We live in one of the richest countries of the world, so what do we need to worry about? We have free public healthcare, a low infant mortality rate, and high life expectancy. We are free from war, famine, earthquakes and hurricanes. We still worry.
It seems to me to be a tragedy when I see client after client, mostly employed in secure jobs, with homes and families, suffering from anxiety, depression and low mood. Where does it all go wrong?
We set out in life, leaving school, teachers and parents behind and we think that at some mythical time in the future we will be all grown up and have life worked out. We will be happy, confident and successful and we will feel that we have arrived at the state of grown-up-ness. Not so. That doesn’t happen all on its own.
We usually start to actually think about our thinking once we have a crisis. This might be divorce, separation, redundancy or the death of a significant person. We find that our unhappiness becomes too much to bear and our resilience is overwhelmed. We become ill and may be on sick leave from work. This is usually the stage at which I get involved as a therapist. In a peaceful, unpressured way we can start to look at how to improve your mental health and your resilience and coping mechanisms.
Many people do not know how to think effectively. They are often operating on out-dated beliefs, and hence use ineffective strategies to direct actions that don’t work for them. They believe that they are not capable of effective action, and that any imposed change will be beyond their ability to handle. We usually start with the beliefs.
Limiting beliefs are beliefs that we absorb when we are small and have no capacity to challenge or assess the reality of the belief held by a teacher or parent. Beliefs like:
• Management or promotion is too much responsibility
• I’d fall apart if anyone died.
• Redundancy is a personal failure and a source of shame
• Good people don’t get divorced; they work at their marriage.
All these are reasonable views to hold, although I don’t share them. I often help my clients to examine the absolute truth of such beliefs, which usually allows them to let themselves off the hook to some extent. We can then start to look at more empowering beliefs.
Empowering beliefs lead to effective strategies, which can be combined with action. When you believe that you are fundamentally OK you can start to think about how to improve life in the ways that you want to.
Why does all that have to happen when you reach a crisis? It is my belief, supported by many years of work with thousands of clients, that effective thinking can be learnt as part of a coaching process in order to improve your life circumstances.
Good coaching from an effective practitioner will help you to clarify what you want to put in place for you to have your version of a happy life. A good coach will help you to dispute and remove limiting beliefs, explore realistic options for action and help you to clarify effective strategies and powerful actions.
Perhaps you can stop worrying and enjoy life!
To find out more, email me at [email protected] to arrange a free discovery session by telephone or Skype.