Category Archives: Success & Motivation

The Work on ‘I need to feel successful’

I need to feel successful.

Is that true?

I don’t know.

Can I absolutely know that it’s true?

No.

How do I react when I believe the thought ‘I need to feel successful’?

I set a lot of goals and when I don’t fulfil them I feel stressed out. I obsess about doing uni really well and getting terrific marks to the point where I push myself so hard that I fall ill every semester. I struggle and I put up with the struggle, because I believe that success comes after struggle. When I don’t achieve whatever it is I think I need to feel I’m successful, I’m just left with a lot of heartache and disappointment in myself. I compare my achievements and the milestones I’ve reached to other people’s, and I feel really terrible about myself and my life. To try to deal with that, I make up a story about how other people’s achievements are boring and ordinary, and I make myself superior to them in my eyes — very stressful. I push myself, and I exhaust myself. I set a lot of goals that I don’t finish, and life is a constant struggle.

Who am I without the thought ‘I need to feel successful?’

I do things because it feels good to do them, and I peacefully set them aside when I’m done. Life is so peaceful — so much quiet and presence, and no striving. I peacefully finish assignments and study for exams with little thought about the outcome, and as many breaks as I require. Life is so enjoyable. I do creative pursuits when I want to, and I enjoy them completely.

Turn it around

– I don’t need to feel successful.

Reasons it could be better to not feel successful:

1. I can see that there’s more to do The Work on.
2. I can enjoy setting new goals and making plans to complete them.
3. I can enjoy what there is to enjoy in not feeling successful — confiding in Boyfriend and having him help me come up with a plan to feel more successful, getting cuddles, wallowing, eating chocolate, etc.

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The Work on ‘We need to find the perfect place’

We need to find the perfect place (to rent).

Is it true?
Yes.

Can I absolutely know that it’s true that we need to find the perfect place?
I don’t know.

What’s the evidence that we need to find the perfect place?
If it’s not perfect, I will feel anxious there.

Is that true?
I have no idea.

Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
No.

How do I react when I believe the thought that if it’s not perfect, I will feel anxious there?
I feel really stressed about househunting. I check the listings obsessively, and I feel jittery when I do. I feel stressed about the fact that not many suitable places are coming up right now (in the past two weeks). I write places off for small faults. I feel really unsettled and scared. I feel tense in my stomach and very shaky. The whole idea of moving terrifies me.

Who would I be without the thought that if it’s not perfect, I will feel anxious there?
I would relax and view listings with an open mind. My body and stomach would relax. I would feel more calm and centred. Space would open up where I could think of myself as a flexible and resilient person who carries her home inside her. I would feel a lot stronger and at peace.

Is there a stress-free reason to keep the thought?
No.

Turn it around.

– Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and I won’t be anxious.
1. Things are FAR from perfect in my family home, in fact a lot of things don’t work, or are untidy and unclean (or full of insects), and I feel comfortable here.
2. The house I lived in in 2003 wasn’t perfect and I felt safe there — when we first moved in, our bedroom doors didn’t even shut properly.
3. It’s really about the vibe of the place, and the comfort we add to it, rather than its facilities.

– Everything needs to be imperfect, or I’ll be anxious.
Actually, if a place is TOO modern and looks un-lived in, that scares me too. There’s such a thing as ‘too perfect’.

-My thinking needs to be perfect, or I’ll be anxious.
It’s really my thoughts about moving that need the most effort and attention in the lead-up to moving. Not the house listings.

So, evidence that we need to find the perfect place?
I need to do everything I can to make sure I’m happy there.

Is that true?
No.

How do I react when I believe the thought that I need to do everything I can to make sure I’m happy there?
I feel like there are a million things to do and factors to consider, and moving feels like a HUGE deal. I feel stressed and panicked, and like there’s not enough time. I stress and feel tense and like i’m being irresistably pulled towards something I have no way of preparing for.

Who would I be without the thought that I need to do everything I can to make sure I’m happy there?
I would relax, physically and mentally. I could imagine myself feeling comfortable anywhere. I would realise I could go at my own pace, and also that not much will change when I move.

Is there a stress-free reason to believe that I need to do everything I can to make sure I’m happy?
If I do that, then I’m less likely to be anxious.

Is that true?
No.

Is there a stress-free reason to believe that I need to do everything I can to make sure I’m happy there?
No.

Turn it around
– I don’t need to do everything I can to make sure I’m happy there
1. ‘Everything’ also includes some dysfunctional behaviours, like avoidance and rituals, that I shouldn’t encourage
2. Doing ‘everything’ is super stressful, which doesn’t make me happy!!
3. Whether I’m happy or anxious there actually has very little to do with the surroundings — it’s mostly internal. so I don’t have to do ‘everything’, only ‘The Work’. and I don’t even have to do that.

– I do need to do everything I can to make sure my thinking is happy there.
If I want to be happy there, I must work on my thinking. This is SO much more important than the house itself — getting myself to a point where I can feel comfortable from a place within myself is SO much more important and valuable. And long-lasting!

Evidence that we need to find the perfect place?
I need to feel safe there.

Is that true?
Oh my god. OH MY GOD. No!!! It isn’t!!

How do I react when I believe the thought that I need to feel safe there?
I stress out about moving. I feel terrified of moving and feeling unsafe. I avoid moving — I’ve avoided it for years. I avoid it because there’s no way of being certain that I’ll feel safe there. When I think about moving, my heart races and I begin to have difficulty swallowing. I imagine feeling extremely unsafe there and I get absolutely terrified. It’s awful.

Who would I be without the thought that I need to feel safe there?
I would just move. ha. haha ! HAHHAHAHA !!!

Is there a stress-free reason to believe the thought?
No.

Turn it around
– I don’t need to feel safe there.
1. I don’t feel safe here either, but I live here
2. Anxiety is the same everywhere, and my coping strategy is the same everywhere
3. It’s not a requirement to feel safe where you live — it’s not necessary for survival, or for life to go on.

– I need to feel safe in my thinking
That’s what it’s all about. If I feel safe internally, it doesn’t matter what’s up externally. And I can Work on my thinking anywhere.

Evidence that we need to find the perfect place?
None.

How do I react when I believe the thought that we need to find the perfect place?
I stress out. I obsessively check the house listings. I feel tense in my body. Even though there’s a month left before Boyfriend has to move, I feel as panicked as if there was only a week left. When I see that there are no new suitable places, I feel totally stressed and disappointed. The whole experience becomes extremely stressful.

Who would I be without the thought that we need to find the perfect place?
I would relax. I would wait til the email alerts about listings came, or if I checked obsessively it would be because it was fun. I would trust that the right place will find us, even if it doesn’t appear like my idea of the ‘right place’. Bottomline — I would trust. There would be a LOT of peace in that.

Is there a stress-free reason to believe the thought that we need to find the perfect place?
No.

Turn it around
-We don’t need to find the perfect place
1. I can learn to be happy anywhere
2. The perrfect place for us is actually whatever place we get
3. The perfect place will find me, it’s inevitable

– We need to find the imperfect place
1. Reality is never exactly like what you imagine — that’s the way it is, and therefore that’s the way it should be. So I shouldn’t find the place that perfectly matches my imagination.
2. As I said before, when a place is too perfect, it sort of freaks me out — it seems cold and clinical
3. The house I loved was definitely perfectly imperfect.

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The Work on ‘I need fear to motivate me’

I need fear to motivate me.

Is that true?

No.

How do I react when I believe the thought ‘I need fear to motivate me’?

I torture myself with an imagined future involving the consequences of doing or not doing whatever it is I’m trying to motivate myself to do or avoid. For example, I think of myself as enormously fat, ugly and ill, both now and in the future. I torture myself with images of not being good at my chosen profession, and failing my subjects at uni, in order to try and force myself to study. Of course I rebel against this. I eat a whole lot of junk food, or I don’t study for a few days, and then I feel very guilty, and angry with myself, and afraid. I believe I am not good enough, lazy, and unacceptable. I hold on to a lot of fearful thoughts because I’m afraid that, without them, I won’t get the life I want. And, in the meantime, I never get the life I want because I’m always afraid and never happy.

Who am I without the thought ‘I need fear to motivate me’?

I am at peace. Nothing matters. I do things because I want to, and I don’t do them when I don’t want to. Life is exactly as I want it to be, and I haven’t even achieved the things I think I want to achieve. I’m so relaxed and happy. It doesn’t even matter if I achieve whatever it is, or not.

Is there a peaceful reason to believe the thought ‘I need fear to motivate me’?

No.

Turn it around.

– I need love to motivate me.

I will have more lasting success and a steady stream of happiness if what I do I do out of love. For example, if I don’t eat junk food because I feel heavy and horrid afterwards, and I love myself enough to spare myself that pain. Or, I study progressively throughout semester because I love myself too much to want to stress myself out by making myself do entire assignments in a day. Or I do The Work because I love myself and the people around me enough to help myself reach peace.

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