It was the first day of the new year and Vikki decided she’d been alone for long enough. Divorced for three years, she hadn’t had a single date since. Yet she longed to have a special someone in her life, and her biological clock was ticking so loudly it was deafening at times.
Right, she thought, logging on, I’m going to find me a man.
She signed up to a couple of internet dating sites. Several of her friends had met interesting men through them.
She was surprised with the choice; there were quite a few guys in her age group who lived within an hour of her home. At least half a dozen were worth contacting.
I’ll just have a coffee before I contact them, she thought.
As she sat there sipping her drink, she started to think:
‘He’ll think I’m not attractive enough.’
‘He’s slim and I could do with losing some weight. He won’t fancy me.’
‘He’s sure to think I’m too old for him, even though we’re the same age. Men always want someone younger.’
She closed down the websites with a sigh. This new year she is still single and the biological clock is ticking ever louder.
Vikki had been struck down by another faulty thinking type – Mind Reading.
Knowing very little about the guys on the website she mind read them. She decided that she knew what they would think about her, before they’d even as much as exchanged emails.
Mind reading is an effective way to sabotage yourself. We probably all do it at times, but some people do it so much, it stops them getting on with their life.
Sound like you? Do you hesitate to act assertively because you ‘mind read’ the person you want to speak to, assuming they will be thinking negatively about you?
In an earlier blog, I highlighted some questions that will help you overcome faulty thinking. So, catch your faulty thoughts and ask yourself:
- Is that true?
- Is it verifiably true?
- Would people who care for me say this about me?
- Is the thought unhelpful, stopping me from doing what I want to do?
- What would be more empowering to think?
*** Try this! ***
Challenge your thoughts with these questions and you can start to change your beliefs. Consider what you would say to someone who thought these negative things about themselves. What advice would you give them?
Get yourself a notebook, one that is small enough to carry around. Each time someone pays you a compliment, write it down. It doesn’t have to be a big compliment, even a ‘thank you, that’s great’ is an acknowledgement of something you did well. As you write down the compliment, you might feel uncomfortable. That’s okay, you’re just on the road to letting go of old hurtful feelings. Relax your body and repeat the compliment to yourself, out loud or in your head. Do this a few times until you can read it comfortably. If any negative, and contradictory, thoughts pop into your head, gently acknowledge them and let them drift away. Return to your compliment. Keep this practice going until you have filled a notebook, then get another one if you need to. Doing this will help you to appreciate yourself.
Give it a try. What have you got to lose?
Do you have any questions about assertiveness? Are there any topics you’d like me to write about? I’d love to hear from you. You can write in the comments box below.