Are You Sabotaging Your New Year’s Commitments?

Here we are. Two weeks into January.

For many people, this is when it first becomes easy to stop paying attention to resolutions, commitments, or intentions made for the new year. The initial enthusiasm has been replaced by the awareness that change is hard. Fear and discomfort start battling with the desire to change. Our inner saboteurs show up

Is your inner critic saying you aren’t going to be able to keep this resolution? Is there a judgmental committee inside your head telling you why this goal isn’t worth pursuing? Or a voice telling you that you are not good enough, smart enough, or capable enough to pull this off?

Any or all of those voices in your head are the voices of your inner Saboteur.

Your Saboteur is sure it has your best interests at heart. This part of our brain is afraid of being hurt, uncomfortable, or disappointed, and works very hard to keep us feeling safe. Unfortunately, that perception of safety comes at the expense of our ability to change.

And New Year’s commitments are the articulations of a desire for change.

As soon as we claim our desire for change, our resistance shows up and tries to keep us safe. 

If resistance to change or judgment about your capability to change is surfacing, what can you do to help you achieve your goals?

Become Friends with the Fear

Fear is the emotion we feel when there is something that we should be paying attention to because it might hurt us. It is a warning sign and a pointer.

When fear surfaces, try thanking it for bringing your attention to the issue so you can do a proper risk assessment. Then look at the facts and see if there is a way you can decrease the risk.

Increase your Ease around Feeling Afraid

Any emotion shifts if it is fully experienced. Looking directly at my experience and noticing all the sensations in my body that are happening when my mind is overwhelmed with fear, I become aware that although the fear is real, it is only part of my experience. There is another part of me that is observing my fear. And this part of me is able to be with the fear without being driven by the fear.

As I observe my experience of fear, I become more capable of allowing the fear to exist without allowing it to stop me from taking action.

When I am comfortable with my fear, I can take the incremental steps that lead me towards my dreams.

What can you do if you are not making progress toward your goals?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you need help becoming comfortable with the fear that accompanies change?
  • Do you need support identifying the specific actions required to make the change?
  • Do you need accountability to make sure you follow through with your plans?

Once you have identified where your challenge lies you can turn your attention to doing something to increase your likelihood of success and rally any support you need.