On unlearning unhealthy patterns of belief and behavior

It’s going to take years and years for me to undo the damaging patterns of belief and behavior that I have. But I’m so done falling into the same goddamn traps every single fucking day of my life.

I’m done. I want to be happy and healthy.

In order to do so, I need to stop stepping into self-fulfilling prophecies.

I once did a anti-slipping course or skid control driving training. It’s where you’re driving a car over a slippery surface and the person in the passenger seat briefly pulls the hand brake to get the car to start slipping.

The main piece of advice: Look at where you want to go. Don’t look at that fence, or the other car, or the lamp post. You’ll drive into those things because you’re looking at them. Look at where you want to go.

I’m not looking at where I want to go. I know I’m repeating myself here. The past few blog posts are a repetition of the same theme. Basically, how to let go of all the things that don’t serve me.

I started writing another blog post. About being hard on yourself. I wrote down that I’m pretty hard on myself. For example when I’m sick. I never feel I’m sick enough to stay at home. I once had a severe case of the flu, and my colleagues ended up sending me home. I should have stayed in bed. But I didn’t, I never allow myself to be sick. At that moment, I realize, I felt shame about not being able to recognize that I was too sick to come in to work. If you’re that hard on yourself, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t: If I had called in sick, I would have felt excruciatingly guilty; I was sent home, and I felt ashamed.

But writing the first part of this blog post made me realize something. If I can be that hard on myself.. Why can’t I apply all that energy, all that anger, all that fire, in a healthy way? There’s nothing wrong with being hard on yourself. At all. It can help you achieve your goals. But I’m being hard on myself in unhealthy ways. I’m isolating myself, because I think I’m not good enough yet. I’m not setting boundaries, because I think I don’t deserve them yet. I’m not speaking my mind, because I think I don’t make sense yet.

How do I get out of it? By looking at where I want to go.

  • Yes, we are social creatures: I need to feel supported and I need to feel loved. But the only one I need to be understood by, is me. And the only one I need approval from, is me. Understanding and approval from others is pleasant, but strictly optional. I need to move forward in a way that is good for me, regardless of what others may think.
  • “No” is a complete sentence.
  • I owe it to myself to keep working at being happy.
  • I owe it to myself to love myself.

I need to identify when I am exhibiting approval-seeking behavior. I need to identify when I want to say “No”, and start saying it. I need to do at least one thing a day that makes me happy. I need to practice self-love, rather than mourn the loss of it. I need to reclaim my life.

It will take time, but I’ll get there.

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