Life can throw you a curveball when you least expect it. And sometimes, that curveball seems to hit you square in the face, leaving you feeling bruised and beaten.
Whether you’re having problems with your family, friends, or dating life, failure or setbacks can take a serious toll on your outlook and your wellbeing. They can knock you off your path towards improving yourself and even ruin your resolve to continue fighting on.
This can happen to all of us. But with some recognition of your progress, a new perspective, and maybe a little support from those around you, you can keep going even when you feel like giving up. The key is not to lose faith in yourself.
If I want to wait, will he dump me?
Sticking to your dating goals can become difficult for a lot of different reasons. Sara’s situation, for example, is quite common:
Sara is working towards changing her dating patterns with men because her dating life hasn’t been working out for her. The men she has dated took her for granted and often treated her poorly. Rather than taking her time to really get to know someone, she’d get very excited and rush into being emotionally and physically involved. She wanted to see if taking things more slowly and deliberately could help her dating life.
Sara recently started dating Tom, who seems like a great guy, and they really hit it off. Although she is tempted to fall into the same kind of all-in routine, she is determined to try dating differently. She’s taking it slow.
Sara’s now had a few dates with Tom. She really likes him and is very attracted to him. They have a lot in common and always have a good time together. Things have gotten more physical between them, so she knows the moment when she will have to decide whether or not to have sex with him, or to wait, will surface soon. She’s not sure how to make that decision, because she’s afraid Tom will stop asking her out if she won’t sleep with him. The idea of directly asking him whether he’s interested in a committed relationship feels very uncomfortable.
Logically, she knows that she is looking for a man who’s into her and is willing to wait until she’s ready to have sex, but nonetheless she’s very scared of losing him. Her fear about missing out on what could be a great relationship is so great that she’s seriously considering throwing all her caution to the wind and giving up on her goal of waiting to get sexually involved.
What can you do to stop from sabotaging yourself?
What should Sara do? How should you handle it when your thoughts, feelings, or actions seem to urge you to sabotage your goals?
- Acknowledge the progress you have made. Change is a difficult process and it’s very important to give yourself credit for making the effort. All those tiny, daily steps you take may seem too small to matter, but they are what will lead you to your ultimate goal. Recognizing your accomplishment, no matter how big or small, can give you the motivation to keep going.
- Learn something about yourself. There’s a reason Sara suffered from these problems in the first place. As painful as this situation is, now Sara has the chance to explore the problems that underlie her issues with men through reflection or an outside perspective. If you are in this situation, you too can write in a journal, or talk to someone like a friend, family or a therapist to help get some insight into things.
- Find the courage to change. Most people are afraid of change, even if it’s headed in the right direction. They think, “At least the old ways are comfortable and familiar”. Change is an unknown and can be unsettling and scary – but that is no reason to avoid it.
- Remember that taking two steps forward and one step backward is normal. It’s okay if you aren’t moving forward on your path all the time. Although it may sometimes feel like a mistake has set you back to square one, that is very rarely the case. Remember where you started from.
About to give up? Change your perspective.
If you feel like you’re sliding backwards or about to give up on your dating goals, try to get a different perspective. Look at the big picture, like where you were on your journey a year ago. Chances are you’re doing better than you think.
Changing your ingrained patterns is hard work but has a tremendous payoff in the end. Every time you decide not to give up, you’re one step closer to your goal. Indeed, the only way to get to your goal is to keep going. When you give up, you definitely won’t get there.
I know it’s not easy. That’s why I’m working on a short course to help you get to know yourself and streamline the process of overcoming your hurdles to a happy love life. Sign up here if you want to be one of the first to have a chance of working through my new video: How to Become Your Own Brand of Sexy in 5 Simple Steps.
In the meantime, you can start reading my book Be Your Own Brand of Sexy: A New Sexual Revolution for Women for an in-depth discussion on finding your way on the journey to your ideal relationship.