Self-Talk: STOP ‘Negative’ Thoughts :)

‘It’s the end of the world,” says the catepillar. ‘It’s the beginning of the world,’ says the butterfly.” Artist: Giovanni Gastel

I am a Child and Family Therapist and have been one since 5/15/2019. I completed my MSW (Masters of Social Work) this Summer, as of 7/10/2020, and now pursuing licensure for my LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). I have a way to go, and still new to the game, however I have been on my journey of Self-healing/finding myself since at least the age of 17. Am I enlightened? No. I have a long way to go, but I have learned a few things along the way through my studies – academically and personally.  

I am a Child and Family Therapist and have been one since 5/15/2019. I completed my MSW (Masters of Social Work) this Summer, as of 7/10/2020, and now pursuing licensure for my LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). I have a way to go, and still new to the game, however I have been on my journey of Self-healing/finding myself since at least the age of 17. Am I enlightened? No. I have a long way to go, but I have learned a few things along the way through my studies – academically and personally.  

Cognitive Behavior Therapy is in the mainstream/popular style of practice for the modern-day therapist. It is only one way of changing thoughts, which results in changing our patterns of behavior (in brief). Is the ‘stop think’ method effective in the long run? May be not, but it can be utilized initially in the beginning, to feel the power of our thoughts that which create our external reality. 

I forgot what the exercise below was called, and I didn’t rate my beliefs on them, it is just a brainstorming or awareness of my own ‘Negative’ thoughts and ‘Core Beliefs’. It was suggested to me by my Field Liason in my Foundational Internship (If you want to read about my academic Journey, look up ‘A Trip Back in Time part 1 and 2’. I haven’t written about my MSW journey yet, but maybe soon. Take this as an introduction! 

In sum, I began my MSW program in the Fall of 2016. It should have only taken me 2 years to complete, however, took me nearly 4. First semester, only courses that prepared for future internships. Second semester was the first semester of my Foundation internship. I should have completed my foundational internship by the end of summer 2017 – but nope! Due to my Social Anxiety, it was extended… and extended… two semesters. Then, finally finished, I was burnt out and feeling low due to little guidance. I took almost year off from studying (9 months roughly), as I entered a new employment (Hospice Social Worker for a small Hospice in my area of the world).  

A new hope entered my being, though, as I discovered a local Yoga Studio which I began taking Yoga classes at in December 2018, and then entered a Yoga Teacher Training (200 HR) in January 2019. Through that journey and my own internal work, I re-applied to the MSW program, I only had one course and my concentrated internship to complete, and switched jobs to complete my paid internship, at the agency I am currently working at still.  

Anyways, I am rambling! Below is an exercise I completed to be aware of my ‘negative thoughts’ and some core beliefs. I did not continue with it, though, so took (and is taking) a long time for me to change the beliefs of low self-worth and inadequacy. 

12/6/2017

Brainstorming to reframining my thoughts: 

  • Mental blocks – avoidance – goals – achievements – plan –strengths/weaknesses – fears – overcoming – focus – drive – plan – process – keys to achievement – emptying the mind – freedom – life – writing – overcoming – free association – reality based – stop self-hate = stardom around the corner = goals will be achieved. What happened today? You, will, succeed. You, have, a purpose. Write – create – love – do – never stop – stay grounded in reality. Reality. Reality – fantasy has its purpose, pulled you through hard times – now time for growing up into reality. – 

False Core Beliefs – The voices I hear in my head, these words. Who are the voices? Some are mine, others are my parents, others. Hmm… I’d need to explore more. 

  • I’m not good enough 
  • I’m weak 
  • I don’t want to do this. 
  • I’m better than you. 
  • I’m a failure 
  • Grow up 
  • I am immature 
  • I’m mentally unstable. 
  • I’m afraid 
  • I’m not ok 
  • I want to die 
  • I can’t do it 
  • Memories of past failures, of choking up, crying – I can’t control my emotions, I’m childish – weak – lazy 
  • I am behind in life. 
  • I will do ‘it’ later 
  • Pushing off success 
  • I’m a burden 
  • I’m mentally slow 
  • I’m behind in life 
  • It’s about me – I’m selfish 
  • I’m not shy. I just don’t feel good enough 
  • I can’t Role-play because I feel I should not have to. 
  • I beat myself up about it. 
  • People laugh at me (inside my head) 
  • People taunt me (inside my head) 
  • I have images of men when I feel insecure (inside my head) 
  • I’m frequently confused 
  • I’m unsure about myself 
  • I hide from the world 
  • I am sheltered from life. 
  • I feel trapped (in my head) 
  • I struggle with reality, hence I stay in fantasy 
  • No one needs to know my insecurities 
  • I can heal me 
  • Me. Me. Me 
  • I am an analyzer 
  • I overthink 

So, some core beliefs and thoughts above have been identified. Now, providing an example of a situation that triggered such negative thoughts/false core beliefs, this one I rated my belief in the event/act. Act is replacement of thought, and my belief in the reframed though. And if belief is low, what I will need to do/can do to increase the belief.  

2/14/18 

Situation: signing in failed 

current feeling: anxious/scared, dreadful 

Thoughts: What’s wrong with me? I’m an idiot. 

Acts: We all make mistakes (40% believe). Use mind tricks to help you remember. Don’t worry about what’s going on around you, but instead what needs to be done first. 

A week of wrongs: 

  • Monday: Signed in late from lunch after being written up once and then got another write up. 2nd 1 = 1 day suspension without pay (L I failed). 
  • Tuesday: Fought with a FWB (Matt) due to accusations of sleeping around and lies because of my phone going off at midnight (Alex texting me to confirm a day trip of hiking) 
  • Wednesday: another mistake at work – HIPPA violation due to lack of concentration – gave wrong medical records out. 
  • Thursday: fucked up on signing in again!!!!!! 
  • Feelings: dread (100%), sad (60%), anxious (80%), disappointed (100%), foolish (100%) 
  • Physical symptoms: restlessness, fatigue, stomachache, intestine cramps, minor constipation, fast heartbeat, dry mouth 
  • Learned: challenges make you stronger; I need to work on concentration and communication and punctuality. 

Our external reality affects our thoughts, emotions and future actions. We are taught beliefs from infant stage, and they are perceptions of how to be, act, and feel within the individual’s culture/society. One element affects another, as we all are all systematically connected, which includes our thoughts and emotions. However, nothing is permanent, and our beliefs, thoughts and emotions can and do change.  

Hmm… after reviewing this exercise I did a couple years ago, maybe I should practice some of these techniques on myself. I’m recognizing a pattern of thought/behavior just by reviewing this old writing. Maybe it made you curious about Cognitive Behavior Therapy yourself? If so, do some research, and let me know what you think. You do not have to see an actual therapist, just some food for thought.  

Peace & Love ❤ 

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