Sabotaging Thoughts and Responses

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

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