Follow by Email

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

IWSG-March-Holes

Insecure Writers Support Group conceived and birthed by Alex J Cavanaugh- More about it or sign up here.

Insecurity is all about holes. Sometimes life sends shotgun blasts through our very person. Those blasts could come from an abusive or addicted parent. They could come from being bullied, extreme poverty, or the loss of a parent (think Disney brothers). Or it could just be the script that you learned, for whatever reason, early on that you keep going back to because it is a memorized part and familiarity is much safer than new, uncharted waters. Most ultra successful writers have some big pasts to overcome.

Cognitive behavioral therapy research has shown us that our emotions always follow thoughts so when we are feeling insecure or sad, it can be effective to follow back the line of thoughts to figure out how we got there. This is true for happy too but most of us don't give a flip where that is coming from as long as the smiles keep coming. When I was treating people for depression and using this technique I would have them journal about what they were thinking when they felt a particular way. Most of the time if this was done consistently we would find those scripts in there, their go to positions in life. Once you are aware of them then it is possible to put some replacement thoughts there instead. There is a whole list of common thinking errors, my favorite has always been all or nothing thinking, also called Black and White. The key words for this are Always, Never, No one, Everyone. Rarely is any sentence that contains those words completely correct when applied to the imperfect study of people.

For instance, I know I have said, "No one will ever want to read this crap," as I crumple or delete depending on my medium but that isn't true. I am fortunate enough to have plenty of people who want to read my stuff. That being said, a more truthful statement would be "I don't like this enough to want someone else to read it." By changing that statement I am taking control of my universe as opposed to putting the locus of control outside of myself. It may sound simplistic but sometimes just correcting how you talk to yourself can make a huge difference in how you feel. So next time you are feeling like you just can't complete one more sentence remember to trace back those thoughts and take control. Now, if I can just follow my own well researched advice I'd be doing good.

30 comments:

  1. The statement "Sometimes life sends shotgun blasts through our very person" resonated with me. So true, and so sad. Outside and unwanted influences will always be in our lives. Taking control and changing HOW they get under our skin (or not) is the only rational thing to do. Great post!

    Btw, I'm a new follower. Tag, you're it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for following. I always enjoy your blog Anne. Everyone should follow it.

      Delete
  2. That's very insightful. Much wisdom there I think. I just hope I can take action based on that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nancy, I very much needed to read this post today. Thank you for such good advice. I know I'm also guilty of following my own advice, but that's what makes us human.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope it helps and that I do take my own advice in this case.

      Delete
  4. Hi Nancy! Thanks so much for coming by my blog, I'm so glad to meet you and look forward to reading more of your posts. I love the way you changed your statement to take control of your universe, that is a powerful idea and something I need to try myself.

    Wonderful post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a great blog. It's funny how most of us give our power away all the time just in the things we tell ourselves.

      Delete
  5. Oh, this was great! I have a psych background, too--research, not counseling, but this is content area I love. And it is a good reminder because we really can control our thoughts to some degree--set up reminders to redirect. I think I will try some of this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this stuff. I always find I am much healthier mental health wise when I am seeing clients because I don't want to be a hypocrite. When I am not seeing them I tend to get a little lazy.

      Delete
  6. But what about my college buddy who stole all the good luck all the rest of us had? huh huh huh?
    Seriously, this guy was the luckiest guy I have ever known, and I'm certain he syphoned it all out of the rest of us to get it.
    heh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clearly not all or you wouldn't have finished and published a book. Maybe this guy was a leprechaun, they're kinda tricky like that.

      Delete
  7. We are always worst at taking our own advice :)

    New follower here through IWSG! Very nice to meet you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome Sylvia, nice to meet you. I'm hopping on over ot your blog now.

      Delete
  8. I don't attribute the whole book thing to luck. That was just hard work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes and no, it was hard work but you were lucky to be born or have the opportunity to not have to do such back breaking labor that you were too exhausted to even put a sentence together. We all have a little luck in our lives. Not taking away from how hard it is to write, edit, and publish but it is still a privilege in my opinion.

      Delete
  9. I know that oftentimes, my writing echoes the kind of life that I would like to have lived. I wish that I had a larger family, that my parents weren't crazy, that I wasn't of mixed race or born gay. But I accept that I am this person. I'm not hateful, but maybe you are right that my challenges figure into my writing. I just hope that it ends up being a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure it not only will be a good thing but that it already is. I agree, none of your comments have struck me as a hateful type, just a strong individual. You have got some great "grist for the mill" as one of my instructors used to say quoting a phrase of Irvin Yalom, a psychiatrist.

      Delete
  10. Sometimes I have difficulty in separating external and internal influences. If I spent more time changing what I could, and less time worrying about what I can't I might get along better with myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. I love the Serenity prayer. One of the things I used to do in my group was ask people to list their three biggest "problems" and then we would brainstorm if there was anything they could do about them. It could get pretty funny. Usually at least one theirs was an issue that could be changed so we could focus energy on that one.

      Delete
  11. It's so hard to follow your own advice! I can tell others all the time not to worry, that a few bad reviews mean nothing... etc! But when it comes to following it myself...

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a great way of putting it! Now if I can only get myself to say it more often, LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lot of good stuff in this post! Sometimes tracking down our thoughts is hard work, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it really can be, most of the time I have to be feeling pretty crappy to make the effort. Although once you've done it a few times and know some of those core thoughts you can often figure it out pretty quickly.

      Delete
  14. I really appreciated your thoughts here. It's hard to think of any writer who hasn't had those thoughts or crumpled up pages. We end up picking up the pieces anyway and keep going. Thanks for sharing, and thank you for your awesome comments recently. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks David. I agree with you. In the end it is the people who pick up the pieces and keep going that are eventually successful. Although, it could take all day to define successful.

      Delete