Shadow Boxing

I have been incredibly hard on myself lately. Focused far more on the gap between where I am and where I want to be, than on the gains I have made.

This led to me becoming increasingly discouraged and overwhelmed, despite the fact that there is much on the surface of my life to celebrate in terms of progress. Something within me felt that I was still not enough.

It seems incredibly silly in theory to think that you would beat yourself into a bloody pulp. Yet this is what I was doing to myself. My rational goals collided with my shadow instincts, and the shadow wins the fight.

I realised today just how much expectation and judgement I was putting on myself when I noticed a friend’s response to a message, where I suggested something he should be doing. He resisted that suggestion, and in his resistance I could see my projection. I was projecting my own high standards on to this friend, the same standards that led to my pain.

The inverse approach is to relax my expectations. While I may desire to change my shadow instincts, attempting to do so with brute force will only lead to blood. Gentle progress is the only path to change.

Taking small steps towards what I desire and acknowledging even the most minute actions will eventually lead to shifts in behaviour. I am doing this with my career — I am undertaking study that will assist in my career progression and this is going really well. I am going out to activities far more than before. I have better control over my finances and my spending. I am looking for ways to learn to shift my anxiety around food.

Small changes can be difficult to monitor, but I do not need to be hyper-aware of the progress. I simply need to keep my intentions towards those things that I want, and then give myself some credit when I do take some action.

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