Affirm how far you’ve come

hqdefaultFor all those interested interested in self-help, there is a show on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) called Oprah’s Lifeclass. It really is the epitome of self-help. Every episode is hosted by a psychologist, life coach, or some type of person within the general field. Every episode also has a particular topic: pain, relationships, shame, guilt, or a number of other emotions.

The video I posted here is with one of my favorite life coaches, Iyanla Vanzant, helping a man who was formerly addicted to drugs but has been sober for a number of years. She asks the guy in the beginning whether he’s ever stopped and affirmed the fact that he’s been sober for 8 years. I mean think about this. It’s a pretty powerful statement. So often we’re always thinking about What’s next? What step should I take? Where am I going? Why am I not there yet? In the midst of asking these questions, we fail to recognize the distance and progress we’ve made thus far.

It’s important to stop and gain some perspective to look at the steps we have made instead of all the steps we have left. Have you ever taken a hike and kept going up that hill then suddenly stop to look at where you’ve been? You take your eyes off of the hill just in front to enjoy the view from the top of the hill you just climbed. It’s the same thing. It’s those moments of perspective in our life that makes it all worth it because it shows “WOW, I really have come a long ways.” So often we get caught up in trying to move forward but in doing so get stuck in where we are because we don’t take the time to actually recognize how far we’ve made it.

There’s a balancing act of being grateful for how far you’ve come and then using that to leverage your own betterment. This leads to what Iyanla talks about towards the end of the video where she says to Steve, “you’re addicted to your story.” We can get stuck in our mind by the ways we think. We create patterns within our own lives and repeat the same (often) negative affirmations to ourselves. Often what therapy is about is breaking those affirmations for more positive ones. That may involve a bit of mindfulness and some distancing to recognize what is the story in your head.

What thoughts go through your head when _________ triggers you? How does that then affect the next step you take in your life? Think about your thoughts and behaviors and how are those 2 connected? Let us know how this applies to your life.

Rubin Khoddam, PhD Clinical Psychology student at University of Southern California, founder of Psych Connection.

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Categories: Blogs by Rubin, Therapy, Videos

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