I wish I could tell you that emotional resolutions are easy. I wish I could tell you that the journey of personal growth is virtually stress-free and includes endless waves of joyous moments in which you feel enlightened and encouraged. But, alas, this is not always so. And while working on emotional resolutions will yield moments of joy, enlightenment and encouragement, the path to personal progress is likely to be longer and more challenging than you first imagined. Nevertheless, that path, if taken, will lead to fulfillment and be strewn with moments of beauty–unexpected glimpses into your formerly unrecognized courage, strength and abilities.
In fact, my neighbor and I were speaking of personal growth just yesterday and she likened it to child rearing. She stated that while raising children is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, it is also one of the most challenging. It requires constant personal assessment, learning and growth. Yet parenthood, however emotionally, physically and in so many other ways taxing, remains one of life’s most beautiful and meaningful experiences. The same can be said of personal growth—while often difficult it is also matchlessly fulfilling.
Using parenthood as an analogy there are a few things we can surmise about personal growth:
1) Season: when executing an emotional resolution remember two things when it comes to seasons. First, you will most likely have to keep at your goal for around the time of a season (3 months) or more to see any real change. Second, if you feel that time is dragging or that the work is hard, remember that all the effort you are putting into your resolution is only “for a season.” The season will pass and the end result will be worth it.
2) Sacrifice: emotional resolutions require sacrifice. For example, if you want to be better at self-care you will have to sacrifice some of your time (and perhaps money) to do so. If you want to be a better parent you may have to sacrifice some of your old parenting skills—your “comfort zone”—for new skills. No matter what you are trying to accomplish, some type of sacrifice will need to be made. But remember, anything ever really worth having always costs something.
3) Support: emotional resolutions are nearly impossible to achieve without support. Confide in a trusted family member or friend about your resolution so that they can provide support and accountability. Enlist the support of a mental health professional—be it a licensed mental health counselor, child therapist or couples/marriage/family therapist. Also, join a support group (if one exists) in your area.
The New Year holds endless possibilities for personal growth, fulfillment and tranquility. If you are experiencing any sort of emotional distress or mental health disorder, or if you just want to enlist the support of a trained psychotherapist to help you on your personal growth journey, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment. Let our Orlando therapy team help make 2015 your best year yet.