What to DO when CONFUSED (Part 3)

too many choices 

not enough trust in my judgement

PREVIOUS: What to do when confused (part 2)

HOW: If you need a reminder of your options, keep a list with you at all times of “My Rights” & “New Rules”, & read thru them every day until they become second-nature
• Train yourself to ASK, ASK, ASK for information about things you don’t know & clarification about who other people are, how they think, what they meant by a statement, what they want (from you), what they have already done or are planning to do about a problem of theirs…..
• When listening, watching, reading…., pay attention to how others do things, what their motives are, what alternatives they have made use of… & consider whether any of it can be applied to your life. Then try it out. This is not just to be a copy-cat. Whatever you observe has to be tailored to who you are.
a. Fill in the forms on the “Why are you stuck?” post
b. Of all the possibilities out there – pick ones that will strengthen your True Identity rather than any that shore up the ‘false self’ you had to create to survive your upbringing! Which Options will:
• have value & importance to you or to the activity you’re engaged in
• be realistically do-able, at your present level of Recovery
assessment• make you feel good about yourself, especially afterward
• keep you in reality, rather in than escape mode
• be the most enjoyable for your Inner Child (must be healthy)
• be the least painful, emotionally (if all choices will hurt) – OR
• have the least harmful consequences to yourself – AND
• benefit your personal growth / recovery the most
• break a Toxic Rule (necessary to empower yourself)

c. Use the following version of “Relationship FORM A” for yourself, using T.E.A. To find out more about your beliefs and emotions. Write it once
FROM: your Adult self —> TO: Your Inner Child, and once
FROM: you Adult          —> TO: the bad parent
ME: IF I (the Adult) WANTED TO (A)  __________________________
CHILD or PP: then I would feel (E) ___________________________Qs
because I BELIEVE that (T) __________________________________
SO I PREVENT YOU (the adult) FROM ________________________
BY (A & words) ____________________________________________
because it’s less scary than having to:
a. FEEL (E) ________________________________________________
b. & DEAL WITH (A & T) _____________________________________

SAMPLE dialogue: Man with Inner Child
ME: IF I (the Adult) WANTED TO (As) approach & talk to any woman I find very attractive
CHILD or PP: then I would feel (Es) afraid, ashamed, embarrassed
because I BELIEVE that (Ts) I’m not macho enough, I’ll be awkward, won’t really know what to say, I’ll be boring, she’ll see right thru me

SO I PREVENT YOU (the adult) from approaching any of those women
BY THINKING I’m not good enough, they’ll laugh at me, “who do you think you are…”
because it’s less scary than having to
a. FEEL (Es) humiliated, rejected
b. and/or DEAL WITH (A & T) being ignored, OR ending up with someone
I’ll either have to take care of or who will try to control me

● Once you’ve done the inventories, reviewed your choices & chosen a course of action you think best suits you, you may still feel the need to run it by someone else, mainly for ‘big’ decisions. You have the right to ask & get help, from a good friend, sponsor, therapist or clergyman, BUT ultimately the choice has to be yours alone

● Pick someone you know is trustworthy (generally not family), who will:Unknown
– just listen & won’t give advice (doesn’t have an agenda)
– can help you work through any confusion you may still have
– won’t be judgmental & does not expect you to have the perfect answer
– will validate your emotions (usually fear/ anxiety. Also shame, guilt….)
– give you good mirroring (feed back your wishes & needs, not theirs)
– encourage your autonomy (“You CAN make your own decisions”)

● Ask that person if you can book-end with them. This is the Inner Child version, to be used whenever we want or need to take an action that makes you nervous & unsure:
1. Call someone safe. Tell them what action you want to take, & when
2. Take the action. Think about the outcome. Was it what you expected? Better or worse?
3. Call that person back (in a pinch, if they’re not available, call someone else) & tell them what happened (A). Also talk about your emotions (E) – are you relieved, less scared, feeling empowered, or are you hurt, disappointed, sad…?

● PRACTICAL – Did you get the concrete results you hoped for? How did other people respond? Was there anything missing? Were the benefits greater than you imagined?…
● EMOTIONAL – How did taking that action feel:  Make you happy & more confident, or leave you feeling empty or bad about yourself? Did you feel stronger & empowered, or disappointed & less satisfied? etc.

NEXT: What to DO when Confused (Part 4)


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