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Why You Need to Push Yourself and Aim High in Everything You Do

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You’ve heard of S.M.A.R.T goals, correct? In order not to set yourself up for failure, experts tell us we need to pick goals that are smart, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-oriented. This makes sense, of course. But here is the wrinkle— S.M.A.R.T goals were created as a managerial tool in organizations. On a personal level, easily achievable aspirations are demotivating. “Easy” doesn’t equal “fulfilling.” Often, it doesn’t even give you a temporary burst of happiness.

There is just something about working hard to achieve what you aim for and getting it. Oh, the high you feel. One of the most important (but perhaps somewhat neglected) ingredients for the successful completion of anything we set our minds on is what is known as the Pygmalion effect, or the power of positive expectations.

As the story from Greek mythology goes, a legendary sculptor from Cyprus—Pygmalion— carved a statue of the ideal woman. He worshiping his creation, and he ended up falling in love with her. Then, at a festival for Aphrodite—the Greek Goddess of Love, he prayed that she sends his way a wife exactly like the statue. The Goddess heard his prayers and instead—she brought the sculpture to life. Pygmalion and her lived happily ever after.

The moral of the story is this: Positive reinforcement can lead to favorable outcomes.

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson

Fast forward a few hundred centuries—to 1963, social psychologist Robert Rosenthal created a test where he told a group of student lab workers that certain rats in the lab were “maze bright” while others were “maze dull,” when in fact the rats were separated between the groups randomly.

The results confirmed the hypothesis of the test. The students subconsciously treated the smart rats differently. That is, they expected them to behave more intelligently, and guess what they did! They learned the mazes much faster than the “dull” rats.

Similar results were later done with school children. Rather amazingly, teachers’ higher expectations of some students (after being told they had exceptional potential for growth) made the students perform better on tests, when in fact, the test groups were formed at random.

The take-home idea here is this: Expectations can alter reality.

Let’s take this a bit further and on a personal level. Setting big goals and expecting of yourself to achieve them, can give you a much better chance of actually getting there. It’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy—by anticipating a certain positive or negative outcome, we may engage in behaviors to either improve or sabotage our chances to get there.

This idea runs contrary to what we’ve been often advised by gurus and such—to not set big goals as we increase our odds of failing. Hairy goals are scary when we think about them in the absolute. They’re even a bit stressful.

But at the same time, in order to do better, we need the scary and we need the discomfort. If all is great and rosy, then why change, right?

The moral of the story is this: You must aim high and set big Empire-state goals.

“Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy.” – Brian Tracy

How you plan for achieving these is a different matter. This is where the common advice comes in—break The Goal into smaller ones—so small that you can’t say “No” to doing it. As in “taking a 5-minute walk, eat one apple a day, write one sentence”—depending on what you set out for yourself.

But here is another catch. Not every tall mountain you want to conquer should be out of reach. You need the tall ones and you need the medium ones too, just so that you can practice and move forward.

So, ideally, you want to have on your list a few Everests or K2s (number one and two highest mountains in the world). That is, the “I-must-be-crazy-dreaming-it’s-possible” kind of goals. But you must also keep some Muztagh Atas or Ismoil Somoni Peaks (number forty-nine and fifty highest mountain)—still challenging but S.M.A.R.T too.

And if something is too effortless, know that it’s not a proper goal. Find a better one. It goes down to this—when you go to the gym, do you want to have a great workout or just a good one? Do you think you will lose weight by having it easy or by breaking a sweat?

You must always remember: The magic happens when you push yourself.

In the end, remember that when you strive for high and you don’t get there, you are still in a good place. You have a better chance to get the closest alternative. Always remember how to be ready for the ups and downs that come with every success trajectory. It’s as simple as the saying: Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

How do you push yourself when you’re feeling down? Let us know how you get out of the slump. Comment below!

Evelyn Marinoff is a writer and an aspiring author. She holds a degree in Finance and Marketing,  works in client consulting, and spends her free time reading, writing and researching ideas in psychology, leadership, well-being and self-improvement. On her website evelynmarinoff.com, she writes tips and pieces on self-enhancement and confidence. You can also find her on Twitter at @Evelyn_Marinoff.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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