Info

Your Anxiety Toolkit - It's a Beautiful Day to Do Hard Things

With over a million downloads, Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast delivers compassionate, science-based tools for anyone with Anxiety, Panic, OCD, and other mental health struggles.
RSS Feed
Your Anxiety Toolkit - It's a Beautiful Day to Do Hard Things
2021
October
September
August
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
May
April
March
January


2016
October
September
July
June
May
April
March


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: February, 2021
Feb 26, 2021

ways to break the cycle of perfectionism with Menije Boduryan

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Today we have on an amazing guest and therapist, Menije Boduryan. Menije is an OCD specialist as well as a specialist on perfectionism. She is here today to talk to us about perfectionism and to give us some tips on how to manage perfectionism in our own lives.

Menije defines perfectionism as a drive to do things perfectly with anything less than 100% being unacceptable.  It is a desire to want everything to be flawless and in that desire, comes a lot of expectations or rules that people set for themselves.  She explains that perfectionism becomes a mindset and you begin to operate in the world expecting yourself to be perfect, as well as your partner, your best friend, your clothes, your work desk, what you eat, and how you exercise to all be perfect. It becomes powerful because our self-identity becomes so attached to this idea of being perfect. It is not just about the desire to do things perfectly, but it also becomes a belief that once you do things perfectly, then you are enough, you are worthy.

Menije shares with us a bit about her own struggles with perfectionism and how perfectionism impacts our relationships. She describes how it is really possible to fall into a cycle with perfectionism. If you fall short in something you are doing, which you inevitably will, you start into the cycle of feeling shame and that you are not good enough so you then strive to work harder the next time to achieve that level of perfection.

Menije shares with us one of the best ways to break out of that cycle of perfectionism is really to just give ourselves a tremendous amount of self-compassion. Recognizing that whatever happens today, I am worthy and I am enough. She also describes that breaking out of the cycle involves being able to tolerate your imperfections. Really being able to sit with the discomfort and anxiety that will come when you have done something that is not perfect. She describes it as very similar to exposure therapy.

This interview is full of so many amazing insights. I hope you will find it as helpful and as meaningful as I did.

Menije's Instagram @dr.menije

If you get a moment, please go over to wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that be Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean, and leave an honest review. Tell me how you feel about it, whether it's helping you, what you'd like to see. We are going to give away a pair of Beats headphones of your choice of color once we hit a thousand reviews!

ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information. Coming in March ERP School will be available with bonus material!

Additional exciting news! ERP School is now CEU approved which means that it is an accredited course for therapists and mental health professionals to take towards their continuing education credit hours. Please click here for more information.

Feb 19, 2021

long term goals

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Today I want to talk about a concept that is really important to long-term recovery or just life in general, which is this question: Does this bring me closer to my long term goals? 

Now, human beings are very reactionary. When there is an event, we quickly do a little data check in our brain. Is it safe? Can we proceed? Should we run away? Should we freeze? Should we just freak out? We have the whole process that happens in a millisecond, and then we respond.  Now the fight-flight-freeze system of the brain keeps us alive. It’s a reaction we have to danger. So if there is a lion, we know to either freeze, run away or fight it. For those with an anxiety disorder, we often go into the fight-flight-freeze when there isn’t any real danger. The more we react, the more we enforce our fears and the more that we get stuck in a cycle of reaction.

One of the most helpful things in life for me has been to step back and look at the cycle, look at the trends and ask myself, does this behavior, does this reaction bring me closer to my long term goals?  If you can, just practice slowing down and pausing and saying to yourself “Wait a second. Is there a trend in my reaction?”

I often say to my clients that my job is pretty simple. My job is to help you find the trends, find the patterns. If there is a pattern of reaction, that is where I intervene. I want you to be able to look at the patterns and the trends, and then decide for yourself what is good for you. We cannot live just in reaction because that is when we get stuck.

So I want you to try asking yourself "Does this behavior bring me closer to my long term goals?" Remember to be gentle with yourselves and give yourselves a huge amount of self-compassion.

If you get a moment, please go over to wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that be Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean, and leave an honest review. Tell me how you feel about it, whether it's helping you, what you'd like to see. We are going to give away a pair of Beats headphones of your choice of color once we hit a thousand reviews!

ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information. Coming in March ERP School will be available with bonus material!

Additional exciting news! ERP School is now CEU approved which means that it is an accredited course for therapists and mental health professionals to take towards their continuing education credit hours. Please click here for more information.

Transcript Ep. 177

Welcome to Your Anxiety Toolkit. I’m your host, Kimberley Quinlan. This podcast is fueled by three main goals. The first goal is to provide you with some extra tools to help you manage your anxiety. Second goal, to inspire you. Anxiety doesn’t get to decide how you live your life. And number three, and I leave the best for last, is to provide you with one big, fat virtual hug, because experiencing anxiety ain’t easy. If that sounds good to you, let’s go.

Welcome back, friends. I am so happy to have you with me. How are you doing? How are you all? Sending you so much love. Checking in with you. Hey, how are you doing friend? Number one, thank you for being my friends. It really, really is wonderful. 

Up to this point, let me just reflect on something really quick. When I first started creating the podcast, I would look at the microphone and just talk into the abyss. Just talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, say what I want to say, and get done. The cool thing is I was just reflecting on this before.

Now that I have met quite a few of you at either conferences or events or on social media or on the Facebook group, which is CBT School Campus, you can go to it’s a private group, and I know your faces, now I have this wonderful experience where I can look into the microphone and actually see your faces. It’s been so fun to actually meet you guys and just be like, “Oh great.” I know I have another face. 

Hello, welcome. Thank you for being here. I know your time is so precious and I’m so grateful that I get to spend this time of yours together. Let’s get straight to the episode.

In the last few episodes, these are building on each other. We talked about self-compassion. Last week, I talked about the lies we tell ourselves which, PS, was a really hard conversation. Ain’t going to lie. I hope that was a safe, healthy conversation. If you didn’t hear it, go back because it was me sharing my own experience of telling lies to myself and to my family, and really just breaking down the judgment around that. So, go back and listen. And me sharing with my family and with you guys about how I’m going to change.

Now today, I want to talk about a concept that is really, really important to long-term recovery in or just life in general, which is this question: Does this bring me closer to my long-term goals? 

Now, human beings are very reactionary. This is why we have survived for millions of years. When there is an event, we quickly do a little data check in our brain. Is it safe? Can we proceed? Should we run away? Should we freeze? Should we just freak out? We have the whole process that happens in a millisecond, and then we respond. 

Now the fight-flight-freeze system of the brain, we call it the FFF response, is a part that keeps us alive. It’s a reaction we have to danger. So if there is a lion, we know to either freeze, run away or fight it. We instinctively know this. But what happens is, if we have an anxiety disorder or little glitchy in the brain, often what we do is we go into the fight-flight-freeze when there isn’t danger and we’re in reaction. And the more we’re in reaction, the more we enforce that fear and the more that we get stuck in a cycle of reaction, reaction, reaction, reaction, reaction. 

Now, one of the most helpful things in life for me has been to step back and look at the cycle, look at the trends and ask myself, does this behavior, does this reaction bring me closer to my long-term goals? There’s this moment where if we can, we can just practice slowing down and pausing. This will be really important for you, folks, who do compulsions on autopilot. Slow down and pause and zoom out and go, “Wait a second. Is there a trend in my reaction?”

I often say to my clients and patients, “My job is pretty simple. My job is for you to tell me how you’re doing, for you to explain to me what’s going. My job is to find the trends, find the patterns. If there is a pattern of reaction, that’s where I intervene. If the reactor action is problematic, that’s where we intervene. If the reaction is really helpful and productive and brings you long-term joy and quality of life, I have no business messing up with that. I’m here to look at disorder.” That’s what disorder means, is to look at where there is a problem in the order of your life, to look at the trends.

The question here I want you to do is, take a step back, look at the trends in your life and see what is and isn’t working, and ask yourself: Does this behavior bring me closer to my long-term goals or to my values?

Last week, I shared about the lie that I told myself and my family about, “Oh, I have to work. I don’t have a choice. I have to work this hard.” And then I was like, “Wait a second. That’s a lie. I don’t have to work this hard. I make myself work this hard. I pushed myself to work this hard. I allow myself to work this hard.” 

I have to look and stop and go, “Okay, it’s cool. It’s fun. I get a lot done. I get a lot of fulfillment from it.” But if I step back and go, “Wait a second, does this bring me closer to my long-term goals?” some of it does. Yes, it helps me feel more fulfilled in my work. It gives me more success in my work. It makes me write a good book. But it doesn’t fulfill the long-term goal of me wanting to be a present parent, a good wife, have a connection with my family. This trend has its pros and cons. from that, I’m going to make a decision for myself on what brings me closer to the long-term goal that matters to me most.

Now, again, as I said last week, no judgment here. Last week, my husband said, “I think that maybe you’re pushing yourself a little too hard.” I might go. “Yeah, you’re right, but I’m still going to choose to do it because that’s what I value. That’s my choice.” You get to make those choices. No one gets to tell you what’s right for you as long as you’re being honest with yourself about what is the long-term goal.

Often with anxiety, clients will say to me, “No, no, I know that I’m doing this as a compulsion, but I’m cool with it because it doesn’t impact my grades or nobody knows I’m doing it. It’s just my time. It doesn’t take up all the people’s time. So I’m cool with it.” My job is to go, “No judgment. It is your life you get to choose, as long as you’re comfortable with the long-term outcome, which will be you’re going to keep having OCD or anxiety or panic disorder or health anxiety or social anxiety or phobias, because the more you react in that way, the more it reinforces that disorder.”

Again, I’m not here to judge. I just want you to be able to look at the patterns and the trends, and then decide for yourself what’s good for you. We can’t be just in reaction because that’s when we get stuck. If we’re only focused on short-term relief, we will get stuck. 

I feel really in this moment, I want to just stop and just check in with you guys. How are you doing? What’s coming up for you? Is there a lot of negativity or judgment around yourself? Maybe there’s some defensiveness of like, “What the heck is Kimberley saying? Why is she saying this to me? She’s so mean.” 

Often when I say this to clients, actually, let me share with you. When I’m with a patient and they’ll go, “You know? Yeah, I just avoided it. I’m fine. I’m not going to do it. I’m not ready,” and I’ll go, “That’s fine. I’m not here to judge you as long as you understand the long-term effect of that on your life.” They’re like, “Oh, Kimberley, you just always call it like it is. Why are you going to be so mean?” And then we giggle together a little. 

That’s right. Yeah, I’m not doing it to be mean. I’m trying to be a truth-teller. I’m trying to get them to come on board with just telling the truth to themselves because that’s how we get better. Now, some people will say, “Oh, but I don’t know what the truth is.” True, I get it. But you do know what your values are and you do know what matters to you most. I’m guessing it’s not staying stuck. 

That’s it. Does this behavior bring me closer to my long-term goals? We may need to weigh it up. Like I said to you, with me is, there may be pros and cons to it. We need to have a little conversation with ourselves. We still have to accept that nothing’s perfect, right? I think then we will wrap it up with self-compassion, and then the big bow on top is, it’s not going to be perfect. The long-term process may not look the way you want it to be. Then we just be gentle with ourselves. We can’t have it all, but just really lean into what’s effective, what truly brings you a sense of fulfillment, which brings you closer to your values. 

Sending you guys love. I love you guys so, so, so, so, so much. Got a little secret for you here. ERP School is coming back. It will be available in early March. Get very excited. We are offering ERP School again with bonuses. Even though it’s been available throughout the year, we always offer it twice a year with extra special bonuses. Keep an eye out. We will be offering that in March. 

Now we usually offer it in February. But remember how I told you I was going to walk a little less. There you go. Made some changes. Delayed it a little bit. How do you like that from being honest with ourselves? It will be available in March. Stick around. We are going to give you a little more information. We’ll be doing the free training again and offering some great bonuses. 

Also, let your therapist know. If you have a therapist who doesn’t know how to treat OCD, let them know that we now have ERP School with CEU so you can get continuing education units with the course and an extra training from me on how to be a stellar Exposure and Response Prevention Therapist. It’ll be here in March. So stick around again for that. 

Now, if you want more and more information, and if you want to get a ton more free resources from me, head over to Instagram, I’m most present there. I’d like to be more present in all the others, but again, cutting back on work. Go over there and follow me @kimberleyquinlan. That’s where you get a ton of free content every single day. 

I love you guys. One more thing, please go and leave an honest review either on iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean, all of the places where you can listen to podcasts. We are giving away a free pair of Beats headphones to one lucky person who leaves a review once we get a thousand reviews. I will send them your way. You get to pick the color. I’m very excited about these. Not the teeny tiny ones, the bigger ones. I’m so excited to offer that, that you can listen to the podcast with the best quality into your ears. Yay. 

All right. All my love to you guys. Sending you much love. I hope you’re taking special care of yourself. It is a beautiful day to do hard things. See you next week. 

Please note that this podcast or any other resources from cbtschool.com should not replace professional mental health care. If you feel you would benefit, please reach out to a provider in your area. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for supporting cbtschool.co

Feb 12, 2021

What are the lies we tell ourselves

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit. Today we are going to have a hard conversation and it honestly is causing a little bit of anticipatory anxiety for me. I want to talk to you about the lies we tell ourselves. You might be thinking "I don't tell lies. What are you talking about? I am a good person." So I want you to hear me out for a little bit and I want to share an experience I had this week. I realized that I had been telling a lie to myself and to my family about my choice to continue working so hard.

I really want to take the stigma, the judgment, and the shame out of lies and just admit that we do it. That’s my main hope for today. Let’s just acknowledge that we sometimes lie to ourselves. We lie to other people, and we do it, not because we’re horrible human beings, but because we’re trying to protect ourselves. It’s a safety behavior. We’re trying to protect the story we create, and I had created this whole story of why I had to work so hard.

So I sat down and thought about the lies we tell ourselves and I want to share those with you today. The first lie is "I can't." We have to stop saying “I can’t.” We may want to start replacing it with “I won’t” or “I’m not choosing to”. That is actually a better way of saying the same thing without it being a lie.  The second lie is "I am less worthy than other people." We sometimes tell ourselves that we are less than, but that is a lie. We have to catch ourselves before we buy into that story. The third lie is "Just this one time." As we go to do something, even if we know in our hearts it’s not healthy, by just saying, “Oh, just this once I’ll do it.” That is a lie, because typically is not just this once. The fourth lie is "I should be able to do this by myself." Let's get rid of the word 'should' here. If you need help, it is ok to ask for support. The fifth lie is "I can't upset other people." Actually it is not that you do not want to upset other people, you really do not want to tolerate your discomfort that goes along with hurting other people or making other people upset. 

So there are a few lies we tell ourselves. Think about them. Be very gentle and tender with yourself. Take your time with this. You may want to put your foot in the water and pull it out really quickly because it’s too painful, but then practice. I’ve been doing this for several years and it has very much benefited me. 

If you get a moment, please go over to wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that be Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean, and leave an honest review. Tell me how you feel about it, whether it's helping you, what you'd like to see. We are going to give away a pair of Beats headphones of your choice of color once we hit a thousand reviews!

ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information.

Additional exciting news! ERP School is now CEU approved which means that it is an accredited course for therapists and mental health professionals to take towards their continuing education credit hours. Please click here for more information.

Transcript Ep. 176

This is Your Anxiety Toolkit - Episode 176.

Welcome to Your Anxiety Toolkit. I’m your host, Kimberley Quinlan. This podcast is fueled by three main goals. The first goal is to provide you with some extra tools to help you manage your anxiety. Second goal, to inspire you. Anxiety doesn’t get to decide how you live your life. And number three, and I leave the best for last, is to provide you with one big, fat virtual hug, because experiencing anxiety ain’t easy. If that sounds good to you, let’s go.

Welcome back, guys. Today is going to be a hard conversation between you and me. Are you ready? Oh my goodness. Thank you for coming. I’m actually really excited about these episodes. 

Some anxiety-provoking. I’m having some anticipatory anxiety. I’m noticing some tightness in my chest, shortness of breath. That’s what we want to do when we’re feeling anxious. We want to just check in, where is it? We want to breathe into it and allow it. We want to honor it. We want to just go, “Yeah, it’s okay to feel this. It’s not my fault, but I’m going to allow it.” And then we want to lean in to do the hard thing. Today, we’re going to do that.

Today, we’re going to talk about the lies that we tell ourselves. Now, your initial reaction might be like, “Huh, I don’t tell lies. I’m a good person. I’m not a liar. Don’t tell me I’m a liar.” That is not what I’m saying, but I am, mainly because I have to tell you something that happened to me this last week because I, myself, am a liar. If you’re not a liar, that’s fine. I am a liar. So, let’s address that. 

This last week, I have been editing, editing, editing, editing. There are so many stages of writing this book. I thought you just wrote a book and sent it in, and were like, “Thank you for letting me write a book. Good luck with finishing it.” It turns out that’s not the case. You write the book. Then they check the book. They send you back notes. You write more. They check it. They send me back notes. You have to change a bunch of stuff. Then you write some more, and you finish the book. You go, “Hooray, I finished the book,” and they go, “Psych, just kidding. Now, we’re going to review the book and edit the book. And then you have to go and fix and correct and approve all the changes we made. And then we’ll do it one more time.” I’m like, “Boo, I didn’t want to do this. That’s not what I signed up for.” Being so naive, that’s what I am. 

Anyway, I’ve been working my butt off. In my private practice, I’m trying to do some really big changes to CBT School and make it much, much better. I’m trying to hire more staff because we’re so busy right now. I really want to make sure we’re not turning people away too. I’m not a specialist care. I want to be a good mom. I want to be able to do podcasts. I want to do social media. I want, I want, I want. And then I get to do this additional book edit. 

Now, on Saturday, I was in a terrible mood. The stress that was overwhelming me was just painful. It was so much. I thought I was being a rock star. I was using all my skills. I was still engaging with my kids. I was breathing. I had meditated. I had taken a walk. I was using all my skills. 

At the very end of the night, my daughter came up and she shared a balm as she often does at the very end of the night like, “Okay, I’m not doing well and I need your support.” Usually, I handle this really well, but on Saturday night, nope, not me. I did not handle it well. My reaction was like, “Come on, you’ve got no problems. I’ve got problems.” Number one, PS, that was not a good response. I don’t encourage you to practice that because that’s not helpful and not kind and not productive.

Of course, I slowed down. I caught myself in my reaction. I am a human. I make mistakes. I caught myself in my reaction. I apologized to her and I sat down and we talked it through and we came up with some solutions. I offered myself self-compassion and her, just like we did in the episode last week. 

And then when she went to bed, my husband sat me down and he said, “You’re working too much. This is not okay. It’s obviously impacting the family.” He said it kindly, but he said, “We try to be as honest as we can with each other.” My reaction was this: PS, it wasn’t great either. So go with me here. I am a, like I said, so much more to learn we’re all on a learning curve. But my reaction was, “How dare you say that? I’m working so hard and I don’t have any choices. It’s not my fault that I have so much work to do. I didn’t ask to do this second edit of the book or the 15th edit of the book. It’s not my fault that the links on the website are broken and blah, blah, blah.” And I stood by my theory. This is where the lie was. I doubled down.

He backed off a little because he could tell I was super triggered, but I doubled down on this lie. And then I had to step back and go, “Okay. That was a lie because I don’t have to work this hard. I don’t have to put this much pressure on myself.” I like to work. I love to work. I love what I do. I love talking to you guys. I love being a therapist. I love having businesses. I really love having a person who does business. I really love the therapy work and I also really love the business side of things. I’m just a bit of a dork that way. I love growing things. I love creating things. 

This whole lie that I was saying, like, “I don’t have a choice,” it’s just ridiculous. It wasn’t true. It was straight up a lie. It got me thinking, well, number one, let me backup. I went to my husband. I said, “I’m so sorry. You’re right. I am working too hard. I am pushing myself too hard. I need to find some better balance. I can’t burn myself down to nothing and have nothing left for you guys at the end of the day,” even though I thought I was using my skills, that’s just not okay.

I will talk about this again next week in a different concept. But I was telling lies when I reacted and I’m sorry about that. It got me thinking, “What other lies do we tell ourselves?” Let’s take the stigma and the judgment and the shame out of lies and just admit that we do it. That’s my main hope for today. Let’s just acknowledge that we sometimes lie to ourselves. We lie to other people, and we do it, not because we’re horrible human beings, but we do it because we’re trying to protect ourselves. 

It’s a safety behavior. We’re trying to protect the story we create, and I had created this whole story. “Oh no, it’s not my fault. I worked so hard because A, B, C, D, and it’s not completely in my control.” It is if I’m going to be honest. Maybe not for you in your case. Maybe you do have a situation where you have to work these certain hours. I’m not talking. I’m just a bit talking specifically to my own lives here. 

So then I thought, “Okay, let’s just go through.” I sat down, got a piece of paper, and I thought, “What are the main lies that I probably tell myself or I’ve heard my patients and clients say to themselves?” I’m going to bang through them really quick. 

1. I can’t. 

This is a lie. Not a good one, not an easy one. Again, when I talk about “I can’t”, I also want to preface that there are certain situations where people can’t do things like certain disabilities, medical disabilities. They can’t run a marathon or so forth. I’m not speaking specifically to that. I’m talking about “I can’t” when it comes to feeling emotions or facing our fears, or doing things that are hard. 

The main reason I say “It’s a beautiful day to do hard things” is to counter the thing I hear the most, which is “I can’t”. Yeah, you can. It’s going to be hard, but you can do hard things. It’s a lie. We tell ourselves.

Now I’m not saying that from a place of criticism or even lacking compassion. There’s deep compassion in what I’m saying here. I’m not saying, “Oh, you can.” I’m not saying it in a condescending way. What I’m saying is, be honest with yourself. It’s not that you can’t. We’re talking here about being honest with yourself so that we can actually solve the problem. 

I can’t solve this problem of overworking until I’m ready to be honest with myself and go, “You know what? You’re right. You’re 100% right.” I have to be honest with myself. I am choosing to work this much and it is impacting my family. That has to change. Let’s say I decided it wasn’t going to change, that’s my prerogative. But at least I have to start by being honest with myself. 

We have to stop saying “I can’t.” We may want to start to replace it with “I won’t” or “I’m not choosing to”. That’s a much more wise way of saying the same thing without it being a lie. Ouch, I know it’s not fun to hear this. I’m saying this to myself. Please don’t feel like I’m bullying you here. I’m also telling myself this, because a part of me wants to go, “No, I can’t. I can’t slow down. I have A, B and C.” It’s like I won’t slow down.

2. I’m less worthy than other people…

Because of my weight, the way I look, my social media, following, my mental disorder, my income.

We tell ourselves these lies all day long, this lie was the absolute basis of the eating disorder I had. I’m less worthy than them. The only way I can get more worthy and be as worthy is if I drop a body size, if I exercise compulsively. For some people, if I can be as popular, or if I could have as much money or have the same car. We tell ourselves it’s a lie, that we’re less than. That’s a lie. We have to catch that we buy into that story, and that when we do, that story can feed many problematic behaviors in our lives. 

3. Just this one time. 

“I’ll just do it one more time. It was no big deal. This one time won’t hurt.” That’s a lie guy. Ouch, I know, right? But we do it all the time. It’s fine. Just this once I won’t do it. Now, let me also stop for a second and go, you’re not going to be perfect. I’m not going to be perfect. We’re humans and we’re going to make mistakes. If there are times where you have fallen off the wagon, or you do a compulsion or you engage in a behavior that’s not helpful, this is not about me saying, “You’re bad for that,” and you get a rap across the knuckles. Absolutely not. We’re talking here about stories we tell ourselves, the lies we tell ourselves. As we go to do something, even if we know in our hearts it’s not healthy, by just saying, “Oh, just this once I’ll do it,” that’s a lie, because it’s not just this once.

I have a dear friend and this dear friend has OCD. I love when I hear this dear friend say, “Kimberley, I’m going to be honest with you. I know I shouldn’t do this, but I am choosing to do a compulsion this time. I know it’s not what’s right for me. I’m going to do it. And then as soon as I do it, I’m going to A, B, C, and D.” That’s the truth. That’s honesty. That’s not saying, “Oh, just this one time. I’m just going to do it once.” What she’s saying here is the truth. “I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m going to do it. And then I’m going to take the consequence for it.” That is so much more healthy for you and honest for you than any other way of saying it.

Some of you may say, “Well, if I say that, then I’ll beat myself up.” Well, a part of telling the truth and not lying is also not beating yourself up for the truth, because the truth is the truth. No matter what you say.

4. I should be able to do this by myself or any other should that you do. 

I hear a lot of people say, “No, I don’t want to get therapy. I should be able to do this by myself.” I want you to recognize that the stigma at play. No, often we need help. We need lots of help. Often people will say, “No, I should be able to do this without medication.” No, that’s not true. That’s you telling yourself a lie because maybe you’re afraid of taking medication. 

These are just ideas, guys. I don’t want you to walk away feeling bad here. I just want you to reflect on, could any of this be possibly true? Maybe even just listening to this is you opening a small door into you being really honest with yourself. I promise you, being honest with yourself will be the most freeing thing you ever do.

When I really made a deal, it was like two years ago, I was like, “You know what? No more easing anyone, Kimberley. Just tell it like it is.” Don’t be mean about it. Don’t criticize yourself. Don’t be unkind. But just be honest with yourself and others, please. 

No more shoulds. “I should do this. I should do that. I should be able to do it by myself.” If you’re struggling to do it by yourself, you need help. It’s very factual. It’s pretty A to B. If you’re struggling to do it for yourself and you need help, there’s absolutely no shame in that. I really hope you can ask for help, whether it be a loved one, buying a book, buying a course, going to therapy, going to a doctor. Whatever it is that you’re trying to succeed with, ask for help. 

Here’s a big one. I have one more to go, then I have a bonus flippity-flop lie for you. I’ll explain it in a second. 

5. I can’t upset other people. 

I often hear clients say, “I can’t do that because it’ll hurt them. It’ll upset them.” No, that’s not the truth. It might be the case. It might be the truth and that is the consequence, but that’s not why you’re not doing it. You’re not doing it because you don’t want to tolerate the discomfort that goes along with hurting other people or making other people upset. 

A lot of this is like teeny tiny details, but I really want to inspire you guys here. Be as honest as you can with each other. It hurts, but it’s better. Then you can actually work with the system. 

Now, here is a flippity flop. When I say flippity-flop lie, it’s often, a lot of my clients will say, “Bad things are going to happen. Bad things can happen. Bad things are going to happen.” Often we will go, “Oh no, that’s just my anxiety talking.” We’re reacting to it in a really negative way. 

I want to flippity-flop lie this one. What I’m saying is, that one’s actually not a lie. Bad things will happen. That is a part of life. We must accept that scary things do sometimes happen in our life. I don’t want you to talk yourself out of that one. Instead, I want you to practice being honest, which is when I’m having the thoughts, “Bad things are going to happen,” I go, “Yes, Kimberley, you’re right.” 

How can we practice being accepting of that? It doesn’t mean all of your thoughts are going to happen. It doesn’t mean if you’ve got an anxiety disorder, your thoughts are on rapid-fire telling you all the 17,000 things have gone wrong. I’m not going to say all those things are correct. But the general idea that bad things will happen is not a lie. I want you to actually settle into that a little bit and be honest with yourself in that, instead of trying to control your life, thinking that that control will protect you from bad things from happening.

See, it’s like a flippity-flop. What I’m saying is it’s not a lie. It’s actually a truth. If you can handle it and respond to it like a truth, then you’re not getting yourself into trouble. I’ll talk more about this next week, I promise. 

So there are a few lies we tell ourselves. Think about them. Be very gentle and tender around these. Take your time with this. You may want to put your foot in the water and pull it out real quick because it’s too painful, but then practice. I’ve been doing this for several years and it has very much benefited me. 

Let me share with you to round the story out. After I had 24 hours to simmer myself down, give myself a talking to, and pull myself out of my own lies, I sat down with my children and I said, “Daddy brought up that he felt I was working too much. How do you feel about it?” I’m not in the business of trying to talk myself into being who I’m not. Interestingly, one said, my son is five and he’s learned the art of expression in his voice, and he went, “Oh yeah.” When I asked, “Do you feel like I work too much?” his response was, “Oh yeah.” So there is an answer. Honesty, thank you, five-year-old. 

My daughter who has more of a need to protect me went, “Uh, kinda, no, but you’re still a great mom and you’re too great and I love that you work hard.” And then her dad was like, “No, please. Mom asked you to just tell her the honest truth and you can be honest with us. How are you feeling about how much mom’s working?” “Yeah, I think she does work a little too much.” “Excellent.” 

Now, my team, the people I care about the most, have shared with me their opinion, whether I like it or not. I hear it. I take it into consideration and I choose whether I’m going to implement it. No more lies. I could go, “My husband is wrong. My kids are wrong. I didn’t even want to know about their opinion because my story is that I have no choice.” I could do that, but that doesn’t help me. It keeps me stuck. It cuts me off from the relationships that matter to me most. So I’m going to choose honesty. Does that make sense? 

Tough conversation, friends. How are you doing? Are you guys all right? Are you having a panic attack over there? Are you breathing okay? Check in. Take care of yourself. None of this is a judgment. This is mostly me giving you real-time on a stuff of my own that I work through. Often when I’m going through something, I want to share it with you because I’m guessing you are going through something similar. I’m trying to be ballsy enough to say, “Hey, let’s just talk about the real stuff. Let’s address the real stuff that impacts our daily lives and our mental health and anxiety.”

I love you so much. Please go and leave a review. We are giving away a pair of free Beats headphones so that you can hear the podcast so clear and wonderfully to one person who leaves a review once we get 1000 reviews for the podcast. So go to wherever you listen, leave your honest review. I would be so, so grateful. I do not take any sponsorships for the podcast. I do not do much sales here at all. This podcast is really here to help people who don’t have access to medical or mental professional care in these areas. Please, if you have a moment, go and leave a review. I would be so, so grateful. 

Have a wonderful day guys. I’ll see you next week.

Please note that this podcast or any other resources from cbtschool.com should not replace professional mental health care. If you feel you would benefit, please reach out to a provider in your area. 

Have a wonderful day, and thank you for supporting cbtschool.com.

Feb 5, 2021

how to practice self-compassion

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Today I want to talk about something that is so important to me. This is also something I think we all need a little reminder about from time to time and that is the importance of self-compassion. Today I want to share an exercise on how to practice self-compassion.

I want you to imagine that someone you care about comes to you and says that they are struggling or having a hard time. What is your first reaction likely to be? You probably will say something along the lines of "Oh I'm so sorry. How can I help you?" Now I want you to try this same approach the next time you are struggling. You can learn how to practice self-compassion by treating yourself how you would treat a loved one or even a stranger who is struggling. Stop and say to yourself "Ok you are in pain. Let's tend to that pain." Our work is really to tend to ourselves the way we would tend to others. Respect ourselves the way we respect others. There is no exception to this. You deserve kindness every step of the way.

The awesome thing about self-compassion is that it has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety, improve treatment outcomes and improve quality of life. So let's learn how to practice self-compassion and really honor how we are feeling, giving ourselves the same loving kindness that we show to others.

If you get a moment, please go over to wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that be Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean, and leave an honest review. Tell me how you feel about it, whether it's helping you, what you'd like to see. We are going to give away a pair of Beats headphones of your choice of color once we hit a thousand reviews!

ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information.

Additional exciting news! ERP School is now CEU approved which means that it is an accredited course for therapists and mental health professionals to take towards their continuing education credit hours. Please click here for more information.

Transcript of Episode 175

Welcome to Your Anxiety Toolkit. I’m your host, Kimberley Quinlan. This podcast is fueled by three main goals. The first goal is to provide you with some extra tools to help you manage your anxiety. Second goal, to inspire you. Anxiety doesn’t get to decide how you live your life. And number three, and I leave the best for last, is to provide you with one big, fat virtual hug, because experiencing anxiety ain’t easy. If that sounds good to you, let’s go.

Welcome back lovely, lovely friends. How are you? How are you doing? Just checking in with you guys. Thank you again for being here with me. Once again, I am so grateful that you choose to spend your time with me. So thank you so much. 

Today’s episode is a little bit of an impromptu, mainly because I recently did an Instagram post, and it’s on a concept I talk about all the time, but it got a lot of traction. It really made me realize that maybe you needed that reminder. I always think it’s interesting when a concept sticks really heavily with people. It makes me realize like, “Oh, okay, that’s where I need to head. That’s the direction that people obviously need help.”

Let me share with you what this concept was. One of the core concepts of self-compassion is to treat yourself how you would treat someone else if they themselves were suffering. What I want to do is, I want you to go with me on a little exercise, just to check in and see if there are any areas that you could up your self-compassion game, because if you’re going to up your self-compassion game, every single goal of mine has been won and we can all go home really, really happy. It’s one of my core missions. A part of my mission statement is to hopefully create a world of people who have anxiety, who stopped to treat themselves better, kinder, more compassionately, more respectfully, just nicer. 

Here’s the exercise. I want you to think back to a time where someone you love deeply was struggling. If you can’t think of a time, just imagine it. Think of someone who you care about, who you genuinely wish well. Think about them coming to you and them saying, “Hey, I’m having a hard time.” 

Now, when someone you love, someone you care for, someone you wish to be well, comes to you and says, “I’m having a hard time. I am suffering,” what is your immediate response? Usually, our immediate response is, “Oh my goodness. That is so painful. I’m so sorry. You’re going through that. How can I help? What can I do to support you?” That’s the best kind of care. 

Now, for those of you who, when I originally asked the question, had a different reaction, that’s fine too. It’s common that when someone else is suffering, sometimes we may feel defensive or we may feel angry because we haven’t got the space for it. Or we may feel resentful because we assume their pain doesn’t compare to our pain. 

If you had any of those reactions, that’s fine. I’m not here to tell you how to feel. And that may be something you want to go and work through because if those reactions were strong, those reactions need to be tended to with self-compassion too. We don’t want to just judge you and go, “Oh, that’s wrong,” and move on. No, no, no. That does not add to a self-compassionate practice. That just takes you away into self-criticism and self-punishment. So we don’t want to do that. Back up a little. We don’t want to do that.

But let’s just go to this genuine innate reaction that most humans, almost all humans, or actually all humans were born with, which is the genuine care to help and take care of each other, which I know is you. I know it’s you deep, deep down. Now, that reaction, that desire, that impulse to go, “Hey, how can I support you?” that is exactly how you need to tend to yourself when you’re suffering, when you’re having a moment of pain.

Disregarding where the pain came from, disregarding whose fault and who’s to blame and how you could have prevented it, I want you to lean towards speaking to yourself, how you would speak to another person or even a stranger. Sometimes we treat strangers better than we do our loved ones. That’s the truth too. But again, I’m not here to judge. I’m not here to tell you how to feel and how to treat others. I’m here to talk about how you can up your self-compassion game. 

When you’re in pain to say, “Hey, I am so sorry you are going through this. How can I be there for you? What do you need? What will get you through this?” And often the person, let’s say we were talking to a loved one, they would have some wisdom for us often. If I were to say like, if my husband came to me and he was venting and he was telling me how much pain he was in, usually he just wants me to listen and be there. Very few people want advice. 

That’s what I try to do for myself. There will be times when I’m in pain, where I need to stop and go, “Okay, Kimberley, you’re in pain. Let’s tend to this, but let’s also work to solve this problem.” The long-term problem, not the short term problem. We don’t want to just get rid of short-term relief. That usually ends up flopping. We end up falling on our butt when we do that or getting stuck in a cycle of problematic behaviors. But we may want to zoom out and go, “Okay, let’s take a really big look at the big problem here.”

Our work is to tend to ourselves like we would tend to others. Treat ourselves as we would treat others. Respect ourselves as we would respect others. There is no exception to this. You cannot give me one reason why you are exempt. 

A lot of my patients and clients will say, “Oh no, but I deserve this. I did this to myself.” It doesn’t matter who you did it to, why you did it, and who’s to blame. You’re in pain. You’re suffering. You may have chosen this suffering or this behavior that caused suffering because you were in pain. There is no exception. You deserve kindness every single way, every single step of the way. 

That’s all I have to say. Put it into practice. Nothing changes if nothing changes. We really want to focus in on this as being our highest priority. 

A little bit of science, self-compassion helps everything. We don’t have scientific evidence of exactly that, but almost we do. It helps with motivation. It helps with anticipatory anxiety. It helps with treatment. It helps with treatment outcomes. It helps with success performance. It helps with quality of life. It reduces depression. It reduces anxiety. It increases quality of life. Go for it. That’s our in sparks. Don’t stop. 

All right. I’m going to say goodbye. Before I do so, I’m going to let you know, again, please do go and leave an honest review wherever you listen to this. I would absolutely love it. It would be the best, best, best thing for me if you could. We are going to give away a pair of Beats headphones of your choosing of color for one lucky person who leaves an honest review. I’m not just saying the people who leave the best ones, but I have loved reading all of the reviews. Thank you so much. It really does help me find other people who need my help. So, go ahead and leave a review if you feel so inclined.

Have a wonderful day, and I’ll talk to you next week.

Please note that this podcast or any other resources from cbtschool.com should not replace professional mental health care. If you feel you would benefit, please reach out to a provider in your area. 

Have a wonderful day, and thank you for supporting cbtschool.com.

1