CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, focuses on overcoming negative thoughts that prevent you from being your best self. Negative thoughts can lead to limiting behaviors. Behaviors that are based off of fear or anxiety prevent you from achieving personal or professional goals. The most common thought pattern that CBT uncovers is the "What If" mentality and why it is so harmful to your ability to thrive.
"What if..." scenarios normally create fear, anxiety, and worry. A counselor who specializes in CBT will want to know how often you ask yourself, "what if...?" These two words can be both torturous and liberating in our minds. They often lead to action or inaction. Those actions can be positive or negative, lead to change, or cause stagnation.
A positive reaction to the “what if’s” lies in acceptance, understanding, and preparation. A negative reaction to “what if’s” is stress, anxiety, withdrawal or avoidance.
Our perception of an event and the analysis of what could possibly go wrong versus what could go right is a core trigger for people that suffer from anxiety. The concept of control is at the center of this thought. As much as we would like to think we have control of our own lives, we must learn to accept that the only thing we are really in control of is our reaction to said events.
What if I completely forget what I'm supposed to say?
What if I don't answer anything on the test correctly?
What if I make a fool of myself on this first date?
What if no one likes me at the new job?
These thoughts set the tone for our mind and spirit. When you are unable to find the alternative counterbalance for negative thinking, seeking professional CBT counseling is extremely beneficial. The ultimate goal is for you to create a healthy balance of understanding that both positive and negative outcomes are possible, but that you have the ability to cope with either one. Allowing this acceptance to become part of your mindset, allows you to be fully present for your life experiences.
The first step in learning how to better handle “what if” questions is to answer them. Yes, what if the date goes bad! Will you scold yourself? Does your life depend on it? Do you have the ability to tell yourself that you’re proud of trying and putting yourself out there?
Second, make sure you create an alternate scenario to counterbalance your negative thought: What if it goes really well? You’ll feel content, you’ll feel excited! What if the date is just "okay?" You then get to decide if you’d like to try another.
You have more power over your mind than you give yourself credit for. De-escalate your mind by giving it the answers it needs, but counteracting with the positive outcome. Acceptance is key! CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the Orlando area can assist you in this process.
We at Orlando Thrive Therapy specialize in CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and teaching our clients to overcome self-limiting or negative thought patterns. Our certified counselors will help you battle these questions with various methods of coping, restructuring and validation. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, negative thoughts or poor self-talk, try CBT in Orlando. You could benefit from talking to a cognitive-behavioral therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy so give us a call today. if you would like to schedule with the counselor who wrote this article, contact Mallory Hawkes. Thrive on!
Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at (407) 592-8997 for more information.