It is important to recognize our hidden beliefs about our basic nature. What’s the bottom line — do we think we are complete or incomplete? Are we full of inherent value and goodness? Or possibly without much value, flawed, and somehow needing to be improved?
If we think we have to create improvement or value in ourselves, then we are operating from negative assumptions about our nature. Many people come to therapy thinking they have to improve something about themselves without realizing this means they believe they are flawed in some way that hopefully can be fixed.They typically don’t make a distinction between their behaviors and their being. They commonly believe their behaviors determine the value of their being.
Such beliefs have profound consequences. They determine the quality of our inner dialogue which in turn determines the brightness or darkness of our inner state.
Believing that our essential value is variable, fragile, and conditional is like believing the sun is destroyed on a cloudy day and has to be recreated. This would indeed be an awesome and stressful dilemma. Do you know we once were terrified that eclipses were the destruction of the sun? For a long time we solved this dilemma of misinterpretation with magical thinking and ritual including human sacrifice.
Magical thinking persists in our analysis of our personal obstacles. And we often sacrifice ourselves to our negative magical beliefs without even realizing how absurd self-harm is. Here is a common example I encountered recently on a forum. A hypnotherapist asked for help:
“I am seeing someone who said she has very low confidence. Does anyone have a good script for this? I really feel she needs some major confidence boosting.”
I challenge the notion of “confidence boosting” when clients bring it up. I don’t think it is useful to think of confidence as a substance that can be low, like oil in our car, and that we have to boost its volume. If we do, I think we are on a constant stressful maintenance schedule.This was my reply:
“We have natural confidence built in. It is life’s confidence in itself – the confidence to breathe us and to beat our hearts. It is always present and unwavering. If we accept that, then “lack of confidence” is seen for what it is: believing negative judgments about oneself and about life, not the deficit of some real substance. Help the client stop believing negative judgments, and their natural sense of well-being and “confidence” will emerge. If you try to “build confidence” based on some type of performance, you are still encouraging the client to believe in judgment, even though it may be positive. I think it is better to connect with the aliveness that embodies confidence and doesn’t rely on good or bad judgment about our ability to do things.”
I meet the same concern almost every day with clients. They believe they can’t do something because they don’t have enough confidence as if it was a magical psychic substance that could be produced or boosted. I think we “can’t” do things because we choose not to because we are listening to judging thoughts (and seeing bad pictures) in our mind.
Dissipate the judging thoughts (clouds) and the ever-present fully complete confidence (the sun) is right there shining on everything. Yes, ending the influence of the judgments takes effort. If we think we are trying to create a sun of confidence by our efforts, it is a fearful effort because we could fail! But when we understand that the ‘Sun’ of confidence is already perfectly there, dissipating negative self-talk is a vibrant effort free of fear and joined with the knowledge that success is assured. We learn to draw on the energy of the ‘Sun’ to do it!
Spend some time believing that your “missing quality” is fully present and that your task is merely to experience its rays burning off the cloud cover as you contemplate the unsubstantial nature of the clouds. While your actions can be evaluated, negative judgments of your being have no merit. . .ever! Examine them, and ask for the evidence that justifies them. There isn’t any!
To deeply and even more effectively affirm your self worth and innate self confidence, check out our popular hypnosis recording, Become Fearless & Compassionate, as well as Shyness to Confidence: Free to Live and Laugh (CD or mp3).
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