There is a saying that sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. I believe this saying is very accurate. There are messages we feed ourselves daily, sometimes it seems as if these messages are on a loop in our minds. These messages can be positive, encouraging, and motivating or they can be hurtful, self sabotaging, and destructive. It is important to recognize the power of our thoughts and beliefs and how they shape our actions and behaviors. These messages can come from past experiences. They can come from previous trauma. They can come from our parents or caregivers in early childhood. What messages are you giving yourself? Have you taken them as truth? Have you patterned your life according to them? Here are some helpful practices in breaking the hold of negative cognitions: 1. Identify the source. It is easy to assume your belief came from you. Often however, we find that negative beliefs begin in childhood, when someone says something hurtful about you and because you lacked the ability as a child to believe otherwise, you took it as truth. As an adult it is now time to reframe that message and put it in proper context in order to change your perspective. 2. Check the evidence. We often hold certain negative beliefs without real evidence to support the belief. These patterns appear in some common cognitive distortions such as jumping to conclusions, mind reading, interpreting the thoughts or beliefs of others without adequate evidence of support, or fortune telling, expecting the worst possible result without adequate evidence to support the assumption. 3. Seek support. Negative thought patterns thrive in isolation. If you are struggling with this common challenge please seek the help of a qualified therapist. There are times when the support of the objective point of view is necessary in order to unpack what is years of negative beliefs. Negative beliefs are learned. Positive beliefs can also be learned. The work begins is recognizing the need for change.
Author, Alicia M. Lurry LPC