A quick recap from part one of this post
- Emotional trauma = negative beliefs
- Negative beliefs = pain and a self-fulfilling negative cycle as well as indicate unmet emotional need
- Themes of negative self-beliefs often fall under the umbrellas of power, worth, loss, and security
- Self-talk is how negative beliefs are realized in daily living
- Step 1 to having change happen in to assess your own readiness for change
- Step 2 to having change happen is to scientifically and non-judgementally observe and note self-talk for several days
If you are returning for part 2 of this post, please make sure you have read part one and have spent some time sitting with and contemplating the first two steps. First of which is assessing your readiness to have change happen. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you carry no fear about the change, but it does mean you are feeling up to facing those fears and moving through them. Secondly, before moving forward, it is important to have spent time observing, as a scientist, your own self-talk over several days to begin to build awareness of some of the negative beliefs you carry about yourself, relationships, and the world in general.
Now, if you are feeling up for the challenge and have begun creating a working list of negative beliefs/negative self-talk, you may be ready to move forward to the next steps. Consider these points:
It is important to realize that over time, it is natural for us to begin to identify with our created negative self-beliefs. This can be where the fear comes in. Who are you without the negative self-belief? Often we don’t know the answer to this question, so stepping away and releasing the negative self-belief can feel very risky. However, we aren’t our negative beliefs; They are just beliefs and not who we are.
We aren’t our negative beliefs; They are just beliefs and not who we are.
Many times, our negative self-beliefs have grown out of hurts experienced with other people. So, it makes sense that most of the time we try to find healing from other people. We look to others or to certain accomplishments to fulfill our emotional needs. This WILL NOT lead to healing. Healing happens internally. We need to begin nurturing and taking care of our own emotional needs…love and care for ourselves. The next job promotion, big purchase, relationship or travel experience will not meet our core emotional needs.
Healing happens internally. We need to begin nurturing and taking care of our own emotional needs…love and care for ourselves.
How do we meet our own emotional needs? Our emotions need to be fully processed. We do this by becoming familiar with, understanding, and listening to our emotions. Our bodies are the vessels for our emotions. We can build a better understanding of our emotions by practicing listening to our bodies.
Create a serene environment for yourself. Spend some time settle in this environment. This might be a space in your home or a natural environment you visit. Spend a few minutes mindfully breathing in order to settle your nervous system. When settled, begin to scan your body for sensations. Start at your feet and systematically move up your body noting different sensations. Maybe some areas feel tight or knotted. Maybe some feel open and soft. Just focus on the sensations and notice the nature of them. Ask yourself if there is a particular emotion that goes along with the sensation. Say the name of that emotion or a phrase that describes that sensation and observe any change in the sensation.
Continue to process emotions on an ongoing basis. Set time aside in your week or even in your day to pay attention to your body and the emotion it is carrying for you. This process is one that does not end. As humans we are continually experiencing emotion. When we don’t recognize the bigger, more negative emotions they can build up and cause suffering, both emotionally and physically.
When we have an understanding of our negative beliefs, and develop a practice of becoming aware of our felt emotions, we can then begin to challenge our negative beliefs. One way this can be accomplished is to go back in time to visit your younger self. That younger version of you needs your support and encouragement in order to gain personal power and develop a positive set of beliefs that ensure both of you know your own power and worth. Help that past self to rise up and fight against the initial injustice. Together, rewrite the story of the hurt. How can the two of you fight back or take action to avoid the injustice?
Use your personal power and positive beliefs to fuel love and kindness towards your inner younger self, your current self, and others. Love, kindness and compassion will with time gain power and overthrow the fear. Continue disempowering the fear and practicing loving kindness. You are in the process of rewiring your brain. This takes patience. Your brain has been practicing a fear response for some time; A loving kindness response will take practice before it is the dominant response.
Love, kindness and compassion will, with time, gain power and overthrow the fear.
Ultimately, healing is growing your sense of power and worth and revealing your genuine self, and letting go of the identification you hold with worthlessness and fear.
Rewriting your story so that your beliefs that result from an emotional trauma are positive and empowering rather than negative and disempowering can take time, patience and persistent work. Having a counsellor guide you in this is often the more helpful and safe course of action.