In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the 7 simple steps to overcome the feelings of failure and self-loathing that often accompany the end of the year.
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Now, let’s talk about the 7 steps to overcome the feelings of failure and self-loathing that often accompany the end of the year.
It’s an interesting phenomenon; at the end of the year we begin to ponder and contemplate the year that has passed and we end up feeling bad, unsatisfied and like a failure.
It’s an easy conclusion when we review and analyze the year based on what we did not achieve or accomplish.
It’s an easy conclusion when we are constantly measuring ourselves and our value based on societal expectations.
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.”
Alexander Graham Bell
Here are the 7 steps to overcome end-of-year self-loathing and feelings of failure:
1. Past Goals
Write out a list of what you had planned to achieve. Were you clear about what you had wanted to accomplish this year or were you simply floating? Did you write measureable goals at the beginning of this year?
We tend to focus on what we have not yet achieved and we fail to notice what we have actually achieved. Write a list of all of your successes this year.
3. False and Faulty Expectations
False expectations are usually founded upon perfection – unattainable and unachievable goals. List the false expectations you made for yourself which now create pain, loss and a sense of failure.
Faulty expectations are the standards, goals and expectations that we create for ourselves but which do not really belong to us; they are the result of us choosing to live to please others or to simply be accepted and liked by society. They do not originate in our heart; they come from fear – fear of rejection or not being liked or approved.
Write out the faulty expectations you have for yourself and identify from where they came i.e. who really expects this of you? When you complete this exercise, you will realize that these expectations of you belong to someone else – not you. It could be friends, family, colleagues, media and so forth who set these expectations and you agreed consciously or subconsciously to try and live up to them. Read my article Societal expectations of women and shame
Be true to yourself – to your own heart, needs and desires – not someone else’s.
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” – Neil Gaiman
Be grateful. It sounds kitsch, trite and contrived. However, it succeeds in changing the way you feel and it succeeds in motivating you to take new action. Write a list of all of the things, people and events of this past year for which you can be grateful.
5. New doors
As Alexander Graham Bell points out in the quote above, we focus too much on the past and we stay standing in front of past doors which have actually closed. We fail to look at, appreciate and take advantage of the new doors that are opening. Write out a list of new opportunities for you.
If you do not see any directly, then plan to create new opportunities. Decide to seek out new doors, to open new doors and walk through them.
You cannot move through a new door into a bright new world when you are still clinging onto the old door handle.
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu
6. Accepting and learning from mistakes
Write a list of what did not work out the way you planned or expected. Note the mistakes you made. How could you have done them differently? Write without emotional judgment or criticism. What will you do differently next time? This is what counts – what can you learn from your mistakes?
“For a new year to bring you something new, make a move, like a butterfly tearing its cocoon! Make a move!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan
7. New action
If you want new results in the New Year, then you need to take action – new action. Reread the above steps and then take action accordingly. Incorporate in your new action plan, gratitude, clear measurable goals, organic and sincere expectations, and lessons from past mistakes.
“At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure.” – Erin Cummings
The final component of your new action plan is responsibility.
Accept wholeheartedly that you are the captain of your ship. You determine the direction and the speed. You determine the outcome.
You will not be in control of the waters or the weather, but you will be in control of how you respond to the challenges and obstacles; you alone will be in control of where you end up.
And remember, the end of the year is not the most important day or part of the year. The result alone is not the most important aspect of life; the most significant and critical aspect of life and success is the journey.
Enjoy the journey.
“The journey is the reward.” – Steve Jobs
Dive in deep with all of your heart and soul.
Create new adventures. Make them memorable.
Happy New Year!
May it be all that your heart desires, and more!
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.