Chapter 5 - What Would It Be Worth If I Could Show You How to Change Your…
Chapter 5 - What Would It Be Worth If I Could Show You How to Change Your Life?
Imagine there was a magic button you could press to make all of your anxiety go away
Would you press that button?
The obvious answer is "Yes, of course"
But many people turn out to be reluctant to press that button
Even though their suffering is real
They have mixed feelings about change
So they cling to the status quo
Traditionally, therapists refer to this puzzling phenomenon as
This chapter is going to teach you how to pinpoint the hidden forces that might be keeping you stuck
Once you expose these hidden forces
Often they'll lose their power to defeat you
Story about "Sam" who had PTSD
Told him with luck and hard work he could use new techniques to help him change the way he was thinking and feeling
Sam insisted the techniques couldn't possibly help
and began fighting his therapist tooth and nail
The therapist suddenly felt more like an enemy than Sam's ally
Sam was miserable and desperate for relief
But when his therapist offered to help him, he started arguing with him
So in this case,
even though Sam was suffering
they wondered if he thought that his anxiety and anger were helping him in some way
If so, this might explain why he was resisting treatment
To find out what is behind resistance, try using a
Sam's story illustrates
how resistance works
On some level, you may not want to recover
even if recovery requires absolutely no effort on your part
Of course, for each person and problem
the reasons for resisting change will be different
If you suffer from test anxiety
you may constantly worry that your mind will go blank
or that you'll freeze up when you take your final exam
But you may also believe that anxiety is the price you have to pay to do really good work
You may think that the constant worrying will motivate you to work hard and do your best.
There is some truth to this
A small amount of anxiety can be motivating
But you rapidly reach a point of diminishing returns
Too much anxiety can cripple you
The author reckons he does his best work when he's feeling relaxed and confident
Not when he's worried or anxious.
So, what's this all about...
change the way you feel without drugs or lengthy therapy
Will show many techniques
Helping you to defeat your fears
And overcome feelings of depression
However, there's no free lunch
Simply reading about these techniques won't be effective
Understanding is useful
but it won't cure ansiety or depression
If you want to change your life
You're going to have to pick up these tools and use them
You'll have to do
1. You may have to give up certain
benefits of the anxiety and depression
This will involve a loss
2. You'll have to confront the monster you fear the most
This will take some courage and determination
3. You'll have to do some written exercises
This will require active effort
and talk about
wrapped up in a story illustrating a solution to something which came out of CBA, but I'm not sure it's actually
for these exercises as this comes much later in the book.
So I'm going to ignore this now, assuming it's redundant information
A motivational technique
That will help pinpoint the forces that keep you stuck
To do this
You list all the advantages and disadvantages
of a thought, feeling or habit causing problems for you
Then you balance the advantages against the disadvantages
so you can make a more informed decision about whether you want to change or not
You may want to overcome your fears
But may not want to do what you're going to have to do
The price of recovery may seem too high
But if you want to overcome your anxiety,
you're going to have to face your fears and confront the monster you fear the most
(Exposure isn't the only tool we're going to use, there are forty others, but exposure will be an important part of our treatment plan, and it will be scary at first).
Weigh the advantages and disadvantages against a 100-point scale
So give a percentage to each side of how strong you believe the arguments are, totallying 100%
Do the benefits or the costs feel greater?
Sometimes one strong disadvantage will outweight several advantages, or vice versa
"Constantly feeling angry and worrying about getting robbed"
If I'm constantly vigilant, I'll be less likely to get robbed again. I'll be on the lookout in case anyone tries to pull a fast one
My anxiety seems realistic, since people get mugged and robbed in this neighbourhood all the time.
My anger shows that I'm strong and that these loser can't just walk all over me and get away with it.
I have the
to be angry, because what they did was wrong.
My feelings of rage show that I have a strong value system
I can feel sorry for myself, since I was a victim.
If I'm on the lookout, I might spot them one day, and I can have them arrested.
I can fantasize about getting revenge on them.
I feel miserable every waking minute of every day
Anxious people probably get mugged just as often as people who feel happy and confident. I fact, if you're anxious and insecure, you may be more likely to become a target.
The chances of being robbed at gunpoint again are small.
The worrying won't help me if I do get robbed again.
The gunmen who robbed me don't know I'm angry, and they definitely don't care about my feelings, so I'm the only one who's suffering. I'm really only punishing myself.
The disadvantages outweigh the advantages of "hanging onto" those feelings
Talks about the importance of doing the written exercises
And how it won't work if you don't do them
And even gives a preview of the exercise given in the
Why not just leave it until the next chapter?
Instead of a story about "Eileen" using this technique before we even get introduced to it properly