"Sadie" ruminates endlessly about decisions and drives herself insane. In most aspects of her life she functions confidently but when it comes to decisions, she's paralyzed and seeks comfort in whatever a bottle or a few thousand calories can provide. The cycle ain't working for her.
Can you relate? Do you feel stuck in a cycle of stress and self sabotage? Here's today's sanity rescue --three steps to get you moving forward:
Step one: Ask yourself: "At the time I am going crazy about ______ (fill in the issue), and engaging in ____________ (fill in self-destructive, un-helpful behavior) what do I believe about myself or the world?"
This question uncovers the "core beliefs" that shape our most basic behaviors and thoughts. Unfortunately, many of these beliefs were shaped in childhood and haven't been challenged since.
Sadie filled in with, "at the moment I'm going crazy worrying about doing the right thing, I'm drinking too much and I'm believing that if I make a bad decision, I lose value as a person. Somewhere in my life I decided that my value was tied to making the 'right' choice and it's still messing with my head."
With her value as a human at stake, who wouldn't agonize over each fork in the road? If a belief is going to have so much influence, it better be true. Time for...
Step two: Put the belief on trial and look at it objectively. Did her value ACTUALLY go down when she had to un-do a poor college decision years ago? Was her value diminished when she had to repaint the tangerine-colored kitchen a more tolerable tone? Not a bit.
Step three: Develop a more honest and helpful mantra, "Every choice can help me grow," she said. "Few choices can wreck my life. And a couple screwy decisions don't ruin my value as a person."
Many of us have deeply rooted beliefs holding us back. Figuring them out, challenging them, and replacing them with more empowering perspectives can have amazing results.
The good news: In just a few sessions, you can create new energy to help you move forward. Make an appointment and come on in! See you soon!
Debbie Granick is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and a Therapist in Raleigh providing both counseling and medication to reduce anxiety and depression and improve mental health. She is available to speak about wellness to groups of all sizes.