What happens when you gaslight yourself

When I first trained, I remember putting myself out there as a “positive” mindset coach.  

I completely cringe at the thought of this now because I’ve grown so much since then and realised how awful it is to ‘flip the script’.

When I was pregnant 4 years ago, I remember being so anxious about all sorts of things.  

One of them was I was ignoring specific medical advice around gestational diabetes because I didn’t believe I had it (and still don’t). 

I remember phoning up a friend who knew about birth and she completely negated how I was feeling and came up with this affirmation for me… ’all is well’.  I still get triggered when I hear it.  

Everything didn’t feel well.  

It was at that time, that I realised how awful it was plastering over positive affirmations or positive ‘mindset’ over really deep fears and anxieties.

This week, I’ve been working with clients and again the same type of things have been coming up.

Clients who have experienced difficulties life events which are causing them to be on guard in their relationships, avoiding having conversations in case someone doesn’t understand them or feeling bad for having boundaries and meeting their needs.

The issue is when you shame yourself for having very understandable worries or concerns, it makes that voice in your head louder and becomes a 24/7 ping pong match.  

It’s like a positive shamer gaslights you and your reality, but then you can’t let it go. 

It will go something like this (using my ‘all is well’ example because it came into a conversation this week and it demonstrates it perfectly):

– Anxious voice: Maybe I should listen to the midwife about the gestational diabetes 

– Positive shamer: ‘All is well’

– Anxious voice: But what about….

– Positive shamer: ‘All is well’

– Anxious voice: But this might mean

– Positive shamer: BUT ALL IS WELL

– Anxious voice: ok but I…

– Positive shamer: ALL IS WELL – I’ve TOLD YOU

– Anxious voice: BUT ALL DOESN’T FEEL WELL – WHAT ABOUT IF THIS HAPPENS AND THIS HAPPENS AND THIS HAPPENS… (the catastrophic thinking is now taking over to make a point)

– Positive shamer: For goodness sake – I’ve already told you… 

Conversation now escalates and carries on for hours, days, weeks with the thoughts getting more extreme. Here’s instead how I use compassion with my clients and you’ll see the difference:

– Anxious voice: Maybe I should listen to the midwife about the gestational diabetes

– Compassion: I can completely understand why this is worrying you, thank you for sharing your worries, it’s scary that you might get something wrong. I’m really curious….what are you worried is going to happen?

– Anxious voice: I’m worried that my baby will get so big and I’ll have problems giving birth and it will all be my fault for not listening and I’ll feel judged and embarrassed.

– Compassion: No wonder you’re feeling the way that you do. Let’s come up with a plan of action about how you can manage it.

See the difference? Can you imagine if you had that dialogue in your head how it would feel so much better?

You all have these internal voices and internal conversations.

It is so important to support yourself to honour your feelings, become curious about your fears and support yourself compassionately.

When I think about mindset now – I want you to have a “resilient” and “can achieve anything mindset” whilst continuing to honour all the feelings and worries you have.

When you honour your feelings and get super clear on what’s going on, they dissipate.

Try this next time something worries you and see what happens.  

I can help you directly shift your thinking today, through many of my free resources.


Much love, Tricia xxx  

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