Values and Goals Jessica del Rosso, MSW, RSW www.alongsidetrauma.ca
So often survivors of trauma feel they have lost their sense of self and their life direction. Sometimes, breaking down next steps can feel less overwhelming when it is made into manageable chunks. I have created a following worksheet for survivors who may feel disconnected from themselves and their lives. It is not the answer, but a start.
Living a fulfilled life is connected to feeling passionate about what we do in our everyday routine. Those of us who struggle with anxiety may become overwhelmed with to-do lists and feeling that everything needs to be completed within the next few hours. This can lead to us feeling exhausted both mentally and physically and lead us to wondering “Why don’t I feel happy?”.
One of the therapeutic tools I love guiding people through is understanding and knowing their values. Focusing on my values has led to me making decisions based on my overall goals and what is important to me, rather than doing things because my anxiety tells me to.
When I feel overwhelmed with several tasks, instead of burning myself out trying to achieve them all, I now ask myself, “Out of all these things on my to-do list, which ones do I value the most?”. For example, do I value getting the dishes done or spending time with my dog more? Do I value going to a yoga class or color coordinating my closet?
When we begin doing the things we value more in our lives, we begin feeling more fulfilled.
What is it that you value? Friends, self-care, spending time with a loved one, spending time on a particular hobby? The more we think about what we value, the better we get at making the things we value, our priority. The things that become our priority, then take us closer to our overall goals.
Take some time to write out a few things that you value and that are important to you. See if you can focus on doing these activities a bit more.
Manifestation and affirmations are another great way of achieving your goals.
Manifestation is the act of putting out energy for the things you want to achieve. The energy you put out, is the energy you attract. If your anxiety causes you to think negatively about things or leads you to believing you will never reach your goals, you will probably find yourself in what I call the “Anxiety tornado”. A whirlwind of “What ifs” and “Why can’t I?”. But, if you begin to retrain your brain (YES! This IS possible. It is called brain plasticity!) to focus on manifesting your dreams and goals, you will start to notice a shift in what happens and the mindset you have.
The changes may not be dramatic, but focusing on what you want to achieve and taking steps every day to make those goals a reality attracts that energy.
Try to wake up every morning and image what your goals are. Then, make a plan for what small actions you will take to make that happen. The actions may look different every day.
Steps I will take today to get me closer to my goal:
Affirmations are a great way to begin re-training your brain to think positively and attract positive energy into your life to achieve your goals. The idea behind affirmations, is that you say out loud what you want to happen, as if it already were. Again, the idea is to attract the energy you hope to receive into your life.
Some popular affirmations are;
- “I am surrounded by loving friends and family”
- “I attract abundance in every way”
- “I am financially secure”
- “I love my job”
- “Every day takes me closer to my dreams and goals”
Saying your affirmations every day is a great addition to your manifestation and value setting practice.
List some affirmations: