Let’s start at the end . . . result.
What do you hope to accomplish by keeping yourself “on the hook”? Perhaps your thought process might be – “If I keep myself ‘on the hook’ –
- I’m taking full responsibility and learning from this pain.
- I’ll be more responsible in the future if I feel this discomfort.
- I won’t make that mistake again because this is really miserable.
- I’ll be more disciplined.
- I’ll atone for my mistakes through self-condemnation and self-shaming.
Take inventory. How effective is that strategy?
The last time you made a choice not in alignment with your highest and best and held yourself “on the hook” for that “stupid decision” –
- Did you really take full responsibility and change course?
- Did you actually become more responsible or repeat the same painful cycle?
- Did you make the same mistake again, repeating another internal rant of self-condemnation and self-shaming?
- Did you experience a sense of fulfillment that comes with a repeated pattern of right choices?
- Did you feel a relief of joy following your “atonement”?
I’m guessing you didn’t really get what you want.
So let’s continue to the end . . . result . . . that you really want . . .
What outcome do you really want?
You want to continue to improve your quality of life. You want to grow and expand. You want to live peacefully with yourself. You want to be proud of your choices and actions. You want to live your life in a meaningful and purposeful way. You want to put your head on the pillow at night, feeling content and satisfied. You want to wake up in the morning, feeling a great connection to yourself.
What do you need to say to yourself to free yourself from the hook?
No good thing happens when I hold myself in condemnation and shame. I only feel disheartened, discouraged, and depleted. No lasting change happens. I only feel discouraged and beat-up on.
What I want is to feel is confident in my ability to change and to sustain change. I want to breathe easy; to make a new, fresh commitment to myself from a place of compassion and love. I want to be able to look at myself patiently to understand what unmet needs are there for me to attend to in my own self-care, so as to show up as I truly want to show up.
I’m much more motivated by inspiration, encouragement, and compassion. When there is patient understanding, I’m eager to reset and move forward.
I know that I am designed to be best fueled with joy, contentment, satisfaction, peace, and light-heartedness. My engine runs smooth when I am living in alignment with who I truly am. I know this is the deepest desire of my heart. I choose to compassionately, patiently, and tenderly re-direct myself back to my highest purpose because I want to live the highest quality of life that I can create.
What happens when you let yourself “off the hook”?
Connecting to the truth of who you really are; being patient, forgiving, understanding and compassionate with yourself; and seeking to understand how to most effectively meet your needs through gentle reflection and nurturing self-care opens up your energy to move forward and make change that is sustainable in truly the easiest way.