More gems from Change Your Thinking
...and then I'm onto another book, honest!
On page 159 of the 275-page book, it picks up a common mistake in life and relationships:
Don't confuse the things you did with the person you are. You are much, much more than just a few behaviours.
Sounds so simple, yet how many of us have allowed ourselves to be branded - by others, or by ourselves - based on one mistake. Or alternatively, on one success?
For example (from the book):
Vicki unthinkingly passed on some information that was told to her in confidence, which unfortunately got back to her original source. Her friend is furious with her for 'shooting her mouth off', and Vicki is beside herself with shame and remorse. She tells herself that she is a traitor and a heel and should never be trusted again.
What we do is so different from who we are.
Here's another example that isn't based on a mistake, but just on everyday behaviour. I strongly relate to this one (although less so these days).
Kim feels like the odd one out at the advertising agency where she works. Although she has been there for almost a year, Kim doesn't feel particularly close to the other members of her team. The other people have different values and interests to her own, and Kim regards much of the conversation to be pretty superficial and banal. Most of the staff seem to get on well with each other, and at times Kim wonders if there's something wrong with her. She labels herself as an outsider.
The book then goes on to describe Kim's thought-monitoring form, a very helpful device, which helps her arrive at this conclusion:
"I connect well with some people and not with others. There is no reason why I should connect well with everyone. I got on well with the staff at my last job- people are all different. It would be nice to feel closer to the staff, but it's OK if I don't. That doesn't make me inferior or inadequate. It's OK for me to be who I am - I don't need to be anyone different."
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is about reframing reality in a healthy way. It's about saying "this is true, yes, BUT..."
More on the thought monitoring form tomorrow.