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Old 11-25-2013, 12:09 AM
Catrina Catrina is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Default Still Trying

Hi Dr. Joe,

I am in the process of looking back through your book "The Power of Self-Coaching" for the third time. It helps me to re-read your major points, and to bookmark them.

I am now looking back at the book's points that help me distinguish fact from fiction, and I am working on talking back to myself whenever I find myself indulging in the "script" that I have written for my life--the script that casts me as someone doomed to be a loser because of my "tragic" childhood, etc.

You know, the ideas in your books, and in any self-help books, are not just easy cures. I need to keep coming back to them. Maybe that's because habits are hard to break, and we need to keep seeing those words again and again. It almost seems like I am a perpetual infant, in my need to keep revisiting basic concepts. Why is that? To answer my own question, I would say that it is because I have not yet put the concept into practice habitually. I can accept the verbal truth of a precept, but I put it into practice only sporadically. That truthful concept has not yet become a practice for me. God, why am I still struggling with ideas that I know will help me if I only make them a habit?

My excuse is that in my work life, I spend all my energy and time dealing with duties that suck the life out of me. Every day, I look forward to the release from my duties, and then I indulge in physical releases such as gardening, dog-walking, exercising, and then having drinks with dinner. What I really should be doing in this free time is working on my creative projects that will help me create the life that I want to have. Why do I procrastinate with the activities that will really re-build my life?

Dr. Joe, I am looking forward to your next book. I am hoping that it will address "procrastination" in the context of self-coaching.

Thank you for this website and the opportunities it provides to talk about our struggles.
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:11 PM
Dr. Joe Dr. Joe is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,015
Default Procrastination

Think of procrastination is controlling strategy, without sufficient self-trust, procrastination helps you avoid the anticipated "what-ifs." For the procrastinator, tomorrow will be the busiest day of the week. We're all prone to procrastination, especially when doubts, fears, or negatives creep into the picture. Rather than focusing on procrastination, work more on developing your self-trust muscle. The confidence and optimism necessary to engage life without hesitation or resistance comes from the conviction that handling life without first hitting procrastination's brake pedal is a matter of clearing out the mental clutter, risking self-trust and simply doing.

Regarding my future books. I'm finishing up a project right now, but I was recently considering writing a book solely on anxiety. Procrastination would clearly be an integral part of this work. Thank you for your support with my Self-Coaching efforts. I do appreciate it.

Dr. Joe

Disclaimer: The diagnosis of clinical anxiety or depressive disorders requires a physician or other qualified mental health professional. The information provided is intended for informational purposes only. Please understand that the opinions shared with you are meant to be general reference information, and are not intended as a diagnosis or substitute for consulting with your physician or other qualified mental health professional.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:56 PM
Catrina Catrina is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Default Something besides procrastination

Dr. Joe,

Thank you for your reply. I know that breaking habits takes constant attention. And thank you for your comments about procrastination.

But here is a story about a positive (I think) outcome of my months of talking back to my negative thoughts--my self-coaching.

This is an incident that happened today. I had been conscious all morning of the need to be positive instead of defeatist or pessimistic, but this was going to be a challenge.

I heard a chainsaw buzzing, and I ran outdoors to see men up in a large tree in my back lot, cutting off limbs. I had a moment of indecision: do I go look into this situation, which is surely a confrontation, or do I go back in the house and hide from the noise. If I choose to hide, I will feel terrible and my hiding will have further mental ramifications.

So I go out there, with a camera, and I accost the nearest worker. I say "This is my tree." And I start filming.

The worker says, "What's the problem, sweetheart?"

Here in Kentucky, men of every social class tend to patronize women unless the situation is public and being reported--and even then, a lot of times. Feeling very angry, both mentally and physically, I replied, "I'm not your sweetheart, you _ _ _ _ ." (begins with a D and is not "duck"). And I told him that this was my tree and if they cut any of it that wasn't hanging over the fence, they would face a lawsuit. (I was calming down as I said that, which is a new thing for me.)

I'm not sure how effective that reply was, but the tree-crew boss came up to me then, and after I told him about my property and the previous problems with this neighbor (his earlier tree-cutting crews had dumped the limbs into my yard), he became polite and respectful. Of course, this could be a mere placation, but I did get his business card and conversed with him about other trees in my yard. I actually surprised myself by keeping my temper and actually conversing with this person.

Months ago, I would have returned to my house seething, resentful of society, and hopeless about my chances for ever becoming an effective agent of my own fate. In fact, this incident would have caused me to spiral downwards into a completely defeatist and depressed mindset--a confirmed fatalist about my future as a born loser.

But I somehow returned today telling myself that this is life, and whatever happens will play out, and I will handle it. I DID NOT let this event make me return mentally to the old view that I am fated to fail in every social encounter because I have never fit into society.

OK, I still don't feel like I fit into society, but I don't have to let that feeling ruin my day or my life. I can be me, and feel good about myself.

Just writing about this incident has helped me to see it in a positive light.

Thank you, Dr. Joe, for this opportunity to work things out in writing.

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Old 12-02-2013, 03:03 PM
Dr. Joe Dr. Joe is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,015

Congratulations! Change will always involve some degree of discomfort, but in time as you grow in self-confidence and trust, change becomes the new norm. You may be interested in a book I read when I was in graduate school, When I Say No, I Feel Guilty. I believe it's by a man named Smith. It's a great introduction into assertive training. You're on your way, now continue to accumulate some confidence-building reps. :-)
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