April 21st, 2019


Self-work update #3

I think the worst part about self-help materials is that whenever I find a new source I'm eager to just dive straight into it and go through everything, but the thing is, if you want to make lasting changes you need to be patient. You need to think about your own situation closely and observe your own feelings and thoughts, try to understand why you're doing what you're doing, and then eventually slowly try to change those things. I'm so impatient that I want to hear the next lesson before I've properly processed through the first step.

But at least I'm writing down some of the "homework". I actually came up with a long list of things that I want to do but am struggling with (learning C#, applying for jobs at my 'dream companies/institutions', finishing my konmari process, doing Let's Plays or other videos I've been thinking of on and off, and even spending time outdoors). For now, I've traced a lot of my struggles back to my experiences of long-term unemployment prior to my PhD studies, which is linked to a lot of painful feelings; inadequacy, feelings of not belonging, loneliness, worthlessness... It's no wonder I can be unmotivated about things or feel like there's no point in doing them if my past experience is that no matter if I try to do this or that, I'll be rejected, "I won't get a job" and that I definitely "won't get a job that I really really want". And the difficulty of spending time outdoors is that because of my past I associate it so closely with going to school/work or playing with or going to meet friends, and because I don't have a job or friends I could just walk over to visit now (well, there is one) it feels more comforting to stay at home in front of the PC because then I can reach out to my friends at any time on IRC or social media and I don't have to feel aimless and lonely. I can seek validation any time from anyone who happens to be online.

Yes, these sound like self-pitying excuses but that's kind of the point. Even if some reasonings seem absurd, it's important to try to feel compassionate towards yourself and really understand why you've started thinking the way you're thinking. Because you can't force yourself to change and think differently without doing all that work first. Or well, if you try, the change won't last because it'll be an endless battle with yourself. You gotta love yourself and trust that even your seemingly ridiculous beliefs came to be to protect you - so at some point they may have even made sense - but now, it's probably time to move on and try to replace negative thoughts with more constructive ones. Well, that's what I'm picking up, I'm basically rephrasing things I hear here and there.

Anyway, one 'homework' was to think about the top 3 feelings that I have on a regular basis, ask myself what thoughts were creating those feelings, and then choosing the 3 feelings I want to feel daily. So, skipping the negativity here, but the feelings I want to feel are excitement, gratitude, and a kind of peaceful happiness (contentment? The feeling I have when sitting in the sun with my cats, for example, and everything is just fine. That kind of feeling is sublime).

The Life Coach School podcast says we can control what we feel because our feelings are created by our thoughts, which kind of makes us badasses when you think about it, so what I really want to do now is have my different feelings and try to recognize what thoughts are producing those feelings and maybe that will give me the information that I need to move forward and become even more of a badass that I already am HAHAHAHAHA. blerp