Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Reflections

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Distinctions, Feelings and Behaviour

There is a crucial difference between feelings and behaviour: Feelings are internal and cannot be observed by anyone else. If we express our feelings in our outwards actions then it is the expression of them (in our behaviour) that is observed, not the feelings themselves.

This difference between internal and external events has important implications; for example, we can never know how someone is feeling we can only guess or infer from their behaviour and similarly no one else is able to access our feelings,
they remain a private experience unless we choose to reveal them in our spoken or unspoken actions.

By their nature feelings, unlike behaviour, are not susceptible to direct control by other people, they are entirely our own. We cannot control other people's feelings and vice versa. Even though others may do their best to influence our feelings, we alone choose whether to let this happen or not.


Success

To succeed in achieving our goals in life we need a clear vision, passion, focus and commitment. Never let temporary setbacks or defeat become permanent failure.

Be deaf to all the people that tell you, you will not achieve your dreams. Identify and eliminate any negative or self-limiting thoughts and beliefs that may be holding you back.
Remember nothing has any power over you other than that which you give it through your conscious thoughts.

"There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way".

Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is more than just something you do when things go wrong or when you try to correct a situation. Positive thinking is a way of living; it’s a practice, a technique that you need to incorporate into your daily life if you have any intentions of changing things or accomplishing your goals. Positive thinking requires us to get rid of all our negative thought patterns and create a new belief system.

It does take time and discipline to retrain our mind but Cognitive Therapy can provide you with the techniques to do this.

Change your beliefs and you will change your world. So many people's lives are governed by their self-limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns.

Our core beliefs drive our thoughts/cognitions, emotions and behaviour. We need to reconstruct these core beliefs to make them more positive in order to live a happier more constructive life

Change Your Thinking

REFRAMING

One of the most powerful and creative stress reducers. It is a technique used to change the way you look at things in order to feel better about them. We all do this inadvertently at times.

The key to reframing is to recognise that there are many ways to interpret the same situation.

It is like the age-old question: Is the glass half-empty or half-full? The answer of course is that it is both or either, depending on your point of view. However, if you see the glass as half full, it will feel different than seeing it as half empty because the way we feel almost always results from the way we think.

The message of reframing is this: there are many ways of seeing the same thing- so you might as well pick the one you like. Reframing does not change the external reality, but simply helps you to view things differently- and less stressfully.

 
Self Image, Motivation and Positive Attitudes

There is a direct link between the quality of our thinking and the quality of our lives. We think in words, pictures and feelings or emotions. If we can change the words we use we can change the pictures that we see, changing the feelings and emotions impacting on our self-image.
This in turn influences the choices available to us, the decisions we make and actions we take which determines the results that we achieve in life.

Who we believe we are and what we believe we are capable of is determined by our self-image.

We are responsible for deciding how we feel and act based on the ways we choose to perceive ourselves and our lives. The good news is that it is possible to alter our limiting beliefs and break our negative talk cycles and patterns, (how we communicate with ourselves) alter attitudes and behaviours to improve our experience of life and that of others.

Our thoughts are under our control, a feeling is always preceded by a thought.

Self-talk builds our self-image, which is held in our unconscious mind. Our self-image, the way we see ourselves is closely linked to our sense of self-worth.

Our thinking plays an essential role in our level of motivation. Our attitudes play a key role in building and maintaining our level of motivation.

A positive and motivated person's behaviour is contagious, in the way they communicate, in their day to day actions and interactions, and in the body language they display.

Attitudes are driven by our values, beliefs, expectations and opinions, and in turn determine our emotions. Our attitudes are formed over time through our life experiences and various influences upon us and how we respond to these. It is our thoughts and attitudes that create our feelings and if positive can harness our resources in a focused empowering and constructive way but if not can have the effect of lowering our confidence, disempowering and limiting us.

If we focus our resources positively, the possibilities are endless; we can achieve whatever we wish for.
We have an incredible brain and throughout our lives, we have the opportunity to challenge its limits and develop its abilities.

It is important to understand that it is our thoughts and attitudes - not external events - that create our feelings. We can learn to change the way we think, feel, and behave in the here and now.

This simple - but for some - revolutionary principle can help you change your life.


Success and Happiness
Myths and Zero- Sum Games

We are all capable of achieving real success and true happiness, through knowledge and self awareness.

Commonly we equate 'success' with prominence and position, you are either a winner or a loser. But this is a very negative and limiting view. Success is not actually about our status in relation to others, and we need to redefine the way we think about success in order to achieve true happiness.

Success, in its truest sense, is about how well we use our gifts, abilities and potential to develop ourselves and create the life and balance we desire, so that success includes being happy, most of the time.
 
Status, as an indicator of success, is a misnomer, a lie we have been conditioned to believe. Those who have status are not always happy or successful in everything they do and vice versa.

Low self esteem is a common factor in many of the problems and issues that hold people back and stop them achieving their ambitions- those who lack confidence are unable to live successfully, those who don't love themselves are unable to love others.
A ridiculous amount of unhappiness is created by the myths we are taught to believe in, by the falsehoods we are told we must live up to, and the feelings of failure that arise when we (more often than not) don't.
 
Our insistence on status, and the accompanying possessions, is limiting us and creating negative cycles which become more and more difficult to break.

Life is not a competition. Competitive games are 'zero-sum games', that is one in which we can only win if the other person or side loses- I win one, you lose one and together the outcomes add up to zero. In order to have winners there must be losers. But most of our relationships and interactions are not zero sum games, it is not necessary for someone to lose in order for us to achieve. You don't have to 'beat' someone, it is possible for everyone to achieve what they wish, and for all to be successful.

That's not to say that it is wrong to put oneself first, but that it is possible to do so and avoid the risk of becoming self-centred. Our first goal should be to to run our own lives successfully, because only then will we be able to be really constructive in our relationships with others. Happiness begets happiness, hence concentrating on building our own happy lives is the opposite of selfishness, providing we do so without being unfair or unreasonable to others.

If we do what is basically right for us, without being unreasonably unfair to others, then what we offer them is our true self, and not an act. We are aligned, in balance, true to ourselves and happy because of it.

To be truly successful as an individual and having respect for others rights and feelings, are not mutually exclusive things. In fact our success can allow us to create more positive and constructive interactions, leading to growth and development for all.

In some situations a zero sum approach may be entirely appropriate. However the application of zero sum attitudes to the majority of life, which is not zero sum, is ineffective, detrimental to our self esteem and has a negative effect on society as a whole.The myth that success equals winning, equals beating others is dangerous to our health and, ironically, our ability to achieve success.

If we tolerate the myth then we are accepting that we will live within a competitive environment and that means accepting that more often than not we will not be as successful, content or happy as we could have been.
 
 
 
 
 

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