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Why do we set goals which make us feel bad?

by Dr Marianne Trent, Clinical Psychologist

So, I wanted to talk to you today about goals. And goals is something you'll hear talked about by many, many people at different times of the year. And they can obviously be something that spurs us on, but also they can be something that makes us feel like we're not enough or that we're failing in some way. And I really liked it that when I asked, a school run Mum on the way back from the school run today, you know, what the plans were for her today and she said:

You know, just survive! Get through, you know, and manage to get back and pick them up on time when I come out the other side!

And I think that's, you know, some, that's absolutely okay sometimes, you know, we just haven't got the energy in the tank to, to get out there and trail blaze. You know, sometimes we just need to be, you know, we need to get out in our garden, hear the bird song and that's okay. Not every day can be a day where loads and loads and loads and loads are gets, gets done. Some days you might not even fancy really getting dressed and you know, full disclosure, I have got my joggers on as I type this. But something that's really important when we're thinking about goals is that we don't beat ourselves with them. That we are not lashing ourselves with them. That we are not criticising ourselves or being really overly harsh if we don't manage to achieve what we've set out for ourselves in an hour, in a day, in a week, in a month, in a year, in a decade even.

You know, and it's thinking about who and why, you know, those goals have come around. Are they genuinely our own desire? You know, especially a lot of the people that I support and mentor. You know, I wanna be a trainee clinical psychologist. I wanna be a clinical psychologist. Why? You know, is that important to you? Or, you know, was that a hangover from one of your relations that maybe thought, you know, you should, that would be great for you. We definitely should. So holding onto your why, but in a way that is compassionate and on your side can be really, really powerful.

And someone who helps do this really, really well is my friend and colleague Michaela Thomas. And Michaela is a clinical psychologist and she's currently relaunching her wonderful podcast, pause, purpose, play. So if the stuff that I've spoken about so far really resonates with you, then I would say please do check out the podcast. Pause, Purpose Play. You can listen to it on Apple, Spotify, basically probably any of the podcast platforms. But I think you'll find it really useful if you are looking for how you can help support and guide and nurture yourself, without you know, you suffering as a result. It's a really, really powerful idea. So it's all about embracing compassion and letting that guide you to help support your goals rather than to berate and belittle yourself in order to achieve your goals. So she's got some special episodes that have been released today to celebrate her relaunch. I know she'd be super grateful if you could share this blog post, tell people about the podcast if you've listened to it already. But honestly it's my delight to have her as my friend and my colleague and also I get to listen to her podcast and read her emails as well.

So yeah, it's nice to have people in our life that make it better. And you absolutely can be in Michaela's world too by listening to her freely available and wonderfully nurturing and nourishing podcast: Pause, Purpose Play. I don't get paid to say this, but I think we should support each other and direct people into really amazing resources. Have a lovely day. Whatever you achieve, take care.

To listen to the podcast episode Michaela and I recorded about perfectionism and training abroad as a psychologist click here. To listen to the one we recorded about grief click here.
To Check out Michaela's compassionate couples book, the Lasting Connection, which is a great read even if you are single click here.


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