Sometimes it feels like things “always” go wrong or “never” go right. We can think we may “always” feel crummy, and go down a rabbit hole of feeling powerless, stuck, or doomed forever. One tactic we can use to get out of this all or nothing thinking is to look for exceptions to this rule we give ourselves.
What are these rules you are telling yourself?
When was a time you didn’t feel bad/depressed/powerless/whatever the thing is?
What was going on in the moment of this exception?
Where were you?
Is there an environment where this is more prevalent?
How can we re-create the conditions of when there is this exception to times when it is needed?
How long did the exception feeling last? What happened to cause it? What brought it back?
If there is no true exception to this rule, think about how bad the thing is on a scale from 1-10 (1 being not bad at all, 10 being the worst it’s ever been), what’s different the times when it’s a lower number than a higher number?
What will it take to find the exceptions to the rules you give yourself?
How will you remember to apply the strategies you came up with when you need them?
What will prevent you from applying your strategies? How can we prepare for this?
Very rarely is something truly all-or-nothing, occurring 100% of the time. It can be very challenging to find the exceptions to the rules we give ourselves, but it’s worth searching for.