Category Archives: Trauma

Uncertainty:Tips to conquer self-doubt

In part one of this blog, I discussed uncertainty otherwise known as ‘self-doubt’, not as a feeling but as a decision ‘not to try’.  Click here to check out last week’sblog-a-sode.’

Uncertainty and self doubt tips.

How do you overcome the traps of self-doubt?

 

In part two, we’ll look at the impact of  ‘uncertainty’ and two of the traps that fuel the habit of self-doubt for some people. Including coaching hints that may help you to break that cycle.

Remember we are looking at self-doubt as ‘a habit of not trying.’

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Hesitation triggered by uncertainty.

What’s your story? Do you:

  • hang back from taking action because it’s not perfect?
  • become great at planning AND not the doing.
  • overthink the consequences of what could go wrong.
  • keep yourself busy with other tasks as an avoidance strategy.

And maybe you are hesitating because of the uncertainty in all the details of the big picture in what you’re striving to obtain.

How this can feel overwhelming and scary if you ruminate or continuously visualise what could go wrong.

“Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want.”  Abraham Hicks

Awareness of ‘how you do hesitation’ to help break the cycle

  1. What do you think needs to be perfect before you make a start?
  2. How do you to divert yourself away from taking action?
  3. Are you overthinking? What does this lead you to say to yourself?
  4. How would you break down what you want to achieve into smaller doable daily steps?

Taking action

Ask yourself – Have successful people always started from a position of perfection or learning? There are many examples of successful people who got their outcome due to grit and persistence. If you Google (search engine) famous failures you’ll find many of them.

“Fall seven times. Stand up Eight” Old Japanese proverb

  • Each evening jot down one thing that has ‘meaning’ to you.  And with this in mind promise yourself and diary-in one thing to take action on tomorrow.
  • What would let you know you are heading towards what you wish to achieve? Focus only on that one thing as your very next step.

And it’s okay to give yourself the space to be flexible if things change once you’ve taken that step.

Criticising yourself

What triggers that self-criticism for you? Is it a fear of disappointment, of failing or being hurt in some way?

Giving yourself a chance to break free

  • Identify excuses which hold you back.
  • Be clear on what it is you’re afraid will happen?

Taking action means ignoring the uncertainty

  • What can you do now to move forward and that’s inside your control?
  • Can any real constraints be overcome and how is that possible?

Check out part 1 of this blog about negative thoughts and the overuse of the imagination.

Is there a way to use the obstacle itself as a way forward?

  • If you have used determination or another relevant quality in the past to overcome a difficulty how could you bring that inner strength to the fore now?
  • Maybe you can ask someone to help you to move forward?  Like a mentor or someone that once stood in your shoes and is now thriving?
  • Or would you consider therapeutic help to clear those fears you have, let go of uncertainty enough to increase your resilience and self-worth?

“You never know what’s possible until you try!”

Remember that there is a difference between a possibility (just as unlikely to happen) as a probability. (Actual evidence rather than an overstimulated imagination.)

Decision time!  With reasonable expectations

Ask yourself – How do I know when I’m ready to make this change.

  1. What are you willing to commit?
  2. What new skill’s, do you need to acquire?
  3. Where, how, when – research plan. Commit your diary.

Then take one small, natural step to build confidence before moving to the next level.

‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’

Modern society has a ‘must have it all now’ mentality. How important is it to you to follow the herd?

Getting things done in stages is somewhat like ‘building Rome.’  Its total construction doesn’t have to be in one day.

  • It may mean putting in extra hours at work, or it may imply delegating tasks in the office or at home! It may mean less TV-watching!
  • Equally, you may need a balance to relax and play which will help clear your mind and strengthen your thought processes!
  • What would you need to do to enjoy each step of the journey more rather than thinking about the destination?

Your priorities can change along the way when you treat life as one grand experiment.

Head towards a solution in preference to a problem

The potential to learn as you grow can ignite a sense of achievement which breeds confidence which is an antidote to self-doubt or uncertainty.

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If your mind keeps getting in the way

info@mariarichards.co.uk

Maria Richards Cognitive Hypnotherapist

Self-help tips can be helpful. If, however you find that alone they aren’t enough, the apprehension is overwhelming, you’re quibbling or procrastinating, then it may be time to consider professional help.

And that’s a good thing because seeking guidance is just part of those small steps towards being able to get better and enjoy exploring more of your potential.  Click my image to make contact.

 “To building your confidence and self-worth.”  Maria

What a client reported about working with Maria:

“I needed a personal solution to bring back my motivation and to start believing more in my capabilities.

To feel comfortable with the uncertainty of running my own business and stop the panic rising in certain situations. I also wanted…” [continue reading click here]

Books and Kindle

Tackling the most challenging task of your day a problem? Here’s a classic book which I found to be a great aid when I worked in the corporate world! And is just as applicable to everyday tasks too.  Click here to check out Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.

How to kick out self-doubt

self-doubt

That feeling of self-doubt?

 

What is the opposite feeling of confidence building?

Some would describe this to be a feeling of self-doubt.

I wondered if ‘self-doubt’ is an actual feeling.

 

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Self-doubt as a decision ‘not to try’.

How about if for a moment we looked at self-doubt as a reaction to the feeling of the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

Self-doubt then becomes the ‘habit’ we fall into out of familiarity. By not taking action, it represents a way to stay safe.

However, this can also lead to a lot of self-punishment by the thoughts and beliefs that grow about our inadequacy to act. We then create assumptions relating to our capabilities.

And yet when we give something ‘a-go’ by taking action it provides us with a chance to flourish and succeed or fail and learn for next time. Either of which can also gradually build confidence.

Catch 22 – Now I’m Curious!

Because I didn’t take action, I doubt my ability to take action, and this can lead to over-thinking the next time something similar comes up.

So maybe it’s the initial hesitation which leads to feelings of apprehension which result in self-doubt.

That feeling is triggered and reinforced the next time we make a decision not to try because we are using thoughts to over worry.

“Hang on a moment, what could go wrong? Am I ready for this? It doesn’t feel comfortable. I could be embarrassed because everyone will see I lack XYZ and think I’m a numpty.”

You get my drift.

We forget that thoughts are just thoughts and we give them the power.

Just like a knee-jerk reaction if we judge ourselves for having that adverse notion we are giving more power to the excuse for inaction.

How painful is that? Does it lead to a sense of resentment or build up a fear of the unknown?  How different would it be if you didn’t have to be scared?

What if instead, you chose to take just one tiny step at a time? Now, that leads to taking action and a feeling of self-achievement. (phew!)

Because the smallest actions added together builds confidence minimising self-doubt.

I wonder who first coined this idiom?

‘It’s easier said than done!’

What could be a mind-reasoned antidote?

 “The person in my head saying ‘you can’t’ doesn’t exist – so why would I listen?” Trevor Sylvester

The emotions we feel that lead to self-doubt. A therapeutic angle.

The brain as a pattern matching organism

To keep us safe the brain has evolved to store experiences that indicate when we could be moving towards pleasure or when we need to stay away from perceived pain.

And it does this by unconscious pattern matching through time and signalling a feeling that feeds our beliefs. These feelings are initiated within the body first and can trigger an automatic stress response known as fight, flight or freeze.  You may have heard of this.

Nature’s way of protecting us can make a person act or not act depending on the fear of a danger perceived.

For modern humans, the imperative for approval from others to fit in and do not suffer emotional hurt can be strong.  This equivalence for survival was recognised quickly by our ancestors.  Imagine the physical experience and what they learned from the wrath of a Sabre Tooth Tiger.  Or the longevity afforded by belonging to a tribe.

This alert translates into our modern-day experiences.

It’s been said that ‘evolutionary change is far slower than social change.’

For modern humans the unconscious imperative is to protect us by using feelings, thoughts and behaviours learned initially from birth and through childhood.

Miscalculations based on early learnings can hold us back.

The good news is that there is a way to resolve and update the brain in what has become faulty pattern matching.

Try out a different perspective

We’re all human, and that means its normal in life for all kinds of emotions to come up.

  • What if you could believe that those scary thoughts due to feelings of uncertainty have no basis in your present reality. In this moment.
  • What if you could learn to use ‘future’ projections as a way to become more prepared over time.  At a pace that’s right for you.

For example, the harrowing vision of an interview going wrong might transform into something much better.  All from making time to build skills in communication and interview techniques. Add on trying those new skills out in chosen environments and watch how your motivation improves.

  • Now, what one small action can you be taking to achieve that learning path as your first objective?
  • If you can treat the actual interview as a training ground, it could reveal ways to improve for the next time.

And you can feel the difference when your brain is trained to have a new focus for improvement.  Maybe there is less need for self-flagellation.

Intriguing huh?

Generating more confidence.

If you allow yourself to think that just like the rest of us it is possible to update old patterns of behaviour, then you can start by slowly introducing small action steps.

The more you do this, the more chance you have to diminish heightened emotion gradually.

Keeping in mind that there is also a natural element of anticipation when going for or trying out anything new.  That nervous feeling becomes like the state of curiosity and excitement.

Join me this time next week for some coaching tips which may help you to break free of the habit of self-doubt like:

  • The hesitation to act.
  • The inner critic that feeds the decision not to try.

Sign up by clicking here       To receive a free guided relaxation audio download.

“ Here’s to eliminating doubt, building your confidence and self-worth.”  Maria

Build your confidence and put doubt in its place through taking action.

kick out self-doubt

Maria Richards Cognitive Hypnotherapist

Have you already tried other approaches or self-help tips and found that your mind is getting in the way of progress?

Click my image to make contact. Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy may be something you could consider to help you break the extremes of self-doubt.  Just part of the steps towards being able to appreciate and enjoy the many aspects of being you.

What a client said “I look at myself and what I have achieved – staying calm, not getting too stressed with situations, (at work) feeling more confident, speaking up in a large group or feeling more comfortable with leading my team meeting and realize that I have come a long way from where I was when I first met you. ” [Click to continue reading this review]

Interested in more of my blogs on confidence click here

Books and Kindle:

A classic self-help book how to turn doubt, fear, and indecision into confidence and action. Valued by many people today as it was on publication 20 years ago.  Susan Jefferey’s- click on: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway available on Amazon.

Post Traumatic Stress: PTSD-help to recover

Also known as PTSD – just how common is it? 

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Important warning: When listening to any audio content please ensure you’re not concentrating on anything else like driving a vehicle or operating machinery! With your safety in mind

Post traumatic stress PTSD

Recovering from PTSD

Can hypnotherapy help you overcome post-traumatic stress: PTSD?

We’ll look at some facts and symptoms of PTSD, How you can help someone you know who is suffering from this debilitating issue.

We include a look at everyday stress and ask if this can result in PTSD type symptoms.

You may be wondering what are the available treatments.

And how hypnotherapy could be a good option.

What’s the best thing to do next?

Some Post Traumatic Stress facts 

According to *patient UK, 3 in 100 people may develop PTSD in their life time, with 2 out of 3 people getting better without treatment.  It’s not unusual for recovery to take several months after the initial incident.

1 out of 3 people experience PTSD symptoms for much longer, and with treatment, they go on to recover and lead a much more fulfilling life.  The response to treatment will differ from person to person.

Post-traumatic stress is very often attributed to events such as being mugged or attacked, experiencing a natural catastrophe or watching a terrible incident.

Not everyone is affected in the same way.

For example, let’s say two people from the emergency services attended the same distressing incident. One of them may end their shift, pick up the family shopping on their way home, and get on with their life. The other may have found the experience so traumatic, that they require time off work and counselling.

Most people differ when it comes to their threshold level of trauma.

When is the right time to seek more intensive therapy?

The UK National Institute for clinical excellence * (NICE) recommends that

“non-trauma-focused interventions such as relaxation do not address traumatic memories, should not routinely be offered to people who present with PTSD symptoms within three months of a traumatic event.”

Patient UK advice’s that

“if your symptoms are prolonged and moderate or severe, (PTSD) treatment can help you to adjust. If you have severe symptoms 2-4 weeks after the incident, you are likely to need treatment.” 

The importance of empathy for suffers from PTSD 

Being told to pull yourself together is not helpful and pretty counter-productive. Understanding even a little about what’s going on in the brain which causes PTSD may be useful, as you work towards getting better

How a friend or family can help someone suffering from PTSD

  1. Are they showing unusual signs of irritability or flashes of anger?
  2. Listen to the person without interrupting as they relate their experience
  3. What to do if their symptoms continue beyond a month:
  4. If things are getting worse, you could try to encourage them to seek further professional help.

What is the emotional arousal doing?

Post traumatic stress PTSD

The natural survival instinct

Whether you’re directly involved or a bystander, witnessing a traumatic event can have a significant effect on the body’s reactions.

The emotional part of the brain (amygdala) alerts the nervous system which produces copious amounts of adrenaline, in preparation for the fight, flight or freeze response.

As the flow of blood is diverted from other areas of the body, its fuels the muscles to quickly react. You may experience an increase in heartbeat, sweating, tummy upset, dry mouth, and trembling

At the peak of a negative experience, the brain takes a snapshot of your emotions and everything in your environment.  It uses this information to protect you from any perceived danger in the future.

This raw information gets stored in the brain’s amygdala. Unfortunately, that can mean a miscalculation of risk when everything is safe.

*  What are the Symptoms of PTSD?

Memories of traumatic occurrences can severely affect people, and specifically those serving in army battle-conditions. These include:

  • ‘flashbacks’ to incidents which can have a significant impact on family life or ability to hold down a job.
  • ‘Flashbacks’ –  of the event can trigger feelings of anxiety and fear.
  • Persistent, recurring thoughts – of the distressing event.
  • Being on high alert – or hyper-arousal means you may experience feelings of anger and irritability – insomnia, nightmares, poor concentration and being easily startled.
  • Avoidance –  staying away from people or places, events or objects that are reminders of the experience.
  • Change in outlook – individuals who have PTSD may only be able to envision a bleak future. They might have less interest in activities they used to enjoy, feel emotionally numb or detached from others.

Can everyday stress develop into PTSD symptoms?

Stress is a common experience for most people.

  • Good Stress, for example, is those feeling which pushes us by energising a creative drive.
  • Survival stress, for instance, can happen when someone faces a real tangible danger. It helps to protect us by giving us the ability to escape or save lives.
  • Modern stress could mean dealing with issues at work, in social relationships, limiting self-beliefs, public speaking, or self-expectations. Some people find specific experiences far more stressful than others.
  • Chronic Inescapable Stress is where the problem that causes stress cannot be resolved by the person quickly. The problem seems never-ending and therefore persists on a daily basis. There is a feeling of no control.

Traumatic Stress can be indicated when the symptoms are apparent in your daily life.

Visiting your General Practitioner

Medical professionals can prescribe medication. They often do this, as the first line of treatment, for anxiety attacks and depression.

The sufferer may feel more able to cope.

For a person to achieve long-term success, the underlying thoughts and triggers need to be resolved.

Choice of therapies can range from Eye Movement Integration (EMI, IEMT, EMDR), or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Other forms of talking therapies may also be advised, for example, counselling.

Hypnotherapy

Not all hypnotherapists work the same.  It’s advisable to have an initial conversation with the therapist, to find out how they work, and what they can offer you.

If it isn’t possible to come to terms with the initial traumatic event, it is possible to remove or ignore the triggers which increase the risk for ‘flashbacks’.

The aim of hypnosis will be to focus on removing the panic and anxious feelings, related to the original event; thus, helping the client to change the inappropriate responses

Quest trained Cognitive Hypnotherapists (QCH)

The approach used by Cognitive Hypnotherapists is evidence based. Drawing upon modern discoveries within hypnotic language, Cognitive theory, NLP, Evolutionary Psychology and Positive Psychology.

As a practitioner, I have trained in the area of Eye Movement Desensitisation (EMI, IEMT) and the REWIND technique.

The approach used by QCH trained hypnotherapists is unique.

If you have a problem with Stress, anxiety or PTSD and would like help to resolve your issue, you may like to think of hypnotherapy as a possible option.

I hope this article helps, even in a small way, to get out there an understanding of this condition. And for anybody suffering from associated symptoms to know that they should not feel shame or guilt because it’s not their fault and they are not alone.

Post traumatic stress PTSD

Maria Richards Cognitive Hypnotherapist

If you’re curious about how Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy could help you contact me directly for an initial no obligation phone conversation.

Reference Sources:

UK Online Patient.info

UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence

Quest Institute Cognitive Hypnotherapy and therapy finder for your area.