A lot of the previous posts on self esteem have contained a lot of information and that’s not just because I’m loquacious but also because it’s necessary, I’m not writing unnecessary stuff here, it’s all got its place. Now this post is a short one but it’s vital because the exercise in this post is the one of the greatest things I have ever been thought in all my years of therapy.
A big issue with low self esteem is the negative thought processes. Now I’ve said enough about this topic in the last few posts so I’ll get straight to the point here. The negative thoughts you have about yourself are subjective. You can help yourself overcome your negative thought process by identifying how those feelings are totally subjective. Not only are they subjective but they are often quite inaccurate.
So this exercise is about taking your subjective belief and putting up to objective analysis. When you do this you will learn that the way you are feeling is actually irrational. Now you can’t do this in your head. Sitting down and saying ‘how I feel is irrational and subjective, actually is actually hunky dorey’ won’t help you, it will leave you feeling the exact same way. It may even compound your negative thoughts.
I do this exercise regularly when I feel I’m developing negative expectations and thoughts about a particular situation. So here is my turn doing the exercise about fearing hating my new job and that this might affect my depression badly;
|What is the situation?
Hating my new job
|Out of 10 how much do you believe this will happen?
|What are you expecting?
Expect to hate it – Feel wasted – Unachieved
|How do you feel?
|What objective evidence do you have to believe this?
Past experiences working in horrible jobs.
|What is the objective evidence against your belief?
I actually enjoyed my past jobs until new managers came in and made me hate the job.
This job is a different industry and it’s an exciting industry.
|What’s the worst that can happen?
Hate the job
|What’s the best that can happen?
I could love the job
I could make a lot of money for travelling
|What do you think is most likely to occur?
I’ll find it exciting for a few months at least – I’ll make good money – I’ll then go travelling.
|How do your original thoughts make you feel?
It makes me not want the job which would hinder my wish to travel.
|If your worst expectation came to fruition what would you do?
I could find a new job – concentrate on the parts I like – Work harder on my blog – Countdown to backpacking
|What’s a positive way you can look at this situation?
It’s a great opportunity – I may not even want to leave in a year – I could become financially secure for quite a while.
|What positives are you ignoring?
The possibilities in this industry are endless – It opens many doors – I’ll make new friends
|How much do you believe your initial feelings?
Your job is to now write this out on paper, you can even type it out and print multiple copies. But this is something I did in my therapy and it’s something that’s helped me more in everyday life than anything else I’ve ever learned in school, university, from my parents, friends, therapists etc. It may look silly but do it! And you will literally feel the weight coming off your shoulders. Any time I do this I actually feel lighter, I feel relieved and I feel like I can do anything.
Give it a go and let me know how it works for you in the comments!