It's such a common phrase as people try to take advantage of a New Year to attempt a change in their lives. Perhaps you're attempting just that, or trying for the umpteenth time to make a change but fear that once again you'll fail. Do you undermine your own chances? Do you doubt your ability to change? Or perhaps you're really not all that willing to change but like to be seen to make the effort? What really gets in the way, and how can you make the changes you'd like to make?
Shame is present to a certain extent in most of our lives. It's an integral part of being human, of being social entities striving to belong to the group. If our behaviour steps outside of what we think the group wants us to think, see, or feel, then our automatic reaction is shame. In most cases, we learn from these experiences, talk about them with other people, and move on with our lives having learnt a lesson. But there are certain situations that cause shame to bury deep out of sight, affecting how we think about ourselves, and how we live in the world.
Depression is not simply feeling sad, and not something that people can just "get over" or snap out of. It's an overwhelming self-loathing that saps energy, joy, and hope. Here are some points to help understand more about people who are depressed.
Anxiety is an insidious feeling that takes many forms, from a reluctance to go out socially, to a self-censoring internal dialogue that hold you back, preventing you from moving forward in your life. It's also highly treatable. You can gain control in your life. You can be happy.
This is an accurate video written, acted, directed & edited by Ton Mazzone.
Perfectionism is something I see a lot as a therapist. While high standards and operating at your best are worthwhile goals, perfectionism can be a major impediment to living your life as you would prefer.
"Anger comes fast, often unanticipated and always unwelcome. It operates without logic, with no concern for consequences. It damages things, relationships, and sometimes even people. It leaves me feeling ashamed of myself. Worthless. What's worse, I'm even too weak and useless to control it."
Does this sound familiar?
Chris is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist at Engage Counselling, Sydney