Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
This Blog is published for information and educational purposes only. No warranty, expressed or implied, is furnished with respect to the material contained in this Blog. The reader is urged to consult with his/her physician or a duly licensed mental health professional with respect to the treatment of any medical or psychological condition.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

How Not to Let Life's Difficulties Get You Down



Do the important things -- and then take time to enjoy life!
The following list is adapted from a posting on  www.smartrecovery.org. The difference between these statements and other types of "positive thinking" affirmations is that these statements are all true, we just don't always realize that they are! You don't get the feeling that you are merely lying to yourself, as you might if you were to try to accept a different type of affirmation such as, "I am effective and serene in social situations," when you know very well that you are not.

You simply need to go over them a few times each day in your mind until they become part of your everyday reality, much as you might repeat a set of physical exercises until you have reached the level of comfort you desire.

If your perfectionism is more than the "everyday garden variety" which we all experience at times, you may need to explore the possibility of talk therapy and/or psychotropic medication in order to obtain a satisfactory resolution.
  • No one can be totally perfect.
  • I'm not perfect and I never will be — tough!
  • It's okay to want to do my best. Doing well does not necessarily mean being the best.
  • I perform in many different roles and it is highly unlikely that I will excel in every role at all times.
  • Just because I make a mistake does not mean I am a mistake.
  • To be human is to err.
  • The pressure I put on myself to perform perfectly is an unrealistic pressure that can actually cause me to perform worse because I will be worried and nervous.
  • The pressure I put on myself to perform perfectly creates an extra source of stress that can affect me emotionally and physically.
  • Trying to do my best is a reasonable goal, but it will not always be achieved.
  • Few things in life are exact. Things can be done in a variety of ways and have many different solutions.
  • People do not always agree on what is correct or right. Judgments are often subjective.
  • I will try to set my own realistic goals, please myself, and have the strength to be creative and different in the face of others' potential disapproval.
  • Our whole society is geared to expect that people will make mistakes and errors. Examples are traffic tickets, prison, consumer recalls, consumer complaints, refunds, legal suits, etc.
  • True friends accept imperfection.
  • Mistakes do not equal incompetence. Mistakes are just mistakes —period!