Leading up to Christmas, I wanted to share with you the simplest yet profound analogy I use most days when helping clients understand Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Who is he? What is he? Does he really have the power to get to 7.594 billion homes in the space of 24 hours? How does he know which house has a magic key? How can he possible eat that many mince pies and drink that muck whisky and still drive his sleigh?
Once upon a time, most of us believed. Not just a little bit but absolutely categorically BELIEVED.
Simple: We were told to. Not just by our caregivers (parents, family, school, peers) but by his presence on everything we looked at and touched from December 1st onwards – or this year it’s been more like November onwards!
Cards, wrapping paper, shop windows, story books, coca cola ads, TV adverts and more lately, even the Prime minister was on the news reassuring everyone that Santa would not be subject to Covid restrictions.
He visited us, we visited him, we wrote to him, he wrote back and more recently our kids can see apps with him captured creeping across our living rooms on Christmas Eve. We can even get a personalised phone call.
His presence was based upon a reward system- If you’re good, he will come, if not, you`ll get coal.
Then one day at some point we gained new evidence (*** DISCLAIMER- Blue Talking Therapies cannot be held liable for the distress caused by the following broadcast)
Santa is not who we think he is….
So, thinking about other core beliefs, they’re no different – they’re built and strengthened on this same theory.
They exist because everything around us during our development creates it. What we hear, see and feel is often what we believe. Unless challenged, belief systems aren`t updated with new evidence. Similarly, the more we are exposed to similar repeated content, the more we believe it.
The good news? Thoughts are not facts. We are biased to our own opinions because it’s all we knew when we formed them.
What if our belief system is inaccurate? How would this effect how you feel and what you then do?
CBT aims to unpick the strength and accuracy of thoughts with the view to challenging the resulting feelings and behaviours that keep thoughts real and going.
Let’s explore your vicious cycle and shift the feelings that limit you. Follow us on Facebook or drop us a line if you have limiting beliefs that are holding you back.
Have a very Merry Christmas – including you Santa!