Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What has to happen in order for you to feel like you have worth?

Ok from now on I'm going to section my blog. There will be a part with something funny, a part with something that corresponds to my blog (ie music video, motivational speaker...etc) and then my blog.

Today's Funny Video;
NHL Woos Fans By Increasing Scoring With Bigger Nets, 3-Point Line

My friend actually sent me this video and it was really profound and actually lead me to the topic of this post. The power of Vulnerability
In this video the speaker talks about vulnerability as well as the diffrence between people who believe they are worthy of love and connection vs the people who don't. After alot of research this lady realized there is only one diffrence...check it out!

I watched the video and kept it in mind but didn't post anything at the time but then after a situation happened that questioned my belief about helping others I knew I had to post. See there was this one guy whom I could see that he was struggling with things and with the knowledge I've learned doing cognitive behavioral therapy I could see some of the cognitive distortions and errors and wanted to help the guy out. I tried asking questions in order to get him to figure it out on his own but that only backfired and he took offense. This same technique works on the forums for the cognitive behavioral therapy program that I post in so why didn't it work for this guy? Well from the guy's response I realized that the people on the forums are out there looking to change their lives and their behaviors and such and the guy who got offended was not looking to do so. He told me something along the lines of how he doesn't want me to save him or to change him and I realized that I do try to do that and I base my worth on helping others. Its a huge trap! If I don't get through to another and help them then I get to feel worthless and I lose self-esteem. Worth shouldn't be tied to anything, worth shouldn't be something you always have to work on but thats exactly what I've been doing for most of my life. I felt I had to help people in order to be worthy of love, connection and happiness and so I would spend alot of time not feeling worthy of those things and then I wouldn't experience those feelings even if someone express them to me or I really was worthy of them. Its like I had to help fix other people before I could feel good. This interfered with my relationships, it has interfered with how I view the treatments I give to patients, it has interfered whenever I saw someone suffer or thought of a problem that causes people alot of suffering.

So what determines worth? Well you could ask 1000 people and potentially get 1000 diffrent responses. Some people link up worth with success, approval of others, love of others or something else. The only problem with each of these things is that if you don't achieve which ever one you link your sense of worth with, you get to feel worthless instead! With success as well you could even succeed at something and feel somewhat worthy but not really fully enjoy the success because you're already focused on the next thing you need to accomplish and then you're constantly having to succeed in order to feel loved. Do you ever feel this way yourself?

There was one book called "Feeling good" by David D Burns that had some really positive beliefs you could use. He talked about 4 diffrent ones and I can't remember all of them however there was 1 that kind of stuck in my mind. It was that "we are all born with worth and its permenant. It cannot be lost nor gained and we all have the same ammount of worth" I like that one alot and how much easier would life be if you didn't feel worthless or you didn't have to continually work on being worthwhile or valueable? So how can you make something like that stick? Well for me I just ask myself a series of questions about how my old belief about worth affects my energy level, my relationships, my determination/courageousness, my health (both mental and physical), my ability to feel love, my productivity at work, my peace of mind and several other things and then I would choose a new belief like the one above and use that as the replacement (because you need to replace an old habit with a new one in order for this to work) and use the same questions and go into alot of detail and actually visualize and feel the answers. Another thing would be to look at how both beliefs can affect the future as well, that seems to workout well.

There may be concern that changing these beliefs might destroy your motivation but thats not true. You're still going to feel good about yourself when you make accomplishments, when you receive love and when you get approval from others. Its just that you won't have to depend on only those things to create those feelings, they only add to it and i'm sure you don't hate feeling good do you?


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All I need to make it work is within me now!

The topic of this post is actually something that Tony Robbins (Big Motivational guy) suggests to tell yourself as part of your exercise routine. The way it starts off is you do breathing exercises (4 inhales and then 4 exhales) for several minutes then think about everything and everybody in your life you are greatful for for another several minutes then imagine your goals as if you already accomplished them and then after to say incantations like the one in the topic and "everyday and every way I feel stronger and stronger"

I've started to use this while doing other activities as I noticed that alot of the things I say to myself in my head are very discouraging and demotivating. What I have found is that the activties I don't like, I don't like them because of this very thinking! The thinking itself reduces access to the brains resources in order to do these things well and in order to enjoy them as well. Worry and thoughts of I can't are self fulfilling and it makes us focus on everything that we didn't do. It makes it very diffcult to see what we've accomplished and thus we might feel like crap even if what we did was successful.

I have found saying "all I need to make it work is within me now", has made me do well in what i'm doing, its made it more enjoyable (even tasks that are less then desireable) and I think possibility thoughts and I feel good about myself as a person as opposed to the discouraging thoughts which make me feel like crap, inferior and worthless.

There have been many times in hip-hop class where I was struggling and then I kept telling myself "I can't" and got really frustrated and then felt bad about who I was. Fun activities shouldn't take away your feelings of worthiness. Since I started to use the new statement I feel good no matter how well I do as long as I'm doing. I mean I feel really amazing after hip-hop now that i'm not spending that time fighting myself, its such a huge relief.

 This next part I actually posted in a thread on www.stresscenter.com and it got some good response so I'll post it here too.

Think back to a time when you really really enjoyed yourself while doing a particular activity (maybe your favorate hobby). Think about a time when you really felt those deep positive feelings now ask yourself...what was it that I was telling myself?
Was I saying I can't do it, or was I encouraging myself?
WAs I looking at the things I have to do or was I looking at the benefits?
What would happen if I started to believe that I coudln't do it?
Would it steal me away from the excitement or create more?
Would I be as effective or less effective? Would I be more inclined to do the task again in the future or less inclined?
Would it make me feel more hopeful or less hopeful?

Now lets take something you particularly don't like and add the same elements that made you enjoy your favorate hobby.
If you told yourself the same things while doing the unfavorable chore then;
Would you potentially create more positive feelings or less?
Would it be easier to handle or less?
Would it be more draining or less draining?
Could you potentially do a better job and thus get a better outcome or a worse job and worse outcome?
What would it do to your life if you actually thought the same feelings you do with your favorate hobby, with your chores?
How would it affect your overall mood?
How would it affect your relationships?
How would it affect your energy level?
How would it affect you financially? Would you have a higher opportunity for more clients or promotion?
How would it affect your possibility of being hired at a job?
How would it affect your appearance?
How would it affect your stress level?

Ok so now I have an activity I'd like you to do. Well only the people who want to overcome the anxiety and depression and not have it control their every waking moment.

Pick 2 activities you like and 2 activities you don't like (but make them simple activities)
Now do the fun activities with those positive and encouraging thoughts and see how you feel. Try doing them with negative defeating thoughts. Now do the same with the ones you don't like and post your experiences here on the forums. Post if you felt more positive or less but be aware of the black or white thinking. Use percentages. Did you end up feeling 20% more positive or 20% more negative. I'm really intrested to see how people respond. Don't worry about believing the thoughts at a gut level. Just say them to yourself as if you were reading them.


Sunday, January 16, 2011


Smoking has not been a problem in my life for about 5 years now and I don't ever plan to start up again and after what I've read, seen and heard yestaurday I can guarantee I won't ever go back.

Someone asked me to help in getting them motivated enough to quit smoking and so I figured out a bunch of questions to get the person really focused on the reality of smoking and how it could affect many diffrent areas of their life as a starter. These were questions like "If you had to carry an oxygen tank around with you wherever you went, how would that affect your ability to do the things you enjoy?" or "Would smoking potentially increase the love and respect you have for yourself or would it potentially decrease it? and "What would you have to give up if you were confined to bed because of a serious health disease like cancer? How many fun activities would you not be able to do because you'd be bed ridden?" I also asked how if it potentially would increase the level of certain positive emotions or decrease it. If you are bed ridden, have terminal cancer or had a limb removed because the smoking, I highly doubt that would give rise to deeper positive emotions.

So I used the questions then I saw some really sad movies about a guy with lung cancer, a woman with mouth cancer, a child losing a parent and some guy who had his lower teeth, lower jaw and tongue removed because of cancer and that scared the crap out of me.

I then looked for some pictures and saw a guy with no lower jaw and that was pretty gross too.

Then came the stats and I briefly read a story about some guy dying and leaving his son without a father.

 All that was pretty disturbing for me and I hope for that other person as well. I didn't however just use disturbing as a way to motivate, I also asked questions that had the potential for creating pleasure. Ie "Would not smoking help increase your mental and physical health or decrease it and why?" "Would you potentially be more productive if you weren't a smoker and weren't controlled by your cravings or would you be less productive?" "What would your life be like if you didn't have to worry about running out of smokes or making it to the next smoke break?"

This friend has not responded yet so I'm not sure what the results are but I'll post when I find out.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Heya Blogworld!

I've spent the last 6 years posting on a set of forums but never actually had my own blog. I just joined twitter a few days ago and figured hey why not start blogging while i'm at it, I usually have things I like to talk about and get out there for others to see. I think this will be really fun and satisfying.