In my recent post How Emotional Trauma Creates Toxic Thoughts, I describe how traumas (real or imagined) can create toxic thoughts which, in turn, can give rise to toxic beliefs.
These toxic beliefs can trap you in a prison of your own making. And lead you to make very bad decisions.
For example, you may decide that you will NEVER again:
- Work for a female boss.
- Believe a salesperson’s pitch.
- Trust your children to the care of a teenage babysitter.
- Drive in the snow.
- Participate in another networking event.
- Deliver a speech to a crowd.
- Sing in public.
- Swim in the ocean.
Over time, with repetition, it’s natural to elevate your toxic thoughts to the status of toxic beliefs.
When you do, the problems they can cause increase exponentially. You see, as soon as you begin to make decisions based on your toxic beliefs, not only are you locking yourself into a very small life. (A self-created prison.) You are also sentencing yourself to continue repeating the actions that created the traumas in the first place. Remember the 1980’s Bill Murray movie, “Groundhog Day?” It’s like that. A repeating cycle of negative thoughts, beliefs, decisions, and outcomes.
For your friends and loved ones, watching you repeat these cycles in which you hurt yourself over and over again, is painful for them too! And if you refuse their loving attempts at intervention, can cause them to back off, leaving you alone in your toxicity, a very lonely and negative state!
Deciding you’ll never go out with a man who reminds you in any way of your ex-husband attracts legions of suitors. And you find that, beneath external appearances, they are all ‘just like’ your ex-husband. When you decide you won’t try anything new as the last time you did, when you ended up with a sprained ankle or embarrassed by amused laughter, you’ll find yourself undertaking familiar activities that don’t work out well either. The dynamic in play here is completely an ‘inside job.’ It’s you, ‘playing’ you.
When we repeatedly make bad decisions, our choices are driven by toxic beliefs which dictate that we don’t deserve a positive outcome.
For example, “I’m not lovable, so I don’t deserve a loving, kind, considerate spouse.” Another example: Yo-yo dieters who never hit their desired size, weight, or fitness levels may be hindered by the toxic belief “I don’t deserve to feel good about myself.” Or, “I’m such a loser I don’t deserve to feel good about myself.” People who spend themselves into bankruptcy more than once can be driven by toxic beliefs around, love, self-worth, and more.
In my book “Getting Naked (With Your Clothes On),” I outline what’s possible when you clean up toxic thoughts, beliefs, and decision-making. In my program of the same name, I provide exercises that actually walk you through the “Getting Naked” process. Coming clean by sharing your deepest feelings with a trusted friend or coach, in a safe place, enables you to flush your toxic thoughts. And without those supporting toxic thoughts, you cannot maintain your toxic beliefs. Once all of that toxicity is eliminated, you can begin to base your decisions on what you truly want in your life.
You are no longer controlled by covert toxicity. This opens new paths to new experiences and new and better outcomes.
Join Wellness Universe Experts Catherine Gruener, Jennifer Whitacre, Elizabeth Kipp, and myself on April 17th at 2pm EDT for insight, tools, and resources on How to Cure Yourself of an Emotional Trauma, so you can heal and live your best life.