Many of us have said throughout our lives “I can’t do that.” Many of us have said this about things we really, really want to do. “Wow that man/woman is really cute, I wish I could talk to him/her.” “Why don’t you go up and start a conversation?” “Are you crazy? No, I can’t do that.” Or, “Go for that job opportunity…you’d be great at it!” “No…I can’t do that.” While in our heads we’re thinking “Oh my god if I could just do that…if only I was able to…”
It’s amazing how it seems there is literally an anchor (and not a good anchor) holding us in place…making us feel as if we are physically unable to move forward. The thing we don’t realize is, every negative thought…every “I can’t” or “it wouldn’t work” thought- particle falls from our minds like rain from the sky and lands at our feet…collectively forming this ever-growing anchor that holds us back from chasing (or even strolling) towards what we truly want. The anchor is invisible…just as our thoughts…but is certainly not light.
So we don’t walk. And we don’t try. And we avoid all the things that walking and trying might cause: failure, pain, rejection. Because…well, these things are painful. Who wouldn’t want to avoid them? The only problem is that having that anchor also means you don’t get to see if…just maybe…those things don’t happen and instead you experience success, joy, and acceptance. You know that saying, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take?” That applies. But what if we shed the anchor and try—and we don’t succeed and we don’t feel joy and we aren’t accepted? These notions terrify us and tighten that anchor around our ankles that much more. The truth is you are more equipped to deal with these things than you may think. You actually can handle them. What you’re doing to yourself by denying yourself the chance at what you truly want is much worse than trying and failing. It’s as if you’re stuck in one position…wanting things…but not able to move. Psychotherapy is all about letting yourself move.
Easier said than done, I know. Next time you tell yourself “I can’t,” imagine a thought particle drifting from your mind down to your ankle- hoping to lead to an anchor. Then, just as it’s about to land into position….watch it miss and hit the ground…and that’s when you step on it. Each “I can’t” and “it won’t work” and “I’m not strong enough” gets stepped on. Additionally, you can tell yourself the opposite- even if you don’t 100% believe it at the time: “I can’t” becomes “yes, I can.” “It’ll never work” becomes “It might work” “I can’t handle this going badly” becomes “Yes I can, I’m stronger than I think” etc. You can think these positive thoughts while stomping out the negative.
Your therapist at Alpha Psychotherapy Center will help you take back the power you’ve had all along, to crush the thoughts that are weighing you down, and to show that anchor who’s boss.
Both Hal Brickman and Allia Brickman bring expert experience and knowledge to their work with clients. Hal’s contribution to the field of Psychotherapy has been embraced by psychotherapists worldwide and translated into six foreign languages. Allia has spent the last decade both working with clients and diving into the latest research on happiness, anxiety and depression-reduction, relationships, and more. She successfully applies this to her dedicated work with clients.