The Top 5 Lies Your Anxious Mind Might Be Telling You and How You Can Fight Back!
If you struggle with anxiety, you know that it’s hard to turn you mind off. No matter the distraction, your anxious mind can move from the back seat to the driver’s seat without you even realizing it! Anxiety does not feel good and so we typically try to distract ourselves from paying too much attention to what our minds are actually say. But…there is value is hearing what your anxious mind is saying to you. If you pay attention, you might just be able to fight back!
Below are the top 5 things I’ve repeatedly heard clients say and the basic problem with this type of thinking. Through therapy and further exploration into thinking patterns, you’ll discover that there’s more to the problem than just what’s on the surface. However, I want to give you a starting point to identify thinking that’s not so helpful and give you some basic suggestions of what you can say to yourself to help you fight back!
Lie #1: I’m not good enough.
The Basic Problem: We compare ourselves with others or have unrealistic expectations of perfection.
Fight Back: “I’m enough because I am human. I am deserving of love, respect, the ability to make mistakes.” “It’s not fair for me to compare myself with others…we all have different skills, abilities, stories, and starting points.” “It’s okay if I make a mistake…that’s how I will learn.” “If I never try, I’ll never know if I can do it.”
Lie #2: I’m stupid
The Basic Problem: You label yourself based on external circumstances or mistakes.
Fight Back: “Just because I made a mistake doesn’t mean I’m stupid, it just means that I need more information, or need more practice.” “It’s not realistic to think that I will know everything about everything.”
Lie #3: Everyone has to like, or approve of, me.
The Basic Problem: You are overly focused on what other’s think of you and your worth is based on others’ approval of you.
Fight Back: “Just because someone doesn’t like me doesn’t mean that I’m not a likeable person.” “It’s not realistic to think everyone will always like me; I don’t like everyone I meet.” “Just because someone doesn’t approve of me or the way I do things doesn’t mean I’m bad or I’m doing something wrong, I might just be doing it different than how they do it.”
Lie #4: What if… (fill in the blank with your favorite extreme thoughts)
The Basic Problem: You think about too many possibilities that are unlikely to happen; you place too much emphasis on the impact of a negative outcome.
Fight Back: “What’s the worst thing that can happen in this situation, and how likely is it to happen?” “If X, X, or Z does happen would it really be as bad as I’m making it out to be?” “How have I gotten through other tough times when I didn’t know what the outcome would be?”
Lie #5: I shouldn’t feel this way.
The Basic Problem: You don’t like to feel hard or negative emotions because they are uncomfortable or you believe something is wrong with you if you feel then. You believe you should be happy all of the time.
Fight Back: “It’s not realistic to feel happy when sad or scary things happen.” “Part of being human is having various emotions…I have emotions for a reason and maybe I can learn from them.” “I’m not weak, or weird, because I feel different emotions.” “Everyone feels emotions even if it appears like they don’t.”
I hope this this has been a good starting point for you in listening to what your mind tells you and that it has given you some ideas in how to fight back! Remember, not everything your mind tells you is true…sometimes a thought is simply that…just a thought! If you are struggling at all with anxiety or other emotional problems, please give me a call. We’ll talk briefly about what’s going on for you and see if counseling is a good fit. If I’m not the best person to help you then I will get you in contact with someone who is. Call, or email today at 539-777-1129 or Dr.Leedy@legacycounselingservice.com