“I wake up, it’s 4am. The thought enters my mind, ‘Oh, it’s today. What am I going to have to face?’ Then I start ticking off all the things I have to face and with each one, I ask myself how I will cope with that. What if I can’t? What if I get anxious? What do I need to do in order to get myself through it? My mind fills with these possibilities and the anxiety starts to rise. I get this sinking nauseous feeling in my stomach and then the feeling of being broken and damaged washes over me again. I feel so vulnerable. I don’t undertstand why I am in this situation again. It feels like I am back at square one. If I can’t control myself, I am failing. All the things I have learned seem to be lost to me now. I feel so powerless,” (Grant, Townend, Mills, & Cockx, 2008, p. 162).
How many of us can identify with “Claire’s” “self”-defeating thoughts? We wake up, consider our responsibilities for the day, and then seem to give up on ourselves before we begin to accomplish anything. And even when we do accomplish our tasks, we may give luck the credit.
Like Claire, doubting thoughts may not be a daily reoccurrence. Some days may seem better than others. However on the not-so-good days, we feel that we are not progressing; one step forward and ten steps back!
“As the anxiety and feeling of being broken washes over me, the familiar image enters my mind. There I am, standing at the sink at 4 o’clock, feeling desperate, helpless, and anxious. I can’t go back to that place, I tell myself. It feels so dark and powerless,” (Grant, et al., 2008, p. 162).
The fear of once having experienced our lowest selves and not wanting to go through this again can have us feeling stuck. It is important to consider what we did to cope and overcome difficult times in the past. Ever wonder that thoughts may not really be ours? This includes the negatives that, along with all the positive thoughts, may just be a combination of thoughts collected over the years, beating up on us much like a virus beats up on a body or computer?
Some of us are able, at times, to talk ourselves out of it, stay focused and move forward. Some seek out their support system, calling upon a family member or friend. Our loved ones are often aware of our situation and, thus, can offer encouragement and even help to get through some of these troubling moments.
Some of us may choose to seek out professional counselling, getting coaching to get rid of “stinkin’ thinkin'” and develop a plan to get out of difficult times. It is important to note that seeking out supportive counselling is a strength, and does not indicate a failing or weakness. Some of us may benefit from monthly or bi-monthly coaching sessions to ensure we stay on track with our goals and receive the level of life coaching to help us improve our lives more efficiently and effectively.