When I’m at a crossroads, I like to ask myself—do I believe this path is leading me on a path of self-construction or destruction?
It sounds dramatic, but I can apply this question to everyday things like my food choices or how I’m going to spend my time or my money. But also those more long-term choices like career moves and relationships.
There are so many factors that go unaccounted for that it's impossible to know the exact outcome of our choices until after they’re made. But intention or the lack of one guides the way. And reflection gives us the ability to do the checks and balances after we make a move.
Sometimes, what appeared worthwhile from the outside, doesn’t feel as good on the inside. As long as we take that experience as a lesson and readjust accordingly— that’s constructive.
If, when we look back at the choices we’ve made and see times we’ve been stuck in self-destruction mode—that’s a good time to be curiously compassionate.
What beliefs were we or are we still holding about ourselves that say we deserve to be on that path?
Did we receive messages as children that told us we weren’t worthy or capable of trekking on the path to self-care and betterment?
Did our loved ones and peers provide us with this map?
Is there a genetic component that makes it easier for us to go down that road?
Perhaps we just need to reroute and link up with new trail buddies that are going down a path that fits our needs better.
Starting as early as a toddler, I was told that I was “bad”. I was told that I was stupid. Worthless. Deserved to die. And I believed it. Even though I had some family members and teachers tell me otherwise, I could never quite shake those self-images. It took until leaving my house, surrounding myself with loving social support and getting some much-needed therapy to firmly switch the toggle in my brain to self-construction mode.
I hear similar stories all of the time. And the truth is, the more stressful life gets, the easier it is for us to switch back or double down into those old self-destructive habits. That’s because it’s easier to go downhill than it is to trudge up a steep one. But when we start making the climb at our own pace without self-shaming, we start reaping the rewards of the climb. The views get better. We feel invigorated. Our muscles start getting used to the effort. And these new habits become our preference. Having good company to join us on the climb makes it all the more joyful.
So what does self-construction look like? It’s different for everyone. It depends on what we value the most. Those values are what build us up. Making choices that lead us to contentment is how we know we're on the right path. Contentment with our health. Contentment with our relationships. Contentment with the world we create around us.
Next time you're at a fork in the road, I hope you choose the path to self-construction and that you continue to build the life you love for all of your days!
If you are looking for someone to help you get on your path to self-construction-- book a free consultation with me today. I would be honored to be of service.