Monday, June 21, 2010

Self Care Primer: Volitional Self Care

“If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.” - Lewis Carroll

Where are you going?

This question is the crux of volitional self care. Wikipedia defines volition as the “cognitive process by which an individual decides on and commits to a particular course of action”

We all have dreams and wishes and ideals that we strive toward, but there are many reasons why we may not act on them:

• We also have our lives; commitments and responsibilities that interfere with the pursuit of those dreams.

• We don’t know what we want for sure.

• We know what we want, but we don’t know how to get there

• We know how to get there, but for some reason we don’t think we can do it.

• We have tried and failed and haven’t been able to start again.

Whatever your reason…know this:

• Many times our dreams contain the manifestation of our greatest personal gifts. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to take time to explore and to develop these and to share them with the world.

• If you don’t know what you want for sure, allocate time each day (or week) to think about it. Set aside time to dream. Sometimes it helps to think about what you DON”T want first. I also know of many successful people that found their way by revisiting the aspirations of their youth; what did you want to be when you grew up? What did you dream about before all the real life commitments and responsibilities colored your plans? What do you enjoy doing now?

• If you know what you want, but don’t know how to get there: Find a mentor. Talk to someone who is doing what you dream of. Most people who have achieved success are happy to share their stories and give advice. If you can’t find a mentor, ask friends what they would do. Someone will give you the right answer once you send a question out into the universe. Surround yourself with positive people who support and encourage you. Read books on the subject.

• In the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “You must do the thing you think you cannot!” Start with writing down what you want. Put together a road map to get there and take a step. One step will lead to another and before you know it you will be doing things you only imagined. When you challenge yourself to accomplish great things in your life, you grow- whether or not you succeed immediately or fail a hundred times before succeeding. You learn what to do and what not to do, you gain confidence. The key is to start…baby steps!

• Good for you if you have tried and failed! Pat yourself on the back! Successful people will tell you that they almost always fail more times than they succeed. It is how they find their way through uncharted territory. You tried! Do you know how many people don’t even do that??? Now, ask yourself, “What happened?” Revise your approach and try again. Do not let a failure keep you from attaining your goal!

Take some time to dream and plan!  "Becoming" is good self care.

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