Bust through your boundaries with more purpose and less proving

Bill’s Tip for March: Moving Boxes

Picture two mythical towns, whose inhabitants think very differently:

BOX-VILLE

BOX-VILLE

The good people of Box-ville answer mobile email while attending their daughters’ dance recitals. Running-around doesn’t require yards and dogs but, rather, cars and “to do” lists. This place is a designated “high-anxiety zone” because expectations rule the day: Between city limits people compare, compete and (at times) collapse. They gulp down coffee and dream up vacation escapes in order to keep themselves rolling – even if where they are rolling is mostly uphill….

FREEDOM-TOWN

FREEDOM-TOWN

By contrast, the self-starters of Freedom-town do not clock-watch or compete. Motivation is not caffeine inspired. Satisfaction is not achieved by crossing-off the last errand or accomplished by impressing their bosses – plotting for promotion is unnecessary. Multitasking is not needed because days are not defined as projects to be rushed through. This town is booming because each citizen is purposely involved with something they deem meaningful. The pace is slower and more deliberate. They learn what life has to teach them by paying attention and letting their passions be their guides.

Thinking outside the box

Before you write me off as an unrealistic idealist, please realize that neither of the above descriptions specifies what roles the town citizens play – only how they are approaching these roles and living their lives. In my practice, I have witnessed over-and-over how a client’s overall emotional satisfaction has less to do with their job title and more to do with the passion for and attitude toward what they do.

So where would you rather live – is it time you moved boxes?

I am not asking you to pack your belongings for someplace unknown (unless you want to). What I am requesting is that you take a moment and reflect on how you have been packing your life, thus far….

This month, bust through your habits and boundaries by challenging yourself to live with less proving and more purpose – no boxes necessary.

Phillip’s Tip for March: Nothing Personal

72Why Aren’t People There for Me When I Need Them?

Have you ever gone through something difficult and realized that no one has come to offer you help or emotional support? This is why many people can find therapy such an important part of their life, and that’s great- but there is often a need to connect and be heard by one’s friends and family also. So what happens if you find yourself angry or hurt that people are not comforting you and checking in on you when you are hurting?

This can be a tough to deal with and cause personal resentment. It might even result in your withdrawing even further from possible future sources of encouragement.

First remember it’s not always about you

When people don’t reach out to you when bad things happen, your friends and family may feel inadequate to help. Others when faced with disaster dissociate from trouble as a coping device. A common reason that some people don’t reach out to friends is a fear of facing a similar problem themselves.

People have choices in life and respond to life events in different ways

That can be ok if you realize that you also have these choices in the way you respond. Try to think about your troubles as temporarily yours and that it is okay that others are not always getting where you are at emotionally.

Also consider that you might be perceived as not needing anyone’s help

Have you put an unconscious wall around yourself and reduced the intimacy you have had in the past with friends and family even before the hardship? This causes people not to be as up to date on what is happening with you and feeling awkward about trying to reach out. You may need to show yourself as more vulnerable so others know that you need them.

My suggestion is to consider forgiving others around you for not being there for you every moment (or living up to your expectations.) Forgiveness is good for the soul! Try reaching out yourself and letting your friend or family member know that you are hurting and could use a hug or someone to listen. If this approach is not received by the other person, then consider this as useful information and move forward, renewing your spirit with uplifting reading, faith and actively engaging in self-care. Life changes and friendships come and go- but the constant is you and your inner strength and possibilities- consider exploring this when you feel alone.

Please note: I have a few appointment openings available for those looking to tune up or expand on our work together. I am also filling the last few spots for a Thursday evening coffee-house style single men’s therapy group: Please reply to this email with your interest.

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