Ask people what first comes to mind when they think of April, and they’ll probably say April Fool’s Day. And in many ways, we are our own April Fools, because we don’t realise how special we actually are. Our default setting is to self-denigrate so we don’t appear over confident, but maybe it’s time to stop that, and celebrate our strengths and our own special brand of unique. These are just some of the ways we tend to fool ourselves – and the fixes to stop it in its tracks and become our own best advocate.
It’s all my fault!
The Fool: When something goes wrong for ourselves or those close to us, we tend to blame ourselves, even when we are blameless. We take on at least some of the responsibility, and play the ‘If Only’ game. If only I had/hadn’t done that/said that, it would have all worked out better. Sounds familiar? It’s an understandable reaction from the caring, nurturing person you are, but it’s totally wrong.
The Fix: You can’t know everything, because you are human, not superhuman. You can only base your choices and actions on what you know, and you have no control over other people involved in the situation. Next time you blame yourself for something, ask yourself honestly if you could have done anything different, given the information you had to work with, that might have resulted in a different outcome. If the answer is no, then it’s not your fault, so don’t play the blame game. It’s a game with no winners, and it stops you from reaching your full potential.
I’m a failure!
The Fool: Things didn’t go to plan, not just once, but several times. This is an extension of ‘It’s all my fault,’ but it’s more insidious, because you are casting yourself as a failure. If you expect to fail, you will attract failure, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy under the Law of Attraction. The Universe can’t distinguish our fears from our favourites, it only knows that if we focus on something, it must be important to us, so it sends us more of what we focus on, good or bad.
The Fix: If everything went right every time, we’d never learn, because we’d never stretch ourselves. One of my mother’s favourite sayings was ‘Anyone who never made a mistake, never made anything.’ You are not a failure, you’re a Work in Progress, a Perpetual Experimenter. It’s a matter of perspective. You had the courage and confidence to try something new. The fact that it didn’t work this time doesn’t mean it never will. Remember that.
I can’t say No, it’s unkind
The Fool: It’s in our nature to help others whenever we can, and we’re flattered when people trust us enough to ask for something. We don’t like to say No, because we don’t like to see people struggle, and we don’t want them to think badly of us. And if we do say no, we feel guilty about it. And we really shouldn’t!
The Fix: Never saying No means two things: you have no boundaries, and you always put the needs of others before your own best interests. Far from losing you friends, saying No when it’s inconvenient will gain respect. It shows you have healthy boundaries. If saying No seems too drastic for you at first, you can always offer an alternative. ‘Sorry, I can’t look after your dog tomorrow, but I can do it the day after’ is a perfectly reasonable alternative to cancelling your own plans for someone else’s benefit. Once you’ve said No a few times, it gets easier, and if people can’t accept that, then maybe they don’t deserve a place in your life. You were not born to be a people pleaser; you came in this world to make a difference, not to be a convenience.
If you recognise yourself in any of these scenarios, it’s time to take action. It’s all very commendable to want to be the best version of you possible, but when your efforts involve self-criticism as described above, you really are fooling yourself.
In order to be happy and fulfilled, we need to appreciate our own efforts, congratulate ourselves on our wins, however small, and learn from the losses without dwelling on them.
It’s all about the energy, and when we self-criticise, we are coming from the negative energy of fear and lack. We can shift that to a positive in the ways mentioned above, so that we attract more positivity into our lives.
The Law of Attraction is powerful and it’s real. Remember that next time you’re about to beat yourself up unnecessarily. Don’t be an April Fool – spring into your best self and love your life. You know you want to!
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