1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

Derek S. changing personality traits

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Natalie, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. Natalie

    Natalie Newcomer

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    Hi,

    I have this issue and thought to ask you on this forum for some advice...

    I am a perfectionist and I want to make things in „right order“ and make only perfect decisions. As a result I have this exessive indecisiveness where I feel anxiety anytime I am to decide between/among options, even in small daily situations. I put this pressure on myself. After making a decision I feel doubt and then I often think: „I should have chosen the other opition. Everything would be better. This whole day would look differently. Oh, how could I make such an ignorant decision, I don´t understand...“ I ruminate in my mind and also think about how my whole day would be better if I have chosen differently.

    It all sounds funny to me now as I am writing this and it even makes me smile which is very good. However, often during the day this indecisiveness, doubt, discomfort and regreting is causing me a lot of distress. Physically it makes me tension on my soulders.

    I believe it is also some kind of habit or even an addiction to avoid deeper feelings.

    Do you have any advice for me on overcoming this way? Or perhaps how I could get to the root of this pattern so that I understand it and let it go?

    I welcome any insights...

    Best regards,

    Natalie
     
  2. Derek Sapico MFT

    Derek Sapico MFT TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi Natalie.

    I run into this issue frequently in my practice. I'm glad that you can laugh about it but I do know how painful and all-consuming it can be.

    Usually people with this level of perfectionism and self-pressure have been through a period in their life (often their childhood) where it feels like they could not afford to make a poor decision because it would compromise their safety in some way. It is a learned behavior. Some learn it directly from their primary caregivers and some develop it because their primary caregivers are neglectful in some way and it feels necessary to survive.

    In other words, when you are faced with a decision, there is likely a part of you that actually feels like that decision is truly life or death, even if it is deciding where to go out to eat.

    When you find yourself thinking this way, utilize mindfulness techniques to ground yourself in the present and remind yourself that the stakes are no longer that high. Try to get out of your analytical brain by paying attention to your bodily sensations and engaging your five senses. Then try to make the decision quickly by trusting your gut. Try to give yourself permisision to make a "less than ideal" decision because.....well, because you're human.

    If you're finding it difficult to change these thoughts and behaviors, working with a therapist can really accelerate the process.

    Best of luck!

    -Derek


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     

Share This Page