Orlando Counseling Providing Anxiety, Trauma and Relationship Therapy
Rose Colored Glasses? Nope, That’s Not Me!
Do you hear things like, “Why are you so negative?” or “Why can’t you see the bright side of things?”
As an anxiety and trauma therapist providing counseling in Orlando, I regularly see clients that beat themselves up because they are negative. Give yourself a break. We are programmed to see the negative.
First of all, as humans, we all have what is called a negativity bias. This is our innate drive to tune into, and remember the negative experiences over positive ones. We can thank our ancestors, the cavemen, for this. It was much more important for them to remember which berries were deadly and how to avoid being eaten by a ferocious animal than it was to tune into the butterflies and rainbows. I could talk more about negativity bias, but I will save that for another article.
What I am talking about here are core beliefs. Core beliefs come from decisions we made at certain times in our lives, usually childhood, that impact the way we see the world. It is like our default setting or the channel we are tuned in to. Or like a pair of glasses with lenses that see the world in a certain way. Or a computer’s operating system. Ok, enough with the metaphors. Do you get my point?
Bare with me. I have one more. It’s like a fish swimming in water, just living life, blowing bubbles and doing what fish do. Does a fish know he’s swimming in water? Nope. How could he? Well, unless....the fish was on a journey of self-discovery. If Mr. Fish wants to continue on his journey of self-discovery, he must first realize he is swimming in water before anything else will ever make sense.
My point to all of this is, if you a person on a journey of self-discovery, the first thing you must know is, we all have a core belief default setting which IS the operating system of how we see the world. If your default setting is one of distrust or self-doubt, you will inevitably see the world as scary or yourself as incapable.
If you are experiencing a reoccurring conflict in your life, it is important to understand how your core beliefs are contributing to the problem. Take notice of where you are experiencing discord. Is it in dating? In your committed relationship? At work? Then, start noticing the subtle little messages you tell yourself? It could be things like…“I can’t be alone.” “I must be perfect to be accepted.” “I can’t trust anyone.”
If we have successfully and healthfully “graduated” from each developmental stage of childhood, we will be operating from the following core beliefs:
I belong here.
I feel safe.
I am wanted and welcome.
My needs are valid.
I can express my needs.
It’s ok to be close to others.
I don’t always have to be in control.
I can be loved for who I am, not what I do.
I don’t have to be perfect.
If any of these beliefs land like a sledge hammer or feel like a lie, it probably means there was some childhood trauma or neglect along the way for you. As we progress through life from birth through early adulthood, we are tasked with negotiating our needs with those of our caregivers. If we had an absent or overly controlling parent, we made decisions about ourselves and the world in an effort to make sense of things. And so begins the channel setting of our operating system.
In future posts, I offer experiments so that you can start to see how your belief systems are at play in your daily life. Until then, if you are curious about your default setting, start to ask yourself what your assumptions are about yourself and others. You should start to see a pattern of expectation. Remember Mr. Fish? The first step was simply knowing he was in water.
Lauran is an anxiety and trauma therapist providing counseling in Orlando, FL. She also specializes in helping people heal old broken relationship patterns that keep them from finding, creating, and keeping healthy relationships with partners, friends, and family. Lauran uses a down to earth approach infused with cutting-edge therapies that go beyond traditional talking to help clients feel calm in their body and mind and find peace within themselves.