In my last therapy session I told therapist how when people, including myself, make a mistake or don't know something, my immediate response (in my head) is "you're stupid." I'm assuming this stems from my childhood and always feeling like I had to have perfect grades and never make mistakes, which was then later reinforced by my ex-husband, but I don't want to have this subconscious response. It's very negative and dismissive.
While I have tried telling myself that it's wrong, stop thinking like that, my therapist said that I should actively rephrase it when the thought comes up:
"Everyone makes mistakes"
"They are/I am learning this subject"
"No one can know everything"
"It's just a typo, it has nothing to do with intelligence"
And the best one for me:
"It's okay to make mistakes"
Words are powerful -- so use them to your advantage
For someone who always over-explains when I make a mistake at work, because I assume people will think I'm stupid or incompetent, because that's what my inner monologue tells me, this is a huge one. It's okay to make mistakes. It does not negate all the things you did right. Making a mistake does not make you worthless.
Words are powerful -- that's why affirmations are so popular and effective. Our brains do not know the difference between a real or imagined scenario, which is why we can keep ourselves in a steady state of anxiety by making our brains believe we are in danger all the time.
By rephrasing we are telling our brains that this is reality, this is true. It takes some work, but just like building any habit you keep doing it until it's just part of what you do. I think a big part of healing ourselves is becoming aware of the individual issues and triggers, because then we can figure out how to overcome them. How to change our behaviors and reactions. And how to rephrase things, be it words or actions, to reflect what we want our reality to be.
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Hi, I'm Erika!
I know what it's like living with anxiety and depression, but living and living are very different things. I believe in practical tips and methods, and I will use them to help you be the brave, daring, darling individual you are.
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