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Saturday, August 4, 2012

What's Holding You Back From Achieving Your Goals?

Does this sound familiar?  You've thought about your goals.  You've written them down.  Maybe you've even set a time line for when you want to accomplish your goals.  Everything looks good on paper.  But when it comes to actually taking steps to implement your plans, you feel like something is holding you back.  You're stuck.  Whenever you try to take steps to begin your plan, you're stymied.  Then, you feel frustrated and confused as to what's holding you back.

It's frustrating and confusing to feel held back from achieving your goals.

There are many people who come up with great goals for themselves.  They're great at coming up with ideas, writing them down, and organizing their ideas. But when it comes to actually taking the necessary steps to accomplishing their goals, they freeze in their tracks.

There can be many reasons why someone gets stuck when it comes to taking action.  The reasons are as varied as the individuals who have this problem.

The following is a composite vignette about someone who has problems taking steps towards his goals:

Barbara:
Barbara dropped out of college when she was 20.  She spent most of his freshman year in college partying.  Although she did very well in high school without having to make much of an effort, all of her partying and cutting classes caused her to be on academic probation in college.  She realized she wasn't ready to be in college, so she dropped out.

Barbara felt very ashamed that she left college and that she had been on academic probation. She had always been an "A" student. She felt that she had let down his family.  They were shocked to hear that Barbara had problems in college.

Not knowing what else to do, Barbara found a job in a retail store.  After a year of being a sales associate, Barbara was very bored at work.  During that time, she learned to be more responsible and she began to yearn for more intellectual stimulation.  She realized that she could probably work her way up in the retail business, but she wasn't interested.  So, she did some soul searching, talked to her family and friends, and she realized that she wanted to become a teacher.  In order for her to become a teacher, she needed to return to college.

As part of her goal setting, Barbara made a list of everything that she needed to do to reapply to her college.  She obtained all the information that she needed from her college, and all she needed to do was fill out the forms.  But whenever she tried to sit down to fill out the forms, she hesitated.  She kept finding other things to do, none of which were important.

With the deadline for submitting her paperwork looming, Barbara realized that her continued procrastination would cause her to miss the fall semester and she would have to wait another year to reapply.  Even the thought of remaining in her boring job didn't spur her on to take care of the necessary paperwork. She tried talking to her friends and family.  Her best friend offered to sit with her for moral support.  But Barbara found that she just couldn't do it.  Every time she sat down and attempted to complete the paperwork, the result was always the same.

Finally, Barbara's mother suggested that she get professional help because time was passing, and it was clear that she had some sort of emotional block.  Barbara chose to see a psychotherapist who was trained in clinical hypnosis and Somatic Experiencing.  Working with hypnosis and Somatic Experiencing, Barbara discovered and confronted her shame and fear of failing again. She was able to build her confidence and overcome her procrastination.

When she returned to college, Barbara had a new appreciation for being there.  She felt she had a purpose and  she was able to work on her goal to become a teacher without feeling fear or shame.

Fear and Shame Can Hold You Back:
Fear can be a powerful emotion that can stop you in your tracks if you don't know how to overcome it. The combination of fear and shame can be even more powerful.

Getting Help:  Talk Therapy Might Not be Enough
Often, talk therapy only gets you so far in overcoming the emotional obstacles that hold you back from accomplishing your goals.  For many people, mind-body oriented psychotherapy, like clinical hypnosis or Somatic Experience, is much  more effective for overcoming these emotional blocks.

To find out more about clinical hypnosis and Somatic Experiencing, you can visit the professional websites for these treatment modalities:

Clinical hypnosis:  ASCH: American Society of Clinical Hypnosis

Somatic Experiencing: Somatic Experiencing Treatment Institute

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, Somatic Experiencing and EMDR therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples.  I've helped many clients overcome the emotional blocks that keep them from leading fulfilling lives.  

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006.

Photo Credit: Photo Pin




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