This was first published on KSL.com
Part of me hates the holidays because the family gatherings end up making me feel horrible about myself and I really don’t need more of that. I already struggle with feeling I’m not good enough so add in my relatives, who are all more successful and have perfect families, with tons of expensive presents and it’s no fun at all. Anything I can do to feel better about myself when around them all?
During the Holiday season many of us find ourselves feeling more down than up. We all want to be present and spend time with our family, we just don’t want the conflict, confrontation, feelings of jealousy and inferiority that usually accompany these events. Fortunately a simple shift in mindset could help you to get through the holidays without any negative feelings.
The first step is to understand where the negative feelings come from. You (and everyone else on the planet) are suffering from a severe case of Fear of Failure (the fear that you aren’t good enough). Everyone does battle with this fear, to some degree, on a daily basis. But the holidays can trigger you more than any other time of the year. When your fear of failure gets triggered, your emotions, thinking and behavior can get negative fast. We all exhibit our worst behavior when we feel inferior.
For some of us this fear drives us to over compensate and show off, toot our own horn and try to get attention. For others it encourages them to shrink back, stay quiet and even be invisable if possible. Some people get grouchy and mean, while others are too nice and try to win approval through people pleasing. The types of bad behavior that fear of failure creates are countless, but none of them bring out the authentic you or make you capable of love.
Unfortunately, at Christmas there are always questions asked by friends and relatives about how we are doing and what’s new in our lives. Some families also tease and use sarcastic humor, which can make you ridiculed, judged or criticized. If you have had a tough year with many challenges, lessons of loss, or trials, these questions can lead to huge feelings of failure and could make you uncomfortable and defensive. Most of the family conflicts we see at Christmas, are the result of being offended by others, jealousy or being triggered with feeling that you are not enough. If you are not able to financially give at the level you would like to, or the gifts under the tree are few, this can also trigger huge feelings of not being enough.
Comparison to others is the fastest way to lose your confidence and feel bad about yourself. And it’s so easy to do. You need only go to Facebook and see what clothes other people are wearing, where they are on holiday, their new car, parties, friends and their amazing job, and it’s easy to feel deflated and believe your life is not measuring up.
Here are ____ ways to stop the comparison:
There is a worksheet on my website that will help you maintain a healthy, positive, holiday mindset. You can download it here. Read it a few times daily all through the month.
You can do this.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.