Much of the anxiety many people suffer results from their perception that they are not living up to their own expectations.
They know they are capable of more but think things aren't happening fast enough for them.
We can criticise ourselves for being what we see as an under-achiever. We can become our own bully. We are our own worst enemies.
A large part of the problem lies in the way we compare ourselves to other people.
We see them as achieving the success we desire.
But the core of the problem is the way we compare the person we want to be with the person we actually are.
The answer lies in realistic targets and expectations and persistent effort.
The danger likes in expecting too much of ourselves too quickly.
Anxiety and stress can turn commitment into catastrophe. Incentives need to be nurtured; positivity encouraged.
If we have a clear picture of an achievable target and understand that it's a potholed path linking point A to point B the best and most sensible strategy is to put one foot in front of the other.
It's a conscious effort made daily. For some it's a conscious effort made hourly. But it's worth every single ounce of effort.
Planning is important but it's in the doing that things really get done.
- Gary Bentley is a Rural Aid counsellor.