“It is the courage to be open and loving which is the manifestation of underlying strength and power. And it is only in embracing the possibility that you have a Higher Self that knows how to love, that knows truth within, that is truly powerful, that you can begin to face and dismantle the false beliefs of the protected self, the ego. You can’t begin to look at these and deal with them if you don’t believe there’s anything else. You can never move into the feeling of personal power until you recognize truly that there’s a peaceful place within you that is already there, that doesn’t have to be fixed.”
Jordan and Margaret Paul
“With the qualification that in various ways all negative beliefs can lead to self-sabotage, here are some internal cognitive demons particularly worth considering. General categories of self-dislike are placed in italics. And each is exemplified by an assortment of specific self-allegations:”
• You see yourself as inadequate. “I’m incompetent (inept, ineffectual),” “I’m incapable,” I’m behind the curve,” “I’m not good enough,” I can’t be good enough,” “I have to be perfect” (knowing, of course, that you can’t be), “I can’t take care of myself”;
• You see yourself as stupid. “I can’t do anything right,” “I’m slow,” “I’m not smart enough,” “I can’t think for myself,” “I can’t make my own decisions”;
• You see yourself as weak. “I can’t stand up for myself,” “I can’t set limits on others,” “I have no authority,” “I’m helpless,” “I’m powerless,” I can’t control myself,” “I can’t protect myself,” “I can’t cope with stress“;
• You see yourself as shameful. “I’m unacceptable,” “I’m unforgivable,” “I’m worthless,” “I’m defective,” “I’m a bad person,” “I’m contemptible,” “I’m permanently damaged” (which frequently relates to having been molested or to having a congenital defect);
• You see yourself as a failure. “I’m a loser,” “I will fail,” “I’m hopeless,” “I can’t succeed,” “I can’t get what I want” “Nothing works out for me”;
• You see yourself as socially inferior, undesirable, or isolated. “I’m not likeable,” “I’m not lovable,” “I’m not wanted,” “I don’t fit in,” “I don’t belong,” “I’m all alone,” “I can’t be understood”;
• You see yourself as undeserving. “I don’t deserve love,” “I don’t deserve respect,” “I don’t deserve to enjoy myself,” “I don’t deserve to relax,” “I don’t deserve anything”–or, conversely,
• You see yourself as deserving only bad things. “I deserve punishment,” “I deserve to be miserable,” “I deserve to be left out,” “I deserve criticism” (or disapproval), “I deserve to fail,” “I deserve to be abandoned,” and even (as a self-hating client once shared with me) “I deserve to die”;
• You see yourself as untrustworthy. “I can’t be trusted,” “I can’t trust myself,” “I can’t trust my perceptions,” “I can’t trust my judgment,” “I can’t trust my authority,” “I can’t trust my emotions”;
• You see yourself as (overly) responsible for others. “I have to be responsible for others,” “I have to defer to others,” “I have to live up to others’ expectations”; or,
• You see yourself as (excessively) vulnerable. “It’s not safe to have feelings,” “It’s not safe to show feelings,” “It’s not safe to make decisions”–or, simply the abiding, overarching sense: “I’m not safe.”
“As comprehensive as this list might appear, it’s hardly exhaustive. For almost any negatively distorted belief (whether about yourself or others) has the potential to precipitate self-sabotaging behavior. For example, if from a very young age your parents regularly broke their promises or lied to you, inadvertently they may have taught you not to put your faith in others. As an adult, then, you may simply assume that people can’t be trusted (I.e., “I can’t trust others”).”
“On the surface, The King’s Speech is a film about how Prince Albert, (Colin Firth), hamstrung with a lifelong affliction of stuttering, inherits the fateful role of spokesperson for the free world. His eccentric elocutionist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), unflinchingly takes on the challenge of treating the soon to be King George VI. The stakes couldn’t be higher: Britain braces itself for war with Hitler who seems to have an amazing bent for speaking his mind. By raising the ante on the huge screen (I.e., effective treatment of the monarch vs. Nazi victory) the secrets of effective psychotherapy are vividly revealed. Viewers discover how skilled practitioners can dramatically reduce the sting from problems faced by nearly all – psychological barriers to communication, fears of failure and residual harm from familial intimidation.”
“Another atypical, yet highly effective psychotherapy tool is the use of an intermediate object to catalyze the therapy process. In the midst of an episode of severe stammering, Bertie picks up an unfinished model airplane. Lionel recognizes his subject’s keen interest and his therapeutic acumen comes shining through. If Bertie would agree to speak about matters from his childhood, Lionel would permit him to glue the missing wing in place. By anchoring Bertie’s concentration to an object of interest, his speech becomes more fluid and it becomes possible to discuss emotionally stressful material. Like Lionel, I have found irrefutable evidence for the deployment of a host of mediating devises – ranging from painting, drumming, dancing, singing and acting — to offset the anxiety provoking demands of traditional talk therapy.”
“Finally, Logue uses Socratic means to re-shape Bertie’s long-term irrational core beliefs: Stuttering is irreversible; I am weak of character; I am defective; I cannot be a competent king. In the course of working with his coach, King George VI discovers that he has far more strength of character than his older brother; that he is able to meet the challenge of war with Germany; that being left-handed and knock kneed as a child are not signs of inferiority or defect. Perhaps the biggest revelation is that in contrast to remaining brow-beaten by the words and teachings of his pompous and hypercritical father, and intimidated by his inept and insecure brother, the new monarch, King George VI, reshapes his personal narrative and discovers his own inspirational voice.”
“When I’m on emotionally shaky ground, I make sure that I slow down my thoughts and actions. When my confidence takes a hit, my negative thoughts (arch nemesis) start to take over my thoughts. When I slow down my thoughts and actions, I can do a better job processing my thoughts and emotions. Low confidence is hard to deal with because the self-destructive habits bring me down even further.”
“I never really realized that I have a system for bringing my confidence back up to normal levels until I got half way through this post. That’s the beauty of processing through my thoughts. I am always discovering something new technique to help myself grow and improve.”
1. Get Away from Your Work
When you mess up, the first step is to temporarily get away from your work.
2. Ask for Support
While you are out for a walk, bring your cell phone with you. Call someone you can trust who you know will encourage you.
3. Remember Your Cause
There is a reason why you decided to do the work that you do. Your confidence may be low because of the results that you didn’t achieve, but bad results happen to everyone. The successful people are the ones that who don’t give up.
4. Make an Actionable List
After you have refocused on your cause, create an actionable list that will help you make your next choice. The idea is to make a list that gets you excited about the outcome.
5. Pick Your Favorite Actionable Item
Once you have a list of 5 things you can do, pick your favorite one and get your mojo flowing again. The idea doesn’t need to be perfect. In fact, it’s better if it isn’t perfect because it will leave you room to improve it and build your confidence.