What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Have you been dealing with negative thoughts or limiting beliefs? If you’re feeling stunted by them, it may be time to seek out coaching to work through them. There’s nothing worse than feeling stuck in life, and a lot of the time the problem is the thoughts inside our own heads.
If you’ve been struggling with negative thoughts holding you back, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be helpful. CBT is a type of talk therapy in which you work with a therapist or certified life coach to develop ways to work through negative thoughts. Let’s look at CBT and how this technique can get rid of those pesky limiting beliefs.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
To start, it’s important to understand what CBT is. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a talk therapy approach that will help you recognize negative thoughts and behaviors. During CBT, you’ll work with a trained professional in a structured way through sessions that are typically about an hour long. It’s a simple yet effective way to get the help you need and work yourself out of a funk. In the age of telehealth, you can do this either in-person or online.
According to the American Psychology Association, CBT involves efforts to change behavioral patterns with realistic strategies including:
● Facing your fears that you’ve been avoiding
● Role-playing to prepare for potential problems in the future
● Learning to calm your mind and relax
When you experience continuous negative thoughts, you know how frustrating it can be. It can be easy to fester in them all day and not get anything done. CBT will give you the tools you need to talk yourself out of negative spirals that are fueled by limiting beliefs. Essentially, CBT is meant to give you the know-how to be your own therapist on a day-to-day basis between sessions.
How CBT May Help With Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs/core beliefs are underlying truths that we hold about the world and ourselves. We either conjure them up in our own brains, or they form from things we are told by others. Whether they are true or not, limiting beliefs can affect your daily life. Here are some examples of common limiting beliefs:
● Everyone and everything is against me
● I don’t deserve success
● Something is wrong with me
● I am unlovable
For example, if you have the limiting belief that you don’t deserve success stuck in your head, it can hinder your career. You might pass up that job interview or won’t start your great small business idea all because your brain is convincing you not to.
When we have limiting beliefs, they can quite literally limit our lives. If limiting beliefs are holding you back, it’s important to remember that they may not be true! In fact, most of the time they aren’t. The negative thoughts we have in our heads can keep us from progressing if we don’t do something about them. That’s where CBT comes in.
One of the most valuable techniques used in CBT is the cognitive reframing of negative thoughts. When we’re dealing with limiting beliefs, it can be easy to catastrophize them. If you’ve been struggling with thoughts getting in the way, try out this worksheet.
Physically putting pen to paper can help you literally get your thoughts out of your head. Grab your journal and write them down and really look at them. As you read over the negative thoughts you’ve been having, ask yourself these questions:
● Would I tell someone else about this thought?
● Am I in control of what happens?
● What would happen if this were actually true?
Taking the time to sit down and analyze your thoughts can help you reframe them in a positive way. It’s not going to be a walk in the park since limiting beliefs can travel through our lives with us from childhood. But, if we take the time to do the work and utilize CBT, we can conquer them.
The bottom line is that CBT is a valuable tool for reframing the way we think. Negative thoughts can take over the mind before we even realize it’s happening. The good news is that it’s something we can fix and the journey will help you heal.
If you think you’d like to try CBT, consider finding a certified life coach to get started. Along with one-on-one CBT training, trying a group setting such as a retreat will help you on your mental health journey, as well. We have a 3-Day Reset & Renew Retreat coming up in September, come check it out!