We all do it, what I call "Double Trouble." We trouble ourselves unnecessarily. If you want to learn how to feel better, keep reading, because I will teach you how you can feel better today. Step by step.
Having just celebrated Halloween a week ago, it seems appropriate that today I want to talk to you about what I call, Double Trouble.
Maybe this is you? Let’s say, you’ve been procrastinating <insert your unproductive habit here>. And on top of that, you’re beating yourself up FOR procrastinating.
So, if you’re not feeling beat down enough because of the consequences of your procrastinating, you’re now also feeling bad about yourself as a person. Do you see the double-trouble of this habit? It’s like being in the boxing ring fighting 2 opponents at one time, in a no-win fight either way.
So, why do we do this?
How do we think beating ourselves up about something we’re trying to change is going to help us? For a lot of people, they believe being hard on themselves about something they are trying to change will keep them accountable. Not let them off the hook. BUT…..
You know, from the thought model, that you cannot create positive results for yourself from negative thinking or feeling. Negative feelings create negative actions, negative actions create negative results. It’s just how it works. But all of us lose sight of this, especially when we’re not thinking about it.
Beating myself up is unproductive. Got it. So what do I do about it?
Do your thought models! This is where the work with thought models is so powerful. Really investigate what results you THINK your current thinking is going to create for you, versus what results it really is creating for you. Seeing that alone changes the whole game. Logically you now see, played out in front of you on paper, how your thinking really isn’t getting you the results you thought it was.
Bring compassion and mindfulness to your day.
If you want to drive productive results, you have to start thinking positive/productive thoughts. Thoughts that open up possibility, rather than shut it down. To do this, you have to become more aware of your thinking so you can choose differently if you want to. Take a look at your self-talk on the subject you’re punishing yourself for, it starts there. Self-talk is just un-questioned thoughts.
Remember, what you think is a choice! Start intentionally practicing thoughts that empower you.
“I’ll figure this out, ” “I can do this,” do you see how thoughts like this drive a whole different set of actions from you than thoughts like “I’ll never figure this out,” “I can’t believe I’m still procrastinating?”
Some examples of what my client tell me:
- "I feel bad that I am sad about XYZ situation, if I was 'stronger' I wouldn't be sad." Sad about being sad- doubles the trouble.
- "I am trying to be a good parent, but I feel like I am failing, and if I get angry I feel guilty and like I'm doing it all wrong." Being conscientious as a parent and judging yourself when you get angry and then feeling guilt - double the trouble.
- "I am so busy I can't seem to get anything done. I work most of the day and the weekends too, and when I don't accomplish all of my goals I feel like a total failure. What is wrong with me? I need to get it together!" Overwhelm, perfectionism and over-working - You feel bad after working all week long and having such high standards of yourself that you are not able to recognize what you did do but instead focus on what you could have done and then judge yourself as a loser on top of the challenging emotional week. Can we say double the trouble? I think so.
And the list goes on. Where do you do this to yourself? Where do you create suffering on top of suffering? Could you take 30-day diet from beating yourself up? How would your life be different? How would you feel? Would you have more energy, feel more love, and be more successful?
Let me give you two quick examples of before and after thought models.
Unintentional Thought Model
Circumstance: Parenting my son
Thought: I'm not doing a good enough job because he is not listening to me
Feeling: disempowered, frustrated
Action: little patience, yell even when I don't mean to, short with husband
Result: I'm not doing a good job as a parent and my son doesn't listen.
Intentional Thought Model:
Circumstance: Parenting my son
Thought: I am doing the best I can do and I love myself and my son
Action: allow him to have his feelings without taking responsibility for them and not making it mean that I am a bad parent if he is upset or acts in ways I don't like, set firm boundaries and have consequences, deliver these limits as calmly as I can and stick to them, not engage in the drama, have compassion for myself as a parent, have empathy for him and how he is learning how to manage emotions, remind myself of this thought repeatedly when I am challenged, avoid confrontation with my husband, if we disagree on parenting set a time to talk with husband about the incident when it is appropriate
Results: I am doing my best and I feel love for myself and my family
Your daily thought models are a powerful tool to help you begin to be the watcher of your thoughts, rather than be run by them. It’s a key tool to bringing more kindness and productivity to your thinking.
What better way to ditch the Double Trouble talk than by joining the 30-day challenge. It started on Wednesday but I'll leave the doors open through this weekend so you can get started. We'll be doing one thought download and one model every day for 30 days. They usually take under 10 minutes and doing them daily will really help you feel better about yourself and your life. What are you waiting for? Join now!