Feeling Good About Yourself Shouldn’t Be A Reward

Ajigaura Beach, Ibaraki, Japan

Rewarding oneself is not particularly uncommon. We reward ourselves for a variety of reasons, usually after accomplishing something considered a goal or an important task. If a quick internet search on the topic of rewarding oneself proves anything, it is that, at its core, people are seeking reasons to feel better about themselves.

How we choose to reward ourselves also varies. However, some examples are going out to eat, shopping, or taking a vacation. Using food, in particular, may tap into childhood experiences, where food may have been used either as a reward or punishment, based upon behavior. Ultimately, how you choose to reward yourself for your achievements is how you choose to reward yourself.

Lately, I have been reading about motivation and engagement, particularly within the workplace. After all, I spend a great deal of my working, and understanding how and why I am working is important to me. Just so you know, I tend to be a more intrinsically motivated person, which has its benefits and drawbacks. Regarding engaging with life, I am finding my flow.

Journeying toward the within is lifelong. When I first started this blog, just over a decade ago, I little knew my direction, only that I was moving towards something or self that was different from what I knew or had come to accept. Ten years later, I have come to realize that…

I have spent a long time thinking that feeling good about myself was a type of reward. It wasn’t something that I was allowed to experience on daily basis. It was a treat, as it were. I could reward myself with feeling good about me and my life after I had accomplished something meaningful, after I became someone useful, etc. Feeling good just because I exist wasn’t a concept I inherently understood.

This, of course, may seem rather strange, considering my background as a therapist. Being a therapist doesn’t mean, however, that you have your own psychology completed sorted. After all, therapists need therapists, too. It may be far easier to see the problems of others and understand how to effect positive change than to see and make changes in one’s own life.

I am certain that I am not alone in this thinking pattern of feeling good as a reward. It is telltale of a life defined by expected perfection and overachievement. It can mean a life of never feeling quite good enough and of rarely, if ever, acknowledging what one has done…because there is always some way that one can improve or that something more that should be done. An accomplishment becomes a brief signal that for a moment you can feel good about your existence.

Such a difficult way to live life…

Kashima Shrine Gate, Japan

Feeling good about yourself can be an everyday experience. It comes with acknowledging your existence as being meaningful–that as you are, you are worthy. Worthy of what? Worthy of self-love, self-care, self-regard, self-trust, etc. The life you have built up until now is yours to do with as you will. It isn’t a race that you either win or lose. It is simply a life, one that can be lived positively (if not always happily).

So, where do we go from here? Well, I have a couple of recommendations:

  1. Start simple – Think/write about how you have been viewing you and your life up until now.
  2. Inform yourself – Learn about ways you can improve enjoying who you are in your everyday life.
  3. Step back – Take time to yourself, just for yourself, to do something/experience good.

I enjoy reading. Here are some books that I have been using to help my journey:

Feeling good about yourself, if it is unfamiliar to you, may be likened to forming a new habit. Let’s be real, it will take time, consistency, and a patience. There are various theories and approaches to how one can form a habit. My recommendation is to keep it simple and focus on the moment you are in and how you are feeling.

You may not always feel great about your thoughts and your actions. However, you can always feel good about who you are and your existence.

Check out this interesting article on rewards by Gretchin Rubin (PsychologyToday.com): “Why We Shouldn’t Reward Ourselves for Good A Habits…With One Exception.”

Until Next Time,

Diedre

[Reblog] Dealing With Trauma: What is EMDR

[Reblog] Dealing With Trauma: What is EMDR

“Initially EMDR was utilized and studied as a therapy for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) which was itself a relatively new diagnosis for an age-old human affliction. More than 20 controlled clinical trials of EMDR have now been completed and reported, attesting to its value and demonstrating its usefulness across all ages, genders, and cultures for post-traumatic stress disorders. Tens of thousands of clinicians have been trained in EMDR, and have applied the defining protocols of this psychotherapy to many other conditions, including: Personality disorders, eating disorders, panic attacks, performance anxiety, complicated grief, stress reduction, dissociative disorders, disturbing memories, addictions, phobias, pain disorders, sexual and/or physical abuse and body dismorphic disorders.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a cost-effective non-invasive evidence-based method of psychotherapy that facilitatesadaptive information processing developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD in the late 1980′s. EMDR is an eight-phase treatment which comprehensively identifies and addresses experiences that have overwhelmed the brain’s natural resilience or coping capacity, and have thereby generated traumatic symptoms and/or harmful coping strategies. Through EMDR therapy, patients are able to reprocess traumatic information until it is no longer psychologically disruptive.”

[Reblog] When the Borderline Becomes the Therapist

[Reblog] When the Borderline Becomes the Therapist

Article by Gerri Luce

“My cousin and I were shopping for work clothes for my new social worker job when I pulled a long sleeved blouse from the rack.

“How’s this for my first day?” I asked her.

“You’ll sweat to death.”

I looked at her.  “I need to cover my scars.”

I had scars on both my arms, on my forearms and upper arms. I had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder about 20 years ago following two suicide attempts. I had been cutting myself for years before that. When I was in a particularly fanciful mood, I would slice words into my flesh, such aspig and cow, becauseI was also anorexic and imagined myself to be round, like those animals.”