Step 4 - Staying Accountable to YOU
"Do something for yourself now that your future self will thank you for."
~ Author unknown
When you made a decision to engage in a psychological counselling process, you made a kind promise to yourself that you were going to take care of yourself. You decided to do something for yourself now that your future self will thank you for.
You might have said, "I want to fix what's wrong." Or, "I'm going to take care of myself from here on." Or, "I'm going to do what it takes to be happier."
Notice this. Just because you have reached step 4 doesn't mean your journey is over. The mere fact of reading this is proof of that. Embracing the opportunity to meet yourself face-to-face, you are continuing to make an investment in your deep desire to become a healthier, calmer, and more accepting person.
Step 4 is about keeping yourself accountable to your priorities.
It's about enlisting support to help you stay accountable to the changes you need. Don't try to get everything you want, because - sorry - you can't have everything! So, just focus on priorities. These are the things you need.
Remember all of us are perfectly imperfect and have the opportunities to learn - not only from what we do, but from how we care for ourselves.
Unfortunately, it's too easy to get caught up in judging others or ourselves.
"It can be the hardest thing for humans to do." - Jon Kabat-Zinn
It can feel really hard to forgive yourself for messing up. Don't expect yourself to get it right every time. It's part of being human.
Welcome to your life!
You have an opportunity to practice forgiveness and gratitude for all that is your life.
These are opportunities to learn but they don't come without effort. This is not school or a way to get good grades.
You've decided to do this for you. You're doing this for the first time, possibly the only time.
While growing and changing might feel really difficult sometimes, remember it doesn't have to be such hard work all the time! Just as we need rest from work sometimes, rest is critical to our psychological health. Remember to notice and breathe, bringing your attention back over and over and over to the fact you are alive, in all your wonder and glory! That's all, breathe and notice, notice and breathe.
As you have seen, several self-assessments and resources are available to help you hold yourself to the promise you have made to yourself to continue to improve your psychological health.
These resources are laid out step-by-step in Step 3 on Growing Your Opportunities.
A few words on prioritizing...
To get a clearer idea of your priorities for change,
Work your way through the Roadmap to Wellness, doing each of the four steps one at a time.
After each self-assessment, save your results.
Journal your work on each resource you use.
Then return to the roadmap you have laid out for yourself and decide what is the most creative, constructive way you can live right now.
For more information about one psychologist's therapy practice, click here.