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Helminthophobia- Fear of being infested with worms.
One small step...
"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop." Confucius
Changing a whole lifetime of negative thought processes is not something you can just do overnight. It’s not like you go to sleep one person and wake up the exact opposite of the person you were the night before. Change takes commitment, self-discipline, time, energy and hard work. It’s far easier to break down what you want to change into small bite-size chunks with achievable goals. That way, every time you achieve a small goal, you get spurred on to achieve the next, and so on. This helps to keep us motivated. There’s nothing worse than setting yourself a big goal, and getting disillusioned as no matter what you do, you don’t seem to get any closer to reaching it.
How many overweight people try a new diet, set themselves a goal to lose 20kg in 6 weeks, and then give up after the second week? The goal they’re setting themselves is out of reach – a surefire path to failure! It doesn’t matter how old we are, we still like to be rewarded for our efforts, and to experience that sense of accomplishment whenever we reach a target. So, if you want to lose weight – the big goal is 20kg, but you break it down into an achievable weight loss each week, then reward yourself by treating yourself with something – maybe not a chocolate, then you’ll feel good about yourself and try harder the following week.
When Sir Edmund Hillary decided to climb Mount Everest, he didn’t just wake up one morning, say to himself, “Today I shall climb that ruddy mountain and achieve what no man has achieved before me.” And then half an hour later look down on everybody from the top of the world. His Mount Everest expedition took a lot of planning, everything would have been broken down into small steps. First this has to be done, once done then the next stage will be planned and so on. All of this would have taken time and not been an overnight thing.
So to with the changes you make in your life. It doesn’t matter how small the step is, as long as if it’s in the right direction, you are making progress. There will be times when we are forced to take two steps back. When that happens, you need to start moving forward again, one step at a time. Don’t be tempted to miss out steps, as they invariably come back to haunt us.
Think about back-up plans and coping strategies you can use to continue your advance. Edmund Hillary would have thought about back-up plans in case things went wrong.
WHEN FACED WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF SOMETHING UNPLEASANT
Write down your worst case scenario, what's the worst that can happen. Exaggerate if you want, use your imagination, but try and think of all the possible bad things that can happen. What's the worst that can happen?
Now, think of some coping strategies you could put in place and back up plans you could make to help you get through the unpleasant situation, should the ‘worst case scenario’ materialise. Write them down and keep them somewhere safe. You might need to refer to them later.
It’s important to achieve a balance in our lives, therefore it’s a really good idea to motivate yourself by working out what’s the best that can happen should this unpleasant situation eventuate. Often, what really happens, is something in between the worst case scenario and the best case scenario. So, write down on another piece of paper, 'What's the best that can happen?'
Get a Diary
Sometimes, when we are so depressed, anxious or totally overcome by our fears, we can’t think straight. Just doing the normal everyday tasks we do in our everyday living becomes too hard for us and too much to cope with. We then retreat into our self and start avoiding everything. This halts our progress, and stops us from moving towards our goals. If you find that this happens to you, then you need to break the small steps down into even smaller steps, making it easier to achieve and easier to cope.
My stepdad used to be addicted to making lists. He had lists for everything, lists of books he had to read and in what order, lists of what he needed to buy the next time he went to the shops, lists for jobs he needed to do around the house. We used to make fun of his lists, but looking back, he always had everything under control and was ready for any emergency that might crop up. If he didn’t have his lists, he would become quite anxious and stressed, and we knew then to keep out of his way. What my stepdad was doing, was organising his life into small steps that were easily manageable.
Now, we don’t have to take it to the extreme that he did, but getting a diary and working out an activity plan for each day is really worth doing. It helps you to cope better, and gives your day some sort of structure. You especially need this if you are wallowing in depression. Being surrounded by chaos, helps keep your mind in a chaotic state and you lose control of everything – both your environment and your mind. Small steps help you regain that control.
So, get a diary, and write down all the things you need to do each day. Make sure you have something that is potentially pleasurable, an activity that you can complete and give you a sense of accomplishment and something that will involve another person. Tick off each activity as you complete it. If you find an activity too hard, break it down into smaller steps. Tick off each step as you do it. Regaining control of your life will bring you closer to achieving your goals.
Rubbish Bin Approach
Another good way to get rid of negative thoughts, is to use the Rubbish Bin Approach. Write down something you don’t like or a negative thought you are having, and throw it away in the rubbish bin. This is quite cathartic, and really works, clearing your mind from those nasty negative thoughts. You really need to get rid of negative thoughts, as hanging onto them causes:
Feelings of anger or resentment
Feelings of guilt
Feelings of failure
Feelings of jealousy
Feelings of inferiority
Feelings of shame
Feelings of being stressed out
An overdependence on others’ approval
Lack of self-esteem
You to stop taking risks
You to believe that you are a loser
You to only see doom and gloom for the future
You to create a barrier of cynicism
You to build the Great Wall of China around yourself
You to become depressed
You to create strong feelings of self-pity
You to work subconsciously to fulfill the prophecy
Remember that positive thoughts counter negative thoughts.
So, write your positive thoughts down and stick them on your fridge as positive self-affirmations. Negative thoughts, write down and throw in the bin. And, if you are really terrified of being infested with worms, write down your worst case scenario, make back-up plans and then write down the best that can happen. This will help to conquer that fear.
Ithyphallophobia- Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis