The Best Way For Abused Women To Step Into 2012

31 Dec 2011

When Life gets really difficult, what do you want?

Massive change.

Ideally, most of us – barring the almost pathologically self-reliant – wouldn’t say no to a Fairy Godmother coming along, waving her magic wand, and making it all alright.

Can you picture it now?  I certainly can.  She’s a cartoon Fairy Godmother, with snowy white hair, and a very sweet, warm expression on her face.  She’s only there to make my life perfect.  She has a super cool, sparkly, magic wand in her hand.  Just thinking of her makes this grey British day brighter, and relaxes me…

But, of course, she isn’t coming any time soon.

Which leaves us with a problem.  We have to do it for ourselves.  At the very time when we feel least able to cope with a mountain of difficulties, we relearn what we always knew: there are no Fairy Godmothers, it’s all down to us, and we don’t know how to do it.

Tough, huh?

But it doesn’t have to be impossible.

It’s all a question of knowing how to work it.

This week, I was working with a client who truly does have a shed-load of difficulties: ex- difficulties, money difficulties, parent difficulties, child difficulties.  In fact, you name it, she’s got it.

She was, quite understandably, doing the things that all abused women do, under the circumstances:

  • Catastrophizing – well, you would, wouldn’t you?
  • Expecting too much of herself in the short term, and
  • Trying to do too much, too fast, without the psychological tools she needed in her tool-kit

When you’re in a bad situation, you only think about what the long-term changes you need to make.

So, you attempt something major.  You desperately need to make your initiative work.  But because you desperately need it to work, you invest it with massive importance.  In fact, you put so much effort into it that it proves to be out counter-productive.  When it doesn’t work, your energy and effort appear to be wasted.

So, what do you do?

You tell yourself that whatever it was you were trying to do is impossible or, at least, impossible for you.  (And you probably go on to tell yourself a story about why it’s impossible for you.)

Now, there is no way you can know for sure that it is impossible.  All you can know for sure, is that the effort you made at the time you made it didn’t bring you the result you wanted.

You can’t know if it started a chain of events that will bring you what you want, in time.

You can’t know if you were pushing at a door, which was nearly ready to open when you gave up.

You can’t know because you gave it your all for a while … and then gave up.

“Do or die” attempts sound pretty impressive.  When they work, they produce fantastic results.  But, most of the time, they don’t work.  And the chances of them working reduce dramatically if you are in a desperate, exhausted, frightened, hopeless frame of mind.

Baby steps on the other hand…

Let’s face it, nobody wants to take baby steps.  It is so frustrating when you know everything has to change, just to tweak one small aspect of your reality.

But think about it!

If you want to lose 50 lbs, you don’t cut both legs off.  You simply change what you eat, knowing that it will have a knock on effect – over time.

You just stay with the dietary change, and the 50 lbs comes off, over a period of weeks, and months.

The same thing holds true of emotional change, also.  If you set the intention, and break everything down into considered Baby Steps, the change you desire will come about.

Sure, it’s easier if you have the support of a professional who can support you along the way.  Even a small amount of support, like my New Year New Start Quick Start Program, can make a huge difference.

You only have to think of the time you’ll save by recognising when you fall back into the old damaging ways to understand way.   You won’t get bogged down in catastrophizing, expecting too much of yourself, or trying to achieve too much too soon.  Instead, you’ll know exactly what to do to restart your good feelings, retrigger your motivation, and reconnect with your inner strength.

If taking Baby Steps is not something that excites you, I can understand that. But it doesn’t mean your feeling is right, or helpful.  As Lao-tzu might have said:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Baby Step.” 

The bottom line is this: do you think it matters how small, or wobbly, the first Baby Step is?  Or the one after it?  Or the one after that?

The only thing that matters is getting started.  And then gathering a bit of momentum.

If you feel like you’ve been wading in treacle, then set just one intention for 2012: Baby Steps.

They work for babies, and they’ll work for you.

I have just 2 wishes for you for 2012.

First that, by this time next year, you’ll be happy, and you’ll have a great, new, lasting relationship   – with yourself, because once you’ve finally learned to love, value, and respect yourself, EVERYTHING else will fall into place. 

Second that you Baby Step your way to happiness in 2012.  Any kind of Baby Step will do: you can Baby Skip, Baby Dance, Baby Limp, Baby Crawl, Baby Stagger, Baby Wobble.  It really doesn’t matter.  Just start.  Just like babies do.

How far do you think babies would have got, if they’d got disheartened when their first Baby Steps didn’t produce a perfect result?

How far do you think Morgan Uceny, or Angela Ruggiero would have got in their sport if, as babies, they’d tried a few faltering steps, fallen over and said to themselves: “Damn!  I must be some kind of movement zero.  Other people seem able to do it.  Even children seem able to do it.  There must be something wrong with me.  I must be a failure.  I’m done.”

You probably won’t ever be an Olympic Athlete.  That’s okay.  You don’t have to be to have a good life. But you do have to move forward from where you are now, before you can have the good life you deserve.  So start with the teeny tiny Baby Steps in 2012, and keep going with them, and 6 months down the line, your life will look very different.

And one more tip for 2012: Baby Steps includes F-U-N.  Make sure you add Baby Step fun, laughter, giggles and chuckles to your life, in 2012, at least 3 times per week.

Wishing you your best year yet.

Warm wishes,




Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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