If you relate to this or some version of it you can change how you see yourself and expect to be treated. Pick a time when you can be quiet and thoughtful about your reflections and work through the following steps:
- List three beliefs or statements that you tell yourself that support you to continue the behavior (i.e. people won’t like me, I’ll get in trouble, etc.).
- Ask yourself what purpose is served by holding onto or attaching to these beliefs (i.e. feeling safe, staying comfortable in familiarity, etc.).
- Write down 3 or 4 times you remember feeling just like this as a child.
- Identify what scares you about letting go of or changing these beliefs.
- Identify one small step you can take to make a change – just one as you want to be assured of success (i.e., I’ll get back to you on that). Practice this change in circumstances and with people who are not “necessary” for your well-being.
- Develop 3 affirmations related to your behavior change and read them several times a day (i.e., I _________ am a strong and assertive person).
- Finally, visualize yourself feeling happy and peaceful with your small change.
Remember, human beings are born with the innate drive for self-preservation. Families develop their own rules about what is acceptable and not acceptable. Because of this we often, unknowingly, repeat patterns of how to interact with people that we learned in order to get along in our families of origin. The problem for us is that patterns that worked back then may not serve our highest good in the here and now. We all have a road map in our brain that begins to form at the very beginning of life and we develop a “superhighway” of responses. It’s time to take a side road (maybe even forge a new path) and experience a new and much more rewarding adventure!
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