By Jennifer Eulberg, MA, LPC
In a retro move, harking back to my 6th grade Toastmasters days, I will begin with a dictionary definition of our word today: succeed. Succeed means to achieve the desired aim or result. A “success” is a person who achieves the desired aim or result.
Unfortunately, many of us are guided by vague metrics of success framed by everyone but ourselves. Yet, despite the dubious input placed upon us, our self-esteem often hinges on those definitions. Consider the circular nature of this thought process: “To be worthy of esteem I must be successful. Yet I don’t deserve success because I am not worthy.” We are now in a Catch-22.
Luckily there are ways out of this trap. I often utilize a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tool of Defining Terms to challenge unhelpful thinking patterns. Defining Terms aims to remove the vagueness from the automatic thoughts to provide a way forward rather than just around and around again. Thus, asking yourself how you specifically define what success means to you. Admittedly, discovering that personalized definition is also a journey. It can be a difficult one to navigate.
To end much the way I began, I would like to share a quote from one of my colleagues, Robin Switzer, Ed.D., LPC, NCC: “This might not give me answers but it gives me more questions to ask”.
JENNIFER EULBERG, MA, LPC
Welcome Jennifer, our new blogger!
Jennifer is a counselor at Sandhill who specializes in depression, self-esteem, and grief & loss. Get to know Jennifer as she shares her perspectives on life, contemplates value themes, and offers gentle encouragement.
THANK YOU to Stefanie Pisarkiewicz, LPC for her blog contributions from November 2014 - February 2019!
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