A blog my boss said. “I want you to write a blog on DBT skills”. I’ve never written a blog before. Will people like it? What will I even write about? Where will I find the time? There is no way I can do this. I’m already counseling my patients as a second job, have supervision group, team consultation, and am going to be starting a class soon. All that with my personal life responsibilities. It’s impossible…
Is this how my patients think? What would they think if they could see me now? They would tell me to challenge myself. They would say its ok if I failed knowing that I gave it my best shot. They would say who cares if nobody else likes it if you enjoy writing it. In fact, I’m teaching them next week about Myth Busting regarding Interpersonal Effectiveness skills. So how can I rewrite this narrative.
DBT describes that there are 4 ways to challenge our myths:
1) Argue against them logically
Ok, easy enough. Fist myth – Instead of thinking to myself that it is impossible, I can say that it is possible though it will be difficult to find the time.
2) Checking the facts
Will it really be that hard to find the time? Well, I will have to watch less NCIS reruns at night, but I can make a schedule to assure I can get everything done along with this blog.
3) Practice Opposite Action
Alright, I can dive into this right now and surprisingly it is taking time, but the process of just throwing one’s thoughts into writing isn’t so bad.
4) Practice Coping Ahead with imagined negative consequences.
When that schedule goes wrong instead of giving up, I’ll have to regroup and make a new plan. What’s the worst thing that can happen? A blog post will be late? It won’t be the end of the world if that happens. Alright lets give this a try!
When we get so stuck in our heads that we cannot do something that is the narrative our body both biologically and psychologically adopts too. We carry that weight around with us and it helps form, or more likely deform who we are. Instead of thinking I don’t deserve to be happy. Ague against it logically, of course you do, everyone does! Instead of thinking if they say no it will kill me, how about checking the facts. It won’t kill me, but it will be disappointing. I must be inadequate if I can’t fix this myself. Have you really tried, or is it easier to ask for help every time. Opposite action. Go out there and do it and if you failed then you aren’t inadequate you are learning like everyone else and you’ll do better next time. And my favorite, “I don’t care” well sure you do so lets make a plan. Just because something went wrong does not mean you give up. Something in life will always go astray, but as the great Rocky Balboa once said “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and still move forward”.
So to all you readers bust those myths, keep moving forward, and please accompany me on this journey of self-improvement and mindfulness through the vast world of DBT skills!