Mental Health and Achieving Your Dreams

Where to Start

The practice of setting and achieving your dreams can be ultra-rewarding and ultra-stressful, and even more so if you are dealing with mental health issues. Whether your goals are centered around academic progress, career advancement, relationship improvement, or financial growth, as you begin outlining them, it helps to write them down and then break them into smaller, more attainable steps. Further, have patience with yourself during the process and allow yourself the time it will take to truly achieve your dreams.

Things to Remember:

  1. Be reasonable. Again, breaking your goals down into steps can be helpful to avoid feeling overwhelmed. It can be a wonderful thing to have big dreams and plans for your life, but be sure to take things one step at a time. Moreover, recognize that the road to achieving your dreams is not linear, so be reasonable in your expectations. You may find yourself taking steps forward and backward

  2. Change the way you look at things. Particularly in individuals whose self-worth is determined by their academic or vocational performance, it is important to be learning-oriented, that is, having the tendency to focus on what you can learn from a situation, opposed to its outcome directly (Crocker & Bartmess, 2004). Evaluating your experiences in such a way that allows you to consider learning a positive outcome, especially in instances of failure, does much to shield your self-esteem in the face of undesirable outcomes. Sometimes, our end goals when we begin a task are showing a certain level of performance or outdoing other people around us, but looking at things this way makes failure especially devastating. Instead, lend your attention to growth, lessons, and improvement, so that every step of your journey holds a milestone.

  3. Involve Others. Finding support through friends, family, coworkers, and mentors can help you feel less overwhelmed. Further, if they are willing, they can let you know when you are possibly being too hard on yourself and lend you help if you ever need it.

  4. Reward yourself. As you begin fulfilling the smaller requirements that will eventually make up the big picture, allow yourself to feel accomplished. Achieving your dreams is a lifelong process. Your goals and desires may shift throughout life, so in addition to the major milestones, all the steps you’ve taken along the way should be celebrated.

The Issue of Self-Sabotage­­

For many reasons, we sometimes get in our own way of accomplishing our goals. Some of these reasons stem from poor self-worth. If we do not feel that we deserve the things we are working for and achieving, like love, success, or happiness, we may do things to impede progress. This is because people generally like consistency, and having negative feelings about oneself is not consistent with achievement. Therefore, removing the achievement alleviates cognitive dissonance. Fear of failure can also contribute to tendencies of self-sabotage. Sometimes it feels better to intentionally ruin an opportunity than to lose when you are genuinely trying.

Overcoming the internal processes that lead you to self-sabotage likely involves changing the way you think about yourself or the way you think about failure. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is one effective method for doing either, and there are many others. As stated previously, it is important to not view failure as something to be afraid of or overly discouraged by. Instead, accept it as a natural part of the growth process. Moreover, view yourself as a competent and deserving individual. Granted, this is much easier said than done, but it is a worthwhile practice to learn, despite how long it may take.

Bear in mind that needing help to change your mindset and achieve your dreams is perfectly okay, so if you would like support, please schedule a free consultation now to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling . MStress Management Pittsburgh

I can’t thank Sara Makin and her wonderful staff at Makin Wellness enough for putting together this hugely impactful article. And for allowing me the honor of publishing it here for my readers and I to enjoy and learn from it. Thank you, Sara! You are indeed a wonderful breath of fresh air!


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