How do you start changing your harmful beliefs?
It would seem so easy to recognize some beliefs as wrong and, accordingly, change them from wrong to right. But if it was enough just to know the problem, no psychotherapy would be needed. In most cases, a person is in no hurry to give up erroneous beliefs that bring them trouble.
Are you wondering why? There can be many reasons:
Fear of the unknown
The fewer changes there are in a person’s life, the greater the fear of the unknown. Someone with psychological trauma can subconsciously perceive everything unknown as a threat. For a person with trauma, the most important thing is not to LIVE (for pleasure), but to SURVIVE (even if life is filled with sadness, longing, resentment, suffering).
People who have a trauma may not even be aware of it. They will simply be AFRAID of the unknown. They cling to even a fraction of the security that they associate with familiarity and comfort zone. And it’s here that what most often happens in psychology is called “kickback”. It’s so difficult for a person to behave in a different, unusual, new way. They will always choose the old behavior. Even when they realize this is harmful to them.
Their beliefs are focused on not getting to know anything new. They refuse to try new things.
All kinds of superstitions
This is about magical thinking. For people with this kind of thinking, everything in the world is always connected with everything. This means that there is no clear, definite causal relationship in the world for such people. In this regard, a person develops the idea that a violation of the usual order of things can cause some kind of big losses or terrible troubles.
Usually, these people have the following principle: “It’s not for me to change!”. For example, a person lives for himself and thinks that all that he has achieved in life is only because he forced himself. Yes, it was difficult for him to force himself to work under a hail of criticism and reproaches, but he did it. And if he suddenly stops scolding himself, he will immediately relax, he will not work, and, therefore, he will not be able to achieve much either. As you can see, a person does not even try to look at their usual life situation in a different way and help themselves to facilitate work, getting rid of unnecessary compulsion.
In this case, there is a thinking error, a cognitive distortion. It manifests itself in those people who stubbornly and stubbornly continue to believe in what only brings them harm. The following principle works: so much time and effort were invested in some business, in some situation, so is it really possible to quit now?. “No, I will continue to the end!”. And at the same time, a person does not realize that a business or a situation is losing, unproductive, hopeless, and it is inappropriate to invest any resources in them. They will simply be wasted. But a person continues to “live” again and again in what is not useful and advantageous for them.
If you “found” yourself in at least one of the above options, then you should ask the question “Why do I not give myself the opportunity to change and improve my own life qualitatively?”. Finding an answer to this question often requires the support of a psychologist and patience, since it may take a long enough period to abandon the old way of thinking and reorganize into a new format.
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