Does This Sound Like You?
You set goals for yourself, but if you don’t “feel like it,” you do nothing about them? You have plans for the day, but if you wake up in the morning feeling down and depressed, you ditch them for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a day of channel surfing instead? You promise yourself you’re going to work on treating your family members nicer, but in the heat of the moment, you start yelling?
Who Left Your Mood In Charge Here?
If you’re ever going to stop procrastinating and achieve those goals you’ve been shooting for, then you are going to have to consider making a truly profound change in how you do things: You have to stop leaving your mood in charge.
This Might Not Apply To You, Yet…
If you suffer from debilitating depression or severe anxiety that prevents you from functioning normally, then this advice is not for you. Not yet, anyway. You need to get professional help, first, before you can make this profound change. Expecting yourself to ignore your mood to get things done just isn’t fair if you can’t even get out of bed in the morning or out the door. Make an appointment with a good therapist first, so you can regain normal functioning.
Behavior Does NOT Depend On Mood
To stop letting your mood call the shots, you have to do a couple of things differently. First, you have to understand that your behavior is NOT dependent upon your mood. Really! You can be angry without losing your temper. You can be productive without feeling motivated. You can follow through on plans or goals you set for yourself, even if you don’t “feel like it.”
Who’s In Charge Here?
Second, after you understand that your behavior is NOT dependent upon your mood, you need to decide who’s in charge. I love old black-and-white movies where some kind of chaos is going on and the authority figure bursts in, demanding to know “Who’s in charge here?!” Yeah!!!
That’s what I want to know: Who’s in charge? You Are!
Weren’t you the one who set that goal? Weren’t you the one who made those plans? Weren’t you the one who decided that you needed to make that change in the first place? The answer is yes. Yes, you were the one. You are in charge. Your mood didn’t decide anything. You did.
Can You Just Trust Yourself?
It doesn’t really make sense to allow your mood to call the shots when you were the one who made all the plans when you weren’t “in a mood.” Can you trust that you knew what you were doing when you set those goals? Can you trust that you know what is best for you… better than your temporary mood does?
Take Back Your Personal Power
Try going about your plans even if you’re not feeling as confident or happy when you wake up as you were when you made those plans. Just try it and see what happens. Try moving forward with the steps toward your goal even though you aren’t feeling overly motivated. Try following through, regardless of your mood. See if your mood changes. See if your mood settles down and lets you get to work on your goals.
It sure feels good to be the one in charge!
Dr. Anita Sanz, PhD, Psychologist
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