Why You’re So Screwed Up

Why You’re So Screwed Up

Before you hire a therapist or coach, consider the following.

There could be subtle questions in the back of your mind.

Am I crazy? 

Do other people feel this way? 

Why am I so screwed up? 

What am I going to do? 

How do I keep on living like this? 

Why me? 

And so on.

To spare you the ongoing inner drama, here are the answers:

Are you crazy?


Do other people feel the way you do? 


Why are you so screwed up?

You’re no more screwed up than anyone else. The only issue is that you think you are because you have no idea what goes on in the privacy of other people’s mind.

What are you going to do?

I don’t know. You have choices though. You can continue suffering in a private hell. Or you can begin to live a personal growth oriented lifestyle in which you make progress and heal, bit by bit.

How will you keep on living like this? 

Again, two options: You can keep going as you have been until you die. Or,  you can begin to heal, bit by bit. Everyone needs to heal. Not everyone engages in the process.

Why you?

There’s no such thing. It’s not you. It’s everyone. We’re all in this together, even though most people will never admit they feel as screwed up as they do.

Can you really heal bit by bit?

If you’re going to heal, this is the only way. There’s no given that you’re going to do any healing. Healing is a process that involves both time and skill. Most of us are taught any healing skills, so we need to find them on our own. Many healing modalities are out there, but which one is right for you and when? I don’t know. This is why a personal growth oriented lifestyle is in order. You’ve got to experiment, keep going, and experiment some more.

Can you imagine if all the healing claims made by promoters of various modalities were consistently true? The world would be healed. It’s not. You’re not, and that’s ok. Keep doing your work, bit by bit!

Are you so screwed up?

Probably. And so am I. You and me, we’re not special. We’re a bit crazy on the inside and sometimes even on the outside. And so is everyone. Our condition is nothing special. And that’s the paradox. When being a bit nutso is nothing special, we can get on with the business of healing.

We could even say you’re so screwed up because you believe you are. As soon as you realize you’re no different than anyone else who needs to heal (i.e. everyone) then you must know that you’re not only not screwed up, but quite normal.

Imagine sitting in the room with a group of people – friends or strangers, it doesn’t matter. If everyone spilled their guts and told the truth about their inner life, you’d all feel so normal you wouldn’t know what to do. At first, you’d feel so relieved. Then, you’d have to deal with the reality that you’re not so special after all.


Are Your Submodalities Getting the Best of You?

How often do you “blow things out of proportion?” If you’re a woman, you probably hear it a lot. The way we see, feel or hear our thoughts affects the way we interpret them.  The way we respond is based on our submodalities.

I have the ability to feel something and can remain neutral. I also have the ability to feel something and go over the deep end. It is all based on how strong or pervasive the way I feel it is.

We usually think the way we respond to an event is reasonable based on the way we are feeling about the event.  However, we are not actually responding the event itself, we are actually responding to how we interpreted the event with our modalities. This is one reason a two people may respond the same thing in very different ways.

How Submodalities Can Effect a Situation

SubmodalitiesLet’s take a routine meeting between a teacher and parent. The teacher is simply telling the parent what the child is not accomplishing during class. The parent may feel disappointed in their child. How big is this feeling? Small or large? What inner image comes to their mind when they think about what the teacher is saying? What are they telling themselves while the teacher is talking?   The parent may feel the teacher has a bad attitude to their child. Now, the parent is getting hurt and upset. They feel anxious inside.

Later, the parent sees their child. Based on their submodalities during the meeting, the parent may choose to let their kid have it. Or, maybe they reduced their submodalities on the way home and can respond reasonably.

The 3-layers: Event – Submodality – Reaction

Sometimes we let out submodalities get out of control and begin reacting to them as if they are the actual situation instead of realizing they are our response to the situation.

We all know it’s not the easy to put things in perspective, especially when we feel strongly about them. Submodality shifts are the way to do this. If we take the time to calm down and reduce our enlarged submodality, we can respond to the event and not our own feelings about the event. This will help us not go over the deep end, make a mountain out of a molehill, or blow things out of proportion.

If you’d like to learn how to adjust your submodalities, read this article on shifting submodalities for a quick protocol. Submodality shifts are a fundamental Neuro-Linguistic Programming technique.


Doing Therapy Homework Between Sessions

One of the issues I have is following up and doing exercises that we discussed.

So far I think it was the following:

1. focusing on where the tension is and watching it move down/away
2. realizing/accepting that doing 1 above is not important for me
3. doing written exercise with all criticisms I tell myself
4. imagining being the guy who is nice and relaxed in restaurant

I have not done #3 in 10 days and even though #4 is pretty helpful I barely do it.
So one of the issues is how do I get myself to do these exercises more?
It’s been 2 weeks since the last session and only right now I’m rereading the notes i made 2 weeks ago.

Another is going back to above about anxiety. My last day on vacation i was having one anxiety after another just thinking about coming back and having to deal with all the stuff i had left behind.

afraid of what happens next
if I get better then what?
I don’t have to move out or get married if I am not functioning well
I wouldn’t have an excuse or something external to blame
my own decision to move out or get married  – or not
if you had to make your own decision?
fear of extra responsibilities and commitment
up to me is scary
good + bad and do it all over tomorrow

Initiative vs. Guilt – Erik Erickson Stage Three

Initiative vs. Guilt – Erik Erickson Stage Three

A Summary of Initiative vs. Guilt

Erik Erickson developed the theory of psychosocial development. It consists of eight distinct stages spanning from infancy to adulthood. The successful completion of each of these stages will result in a healthy personality and basic virtues.

This post focuses on the third stage of Erickson’s theory, which is Initiative vs Guilt. This crucial stage of development occurs in pre-school years between the ages of three and five years.

This stage of psychosocial development begins as children enter preschool, whereby they start to act independently and come to the realization that the world is trustworthy. At this stage, children learn how to exert power over themselves and the world as a whole. Children begin asserting control over the environment they are in by taking initiative in activities such as facing challenges, planning and accomplishing tasks.

Furthermore, the child contemplates on the question “Am I good or bad,” and it is the responsibility of the caregiver to help them make appropriate choices. During this stage, caregivers need to tread carefully since once they are dismissive, they may cause children to feel ashamed and discouraged. On the other hand, caregivers may become frustrated when they come to the realization that the children want to exercise more control on things that impact them directly.

Erickson recognized that play and imagination are the means by which children learn about themselves and their social world. Hence their initiative strengthens when allowed to play and try out new skills by being given independence and toys to play with. These lead to the creation of social groups among children as they learn how to engage and cooperate with others to achieve shared goals.

Also, as a result of exploring their environment children start asking “why” questions and continually reconciling their need do more things that merit social approval. Hence children will be compelled to engage in activities that will result in approval and praise from the caregiver.

On the other hand, when a caregiver ignores a child’s desire and need to engage in imaginative and physical play they contemplate it as a source of embarrassment.  Being threatened, criticized and ignored excessively by caregivers can lead to the development of a sense of guilt and they may see themselves as a nuisance resulting in the lack of self–initiative.

It is fundamental that caregivers encourage creativity and exploration while continually guiding the child in choosing the available options for play and imagination development.

Consequently, discouragement and lack of concern from caregivers contribute to the child feeling ashamed and dependence on others to offer initiative. As preschool children get to accomplish tasks on their own due to their newly discovered independence, some go beyond their abilities and accomplish self-set challenges. Success in such endeavors leads to children working and leading others, initiating projects and maturing with a sense of direction which plays a fundamental role in the kinds of risks they are willing to take.

On the other hand, children that don’t get continuous encouragement and are inhibited by caregivers from accomplishing self-set tasks develop frustrations. The symptoms for these may be observed as negative behavior such as possessing low energy, getting depressed easily and demonstrating slumped postures.

Such children may become very aggressive and develop behaviors such as yelling, hitting and throwing objects, and consequently, they may emerge with fear of trying out new things. Whatever they undertake they may feel they are doing something bad and tend to interpret mistakes as a sign of personal failure.

Work cited
“Simply Psychology.” Simply Psychology. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 Apr. 2017.
“The Psychology Notes Headquarter.” Psychologynoteshq.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 Apr. 2017.