“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”
In my last post, I asked the questions, “Are you just paying for a high priced listener?” Therapists are very passive, reflective, and patient. Where as self-coaching is active, involved, motivational and definitely not as patient because you are then to make changes.
You maybe asking the question, “Well, Dena, have you ever been to counseling?” As a matter of fact, I spent a year in therapy because my ‘ex’ was having an affair. My husband asked me, the other day, if I thought that year was benefical. My answer was “no,” except for the last session where the therapist became more active and involved. My, ‘ex’, was invited to the session, then it got really interesting. Otherwise, I have to say I was paying for a “high priced listener.” Yes, it helped to have someone who was impartial to listen to me, that always helps, but was it worth the investment? I have to say, “no,” especially not with what I know now.
If you have the motivation to work through self-coaching or if you pay to have someone help you through it, it’s much more productive and much cheaper.
Why? The only way you can realize change in yourself, your situation, your career, whatever, is for you to take charge and make the changes. You have to take responsibility. Very often when a person shifts the responsibility for change onto the therapist.
No, you don’t need to dig into the past, why should you? Can you change anything from the past? No. You don’t have to put a label on disorders, rehearse who did what to whom. Your feelings and your core beliefs will tell you everything you need to know.
For example, I had a memory loss from a traumatic experience that I suffered when I was seven. I didn’t remember much from a 5 year period. It just wasn’t there. I had become very introverted and insecure because of the event and subsequent events, which I also didn’t remember.
I had difficulty having a conversation with someone I didn’t know or didn’t know well because of my insecurity. At age 20 I wanted to change so I started reading self-help books, starting with “I’m OK, You’re OK.” I did everything the book said to do. It wasn’t long until I had overcome most of my inability to talk to strangers and became more secure. I still had a sense that there was something in my past, but I felt that if it was important it would eventually come to the surface.
Sure enough, when I was about 45, the memory started hitting the surface. I would have flashes of an event. Eventually, I was able to put the pieces together. I wrote to my dad for confirmation that the event had happened, which it did.
To work through it, I started journaling everything that came back to my memory, every feeling, every emotional response, which brought back a few physical sensations. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote until I was able to store the memory away, until I had nothing more to say about it.
Did I have any negative feelings toward the perpetrator or anyone else connected to the event? I would have to say, yes, some. I had some resentment toward my dad who didn’t protect me. Because of my processing through my writing, though, I was able to view that feeling correctly. It was his responsibility and he did not do his job. We weren’t close after I processed it, but we weren’t close before, anyway, so nothing much changed.
As a result, I was able to put a label on the missing years in my memory. Not all of my memory has come back, but I know pieces are missing because of the trauma I suffered and it’s okay.
Would I have been able to process it better if I had gone to counseling? I don’t think so, because just talking doesn’t allow you to process it. You have to do more.
When we write our brains are able to process the information more fully. We can write about things we need to change and why. We can describe our feelings and our beliefs. We can write down the old negative beliefs then write the positive replacement beliefs. We have something to go back to, if need be.
In school I learned another approach, write out the hurtful, painful details of an event, a feeling, a core belief. Burn the paper with the details, preferably in a fireplace or bonfire so you can watch the paper curl up and be gone. I did this also. It was amazing. It tells your mind that it is done, over, gone.
Insecurity and Thought Distortions
One of the biggest problems that many encounter, as I did, is insecurity. When you don’t get rid of it, it brings it’s friends along: inertia, anxiety, self-doubt, worry, panic, depression, feeling like a victim or another distortion.
Insecurity and it’s friends try to control, manage, and manipulate your life to ease the uncomfortable feelings of insecurity. You also form habits, such as worry, rumination, perfectionism, that develop to control the uncomfortable feelings.
You need to identify these habits and controls. You can’t change them until you become aware of them. As they pop their heads up, identify them and write about them as we will discuss in the next section.
Take the steps necessary to have a happy, successful, rewarding life with people you love and who love you. Why wait?
How To Start
As I have stated in several other post, the first step is to become aware of your beliefs and how they effect your feelings, “We Feel What We Believe.” One of the best ways to become aware is journaling.
It is said, “Paper is more patient than people”!!
Journaling is the act of ” writing down your thoughts, experiences, dreams, fears” on a regular basis.
You don’t have to write according to any “journaling protocal,” just write. Get a notebook that you can carry with you so when you have thoughts, jot them down. Write everything that comes to your mind, if you can.
Your mind is very complex. You often have ideas, concerns, and problems all bouncing around in your mind at the same time. It’s hard to sort them out. Writing helps.
It is said that your mind gets 60,000 thoughts per day and most of these thoughts are repeat thoughts. It’s extremely helpful to get these thoughts out of your head and on paper to allow new thoughts to enter. When you put everything on paper, you can clearly see past thought distortions and be able to clarify where you want to go and what you want to achieve.
An essential part of change is reflection, which gives insights that can help facilitate the change. It’s very difficult to reflect on your thoughts and changes that need to be made when the thoughts are circling in your head. Journaling provides a safe place to record your thoughts, sort them out, and subsequent reflections.
In my case, I wrote down all the memory flashes that popped into my head. I organized them the best I could then used what I had journaled to verify the event with my dad.
Benefits of Journaling
- It allows you to be yourself, you don’t have to worry about looking good;
- It feels safe, that no one is judging you;
- It provides an unbiased, non-threatening platform to “empty your cup”;
- You can write your closest secrets, feelings and feel no threat to privacy;
- Getting the stuff out of your system by writing, provides clarity;
- Writing down your Goals in the journal provides you the push needed to accomplish them;
- You can work at your own speed;
- Reflecting on the positives in the journal offers perspective change for situations around you.
In your journal, I also recommend that you write down every negative belief that comes across your mind. Write it down! Then write down the Opposite, Positive Thought.
Conclusion – Power Drill
In The Power of Self-Coaching by Joseph Luciani, Ph.D., he recommends a Self-Coaching Power Drill. He suggests that during each day you take some time to relax and allow yourself to believe that everthing you need to have a happy, successful life is already within you.
At first take just a few seconds to imagine your new life. Accept it as true. Don’t fight it. Begin to feel it.
The important thing is to begin feeling what it’s like to be empowered and not victimized. It will get easier.
Also, as I have recommend before, when you have a negative thought or feelings or behavior, DO THE OPPOSITE. So, when negative belief’s and feelings pop into your mind, you change it to the opposite thought which will begin to allow you to feel the opposite feeling. For example:
“No, I am not thinking that, I am thinking about my spouse and how much I love them and about God’s grace to me.”
“No, I am not thinking that, I am thinking about how God is my supply. We have more than enough.
“No, I am not thinking that, I am so blessed to have this job.”
“No, I am not thinking that, I know, with God’s help, that I can make this business successful.”
“No, I am not thinking that, I am so blessed to have the family I have.”
Get the point!!! You can do this.