Have you ever felt paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake, to the point that it seems impossible to make a decision?
It could be an important life decision that involves financial planning or consulting other members of your family; and it can also happen for common everyday life choices, such as which fruits to buy at the grocery store or changing the light bulb today.
Chances are if you are in trauma recovery you know exactly what I am referring to as you are experiencing it regularly.
The disempowerment that we, trauma survivors, experienced at some point in our life, has left us unsure, doubtful, and uncertain. We need to rebuild confidence in ourselves, we need to learn to trust our intuitions and senses. And it will take time.
You might want to give a go at the technique below taken from The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook. It has and still is helping me recognize that fear is behind my “mental blockages” and allows me to take a step back and rethink the situation with a different perspective. The idea is to use a deconstruction technique to assist you to identify your emotions.
Try these 3 techniques.
1. Define the situation and detect the causes: ask yourself what happened, when and why?
2. Recognize the emotions: ask yourself how did this situation made you feel, both emotionally and physically? Try to name both the primary emotion that is behind it as well as the secondary emotion, which will be any other additional feeling you may have.
3. Question yourself: what were the results? Is this the reality? Could I have reacted differently?
This technique helps me observe habitual patterns where fear is always the primary emotion.
An example of how it works for me:
At the beginning of the year, I had been questioning myself and doubting my decision of taking the Yoga Therapist course that will involve a costly financial investment and intense studies for the next 2 years in addition to my full time job. I got uncertain to the point of reviewing the course cancellation policies. So I used the deconstruction technique to distinguish the reality from the fear. I soon realized that it was several layers of fear that were creating this doubt. It allowed me to remember that yoga therapy is my calling and with the force of my passion I know I can do it and bring relief to many individuals.