In this blog, which will be divided in two parts, I will be speaking about our drive to make changes especially in the first weeks of the New Year. I find myself asking the question: ‘Do we plan a number of resolutions because we have a feeling of not being ‘good enough’? ‘In January I’ll start a diet, eat more healthily, and exercise more’. ‘In the New Year, I’ll be kinder, more positive and more thoughtful’, ‘I’ll work harder, study more, be a better mother, a better son’. This effort to be better, stronger, healthier does not come as a surprise. Scroll down Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Look at magazine articles and advertisements. We are constantly bombarded with images of ‘perfect’ families, ‘perfect’ holidays, ‘perfect’ bodies, and ‘perfect’ homes. However, we fail to realise that on social media platforms those around us usually share their happiest and most exciting experiences. In reality, we all have our bad days, struggle to juggle work and family commitments and face problems. Moreover, if we think about it, there is more in life beyond our control then we care to admit.
Explore your inner critic:
Feeling ‘not good enough’ can be painful. However, were does this come from? Why do images we see on social media platforms touch us so much? Small children are very impressionable, they are influenced by what is happening around them especially in their familial environment. Their main goal is to gain the love and affection of those who care for them, especially their parents. Therefore, we can learn at a very young age that we are rewarded for being the ‘good’ daughter, the ‘responsible’ one. If the parents have very high expectations, a child gets the message that their effort is never ‘good enough’, that ‘you could be the best in class, in gymnastics, in football’ if you tried harder. On the other hand, if there is neglect or abuse in the family, children can attempt to fix it by being ‘good’, ‘responsible’, ‘quiet’ or try the very opposite by acting out and misbehaving to get their parents attention. Unfortunately, we tend to carry these childhood ‘scripts’ with us into adulthood. Can we do something about this? Or are we determined by our childhood experiences? In the second part of this blog, I will be exploring ways of how we can take a good look at ourselves and work towards being ok with whom we presently are.
Anna Catania is a counsellor with Willingness. She has had a special interest in working with clients facing intimacy and sexual difficulties and runs a service for families going through cancer and chronic illness. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.