Reply To: Need some help here.

Paul McCabe
PSTEC Pro and Forum Moderator

    Hi Clearingman,

    Thanks for posting and for sharing your story.

    As well as the very helpful advice Brian and Peter have provided, I would say that your experiences do seem typical of anyone who experiences high levels of anxiety. This can create all sorts of bizarre projections and “worst case scenario” imagined outcomes.

    It is important to know that a thought can be just like watching a movie. You could watch a horror, drama, thriller or comedy and therefore have a different emotional experience. An imagined outcome is not necessarily indicative of our true nature. Some of our thoughts can be generated by emotions or state, while others can be entirely random. Ask “what might this thought be trying to tell me?

    Nevertheless, you could work on the sort of imagined outcomes you have had in mind. I would say they fall into the “fear of being judged” category and this is a basis for social anxiety.

    The thought of smiling at another man and thinking it might mean others think you are gay suggests that, on some level, you would not want other people to think you are gay. That does not mean you are a bad person, homophobic or otherwise. It probably just means that you do not like people misunderstanding you or your intentions.

    Here is what I would suggest:

    Work with this scenario. Imagine smiling at another man and then being labelled gay. Make that real. Then run the Click Track on this.

    Run the Click Track on any shame you have from your past. Would you feel shame if someone thought you were gay or if someone knew the thoughts you sometimes had?

    Then run the Click Track on the types of situations where you have had thoughts of hurting people. Again, these are just thoughts and they may be entirely random or generated by anxiety – when, for instance, you were speaking with people with whom you did not feel comfortable.

    If you can spot the link, then run the CT on all the times you have had these thoughts (e.g. “speaking to strangers who were judging me.”) You may have lots of examples, so work diligently on ANYTHING that bothers you.

    You are absolutely right that we all have different sides to our character. Even someone who identifies with being very anxious will not be anxious all the time, someone who sees him or herself as “very serious” will have moments of levity, someone who rates themselves as an eternal optimist will have down moments. It is just about bringing those aspects into alignment and, with PSTEC, you can certainly become WHO you want to be.

    Also, could it be that there is a “chicken and egg” situation with these thoughts and drinking alcohol? For instance, you felt anxious and drank alcohol to quell the anxious thoughts and mind chatter, but now feel MORE anxious as you had no conscious memory of the night out.


    Paul McCabe – PSTEC Master Practitioner

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