When you are suffering emotionally, it is worth separating the practical and the emotional problem. Often the two become intertwined and we attempt to fix them as one which is much harder to do. People come to me convinced that their practical problem is creating their emotional problem. For example – I recently had a client who has been struggling to sell a property abroad. The sale has been ongoing and caught up in red tape.
It is not the sale that is the problem (the practical problem), rather it is the way he is perceiving and evaluating what is happening (the emotional problem) that is the issue. Once a person tackles the emotional problem and practical problem separately, progress begins.
Without realising it, my client had become caught in the “feel good about yourself” trap. When he is making money and sales are going smoothly, he rates himself well because of his success. As a result, when sales aren’t going smoothly he automatically rated himself as less successful and began to feel miserable.
People who attach their sense of esteem or worthiness to external criteria such as money, status and popularity tend to be more easily swayed by the outer world. It is important to remember that we are not our successes nor are we our failures. It is important to nurture a constant sense of worthiness irrespective of what you are doing/achieving in life.
When you insist on rating yourself as good or bad your thinking becomes self centred instead of problem centred. Self rating also causes us to compare ourselves to others which is an unhelpful strategy.
From self rating to self acceptance:
The goal of feeling good about yourself is a trap. If people criticise you or if you don’t live up to your standards, you see yourself as worthless. Challenge thinking that focuses on pleasing others and living up to expectations. Who made these rules? Where is the evidence that you are less worthy if you are paid less, a bit larger than you were last month or rejected by someone? The reasons you will think up will all be thoughts, not fact.
The more you realise this, the freer you will become from the restraints you place upon yourself and the restraints and expectations others try to place upon you.
Welcome to freedom…
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