Talking Ourselves Into Something That Didn’t Work

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

Have you ever talked yourself into something that didn’t work the first time? I have! I’d be surprised if there isn’t some behavior I’m doing now that I haven’t told myself, “hey self, this didn’t work out so nicely last time.” But there’s also a lot I AM aware of now. I think it’s a bit of human nature to bump into the same issue more than once. For some it’s a whole thing, but for most people they might try drinking milk a number of times before realizing how lactose intolerant they truly are. For others, they may have tried a relationship with a so-called ex about a million times only to realize yet again that it didn’t work.

I think the main thing is noticing it. How do we notice what we don’t notice though? Or how do we not talk ourselves out of it once we have noticed? I am not sure how to know what we don’t know. I’d love to think that self-reflection through feeling in the body, thinking, writing, meditation, or sharing with trusted ones can mean more insight. I’d love to think that and certainly that’s been my experience, BUT I know there are still some areas I don’t even know I don’t know about. I hope that last bit makes sense. Therefore, I’m not sure exactly how to help someone notice a pattern they might not even know to bring up in therapy. However, once you know about it I surely can help you to not keep doing it.

In a non-shameful way I’d ask the person to explore when they first felt that way was and what was happening then. They might share a time when they were othered by a teacher and that they now feel this way with an ex and his friends. Or I might non-shamefully explore with them when the first time they felt that feeling in their body was. I’d support them to explore what they’d want to feel with that pattern instead, so with the othering example they might want an ex/friend/situationship lover to invite them in and not other them. When the time is right I’d explore with them how they feel about that discrepancy and if there’s anything they’d like to do differently about that. Now what I just said above might be uncovered in years of therapy or a 15 minute free consultation. I think it all just depends on the work someone is doing, therapeutic alliance, and types of therapy a therapist is doing. All in all, once you spot it I want to help you to:

  1. Non-shamefully explore when you first felt this way.
  2. Explore how you’d like to feel.
  3. Notice this discrepency.
  4. Notice how you feel about that discrepancy.
  5. Explore of there’s something you want to do differently about what you’ve got and what you actually want.

So grateful to walk through this again and again with you. The coolest part of this hard work is that we get more space to welcome in what we want when we look at what’s not working. I believe we get to wake up to what we don’t want but keep doing and make more space for the ways we want to intentionally live. Well that’s all for now and looking forward to more uncovering with you next week!

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