Today I was able to find my workbook that I had during my social anxiety program at CAMH. What I first saw when I opened the binder was my core belief, that I was a failure. 99% of me believed this to be true. An alternate belief, one I could aspire towards, was that I’ve had success in my life. Only 1% of me believed that.
It’s amazing how one’s core beliefs can change just from getting in the habit of challenging negative thoughts. I was almost completely positive I was a failure in all aspects of my life just a few years ago, while now, I know that I’m not a failure and I most definitely can recognize that I’ve had success in my life.
The thoughts that most frequently crossed my mind during fearful situations according to my thought records were that I would be awkward, people will think I’m stupid and ugly, I’ll have nothing to say, I’ll mess up with saying or doing something wrong, and more. Though some of these thoughts may show up at times nowadays, I give them much less thought than I used to.
If you’re struggling with negative core beliefs and thoughts, I think cognitive behavioural therapy can be a great start. This applies to more than just social anxiety. More than just mental illness. It can help many people monitor and challenge their negative thoughts no matter their mental health.