Every now and then, the question invariably comes up. We become more knowledgeable about our sibling estrangement, recognize the traps and pitfalls, and start to ask “how do I know I’m getting better?” It’s a perfectly valid question.
As with anything, there can never be a complete and final mastery on any given subject. So rather than getting to the end point, perhaps a way to explore our progress lies in our perception of growth.
This is why, when I work with a client, I constantly bring this back to a comparison of us with our very own self. It’s easy to get submerged in our thoughts and feelings, and the worst thing we can do is take how we feel and think at heart, and make cruel and disparaging conclusions about ourselves.
We are not our thoughts or feelings. And what these say to us, though very vivid, can be untrue.
Sometimes, we need to look within and assess if something is true or not. Other times, we need to ask close ones how we act on a given matter. And still, at other times, there can be unknowns and blind spots that we and others don’t know about until they manifest in our lives.
Once we have sufficiently gathered relevant information, then comes the phase of setting a goal. These can be as little as the “better than nothing” approach, or as much as initiating major life changes, if you’re ready for that. If you’re not sure where to start, then ask yourself what is your next step in your personal path of unfoldment? What have you worked on, and accomplished for yourself, and what is your current challenge? What are the questions that remain?
It makes little sense to compare ourselves to others. Goals should be personal to you. Not according to someone else’s circumstances. By establishing goals, you set your sights towards the potential to accomplish something that’s observable and measurable, according to your standards. After all, we have to know what that looks like when we get there.
For example, did you accomplish that said goal of catching yourself when you ruminate? Yes? No? In part?
What does that path look like when you succeed?
What do you need to keep doing?
What do you need to not do to ensure more results?
What is the most important action to take that will get you one, two, or three steps ahead?
As a final note, indicators of success are like signposts we see on the side of the road. They are reassuring, and confirm that we’re headed in the right place. Do you know what yours look like now?
I’d love to hear back from you! Feel free to comment below to let me know what those indicators look like.
Ali-John Chaudhary is a Registered Psychotherapist with offices in Ontario and Quebec. He helps clients from different parts of the world going through sibling estrangement issues, and produces YouTube videos on the same subject, with author Fern Schumer Chapman. He also hosts a twice-monthly online support group on zoom for those looking to empower themselves with this rarely discussed subject.