Episode 005: The Bottom Line Up Front is this: If you believe you deserve to succeed you will not self-sabotage.
Shame is Self-Induced
While that sounds simple on face value, the reasons behind low self-esteem come in infinite combinations. While helping a friend write a grant proposal for a non-profit, I developed a tool that has helped me solve complex problems in a simple way. Though my discovery here is in the realm of PTSD, it has ramifications elsewhere.
The Coulda Woulda Shouda Table:
Modern outpatient psychotherapy likes to “fix” every problem practically with 12, 1-hour sessions of individual talk therapy. Many have come accustomed to feeling ashamed to come to a counseling office, much less see a PTSD-specialized psychiatrist. Would you keep going if you expected to feel humiliated? Like you’re doing all the heavy lifting at home anyway, right? If you’re like a lot of people, the self-sabotage is for emotional reasons such as lack of forgiveness, particularly forgiving oneself.
The Vicious Cycle of Negative Thoughts and the Accompanying Feelings
Therefore, the problem of self-sabotage is usually one of two things playing back and forth against each other:
- Core belief of unworthiness, often due to guilt or abuse, usually invoking cognitive distortions for the condition to last for years.
- Persistent feeling of guilt or anxiety that seems to come first, then followed by thoughts of not deserving happiness. Remember, happiness comes during the active pursuit of a worthwhile goal – like writing this book!
Examples of Self Sabotage in PTSD Therapy
- Not attending all of the sessions
- Not making healing a priority in your life
- Poor lifestyle decisions (nutrition and exercise)
- Continued avoidance mechanisms (alcohol, work-aholism, emotion-stuffing)
How to End the Suffering of PTSD
Ever notice how we can sometimes make a bad situation worse? Unintentionally? When we define suffering as the emotional consequences of forecasting a negative future, we begin to see a way we can reduce the suffering. Grieve cleanly, cry and get it out – without unhealthy avoidance mechanisms. Then, when the feeling of sadness starts to subside, stop your thoughts from turning towards a negative future. Get up. And go do something else – move along with your day!