Belief as "cause"
Get rid of the "vagueness"
Use simple "problem solving" protocols
Develop a complete basis for the new belief
It's the false fear at the base of it all
And an additional untrue belief about proper responses
Just the facts, period
Only if one causes it him/herself
Regardless, you must choose this
Positive, causable goals
But it's not the goals, it's ...
After a discussion of how Barbara was creating harm to herself and others through her beliefs and discussing how her choosing to hold onto untrue, dysfunctional beliefs, she asked for relevant references on the site that would help her get to the core. Part of the discussion was around the need to deal with thoughts as the causes rather than constantly trying to "solve the symptoms."
This goes back and reiterates part of what was discussed and then answers the "what to do about it" question.
BELIEF AS "CAUSE"
Yes, if you have disturbing thoughts you will be disturbed. Thoughts cause the emotions.
And the opposite direction in cause-effect is true also: When you are disturbed and feel bad, it is caused by disturbing thoughts. Period. (Yes, there are a few thoughts of actual danger that are true, but they are a miniscule percentage of the total. We use our higher brain to look and to say if something is actually true and to dismiss the others. The test of an actual threat is "will it affect me physically, in the real world?" See Threats And Fear )
If we don’t get to the basis of what we think is true but isn’t, then we will continue to have those thoughts and consider them to be true, for lack of a better alternative. We believe that there is an actual danger, when in the real world there is none. We often notice later that there was no bad effect, but we still hold onto the vague idea of danger.
GET RID OF THE "VAGUENESS"
To get rid of the vagueness, we must shine a light on the whole chain of thoughts and not stop at one thought. If only one thought can be identified, then we should seek help in exploring what else is logically in the chain. Each thought, even if it is only one, should be run through the truth test: Is it true, absolutely? If the answer is not yes, then it should not be considered to be true – even if it could be true possibly somehow. The logical brain would ask “is there anything actual that will harm me that I should be concerned with that will affect me physically?” If not, then say to the thought “pass. Next, please.” (Of course, if there is a financial loss of some sort that is a matter for concern, but not for fear. See Proper, Proportionate Response.)
USE SIMPLE "PROBLEM SOLVING" PROTOCOL
In problem solving, we will not solve a problem by solely addressing the symptom of the problem. The erroneous thought is what is clearly the cause. Therefore, one must determine a true thought and the supporting logic for that and then read it over and over and over, eventually using as little as one statement to incorporate the whole meaning. (Read the Problem Solving discussion page and really nail down the idea of actually doing effective problem solving!)
DEVELOP A COMPLETE BASIS FOR THE NEW BELIEF
The common mistake is to just use one sentence and think that will be enough, although it could be helpful. But the full impact is only from creating a basis to strongly believe in the new thought/belief and then to commit fully to it, to stand for it being what is true and fully in place.
Part of the commitment to put this fully in place is to have a place where one can access the materials (a “structure” to support the process, such as a Reminders Notebook or a file, and a plan of how many days to read the full basis.
IT'S THE FALSE FEAR AT THE BASE OF IT ALL
The beliefs we are mostly focused on here are the ones that involve a false threat and therefore a toxic reaction.
Underneath every such chain is a “big” threat that must be identified and then seen to not be real. “Gee, nothing actually physically happened, so my belief must not be true.” (The physical thing we are talking about is that which is other than the physical effect you created from the false belief.)
AND AN ADDITIONAL UNTRUE BELIEF ABOUT PROPER RESPONSES
We also deal with the beliefs about how to deal with the believed threats, the “if I do x, then it will create y effect and then I’ll be ok.” Many people believe that they must make the other person suffer in some way and that that will protect them in some way – while as an adult we can look and see that that is not true. (Read one of the killers of relationships: Inflicting Pain On Another To Get A Result - an amazing number of people haven't learned better!)
JUST THE FACTS, PERIOD
In effect, we are simply saying that we must deal with facts and what is real, rather than imaginary and/or not soundly based believed threats or “truths”. It is the difference between the adult world of producing results and the child world of make-believe and stories.
ONLY IF ONE CAUSES IT HIM/HERSELF
The remarkable thing is that people believe that things will somehow get better – somehow. That is not a valid concept. Things get better only if we do what works to make them better.
And only looking at cause and correcting it and using “right” cause can we have things work better.
Our choice is clear:
1. Keep dealing with symptoms and hope things work out or
2. Deal with the causes and prevent the problem.
REGARDLESS, YOU MUST CHOOSE THIS
Is it hard? Well, not actually, but a particular belief system concludes that it is hard. It only takes some well-spent effort. Even if we assume it is hard, what other choice do we have? Keep the problem or work hard to solve the problem.
As in any learning experience, it takes
1. Direct learning for better knowledge,
2. “Thinking” and developing what will work better, and
3. Putting it into practice.
That’s just how things are in the real world. And, as in developing any talent, it can't be done effectively or efficiently without using step 2, above.
And, since one is not very good at things until one gets more skilled at them, we will make mistakes, falling back – and then we have the choice of applying a false “you’re wrong” or “you’ve bad” belief about that or simply saying “this is all part of the process – and I am on my way – and I shall prevail!” “I shall prevail” is a valid belief in this case, as we have a very doable process that many others have already proven works.
BUT YOU GOTTA DO THE WORK!!!!!! NO ONE IS COMING TO THE RESCUE AND THERE WILL NOT BE A GRAND MIRACLE! YOU GET TO BE THE CAUSE OF IT ALL!
"POSITIVE", CAUSABLE GOALS
Of course, as “cause of it all”, you made the choices that caused your misery. However, in looking now at what we want to cause in our lives we should not just create goals like “to get rid of all my bad beliefs”.
We should, additionally, set our goals in readily understandable, achievable terms. “I shall have a wonderful romantic relationship” is not an achievable goal, per se. It is a possibility, but it is not achievable by yourself.
“I shall learn and develop my ability to be loving and absolutely non-judgmental such that I am more capable of having a good relationship.”
“I shall clearly define who I need to be and who my potential partner needs to be, though I cannot guarantee both sides of the relationship, but only do my best. As such, I shall fully do that which is loving and caring with myself, so that I am fulfilled and whole and complete.”
And then, of couse, it is vital to achieving the goal that you specify what to do about it and the "by when".
BUT IT'S NOT THE GOALS, IT'S ...
In truth, goals are good. They create a good game to play.
But how you play the game and enjoy the process (or “the journey”) is actually the key. The journey of happiness is paved by doing what you value – and deriving contentment from that. Reaching the goals are only temporary, with their happiness effects disappearing – unless the goal is gaining the ability, the skill, to keep on giving more to yourself.
The core values you have absolutely need to be determined before we do the rest of the process. Follow what is recommended on the Values main page.
Core values are your personal compass, the basis for your guidelines in life.
And they must be self achievable values, not wants. “I value the approval from others” is not a value; it is a false belief that the approval will get you something you value.
In order to get down to the actual core value, we often must deal with this in the style of a “chain”.
I want approval. What will that get you? Not feeling I’m not good enough. And what will that get you? Peace with myself, knowing that I am good enough.
With help from a coach, one could arrive at “believing in myself and my own power to create happiness in my life” (Fearlessness) and “peace of mind”.
The next step would be to ask the question, OK, now what can I do now that will have me experiencing those values, living those value right now. (Tony Robbins emphasizes the importance of using that question. Read his Awaken The Giant Within. As always, take what you believe and leave what you don't quite understand.)