Perfection can be a mirage

Perfection can be a mirage.

Comparisons are not only odious, they can play with your mind, rattle your self-esteem and things aren't always what they seem to be. Comparing our inside with others outsides sends all of us on fools errands, the person we envy because they seem to have the perfect life can be firefighting all kinds of problems behind closed doors. 

It is worth taking time to slow down and consider a few facts?

  • Thoughts are a facility not a reality, they can influence us but they can't control us.
  • Behaviours work by helping us avoid painful feelings, they can be drivers…which boringly can stay on repetitive cycles.
  • Experiences or feelings happen in our stomachs, think the bottom falling out of our throats when words get stuck, or chests, necks and shoulders feeling tense.

Like many of us when anger/anxiety builds we find a magical way of avoiding our feelings. We turn to our private companions; food, alcohol and fantasy, as anger and anxiety disappear in our rear view mirrors. For the time being!

Research conducted at the University of California in San Francisco shows that the more difficulty we have saying no, the more likely we are to experience avoidance, stress, burnout, and even depression. All contributors to the erosion of self-control and self-esteem and for me most importantly self-worth!

Working out where we experience our feelings, the traffic lights of our patterns of behaviour is best accomplished in the company of a seasoned therapist. Here the journey exits from where we can break free of unhelpful thoughts and behaviours can begins.

We exist between two worlds, a world of awareness and a world of thinking. The thinking world is narrated by language while the world of awareness is narrated by feelings/experiences. In the world of experience we pay attention to our feelings, as opposed to getting caught up in our thoughts and self-talk. Think for a second of incredible sunsets, precious experiences disrupted by demanding thoughts and chatter like 'I should be.'

ABC your automatic braking control to slow you down and keep you safe. Like all skills it needs practise. Once you know your ABC, you are in control of, rather than at the mercy of runaway emotions. When engaging in anything that is powerful or potentially dangerous-whether driving a car or facing an emotional challenge, knowing how to apply the brakes is essential for safety. Like a car without well-functioning brakes, emotional scenarios can easily accelerate and run out of control if you don't know how to do an emergency stop! The ability to reason and think clearly is often a casualty of runaway emotions, both immediately and in the aftermath.

And so to begin the journey.

What is ABC?

A: Anchor 
Drop your (imaginary) anchor. It won't stop the storm but it will slow you down and get you into safe harbour while the storm passes.

B: Breathe 
Get plenty of oxygen to your brain.

C: Connect
With five things you can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. This connection takes you out of your thinking self and into your sensory self.

Now you're in safe harbour!

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Written by Yvonne Fitzpatrick-Grimes MBACP Psychotherapist

I'm Yvonne, an experienced counsellor and psychotherapist with a solid academic background in psychotherapy. From a wealth of experience, I will help you make informed choices about what you want to achieve, in a way that honours who you are and what you want to achieve.… Read more

Written by Yvonne Fitzpatrick-Grimes MBACP Psychotherapist

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