Many issues we face would make much more sense if we considered them self-punishment.
At least we’d be starting from a practical place.
Instead, most of us try solve problems by complaining. Then we play an endless, neurotic game of cat and mouse with our psyche that leads nowhere. I’ve done my share of this.
Let’s stop the shenanigans and cut to the chase.
So, you feel bad about yourself. I can relate.
Are you punishing yourself directly or indirectly? Are you punishing yourself by making your life more difficult than it needs to be? Are you punishing yourself by hanging out with the wrong people, being in the wrong job, by doing exactly what you don’t want to be doing with your life?
1. Procrastinating your work until you feel overwhelmed, helpless and incompetent?
2. Making yourself fat by overeating every day?
3. Running away from wonderful opportunities to succeed?
4. Inviting untrustworthy, hurtful or unavailable people into your life?
5. Wasting your time doing stuff that doesn’t matter?
6. Drinking or doing drugs too much?
7. Refusing to ask for help when you need it?
8. Speaking out of turn or constantly putting your foot in your mouth?
9. Going along with others even when you disagree?
10. Withholding your true feelings so that nobody can really connect with you?
11. Allowing yourself to live in a disorganized, messy house that makes you feel bad?
12. Refusing to cooperate with others until they reject you?
13. Saying yes to every potential obligation until you feel like collapsing from the stress?
14. Denying yourself the opportunity to live your purpose?
15. Sabotaging your romantic relationships?
16. Shying away from potential friendships or isolating yourself?
17. Spending too much money?
18. Indulging in anger or resentment?
19. Telling yourself that happiness is a fantasy that can’t last?
20. Or, are you simply criticizing yourself endlessly, telling yourself what an awful failure you are and that nobody would ever approve of you if they only knew the truth?
Self-punishment. It’s an epidemic. And there are unlimited ways to do it.
We may be so attached to self-punishment that we literally cannot control ourselves.
It has to end. It must end or we will allow our entire lives to go by without any period of lasting inner peace. We’ll just keep punishing ourselves until our dying breath unless….unless we stop it!
Just stop. This is the most obvious solution, right?
Of course, so often we are more committed to self-punishment than our conscious willpower can handle. We can’t stop it because, deep down, we know it is obvious thing to do; what comes naturally and automatically. And it feels wrong (or weird or impossible or foreign) to stop with all the angst and simply enjoy life.
The thought of letting go and being happy – or doing what we truly want to do with our lives – brings up all kinds of fear, guilt, and justifications for why we “can’t.” It brings up painful thoughts, such as, “You don’t deserve it.”
In other words, you may not believe you deserve to live any other way. That’s the awful message we give ourselves. Self-punishment.
Even stranger, often we get a subtle thrill out of it all. Or, we act as if enduring the punishment is some badge of honor. In short, our pain can make us feel special and we don’t want to give up that twisted sentiment.
So, we keep it up.
But think about this: What if you had no part of you bent on criticizing yourself, hold yourself back or believe you are less than? In other words, we wave a magic wand and, presto! You are healed and fully capable of living in peace, joy and success. Do you want that? What would your life be like?
I don’t know.
I can’t imagine – it seems like such a foreign idea.
I’d have to be someone else.
Yes, self-punishment can become so ingrained that it feels like “who we are.” Even so, you need to stop punishing yourself if you want to be consistently happy, right?
And you can do it, even if you don’t believe it.
If so, I have a proposal. Let me help you with four things:
1. Discover your personal form of self-punishment.
2. Tap into the deep, positive resources (which you may have forgotten about) that you’ll need to stop punishing yourself.
3. Create a specific, step-by-step plan to neutralize your mental and emotional self-punishment patterns.
4. Follow your plan and achieve greater peace of mind and freedom from self-punishment.
I propose to do this over email, as your personal coach. Over roughly a month, I’ll assess your individual situation, give you specific assignments and personally guide you through the process that I have designed for letting go of self-punishing tendencies.
• A quiet, non-punishing mind
• Greater self-respect
• More motivation to do what you want
• Clearer boundaries (ability to say no)
• Increased self-discipline
It will take some effort on your part, for sure.
I’ll ask you to learn some things. I’ll require you to think deeply. And I’ll expect your best effort.
It will be worth it.
During this program, I will be giving you access to specific learning modules, with special instructions that relate to your personal situation. This is a tour of our best stuff.
In this program you’ll get:
10 personal, non-automated emails from me with questions, instructions and access to the learning material that applies specifically to you. We may email back and forth many more than 10 times. The foundation of the program is 10 customized emails, though.
I’ll read every email you send, personally and confidentially, and give you an individual reply to move you forward. The entire program will take about a month, estimated, depending on how quickly you respond and complete your assignments.
If you tend to be mentally or emotionally self-punishing, I hope you’ll join me so that you can take a sure step toward relief.
Other things you should know:
• All emails are secure and confidential.
• You do not need to use your real name if you don’t want to.
• There will be no phone calls or Skype sessions.
• This is an individual (not a group) program.
• You will not be required to read or write lengthy emails.
• If for some reason this program is not for you, then I’ll refund your fee.
Of course, this program is not mental health counseling or to be used to treat medical conditions and I cannot accept clients with severe mental health issues, drug addiction or who are considering committing crimes or suicide.
Basically, if your life is stable, but you have some of the tendencies we’ve discussed here, this program will be a sure step forward. If it’s not I’ll refund your fee, no questions asked.
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