Self Care Includes Learning Not to Betray Yourself

1.From “The High Cost of Self-Betrayal“:

Betraying yourself may seem like a small price to pay for the benefit of fitting in with the crowd, but here are some of the hidden high costs of living like this:

You lose touch with your own intuition, your inner voice, your moral compass.
You become chronically indecisive.
You lose your sense of self-respect and self-confidence.
You develop a tendency towards dishonesty and inauthenticity.
You sabotage your own success because of a deep-seated belief that you’re undeserving.
You become resentful.
You allow others to determine the trajectory of your life.

You might say, Come on, isn’t that just a little overblown? But if you regularly cede ground to others because you think their opinions matter more than yours, you’ll slowly lose your ability to manage your own life and steer your own ship.

Over time, the small decisions we make that betray the self is like a steady drip of water slowly dissolving stone. The action of the water on the stone is imperceptible in the moment, but over time it’s highly destructive.

2.From “Power Tool Safety“:

Albert Ellis, who famously originated REBT, used to tell people, “You’re shoulding all over yourself!” When I first began to understand the problem with should statements, I realized that they are comparisons.  The world is one way, and we want it to be another. I used to tell people that when they used should statements, they were at war with reality, and reality would always win. That seemed harsh to me, and I looked for a different way of putting it. One day I came up with an alternate frame. I told my client, “Every time you say ‘should’ you just created a parallel universe where things went differently.” This is in keeping with my view that each of us has a very powerful creative mind. Our minds are so powerful that we can, with a single word, create a parallel universe where things went differently. It also takes the harsh, judgmental edge off of spotting our shoulds. It’s OK to wish for something different; we just want to recognize that we don’t have it.

From whatever trick of language, however, the should always comes out as a kind of accusation: you should be better– but you’re not. You are, in fact, bad, and in addition to being bad, you’re shoulding all over yourself.  Dang, Dr. Ellis! I already feel bad– that’s why I’m in therapy! Can’t you be a little nicer? Well, any therapist will tell you that sometimes you have to give people bad news, and sometimes you have to be blunt.  But the flip side of that is the well known saying that diplomacy consists of telling someone where to go so nicely that they look forward to the trip.

3.From Marc Lewis: “Addiction and self-criticism”:

“Addicts don’t need a history lesson when it comes to the internal critic. Just being an addict is enough to earn you a degree in self-judgment, self-contempt, self-hatred, and all their variants. Self-criticism is often (and rightfully) felt to be highly destructive. It arises from the addictive pursuit of drugs, drink, sex, or food (and all the nasty things we do in preparation or in the aftermath) and it feeds back to our addiction. Because feelings of shame and guilt, which are the key weapons of the internal critic, are so painful that they magnify the need for pain relief. And we know how to get that.”

“Why is the internal critic so focused on our addictive activities? Maybe because they demonstrate a complete loss of self-control, and being in control of oneself is a cardinal virtue from early childhood   onward. Or maybe because addiction seems inordinately selfish. Maybe because gorging on drugs or booze strikes us as the epitome of greed, and greed is another sin we are scolded for as children. Or maybe because we fail ourselves, we fail others, we lie to ourselves and others, we hurt ourselves and others, we use up the last shreds of self-respect or “authenticity” by indulging yet again when we have promised ourselves to resist temptation.”

2 comments

  1. Love reading this article, thank you for writing this! I have let go of most self criticism and self sabotage. Except when it comes to matters of the heart. After just working on myself and loving myself for 5 years, my eyes are opening up again and my feminine energy is returning. While I should my intuition run the show, my ratio gets in the way,telling me that nothing is possible and I am not made for love. Now that I know this happens, I am working on it

    • God created each of us so we are a part of Him/Her. We were made for love. Ask yourself what your ego gets out of sabotaging
      you? It gets to stay in charge. Kick that sucker to the curb.

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