This is a blog about how CBT works to help you improve the way you feel (wrapped up in a story about watermelons)..
Have you heard of square watermelons?! These are your bog-standard round watermelons that have been grown within a glass box. This was a trend started in Japan and as the watermelon grows, it assumes the shape of the container it was grown inside. In essence, although really cute (and much easier to pack and ship!), the box constrains, limits and prevents the watermelon from growing to it’s fullest and being the watermelon it was intended to be…
These glass boxes are a little like the experiences that we have in our early years. The experiences that we have in our childhoods; at school, at home, with friends, with teachers, with family members and even with strangers all shape the beliefs that we form about ourselves, other people and how the world works. In effect, these experiences create the box that we will later grow into.
Sometimes these beliefs will let us grow to our fullest, but often they limit us too. If you’ve ever felt doubt about yourself which has held you back from new opportunities, speaking out or being yourself, if you’ve ever thought that you weren’t good enough and not cared for or treated yourself in the way you needed as a result or if you’ve ever felt unlovable when someone you care about hasn’t given you what you needed or wanted, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. We are all shaped by our early experiences and recognising that the beliefs that we hold now are a result of this (and something that we can change and develop) is the first step in improving the way we feel and experience life. As humans, it’s never too late to smash that box wide open and keep on growing.
Why do your beliefs matter? Your beliefs matter because it is these that shape the thoughts you have in response to the myriad of situations that happen in your day-to-day life. The mind loves to be busy and you may or may not be aware of the constant chatter/narration/commentary/story that it plays throughout the day, but it’s there. All of which is a result of the size and shape of the box that your early experiences created. And all of which influence the way you feel on a daily basis. And that’s why your beliefs matter.
The way we feel is a result of the thoughts we have. And the thoughts we have are a result of the beliefs we hold. And the beliefs we hold are a result of our early experiences. If you want to break free from the constraints of your past, if you no longer want to be confined by your negative thoughts, if you want to be able to be yourself unapologetically, if you want to accept yourself fully and ignore the voice of doubt, if you want to recognise what a great mum you are and feel good about that then it all starts with recognising the glass box your early experiences created that is still keeping you constrained. And then doing what you need to to smash that box open and grow!
Without this awareness, it’s easy to unintentionally pass these box to our children. And for them to pass it on to their children too. Breaking free from the constraints that you inherited won’t only free yourself but will free your children too.
If you’re interested in joining the next cohort of the Emotional regulation (for you and your family) programme you can either, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out the Emotional regulation page for more information or book a call with Navit to have a chat about how this programme could benefit you.