The Magic of the "Closest You Can"
**original post alert!!**
One of my favorite concepts in therapy is "closest you can."
We get very stuck in all-or-nothing thinking, which keeps us from being happy because our brains trick us into thinking if we don't have EXACTLY what we want, then it isn't good enough and we can't (shouldn't?) Be happy.
But what if the thing that we want isn't attainable?
Maybe it is unattainable right now or maybe you need to do more work to get there. Maybe we need to recalibrate our expectations so we can be happy WHILE we are getting our goals, instead of waiting to be happy until our goals are reached.
That's the magic of "closest you can." If you want to be a stand up comedian, but you cant get an audition, what can you do? Watch comedy specials? Film yourself practicing? Write new jokes. Those activities aren't failures; they are the closest you can get right now to the thing that you want. You'll find that if you embrace that approach, you'll feel happier sooner (and set yourself up for success later).
This 4th of July weekend is going to be a "closest you can" challenge for many people. We can't get together in the way we want. It is easy to want to give up or give in. Instead, try to practice "closest you can" thinking. Can you call your friends and family? Can you cook something special? Can you hang out in a kiddie pool?
When we work on "closest you can" you feel better sooner. And we all deserve that kindness.