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This is where the concept of practice comes in. Whether you're practicing on yourself with self-help techniques or helping someone else, it's important to practice your homework on a weekly basis. You will learn later on that CBT entails that patients do homework. When away from a therapist, it's important that a patient persists on certain tasks designed by the therapist so that their current progress is not lost. On top of homework and practice, CBT is a very rigid approach. Activities are planned carefully to lead you to new skills and realizations. Upon those acquisitions come practice and habit-making. It's structured in a sense that it upgrades what you already know in a continuous manner, all the way until you've defeated your condition on your own with your personal thoughts and willpower. Police yourself and bring high integrity every day to this courage-building program. If you do this, you won't have to worry about starting over because you won't miss a single day of training. This is the type of person that will do very well on this courage-seeking program. It all starts with your integrity. Even though I emphasize the importance of being accountable and having integrity, I still get questions and emails every day about missing days of confronting fear due to illness, work or not having any fearful obstacles for that day. This question is just an extension of the previous one, but I still have to belabor the point. Just because you got sick or busy does not mean you can slack off from your road to bravery. In fact, you should never take any day off from facing your fears. You must confront your fears, do something you dislike, or face what you want to avoid every freaking day of your life. I don't care how sick you are. If he asserted himself, if he asked gallery owners to represent him, he felt he was risking a highly personal form of rejection, because painting was self-expression. A no would mean You're no good, I don't like your style, I don't think you're worthy of my esteem.

Or at least, that's what Anthony feared. We worked on Anthony's self-confidence and courage in many ways. He filled out a Courage Journal. He kept a Courage Log. He practiced centering and mental rehearsal. Perhaps most helpful was his developing a pre-event routine--a series of little rituals he observed every time he walked into his studio, from playing with his paints on yesterday's palette to playing George Carlin tapes during his warm-up. The looser these warm-up exercises made him, the better he painted right off the bat (instead of burning through his entire three-day weekend trying to get down something good). The more fun he had in his studio, the more he enjoyed the actual painting, instead of beating himself up for not making any headway. What's this charge in Las Vegas? he asked, looking up from a statement. Is that the hotel room? Yes, it is. Sour pause. I asked you for input twice, but you didn't have any. (Call my feelings about these previous one-sided interchanges a bunch of dry sticks and dead leaves that I'd been silently raking into a pile for several weeks. ) Couldn't you get something cheaper online? he said. ON top of that, patients are asked to write down their feelings and thoughts during exercises. This helps them zero in on what's not

Each step complements the last and prepares you for the next. If you're practicing CBT on behalf of someone else, you'll notice that planning plays a very big part in the recovery process. You cannot afford to lose progress because of unrelated activities and seemingly disconnected steps. Everything has to follow a set plan that will ultimately lead to a new perspective on life. On top of it being a highly-structured approach, CBT requires plenty of cooperation. Whether you're a patient or a practitioner, expect to put in plenty of collaborative effort with the people around you. This can make it hard at the beginning when a patient has made zero progress and displays his or her symptoms in full blast. I have a client who has cancer and is getting chemo. Going to chemotherapy in itself is an extremely courageous act that goes way beyond anything I can imagine doing. Not only is this woman beating cancer but she is still running a successful business and works even after the toxic treatments which cause her to intermittently vomit. So don't give me your damn excuses. The same applies when you say you don't have the time to face your fears while you're at work. I call it horseshit. The good news is that you probably have tons of evidence each day that you face doing something that is uncomfortable and fearful at your job. When you recognize these fears, confront them and then give yourself credit for acting brave while at work. If you wish, you can count this fear confrontation moment as part of your 30-day challenge. Remember that fear comes in many forms and avoidance is the most common way we mask our fears. The more he enjoyed himself, the better he painted--the more risks he took on canvas. And the better he painted, the more confident he became.

He got to feel so good about his work that he could shrug off even his own rejection. So I didn't produce any works of art today, he'd say to himself on days he painted poorly. I took a risk. It didn't work out, but it wasn't pointless. I learned something from taking that risk, something I couldn't have learned any other way. And I had fun. Before Anthony made a single gallery call, he had so pushed his limits in painting that he felt he could afford to step outside his comfort zone with regard to selling. He felt he could afford to hear no. (Call this criticism a can of gasoline dumped over the pile. ) I've been talking it over with my whole family for two weeks, and this is the decision that was made. Dad already made the reservation. I don't see why I have to overpay for a hotel room because you're afraid to stand up to your father. (Call this accusation the match. ) I began to scream at John--about generosity and stinginess, about who was acting like a family member and who was not, about shitty time use and emotional unavailability, about helpfulness and unhelpfulness. If the mirrors had split me into two selves--one struggling to get things right and the other obsessed with detailing how I was not--uniting the two selves had unleashed a demon. I screamed to curdle milk, meaning each word to be stupefying and rank. It can be very hard to convince someone of how this will all work for their benefit. If you're suffering from depression and anxiety disorder right now, it may also be hard to see the value of something you haven't tried yet.

This is what makes the process all the more effective. Seeing how far you've come on your own will show you how much you can achieve. Sticking to your program and putting in the effort will yield great results. Finally, one thing you have to understand is that CBT isn't just a form of cognitive therapy. It's an attempt at acquiring a skill that will help you help yourself when the time comes. It's not meant to cure you. It's meant to teach you how to cure yourself. Be aware of anything you don't want to do; behind it is probably a fear you need to confront. If you put your fears aside, it only makes them bigger, worse and harder to destroy. As you progress during the 30 days, you will gain positive momentum and confidence in your ability to overcome what scares you. The evolution that usually emerges is that by the time you enter day 20, you will start to attack more complex fears that have held you back in your life. When you get the urge to confront these types of fears, don't wait till you are finally ready. You are more than ready now. Take the challenge, attack these more advanced fears and then tally it as part of your 30-day task. The sense of achievement, regardless of a positive or negative outcome, will drive you to want to do the same thing tomorrow and the day after and so on. When you notice your desire and willingness to tackle even scarier obstacles, it is a huge confidence builder and a sign that this courage-building system is working. They may not like my stuff, but they're not going to throw me out, he reasoned. I have total confidence in the quality of my work.