This exercise is to help you understand how to change some of the beliefs you have that are causing you stress, worry or anxiety. Once you have identified a repetitive problem (e.g., “I don’t have much confidence.”), then start to explore and understand this belief by using the following 5 questions as a guideline.
- What do you mean by that?
- Give me a specific example.
- What in your life has made you feel like that?
- I understand from what I have learnt from above that ………………. (Declaring the Understanding)
E.g. You – ‘I have a terrible fear of going into lifts’
Question – ‘What do you mean by that?’
You – ‘I mean I have a terrible feeling of anxiety when I am stuck in such a small confined space.’
Question – ‘Give me a specific example of this feeling’
You – ‘Well, when I was going to work the other day, I was running late. As I work on the top floor of my department, I had to use the lift to get there as soon as I could. Usually I always arrive in good time so I can use the stairs.’
Question – ‘What in your life has made you feel like that’
You – ‘Well actually I remember a time when I was younger, when I was shopping with my mother. We were getting in a lift, and as the doors closed, I thought I would run out. I was only little so I don’t know why I done it really. But I could hear my Mother shouting my name from the lift as it went up. I got really scared because I didn’t know what was happening’
Declare the Understanding – ‘I understand that your dislike of lifts is because you are frightened something was going to happen to your mother. Yes?’
You – ‘Well I suppose that sounds strange, but yes’
Next possible question – ‘And did anything happen to her?’
You – ‘No …. She just gave me a terribly hard smack when she got back down.’
This is a simple example of how uncovering your current problematic beliefs and rapidly re-framing them works. Of course the presenting problem can be varied, but the process is still used in the same way.
Try FIVE current beliefs you have now and work on re-framing them!
Let us know how you get on!
Tom & Sandra.