Dr. Beck feels people with chronic behavior problems struggle with sabotaging thoughts. Learning to distinguish these is how to one thinks like [an organized] person.
Characteristics of sabotaging thoughts: pp 27-28
-encourage you to [procrastinate]. Permission, rationalizing. Shouldn’t… but, excuses
-Undermine confidence. Kick in after you get off track, both emotional immunity & catastrophizing
-allow disregarding advice in this book, beg off tasks
-increase general stress level: black and white, all or nothing
Examples (adapted from Chapter 3):
Sabotage: If I take it easy now, I will feel more energetic later.
Response: Relaxing is appropriate after some work has been done.
Sabotage: I get overwhelmed by the situation I find myself in and it makes me want to escape (procrastinate).
Response: Stress can be alleviated by accomplishing something. You don’t have to solve everything today. You can face this for X minutes, and then a break will be earned.
Sabotage: There’s nothing wrong with clutter, it actually means I’m creative/not shallow.
Response: Creating things means your creative. Clutter is sapping your energy.
Sabotage: It’s not as bad as all that.
Response: Everyone struggles to be organized, it’s not just me. If other people do it, so can I.
Sabotage: I feel too down to be productive.
Response: If you procrastinate, you will add guilt to your sadness, resentment, or anger and feel even worse.
Sabotage: I feel hopeless and helpless about clutter.
Response: Clutter is a reason to work harder, not give up.
Sabotage: It’s unfair that I have to take care of other peoples messes.
Response: It would be more unfair to keep living in a mess, whose ever it is.
Sabotage: I will be so glad when all this is over.
Response: Getting organized is a way of life. Treating it as a singular production is what propogates the problem.
Adpated from The Beck Diet Solution, 2007, Judith S. Beck, Ph.D. Oxmoor House