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Revealing the No 1. Deadly Mistake that destroys your self-confidence, if you let it.
I keep ruining things for myself.
I can't do anything right
I am ruining things for everybody.
Why is this happening to me?
I am an adult, I should be able to cope.
Why can't I change the way I think?
I feel like I am a child.
It’s my fault, I am not handling things well.
I am missing out on so much.
There's a lot of emotions surrounding this way of thinking that can be exhausting.
It changes you.
It pushes you to lose trust in yourself.
It makes you dislike yourself, think you are a horrible person, or hate certain traits about yourself.
And It makes you feel inferior to other people.
Recently, I came across another saddening study highlighting how "BULLYING IS LINKED TO DEPRESSION ."
This screams an important lesson for anyone who's desperate to start feeling good enough in themselves.
You see, if bullying can degrade your mental health in such a horrific way, imagine what bullying yourself through self-criticism is doing to you?
What my point?
To feel good enough, you've got to invest time in learning how to be kinder to yourself.
Because self-kindness is the only true shield that can protect you from the unrelenting, bloodcurdling feeling of inferiority.
It's the fastest route to improved self-confidence.
Now, if you are thinking...
“I know this is true... I just don't know what to do to be kind to myself.”
Then you'll be glad to know that’s what I'm addressing in this article.
I'll be revealing a practical strategy that can help you become kinder to yourself today.
Afterwards, I'll show you where you can download a worksheet so you can follow the step by step instructions for this technique.
I call the technique The Little Boy/Girl Exercise for developing personal TLC (Tender Loving Care).
I’ll reveal the practical technique in a moment..
But before that, I'd like to reveal the biggest obstacle to breaking free from the feeling of worthlessness.
I call the obstacle THE EMOTIONAL SABOTAGE.
I am revealing it here, because it's hindered recovery for 99% of the people I've worked with in therapy, and I want you to have the best opportunity to avoid getting caught by it.
Imagine that you were sitting on a chair and then I poured a boat load of scorpion’s right around your feet. Then I gave you a crossword puzzle and asked you to ignore the scorpions and concentrate solely on solving the puzzle.
Most likely, you won't be able to take your mind off the scorpions until you have managed to put a safe distance between yourself and them.
This is the emotional sabotage in action. Obviously in this example it is working to keep you safe.
The emotional sabotage can often be turned to work against you, keeping you trapped in confusion and repeating distressing emotions.
Let me explain.
The current neuro-scientific theory suggests that the brain has two different parts that react to emotional and logical experiences.
Certain areas within the cortex manage reaction to logical information whilst the limbic system deals with all things emotional. I like to call them logical and emotional minds for easy reference.
These two brain areas have an unexpected relationship that cause common emotional problems people struggle with.
If you can relate with any of these 3 puzzling experiences...
Experiences like this will you feel like a failure. They'll make you feel like you're going mad. And they'll make you feel paranoid about what other people are thinking about you.
I mean, how do you break out of negative cycles like these?
You see, the relationship between the emotional and the logical brains are such that the more emotional you become, the less logical you will naturally be.
(Concepts here have been adapted from the work of M Linehan)
This is a natural biological process.
And no matter how hard you try, once you are in an intense emotional place, you will always struggle to maintain rational helpful thinking.
This is just what it is.
That's why you are not able to focus on a crossword puzzle if scorpions are scrambling all around your feet.
That’s why you believe the illogical or irrational thoughts more when you are in a stressed, anxious or low place.
On one hand, this is a helpful inverse reaction that stops you from spending crucial time thinking, if all you need to do is to run or fight to protect yourself from danger.
On the other hand, this inverse reaction becomes the emotional sabotage that can work against your efforts to break free of repeating distressing emotions and embarrassing reactions.
It is why you feel like all your flaws are exposed, naked in front of all the world to see, judge and ridicule.
And what's worse...
Once you are feeling exposed like this, you'll notice yourself making even more embarrassing mistakes that draw unwanted attention towards you. Like you mind is at war with you.
And this leads me to that important question...
How can you stop your mind from fighting you like it's totally bent on destroying you in this way?
You've got to use your knowledge of how the emotional sabotage works to help you become kinder to yourself.
I'll explain with a quick story.
Molly, a lady in her mid-40’s repeatedly surprised me in therapy because of the derogatory ways she referred to herself. Some of these terms where so foul that I honestly can't bring myself to repeat them.
Molly was desperate to stop feeling so low and terrified all the time.
She believed that her recurring anxiety and low mood sabotaged her attempts to form meaningful intimate relationships, and stopped her from getting better paying jobs. So she became increasingly frustrated with herself.
In her own words she said…
“I know I am doing this to myself… I am going to end up broke and lonely forever… I keep telling myself to snap out of it, but this is clearly not working.”
Now here is a crucial point...
Just as many people fail to recognize, Molly did not know that something much more subtle and dangerous was contributing to keeping her stuck in this emotional rut.
You see, whenever you're hard on yourself for not coping emotionally...
Your emotional mind sees this just as it would perceive threats, abuse or aggressive attacks coming from another person bullying you.
Your emotional mind cannot differentiate between other people bullying you and YOU BULLYING YOURSELF.
And as a direct result...
When you are hard on yourself, your emotional mind responds like I described earlier.
Whenever she's in front of any man she fancied, she would notice herself starting to feel anxious and would tell herself…
“You stupid woman, come on get it together. If you can’t even have a simple conversation, he’s going to lose interest in you. Who’d want to be with a woman who can’t get a hold of herself?”
Then, Molly would notice her emotions intensify and her mind go blank. As soon as this happened, she’d make up a quick excuse to escape. Then she would avoid answering any future phone calls from the man.
This is the emotional sabotage in full blown action.
You see, Molly was bewildered because she knew that she could comfortably hold discussions with people generally. In fact she did this on a daily basis as a requirement of her job.
However despite knowing this fact. Whilst in the middle of the negative experience described above, the emotional sabotage, still drove her to believe she was incapable of normal conversations (this was an irrational belief).
What’s going on here?
Please take note of this highly important point...
You see, the emotional sabotage gained added power over Molly, because...
like most people do, Molly treated her distressing emotions like a hated enemy. In her desperate attempt to cope better, she put all their energy into fighting her negative emotions. Only to be surprised that her negative emotions snarled back like a vicious dog bearing all it's teeth.
Doing this will make your emotions get more out of control. And this naturally defeats any attempt to feel self-confident.
The better approach is to...
Cultivate a friendly compassionate relationship with your distressing emotions. This tends to take the fire out of the negative emotion. Helping you access a calm and wise mental space that lets your rational thinking in to have a say.
And this is exactly what I taught Molly.
Using The Little Boy/Girl Exercise for developing TLC, I showed Molly how to be compassionate with her anxious self. Especially when she was having a date with someone she liked.
After a few weeks of practice, Molly was able to sail through the dating experience without her emotions sabotaging the experience.
Now, just in case you are thinking...
Yes the technique worked for her, but will it work for me?
Here are just a few examples...
The technique helped a department store manager gain composure of himself whenever he began to find a task way too daunting.
You see, for a long time, he bullied himself into doing things. Because he believed this was the only way to achieve his goals. But sadly, the self-bullying plunged him into a year long of intense anxiety and depressive problems.
Learning to use The Little Boy/Girl Exercise helped him take a step back each time he felt under pressure, And then, he could recompose himself and get back to being productive.
The Little Boy/Girl Exercise also helped a student I was working with learn how to think straight whenever she was under too much pressure. The negative self-critical talk would get in the way of her studies so much so that she would always lose focus. This became worse when the deadline for submissions got close.
Using this strategy enabled her to let go of the negativity, and helped her to sail through her studies even though many of the life pressures she was enduring still existed.
The technique also helped a mother who felt under so much pressure that she found herself snapping at her daughter. She felt so guilty about this made her feel even more frustrated.
She tried to bully herself into being calmer, but this just made everything worse.
Using The Little Boy/Girl Exercise helped this mother disentangle from that negative repeating loop and now her partner and friends tell her she's changed. She's become a much more pleasant person to be around.
Now over to you.
Now click the button below to download the worksheet and follow the step by step instructions for The Little Boy/Girl Exercise for developing TLC
As you download the worksheet and begin to work on yourself.
I want to encourage you to meticulously pick out evidence that...
"You are worth more."
You are working towards your full potential, and this alone is a feat that's worth celebrating.
As you work on developing self-kindness...
Some days, stress will make it hard to let certain things slide off your back. Remind yourself that this is the path to progress.
Sometimes you'll win, sometimes you'll lose.
Don't listen to that niggling inner voice that keeps interrogating you. Making you think...
" I am 30, or I am 50 now, why do I still feel as though I'm a pathetic child. "
When you are having a hard time loving yourself, or questioning why people love you. And when you find it hard to focus on the positive. Remember that your mind can be a very convincing liar and it will continue to shift the goalposts.
So focus more on making daily progress rather than on reaching perfection.
"This is where I am right now. I am learning to accept it."
My hope for you is that the path to fulfilment and self-confidence will begin to open up clearly right in front of you. And that sense of inferiority will become a fading memory that no longer affects your life.
Note: if you struggle with the “over analysing problem” and you don’t own a pet, I’ll show you how you can use this strategy too.
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