Limiting beliefs come up a lot in the Thrive programme, in fact it is our limiting beliefs that drive a lot of our behaviors and symptoms such as social anxiety and social phobia. One of the most common beliefs that people hold is about their past. Most people believe that their past has a big impact on their lives today!
They believe that the earlier part of their lives, their childhood, their adultescence; is having a significant impact on their current lives today…… And that might be because they may have been bullied at school, may had abusive parents, may have been overweight, may have gotten savaged by a dog, suffered emotional or traumatic events…. Most people believe that in some way shape of form… specific events in the past are still having a profound hold on them Now Today and is affecting their lives in a negative way creating all types of fears and anxieties and completely eroding self esteem and self confidence.
That would indeed be a very reasonable assumption. But the fact is… It is Not True.. Earlier life events, no matter how conflicting or traumatic, have very little if any direct effect upon your life NOW. Traumatic experiences and memories aren’t causing your symptoms in the here and now.
And it is not Not True for the following 2 reasons.
Firstly, our memories are entirely constructive … what that means is that you don’t actually store events of experiences in the back of your mind. Most people believe we have a black box type recording devise, or filing cabinet or rewindable video tape type memory back where all our experiences are stored. It FEELS like we do but we don’t . Ochsner and Scacter (2000) ‘ Cognitive psychology and neuroscience have impressively demonstrated that memory is an active process that involves intrerpretation and construction at all stages”.
Actually, we only probably store somewhere in the region of 2-5% of the information about an experience or event and that information is stored all throughout your brain.. stored as electrical energy smaller than a neuron. So, for example if you think back to what you did last Saturday you have a few microscopic specs of electrical energy in your brain that represent that experience… As we said earlier, memory is constructive… which means we Make the Memory everytime we think of it… So back to last Saturday…. If I asked you right now, what did you do last Saturday you’d probably start thinking … eemh I usually meet Anne for a coffee and we usually go to such a such a place and the you remember the new clothes you were thinking wearing and you usually have a good time with Anne etc. it is these snippets of information that allow us to create a clear image in your mind, and that satisfies your curiosity and you leave it at that.
That may or may not be true… you may or may not have had those clothes on and maybe it wasn’t such a wonderful experience etc …But the real thing to understand is that you made that memory up right there and then … you constructed that experience from a few tiny bits of information…. we could look at this another way another way… take your experience from last Saturday….. make it into a 50 piece jigsaw puzzle and each time you think of it, you only actually find 3 or 4 of those pieces and the rest of the puzzle you tend to fill in because it seems to fit…. That is the way our brains work … that memory you think you have.. for example a traumatic memory of being savaged by a dog….. or that memory that always come rushing forth every time you see a dog now, that’s not true…… that’s not an unresolved memory of when you were bitten by a dog that comes rushing through every time you see a dog … its not a memory coming to the surface….. you are creating that Memory NOW ! …. You are creating that picture and all the feelings associated with it Now !
So the belief that events from earlier on in your life .. no matter how traumatic they are… your believe, that those events … those memories… are affecting you now … is not true.. We can show you how to get over this in a few sessions…. What is True… is the way you think and the way you chose to feel and your Beliefs about that experience… that it does still affect you.. This is True !
So, if you did get bitten by a dog when you were a child and you still think dogs are terrifying… well it’s not surprising you have a panic attack the next time you see a dog…. But that is about the belief you have now as an adult … nothing to do about the fact that you had been bitten by a dog 20yrs ago… So, memory is constructive at every stage in the process.
The second reason why it should not be about the past is that we Do Not Store or bottle up emotion…Anywhere..! Now it often feels like we do ! A death of a loved one for example.. invariably it can take a long time to get over. After your loved-one dies you understandably create lots of emotion and lots of pain. At that point any memories of your loved one are likely to be distressing – even though the experiences themselves were fantastic. Such as going on holiday etc. But, because you are now viewing these experiences through the lens of your loved one having died, you feel emotional and unhappy when you recall these experiences. When you get to the point of acceptance and you’ve resolved the conflict, you feel totally different at at peace with yourself.
For a lot of people It often does feels like some emotion is coming up to the surface….that it was bottled up… have a lot of buried feelings… We often talk about young people particularly young males …oh they have a lot of anger coming up at the moment… none of these things are true .. this is not how your mind works.. Any emotion that you feel is formed in a response to the way in which you interpret a situation, event or recollection ….You do not store emotion anywhere… There is no store in your brain or your body for emotion. Therefore, every emotion you experience… you are creating right now … Its your reaction that stems from the beliefs you hold about dogs TODAY… your psychological foundations Today and how well you mange you’re your mindset TODAY… And if you are creating it right now.. You can Change it…We can teach you how to achieve this in the Thrive Programme. If you are looking for a comprehensive treatment for social anxiety and anxiety related conditions call the Leinster Hypnotherapy Clinic today.
For a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact me and we can help you resolve your problems today!