A partial list of my self-defeating truths


“It is true that if I make a mistake, I am entirely bad.” 

“It is true that I am not young and therefore I am of no real value to anyone.”

“It is true that if I succeed I am entirely good.”

“It is true that if I am criticized, I am very much irredeemable, unless the person who is criticizing me is deemed entirely bad by someone else (or, better yet, a group of others); in which case I will miraculously turn good and they will be bad, instead.”

“It is true that I can only be good when someone tells me I am good, when someone else fails or when someone else is not as good at something as I am.  Otherwise I’m not sure if I’m good or bad and seek out others to remind me of my value.”

“It is true that I can make people angry and they, in turn, can make me angry.” 

“It is true that I make people miserable and vice versa.”

“It is true that I am truly not worthy of love or affection.”

“It is true that if someone returns one of my books, I am an utter failure at writing books – even when thousands of them are not returned and still in circulation.”

“It is true that I can break someone’s heart.”

“It is true that I have the power to embarrass people.”

“It is true that I make people cry.  Even animals.  Especially dogs.”

“It is true that if I behave according to the rules, obey the law and if I am courteous helpful and kind without error, I can expect to be treated well and be viewed as a good person by everyone.”

Now that my personal, self-defeating truths are on display for the world to see, I would encourage you to make your own list.  Post them on this blog if you want! If your list is as nutty as mine, our lists, together, will stand as empirical evidence that we are, together, a bunch of nut heads and that we might consider doing something about it, together, as soon as possible!  (I wish everyone would make a choice to do something about their nuttiness as soon as possible.  Alas, we have to start small.)

Your early emotional education is the means by which you have become dependent on others for your personal value, state of mind, ability to determine your own successes and weaknesses and the authority you exercise over your approval or disapproval of your own behavior.  Making a partial list of your own self-defeating truths, the truths you hold about yourself that influence your emotional life and your improved emotional intelligence would be a grand start. You might begin with writing yourself a note: This is a partial list of my self-defeating truths.  Look at it for a few days.  Imagine that you are writing it all out. You finally make an inventory, your list will be your starting point for change.

The rest of your journey lies ahead of you.

I hate to sound cliché (because if I do, I will be cliché and, therefore, not be taken seriously), but every journey really does begin with the first step. Your journey into the uncharted world of improved emotional intelligence doesn’t have to start perfectly and end in a grand denouement.  The first step in this journey may begin with a stumble, a nose bleed, a kiss good-bye, a slammed door or a dying breath  . . .  and it will, likely, never end once you start.

It is possible that you will always be a little nutty. With improved emotional intelligence, however, you’ll just be better equipped to handle it. Celebrate that! Besides, determining that you are nuts will provide you with the impetus to act against it.  Your choice to do something about your nut-headed-ness just means you have set a determined and purposeful course for yourself to get better.

Nothing can bring you better happiness than yourself.

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