Develop an action plan
Take some time to think about the exercises and experiments that you have completed. Some of these tools you may find helpful, others unhelpful. It is important for you to keep the helpful tools handy and to keep using them. You can download the blank worksheets of thought records, behavioural experiment here if you need to use them or refer back to them.
Feel free to access any of the 8 sessions at any time if you need a reminder.
Have realistic and kind expectations
Be aware that perfectionist, all or nothing thinking, and the self-critical voice can influence your progress.
One of the unrealistic expectations that people have about progress is that they must always be improving and never have any slip ups or backward steps. Remember, in any situation where there is overall improvement, there are ups and downs, failures and successes, within this big picture. This is natural and down times should not be seen as a disaster or a cause for panic or self-criticism.
Another unrealistic expectation is that you always have to make progress by yourself and not ask for help. This is another example of all or nothing thinking and the self-critical voice. All of us at some time in our lives need others to help us through rough patches. It may also be that you need some support from those around you as you make changes – don’t expect to be able to do all of the work on your own all the time.
Dealing with setbacks
At times of stress, it is easy to want to go back to the old ways of coping. Again, this is normal. However, when setbacks occur it can be hard to think clearly. At these times, refresh your memory of the points below to help you work through what you need to do:
Think ahead of time (i.e. before something goes wrong) what types of stress and situations might cause problems for you. This will help you catch the problem more quickly when it occurs.
Catch the problem as quickly as you can. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to work on the problem. Don’t just hope that things will get better or that there is no point in trying to change any more. Importantly, don’t panic, as this can reduce your ability to act. Remember, slip ups will happen. This is all part of the expected journey to change.
Know that it’s okay to ask for help from others
When things are getting better, look back and understand what caused the wobble – if there is something that can be problem-solved, then try to tackle it
At the end of it all, be kind to yourself. Remember what you did well despite the difficulties and failures, and give yourself a little pat on the back.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION TODAY
We wish you all the best as you continue to journey towards greater freedom and flexibility.
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