Life assessments are reality check-ups. I believe that an unexamined self represents a 50% chance of failing at pursuing your dreams and aspirations. The other half is about examining your life and truly seeing how you are doing. Last year, I did a life assessment which changed my life. I ended up writing a brief workbook called “Start Living Today“. This workbook guides you through a set of exercises that help you making a life assessment and set goals. There is something missing in it though which is what you need to do next from a psychological standpoint in order to accomplish your goals and life’s vision. That’s what this blog is for – to talk about the next step.
As some of you may know, I did a great job with some of my goals. I got a part-time job at a school that restored my belief that it is possible to be happy at work and I began a very disciplined workout routine which I divided in cycles of 12-weeks. I built both physical and psychological stamina. By the moment I was mastering everything and getting ready to move onto new chapters in my life, the pandemic got to all of us. Today I know I could have managed its impact better, but as months went by helplessness kicked-in and my routines and wellbeing declined gradually. I went from balanced and centered to scattered and overwhelmed. I went back to “the crazy eight” and back to being an enneagram type two.
I stopped assessing my life and I got enmeshed with everything and everyone. If I hadn’t some drama going on, someone around had it and my stamina would go down the sink. If I was the one living through drama, someone around would have their ducks in a row and I would be the bad cop. This endless cycle soon convinced me that it was impossible to have progress and truly evolve as a human being. It even got me thinking that trying was worthless, because no matter what I did I would end up in the same place over and over again. At least, that’s what it was looking like.
Thankfully, I asked myself the following question: what the heck is going on here? I’m not supposed to be in this carousel, it’s going too fast and I’m about to eject and be projected aimlessly into space. So I looked for answers and I tried to learn more about myself and what was going on. That’s when I saw it. I allowed my overwhelming feelings take too much space. I was good at looking at my thoughts, but I hadn’t mastered my strong emotions yet. I kept over identifying myself with them and if my emotions were “crazy”, then I had to be unconsciously “crazy” and live like “crazy”. Once I realised, there was just too much craziness going on for only one person.
We all have specific triggers and issues that lead us to “crazy” emotional states. Strong emotions are it for me. I feel for myself and others so deeply that I never really stayed consistent on my goals and routines for a long period of time. I mean, I managed to have six great months before the pandemic, but what happened when the world fell apart? I went down with it. I collected emotions, my own and other people’s. I kept everyone’s craziness in my pocket right on top of mine. To make things worse, I activated the self-blame and victimization chip which is not useful at all when your goal is to become a more self-actualised person. This chip makes me throw away all the good work I’ve possibly done and engage in a never ending poor me narrative that only takes away my personal power.
In order to evolve, we first need to get out of the carousel. We do that by slowing down, taking a step back and becoming the observer. Second, we need to put strategies in place that helps us go back to our center, because when we are centered, we don’t allow thoughts and emotions to control or run us. Third, we make an assessment of our life and of ourselves. This type of work will allow us to see where we are and where we want to arrive. Fourth, we need to work on being consistent and pushing ourselves beyond any disempowering thought or emotion because if we allow ourselves to stick with them for far too long they hinder our performance and consistency, which is the fuel we need to really accomplish our goals and life’s vision. Without it, our plans never deliver results.