Challenge 24

Ten Coping Skills.

Getting to

1. Learn to Accept Reality.
‘Reality’ is what we take to be TRUE.
What we take to be TRUE is what we BELIEVE.
What we BELIEVE is based upon our PERCEPTIONS.
What we PERCEIVE depends upon what we LOOK FOR.
What we LOOK FOR depends upon what WE THINK.
What WE THINK depends upon what we OBSERVE.
What we OBSERVE is what we take to be The TRUTH.
What we take to be TRUE is our REALITY.

The trouble is that all too often we cling to things we hold to be TRUE that simply are NOT. If you will examine the statement above you will find it is circular in its reasoning. This is actually how the mind thinks things through a lot of the time. Our thoughts circle and circle until we come to what we believe to be TRUE. The trouble with this natural process is that it often produces a FALSE ‘Truth’. When we find the Real truth we can take actions that will produce fruitful results.

2. Learn From Past Mistakes.
Henry Ford said, “There are no failures. There are simply successful attempts that prove what doesn’t work”. Thomas Edison tried thousands of different materials until he developed the first successful light bulb.

We can’t always know what the outcome of a particular action will produce. Albert Einstein said “nothing happens until something moves” We must try to act based upon the truth as best we understand it. If we are unsure about the truth of a matter, it is best to wait until the truth becomes clear enough for us to make a decision upon the facts on hand. This is not to say that the decision we make will be entirely correct but should be as close as we can manage with the facts we have. You see Thomas Edison also designed a helicopter that would work with gunpowder. It ended up blowing up and also blew up his factory as well.

3. Accept Responsibility.
My feelings are My feelings, I can’t blame them on anyone or anything else. ‘I statements’ are a reminder that I alone am responsible for doing the work to change my negative feelings and encourage my positive feelings to take their place. I have feelings; my feelings are not Ours or Thiers; although sometimes they may be similar or along the same lines.


4. Worry Is Useless.
Actually worry is an ineffective waste of time and energy. Worry will wear you down, make you tired, hard to get along with and unsure of even the most obvious truth. It is a good idea to shun worry like the plague! Find some other problem to work on, one that has a solution, one that you can do something about. Don’t spin your wheels trying to solve things that are beyond your control.

5. It Is Better To Face Facts Than Live A Lie.
The Truth may hurt but it will hurt a lot less than a lie when it is discovered. The truth often brings us stinging reminders of how things really are. Lies just set us up for painful disasters we could avoid if we learn and live by the truth. “When you know the truth, then the truth will give you freedom.” Free From What? The lies, the belittling and contempt of ourselves, along with the self deception that can lead us into relationships and situations that damage us not only mentally but sometimes physically. The old saying ‘the truth hurts’ is true but the truth does not kill. Lies can and will kill our spirit, our souls and ultimately our bodies. To live a lie is to waste a life. Shakespeare said ‘to thine own self be true’ there are fewer adages better to live by then that.

6. Recognizing the Facts.
Learn the difference between a fact and an inference. You might think that because your friend didn’t call you today that this must mean they are mad at you. The actual fact maybe that being human they just forgot or they were beset with their own troubles. When you draw conclusions, ask “what are the facts?” Then when you know the facts you can then decide, as you are now facing reality. Remember everything is not about you!

7. Challenge Your Illogical Thinking.
Choosing to Question Negative Conclusions is always a good thing to do.

Jumping to conclusions is a type of negative thinking that is known as cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are habitual and faulty ways of thinking that are common among people who struggle with depression and/or anxiety. Remember: we are what we think we are. When a person jumps to conclusions, they are drawing negative ending with little or no evidence to back up their assumptions.

Jumping to conclusions can occur in two ways: Thought Guessing and Precognitive Thinking. If a person is ‘thought guessing’ they are assuming that others are negatively appraising them or have bad intentions against them. When a person is ‘precognitive thinking’, they are predicting a negative outcome or deciding that circumstances will turn out for the worst before the situation has even occurred. Let’s look at a couple of examples showing how a person may be jumping to conclusions and ways in which such a negative thinking pattern can be reframed.

Why should I bother entering the competition because I could never win anything?
This is precognitive thinking because you are predicting a negative outcome. If you really think about it you more than likely have been in many situations when you came out on top. This is winning! When you find yourself doing this you should try to change your negative thinking into a more positive style like this for example.
If I were to enter the competition there could be a chance I’d win even if it is slim.

What’s the good of me tying; everyone always says I’ll never amount to nothing.
This is thought guessing; for a start you do not know everybody and even if you did, there are still people out there who like you for the way you are whether you believe this or not. Even if you have been told this numerous times it does not mean that you should take it on board. So again you should try to change your negative thinking into a more positive style like this for example.
Ah flop it, I’ll give it a go what have I got to lose.

When you find yourself thought guessing and precognitive thinking, remind yourself that you are jumping to conclusions. Also, you are predicting that only the worse will happen. Balance this thought out by thinking about what would be the best outcome of any given situation. The likely outcome will be somewhere in between these two extremes.

8. Allow Yourself To Succeed Your Way.
It’s OK to be emotional, to take your time and to respect yourself. You can always take as long as you need to think anything through. Anytime someone tries to pressure you to decide ‘right now’ before it’s too late. They usually know that with reflection or too much scrutinizing you will see the lie behind their proposition. Don’t let other people’s emotions push you into anything. You have both the right and the ability to Make Your Own Decisions. When making important decisions it is usually best to get another opinion or two from people you trust but in the end it is always your choice. Don’t let people stand over your choice.

9. Don’t Put Yourself Down.
Avoid listening to the ‘Negative’ messages which will hold you back. They seem to spring out of nowhere but in reality they come into our mind from listening to self defeating voices. If the voices are from outside influence, avoid those people or ignore them. If the voices come from inside, YOU and YOU ALONE have control over your thoughts. Instead of having the approach that ‘I’ll never make it’; look towards the positive outlook ‘I’ll try’.

A minister once set a seemingly impossible goal for a fund raising project. Many in the church thought he was crazy. Sure enough the church did not meet the goal. What they did manage in the process was to raise twice as much as that church had ever risen before. You may not win the gold but you may well win the silver or the bronze

10. Ask For Help
Often someone with a different perspective can show us things we couldn’t see otherwise. “As iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend” A wise man asks the opinion of others. You don’t have to take their advice, (especially if it’s negative) but hearing the thoughts of others will clarify your own thoughts.

Just a quick reminder of what we have covered:
          Accept Reality.
          Learn From The Past.
          Accept Responsibility.
          Worry Is Useless.
          Choose The Painful Truth.
          Do I Have The Facts?
          Face Facts.
          Challenge Your Thinking.
          Don’t Put Yourself Down.
          Accept Help From Others

How Well Are These Coping Skills Working For You?

Where on the scale below would you say you are right now
Lowest 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Highest
What would it take to move you one number higher?

(It is important that you include your answer on the line)

Seeing that you can’t write your answer here. I would suggest that you download the word document from the link below.

This would also allow you to add notes about thoughts and feelings that you could review at a later date and see if or how they have changed.

Click to Download as a Word Document.
Note: If you are using Windows 7 and you Click On ‘Open’
you may get this.
Window Security Tag.
Just click on Cancel and the download should continue.

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Motivational Stories.

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