Building Your Safety Net

Restlessness and complacency are twin rivals of the human psyche. Carl Jung  

We are complicated individuals with dualities striving for fulfillment.  Here are some thoughts on being whole, complete, real, united and living/walking in congruency with our true self. 

Accept who you are now and grow into whom you want to become. Give up the fairy tail world of “Someday I’ll…” Wishing and dreaming are not enough. Such irrational thinking sees self as whole and complete. It takes out the temptations and struggles of today’s reality. Get in touch with your humanness, accept help and guidance and develop your latent strengths.

Monitor your growth. Set a benchmark to focus on and keep track of day-to-day progress. For example, studies show that weight loss is twice as effective for those who record their food intake as those who do not. Monitored activity or thoughts makes reality more visible, whereas non-measured activity lends to error.

Give up trying (low energy) and go with doing (high energy). Look at how far you have come “since when” and embrace where you are now. Trying embraces struggle whereas doing releases ideas, energy and results.  Success in small increments ups the ante to keep on keeping on. 

Change your playground and your playmates.  The body is a remarkable instrument that wants to heal itself.  The cells in the body have only two positions: closed for protection and open for growth.  Glucose is a willpower enforcer that is released into the blood stream in nurturing environments. Glucose “willpower” is constricted in hostile, not-good-for-you settings.  Consider who is good for you and hang around them. Get honest with who/what is not good for you and limit exposure.

Change is invigorating to soul, mind, body and spirit. Like most things, habits are both good and not so good.  The habit that propels you to brush your teeth is great, not so much the one that unthinkingly reaches for the cigarettes. When surroundings are the same, so too are ingrained habits. A slight change in your environment can cause you to re-think.  Replace junk food with fruits and vegetables. Put interesting reading material on top of the TV remote. Keep dumbbells in an accessible spot for impromptu strength training.  Every time you chose a positive move, consciously tell yourself you are brain-training your mind.

Believe it and see it.  Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality. Athletes who visualize overcoming an obstacle win hands down over the also-rans who tried to do their best. Anticipate challenges and see yourself succeeding anyway. Practice graciously yet boldly saying “No, thank you” to those tempting offers that are sure to come.

There is strength in numbers. Align yourself with people who embody the character qualities you want to develop. Get involved with wholesome groups like church, sports and mentors.  Hang around those who encourage you, support you and cheer you on.

Be kind and patient. Beating yourself up serves no worthwhile purpose whereas self-compassion - especially in light of setbacks - leads to self-control and a do-over motivation. Refuse to indulge in the vicious cycle of error, guilt, condemnation and greater error. Self-forgiveness sets you up to focus on what you really want,  who you really are and whom you really can become. 

Watch your self-talk directed at others. Judging, condemning and criticizing others turns them into your enemy whether they are or not.  We need community. The person you judge as self-righteous may be dealing with his own demons in a different manner than you. Just maybe what you see as nagging is a mishandled way of encouragement. Suppose they (mom, mate, co-worker, authority) see the real possibilities within you and - out of frustration -tries to force you into being you. With the reciprocity of life such as it is your extending compassion to him comes back to you.

Don't Cope. Overcome. Walking a high wire needs a safety net.  So does life.  The good news is that with a self-balancer in hand, it requires less and less effort to stay aright. A setback does not mean failure. What counts is how you recover. Get up, dust yourself off and get right back on track.  It’s worth it.

Need trainer? Mona Dunkin leads individuals and companies to greater levels of success. Contact her at 254-749-6594 or monadunkin@gmail.com View training topics at www.monadunkin.com