that others expect you to perform at your best all the time allows you freedom to not do something on your to-do list today. That thing will still be there tomorrow. Letting go of others expectations for you allows you to do nice things for people because you have the energy and the time.
2. Let go of your expectations of who should be. You have the image of the perfect you and it feels like you to do a million things to achieve this every day. This is not realistic and therefore you don’t get it all done and you feel like a crappy person. Letting go of this expectation helps you remember you are doing the best you can today. Today you are doing all you can and you are doing a good job today. You are not expected to be perfect, you cannot be perfect, so stop expecting yourself to be. That way when you mess up it does not make you feel so crappy.
3. Let go of media expectations for you. You are flooded with the “perfect person” in TV, magazines, and social media. Don’t believe me, a lot of research says so. Let go of this media expectation. You are good enough. You are good enough today and you doing all you need to today to get through the day.
4. Let go of the word “should”. When you tell yourself “I should” you feel shame and failure. It is a nagging voice in your head telling you are not good enough. My advice: You should get rid of the word should. When you tell yourself you “should” you end up taking a big ole’ crap on yourself causing you to feel ashamed and worthless.
Perfectionism isn’t the goal. The goal is to feel confident and relaxed. You are doing all you can today and you are doing a good job right now. Remember that. What are doing right now that is great? Please share and let’s celebrate your good works today. You are doing your best right now and right now is all we have! Enjoy it.
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* Dr. Stephanie Waitt, LPC is a psychotherapist in private practice in Sherman, Texas. Stephanie works with young and successful women to help restore balance and peace. She specializes in working with individuals with eating disorders, trauma, anxiety, and depression.