Do you want to know what is the biggest battle we see going on within our counseling walls? Consistently threading through each and every client that walks through our doors, I believe the biggest battle each of us faces . . . is the battle we fight within ourselves.
When we stop focusing on our circumstances . . . crappy jobs, unhappy relationship, disobedient children, how much weight we need to lose, etc. and instead start focusing on what is going on inside of us and how we are responding to it, we find a place to make some movement. Sadly, most people spend their entire lives fighting the surface battles and miss the REAL battle within ourselves. Me vs Me.
How, you ask?
1) Shift the Focus – stop analyzing, complaining, inventorying, or otherwise trying to control the things going on around you. When you catch yourself, ask yourself what’s going on inside of you and focus on that instead (see #2 below). You may have a deep-seated habit of focusing on the outside stuff, so you may have to redirect yourself a million times (slight exaggeration, or maybe not) before it comes a bit more naturally.
2) Self-Awareness – get in touch with what YOU are feeling. Ask yourself WHY you are feeling the way you are? What is the fear behind what you are reacting to? What will happen if you STOP and let the situation play out? This is a HUGE, important step in the battle of Me vs. Me.
3) Take Care of Yourself – learn how to give yourself what it is that you need. If you are afraid, learn how to self-soothe. If you can’t get someone to change, learn how to change yourself. If you have to make an unpleasant change in your life, get support to help you through it. If you need to cry, then let yourself cry, or scream, or punch a pillow. First you have to know what it is you need, then you have to learn how to give it to yourself. For some of us, this is a very new behavior and it will take some getting used to.
4) Grow – Sitting in our discomfort allows growth, but it is really unpleasant. That’s why most of us avoid it. None of us want that to be our path, but I can assure you that if you allow the discomfort in your life and learn how to respond to it differently, you will grow and things will get better. It may not look the way you imagined, but what you will ultimately find the relief you’ve been looking for.
Facing whatever lies within that discomfort inside of you is where the REAL battle is. And that is a battle you can only have with yourself. When we take the focus off of the battle in front of us and begin fighting the real battle, Me vs. Me, the life you’ve been waiting for will begin to unfold in front of you.