People with low self-esteem will often describe how they have a ‘little voice’ in the back of their head constantly telling them they’re going to fail.
You assume that because you’ve failed at one task you are going to fail at all tasks, and ‘false hypotheses’, where you incorrectly predict that you’re going to fail at your tasks.
One of the most commonly used of these is actually borrowed from meditation and is known as ‘mindfulness’. Here you are instructed to find a quiet place and to sit down with their eyes closed. Much like in meditation they are then instructed to reflect on their inner thoughts. This doesn’t mean that you should attempt to clear their minds however, instead you are instructed to merely ‘watch’ thoughts as they pass by without engaging in them, merely observing the content of their brains as they might watch clouds passing in the sky. This way you can identify the kinds of things you are thinking and in particular any destructive thoughts you might be having. As you get better at this you are supposed to be able to do it during day to day activities and then intervene; spotting the negative and damaging thoughts and seeing them for what they are.
Most negative ruminations are illogical and even if they aren’t they certainly do more harm than good, so learning to spot them and then put an end to them is a valuable skill. Similarly, to aid in this culture of mindfulness, patients are asked to keep diaries of their thoughts and activities – then to read them back and see how anything they’ve said or done could be disruptive to their self image.
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Namaste, Kerry G.