03 Sep Your turn – make a plan
No matter what happened in the past, you have the choice to determine what you will do with it in the future. That is why you have connected the dots and learned that a feeling you have about yourself now (or a feeling that you experience a lot) likely stems from a past event. Perhaps that past event has nothing to do with you, but it haunted you all this time. Maybe you have discovered a pattern about yourself, for example you choose controlling partners. Self-discovery is a magical thing – it helps you learn how to take control of your future.
Now you will set a goal, make a plan and use discipline to achieve it all.
Let’s say you do choose the concept of controlling partners as a pattern that you have and that you’d like to uncover. Or, at the very least, you’d like to figure out why the people with whom you hang out, are not that nice to you. They actually make you question who you are and at times, you don’t feel so good about who you are as a result. First, set a goal. What is your goal? Remember to make it something you will realistically achieve over time.
Goal: To stick up for myself when my friends make me feel bad or I will find another friend group. I’ll work on this for the next 2 months and make a decision during that time.
What is your goal? _______________________________________________
Next you need a precise plan so you remember what you’re doing and stick to it over time.
Plan: Each day when I hang out with my friends I will make notes of how it makes me feel. I’ll notice comments they make and how I respond. After a week or two, I’ll plan some responses that show I value myself and see how they respond. Within a month I should know where I stand with them. Based on that, I might start to hang out with some other people and see how they make me feel. If I don’t feel better about myself based on any of these people, then I’ll need to think harder about whether this is about them or the way I interpret things.
What is your plan? ________________________________________________
Next, you’ll need some discipline to stick with your plan. How are you going to do that? Jot it down.
Discipline: I’ll feel silly if I start typing notes to myself about my feelings when I’m with my friends so I’m going to get into the habit of doing that as soon as I get home from school each day, or at my locker between classes if I need to write something down so I don’t forget. I also need to come up with more words to describe my feelings other than sad or rejected.
How will you be disciplined? _____________________________________
Great. You have some direction here! You can think of yourself as a detective on a mission to figure out your feelings and to help make them better for you. At the end of this mission, you may find that your friends are not the problem – your thoughts in your head are. No worries. You just reconnect the dots, meaning do this exercise again from a new perspective. You have even more opportunity to learn something about who you are so you can set a goal, make a plan and feel better in the long run!
What advice would you give someone going through these exercises?