It is amazing just how powerful our negative thoughts about ourselves can be; they can sometimes be so powerful that we place limits on what we will do. Our assumptions that we are not good enough can stop us from even trying things that others believe us to be capable of. We might not go for a job that is well within the limits of our qualifications and experiences because we feel we couldn’t cope with the responsibility. We might not ask a person we are attracted to out on a date because we are convinced that we already know what their response will be. If they are a friend, we wilk be equally convinced that the friendship would never recover from such an event.
I have written a page on my personal demons. These are the recurring thoughts I have. Some are thoughts that have arisen in the last year and some are thoughts I’ve always had. I’m feeling far more relaxed and happy than I have in a long time but I’m under no illusion that the problem is solved or will ever be. I still have bad days, I still have negative thoughts, though at the moment they haven’t been really bad in a long time.
Like alcoholism, Bottom Line feelings are things that will probably never be ‘cured’ as such, but can be treated with a mixture of therapy, anti-depressants and the ability to challenge negative thoughts. It is not easy to inject positive thoughts – in fact it is not as simplistic as that either – simply telling yourself that you are an amazing, wonderful person achieves nothing in itself. They need to be absorbed and identified, noted and remembered. For people who have persistent negative thoughts, it can be quite difficult.
Part of the process of the self-help book I’m working through is to not just note the positives but to really think about the good things we do on a day to day basis. In time I will discuss the contents of the worksheets I have produced.