If you’re caught in the middle between these two extremes, it’s time to practice dialectics. If you’re unfamiliar with dialectics, check out this blog first. Next, follow this step-by-step process can help you navigate through difficult moments and remind yourself of what your choices are.
Step 1: Notice when thoughts come up that make you feel a victim to your circumstance. Some common thoughts might sound like this:
I have no choice.
I have to do it.
This will never work.
Other people are making me do it.
I can’t say no.
I can’t ask for what I want or need.
Step 2: Ask yourself what am I feeling right now? Maybe you’re feeling afraid that if you say no, other people will be offended or get upset. Maybe you’re feeling sad that this is your reality. Or perhaps you’re feeling ashamed that people will judge you for what you need. Whatever you’re feeling, validate it and bring compassion towards it.
Step 3: Check the facts. This is where you take your fears, shame, and other feelings, and take a step back to assess what really is the reality of the situation. Will people actually reject you for asking for what you need? Or will people be totally fine with your request and move on with their day without another thought?
Step 4: Ask yourself: What choices do I have? What other choices may not you be considering because they feel too hard or difficult? What guidelines are you abiding by that feel like a punishment but upon reflection are actually a choice that you’re making for yourself? Consider all the choices, then give yourself full reign to make a decision.
Step 5: Put action behind the choice you decide to make, knowing with confidence that this is something you choose and no one else!
By using this step-by-step action plan, you can take a step back to remember that you actually had choices all along. Every guideline you abide by or every action you take is in your control– you’re the boss applesauce!
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