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The person who catastrophizes lives in a perpetual state of "But what if? What if?" When feelings are not dealt with, they become bottled up and create a blockage, both personally and interpersonally. This, in turn, isolates you from yourself and your world. The fastest and surest way to become detached from reality is to avoid, discount, discredit, and disallow the real emotions that connect you to your essential self. In Chapter One we said that the core feelings of a XXXXXXXXXXX are inadequacy, fear, and loneliness. If these feelings are never addressed, released, and healed, then the only recourse is the pursuit of a sense of well-being through any means possible, even if it means engaging in activities that are self-destructive. In order words, if you are cut off from your feelings, and you need to feel in order to confirm the fact that you exist, you will strive to feel something. One of the reasons that some people engage in self-harm is to release emotional pain. People who have difficulty expressing their emotions will sometimes revert to inflicting pain on themselves to make them feel better. Self-harm includes anything one would do to themself to intentionally cause injury. This includes: cutting, scratching, burning, scalding, hitting, banging one's head against the wall, punching things, sticking objects into your skin, preventing wounds from healing, swallowing poisonous substances or inappropriate objects. Since these people are cut off from their feelings, they are searching for a feeling, even pain, and they would opt to feel something, even though painful, over feeling nothing. Self-awareness is not complete if you do not bring this practice into your business life as well as your personal life. We should not have one set of rules of behavior for home and one for business. There is no difference. There really isn't. Perhaps you have heard the term "Sunday Christian." That is a derisive term used to refer to someone who attends Christian church services on Sundays while not adhering to the doctrines of the religion the other six days of the week. Whatever your creed or religion, make certain that you reflect it in your career or business. Study how you speak to people at work. Try to notice how differently you speak to those in positions above you compared to those who work for you.

To work as a subordinate to a supervisor who is a poor communicator is extremely frustrating, as it will negatively impact your work by misunderstanding what you were asked to do. It wastes everyone's time. Crystal clear communication makes everything more efficient and generates more team cohesion. As a rule, we tend to be more careful of how we say things when dealing with supervisors or employers because there are potential consequences, whereas in dealing with subordinates we mistakenly believe that the reverse is often true. Sometimes foremen or assistant managers can make their subordinates' work life a living hell with constant verbal abusive and caustic language. ADD/ADHD are problems of childhood. Sometimes people outgrow them, often not. If diagnosed and treated in childhood, this can make a great difference in the life of the child, and later for the adult. Adults can be diagnosed and helped also, and their life can be better. Sometimes the adult ADD diagnosis is pretty obvious; sometimes it is more subtle. Unfortunately, some people aren't the help they could benefit from, because of lack of knowledge or because of shame or other factors. I do best with structure in my life. What does that mean? It's not just a schedule, although a schedule is certainly structure. Structure means that my days have a shape. I don't get up in the morning at some indefinite time and wonder " What should I do now?" or "What will I do today?" I don't wander aimlessly through the day, wondering, "OK, what do I do now?" Structure gives me anchor points that help me stay oriented in time. I follow my basic routine nearly every day unless on a trip, and even then I try to keep some vestige of it. Perhaps the most glaring fallacy in ego-centered perfectionism is the assumption that reality can be neatly packaged into right or wrong, correct or incorrect, true or false, or real or fake. Your taste in music may be different from someone else's; you may have different political opinions; you may be interested in science, while another prefers the humanities; and you may value family above career. This does not mean that you are right and the other person is wrong.

Reality comes in many colors and shades of gray, and it is illogical to attempt to reduce them to black or white. Of course, some views are better defended than others. For example, a person may be mistaken about the facts or lack sufficient evidence. But your reasons are not better because they are your reasons. This is just the same old pigeonholing of reality into I am right and you are wrong! Instead of remaining trapped in this abyss of faulty thinking, here are three guiding virtues that can help you make peace with imperfection in a world where you do not always have to be right. Missing from the lives of ego-centered perfectionists is reciprocal sharing of subjective worlds. As discussed in Chapter Three, empathy involves the ability to connect cognitively, emotionally, and spiritually with others' subjective views. This ability builds mutual trust and willingness to speak candidly. Even if you agree to disagree, there can still be mutuality, respect, and authentic relating. In demanding unilateral agreement with your subjective world, you subvert the very possibility of such mutuality. Personalizing -- Tending to assume that everything is my fault or my responsibility, whether or not it really is. Internal Control Fallacy -- Believing that it is my job to make everyone around me happy. If someone is unhappy, whether or not it rightfully has anything to do with me, I MUST make them feel better or I have failed as a person. Emotional Reasoning -- Believing that feelings are facts. If I feel anxious about doing something (even if it is something that would be good for me to do), I must avoid it because it makes me feel anxious (and, therefore, must be bad). Mind Reading -- Believing that I can divine what people are thinking (and it's usually something bad about me). Even when they tell me what they are really thinking, I dismiss it because I know what they are really, really thinking. Some people try on feelings as if they were clothes. They check them out to see if they like them or not.

If they want them, then they may be incorporated into their wardrobe of feelings. They use their analyzing skills to assess desirability. They also try to categorize their feelings into nice and not-so-nice feelings. They distinguish happiness, joy, pleasure, and peace as "nice" feelings, which are acceptable and desirable. They label anger, sadness, hurt, depression, and pain as "not-so-nice" emotions. Then they try to have some and disallow others. This is difficult if not impossible to do. Feelings are connected. If you allow yourself to have your feelings, then you must allow all feelings. If you suppress your feelings, then you suppress all feelings. You can't selectively say, "I'll keep joy, but get rid of depression," or "I'll never be lonely again, but let in all the pleasure that's possible," it doesn't work that way. Feelings are woven together in a big interconnected web. Strive to become a leader who incorporates decency and respect into all communications, and you will find that you are not less effective but more. Our communication with others during business hours is really the main forum for our practice and one with which we create our reputation. The more we study ourselves, thereby becoming self-aware, the more effective we will be in our work and the more well-regarded we will become. You will excel at business and also at your personal relationships. Recording meetings with colleagues, associates, and subordinates can be extremely helpful in your self-study. I record my lectures and seminars at least once a month. Later, I listen back and critique my work. I am never 100 percent satisfied.

I always hear many things I would like to have said differently or with a different tone. I cannot stress enough how important this is and that there is always room to improve. Some evenings we watch a movie and some evenings I do paper work. I try to study Spanish and play the guitar every day. At bedtime I read my daily devotional and write down the things I'm thankful for from that day. I get ready for bed and then read until I'm sleepy. Then I say my prayers and go to sleep. Pretty much the same each day unless there is something else specific planned. That's the structure of the day. It's flexible; some days I go fishing or to the prison, and those days have a different structure, but they still have structure. For example, the days that I go fishing pretty much look like each other, same routines. Tolerance is the antidote to saying "I can't" when you really mean "I won't." In this context, it means building the willpower to allow independent, diverse voices to have a fair hearing, even if you don't agree with them. To develop empathy, contemporary feminist thinker Blythe Clinchy says to play the "believing game": if I say something that seems absurd to you, instead of asking, "What are your arguments for such a silly view as that?" you ask, "What do you see?...Give me the vision in your head. You are having an experience I don't have; help me to have it". Instead of playing the doubting game, you make the effort to see what I'm seeing! Clinchy notes that this is just a procedure for knowing. It doesn't mean you will end up agreeing with what I'm saying. But, in connecting with me in this way, you get to see where I'm coming from and therefore to understand the way I see things from my subjective point of view. This in itself can help promote mutual respect: "Wow! I didn't realize that in your culture that's what people do!" and "I can see how you feel that way after going through such a harrowing experience." There are other cognitive distortions, but these are the most common ones affecting people with anxiety.