Conquer Sabotaging Thoughts and Other Ways to Setup Your New Year for Success
View the video and listen to the podcast now: http://www.understandingautoimmune.com/Mittman
Instead, take some action to regain some aspect of your control and empowerment back. You’ll feel better and that is very important.
Self-sabotage and negative self-talk can erode self-confidence, self-esteem, and your health. Roberta Mittman, the founder of Park Avenue Center for Wellbeing in New York, shows us how to escape self-sabotaging behavior, and how to change our internal negative messages.
SHARON: One of the things I’ve seen ─ maybe you have, too ─ that happens this time of year ─ I know it gets darker earlier and in a lot of places, it gets cold. I want to say it’s a ‘melancholy.’ Maybe an “I thought it would be different” type of feeling. My to-do list hasn’t changed this year” ─ all these sabotaging thoughts.
What do you tell your clients when they have some of these thoughts that aren’t serving them?
ROBERTA: The end of the year is really a topic of conversation for my patients. A lot of people I meet are feeling like this is the big report card at the end of the year.
“How did I do? How did I measure up?”
With all the things that you have planned from last year ─ even though most of those are forgotten ─ all of a sudden, it’s just “Where am I? What happened?” It’s a time for a little introspection and not that many people are thinking, well, I’m a rock star. I’ve done so well.
People tend to be really hard on themselves; they see all the things that they didn’t do or the expectations that weren’t met.
What I’d prefer people focus on and I like to ask myself is “So what went right?” What is okay with where I am now? What do I have to learn from this? Does that mean I need more work in this area, that I need to get some help or mentoring in this area, that I need to have accountability in that area?
Holding a mirror to where you are and giving you options to course-correct if that’s where you want to be.
SHARON: Absolutely! Interesting, I’m thinking about how in medical diagnosis, sometimes, other people put the course of your life in a diagnosis. They sit you down and say, “And here are the symptoms and the statistics and this is how it will be.”
When it’s pronounced by a medical professional, it can often land with us with a real heaviness like “Oh my gosh! That’s true.” In my case, if I had believed the outcome they gave me for the diagnosis, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. Let’s talk about mindset.
ROBERTA: If you’re going to believe every comment or anything that somebody says, that’s definitely a problem.
In terms of a medical diagnosis, obviously, I can’t say, “Don’t take it seriously” because there are certain things that are probably good to know. But some people bite too deeply into the identity of the diagnosis itself and they define themselves by it.
People are so much more than their diagnoses as you are the perfect example of. You are the poster child for that, my dear.
Too often others’ make it sound like such a pronouncement. If you had a negative review from your boss, it would be so easy to believe that you’re now ‘that person’ — positive or negative.
It’s just feedback, something to consider. What’s the best you can do with it?
When you got your diagnosis, you probably took it very seriously. And then, you did what?
SHARON: I did take it seriously. I threw myself into finding all the latest research and finding out what would work for me which is different from what would work for anybody else. I set myself out to take control of my well-being and body.
The interesting thing was that medical professionals would give me advice and they would also give me statistics. And because the symptoms and the outcomes are all statistics, not everybody has the one, same path.
And I thought, okay, well, I just have to defy the statistics. I’ll just be on the opposite end of that bell curve.
It’s all statistics. It doesn’t mean it’s a pronouncement on how your life may or may not play out. I think that’s the important thing to understand.
I have an awesome team now and Roberta is one of the members. They give me advice; they give me their mastery; they give me their brilliance and what they think is best. But nobody knows my body as I do and nobody knows what I want out of my life as I do. I think it’s all up to me whether I say; “Thank you very much. I’m running with it” or “Thank you very much. I’ll think about it.” And it doesn’t mean I may not do it later.
There were many things that I was advised to do that didn’t fit right at that moment but I added them in later. I think the key is in keeping an open mind.
ROBERTA: That’s well said. The other thing you mentioned, Sharon, is that so many things feel like they’re out of control. When you think of the whole year that’s passed and the whole year that’s coming up and all of these different factors, things can feel out of control or you feel you’re just drifting along and you can’t impact anything.
But that’s really not true. Think of it this way, okay, what can I do to take control over this situation or have some control here?
That’s probably one of the best questions that anybody can ask.
So if this is not working out, what can I do?
SHARON: Brilliant! And, sometimes, just taking a nice deep breath ─ or two or three or four ─ might be all you can do at that exact moment. But even doing something like, I am just going to calm myself down, center myself, get more present so I have a better perspective on the entire situation by taking some nice deep breaths, you’re still doing something. You’re still moving forward.
ROBERTA: Perfect! It’s just about being curious to see how things are going to turn out instead of saying, “The odds are not with me,” “This is just a losing cause. Why should I even bother?” It’s just too overwhelming” or “It couldn’t happen to me.” Instead, take some action to regain some aspect of your control and empowerment back. You’ll feel better and that is very important.
SHARON: Thank you, Roberta Mittman, from www.RobertaMittman.com for sharing your expertise and wisdom with us today. Find the complete audio and video of this interview http://www.understandingautoimmune.com/Mittman
And, thank you for coming with us on another great adventure in Q&As. Everyone, join me next Friday for another one.