Anxiety around other men

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  • #21845
    Russell Cronberg
    PSTEC User

    I have an issue that I’ve been working on for a while now with PSTEC and so far my progress has been limited at best so I’m hoping that someone here on the forum can provide some suggestions on how to best approach this. Without going into the endless details, I have a generalized fear/anxiety of other men (I’m a 44 year old man myself). This fear stems from my childhood where I was extensively bullied, harassed and never really felt safe at school or even in my personal friendships with other boys (now men).  As an adult this fear manifests itself anytime I’m around groups of other men, especially if they’re being loud or acting aggressively towards one another (even if they’re just playing around). In my mind it feels like it’s already a foregone conclusion that they will pick on me, harass me, belittle me or worse yet physically attack me. Since the thought of this happening feels paralyzing, I fear there’s nothing I can do to stand up or defend myself. And even if I did I would surely be attacked, or worse case scenario, killed.  Just writing that now feels foolish but hey, the sub thinks what it thinks I suppose ;)

    Up until now, I’ve been using the various click tracks (I have the free tracks and have purchased the level 1 package, 2015 click tracks as well as PSTEC negative) on all of my childhood memories of being bullied. While I’ve gotten some relief when I now think of those specific past situations, it seems to have done nothing to alleviate fear of future instances. I’ve extensively clicked on every “worst case scenario” that I can think of, and can successfully get myself worked up into a wonderful state of panic (that’s progress right? ;D) but unfortunately the clicking has so far had little effect on reducing that anxiety. After 2-3 rounds of clicking and tapping, I’m mentally spent and left with that awful fight/flight feeling for the rest of the day. Not fun!

    With that being said, would it be better if I approached this from a limiting beliefs stand point using PSTEC negative?  I’m no expert but I’m suspecting that since I’m trying to eliminate my fear of death and physical harm my sub is resisting this change.  This would make complete sense since the survival instinct is hard wired through millions of years of evolution. Instead of eliminating this survival mechanism, I would like to find a way to not make the “alarm” so sensitive and only feel fear when I’m truly in a fearful real life situation. The constant anticipation of doom and bad things happening has greatly limited my enjoyment of life and frankly I’m tired of having to constantly be “on guard”.

    Thanks in advance!

    #24852
    Peter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi rucron

    Sad to hear that you have not made the progress you want, however, do not give up! with a bit more support and perseverance, you will get there. Success is often “just around the corner”.

    You have been using the Click Tracks for some time without success and you are beginning to doubt that you will ever get there… am I right so far?

    Let's give you a series of steps to take to help you get back on track.

    The first point you need to get to is to really believe not just hope that this statement is true for you. “PSTEC can work well for me”.

    Run that statement or your words to the same effect with PSTEC Positive, until you believe it. Ask yourself on a scale of 0-10 “How much do  believe …? 0= No way! 10 = Absolutely!

    Mix in with the above listening to some PSTEC Success stories. Read some on this Forum. These to prove that if PSTEC can work for other people it can work for you as well.

    Progress to “Every time I listen PSTEC works better and more effectively”. You might need to devise an intermediate step. Something like “Soon PSTEC will work more effectively for me”

    Imagining the success of your statement in the near future and how good it would feel is an important part of Positive. If you cannot then it is probably a “step too far” for you. Go back a step if that is the case.

    PSTEC Accelerators also boost the effectiveness of all other PSTEC packages.

    Not forgetting the Click Tracks. Your current anxiety you have connected with bullying in your past. This sounds most likely to me as  you also have associated fear of harm. You have done some future “worst case” work without a lot of improvement so…

    Note that elimating the fear of harm/death does not lose your survival instinct for self preservation. Your anxiety is with anticipated events that mostly do not happen and based on past experiences that are now memories and so “virtual”. When you have cleared this issue your fight/flight reaction would still “kick in” if you ever found yourself in a real dangerous situation. So have no fear… :D

    As you have already done quite a lot of CT work forgive me if some of this you have already done. Otherwise I need to ask a lot more questions. The most important incidents of bullying are usually some of the earliest that you can remember and here not just the incident but the immediate aftermath. I'm having to guess here, but… what support did you get afterwards, sympathy, care, support, protection? And this from your parents, siblings, peers or teachers? The trauma is much reduced if immediately afterwards you are surrounded by care and love. It is compunded if for example you are just told to “pull yourself together””stop cying like a baby” or such like. Which might be well meant but not what you needed, emotional support. Any such lack or resentment of, gives you something else to CT. Also if you never told anyone about these incidents, why not? What fear stopped you?

    If you grew up in an atmosphere of “be a man””fight back””don't be a whimp” and such, then some of this is where PSTEC Negative could be useful. If you can still hear in your mind any such uncaring things being said then these would be good targets for Negative. If when you are getting anxious as there are other men about do you have thoughts in your mind that are repeated and about the same everytime? Assuming they are negative then they are also Negative targets.

    Going forwards you are aiming to change yourself into someone without these fears and anxieties. However rather than thinking of yourself as the same but without that stuff. Think of yourself as a new person like the old but naturally confident, and happy to be around other men, surrounded by friends. Your subconscious cannot handle negatives or vacuums, of being without. But being positive gives a clear indication of the changes required, of where to go to, not away from. If you find yourself “shying away” from this sort of positive then there might be some “fear of change” holding you back. If this is the case then put it in a reply and we can work on that as well.

    Much more still to come but this is probably enought to give you some things to do and to think about.
    Any more questions?

    Peter

    #24853
    Russell Cronberg
    PSTEC User

    Thanks Peter for the in depth reply!  I never thought of addressing any potential resistance to PSTEC working. Rather, my outlook throughout this process has generally been positive towards PSTEC but frustrated in my results (example: “I know PSTEC works but what in the heck is going on to prevent it from helping me?”)

    As for my bullying history, I always felt very much on my own and that I had little support from those around me. My father was very no nonsense and unsympathetic towards things like these. If I were to have approached him with this his only advice would have been “toughen up and go punch them in the mouth”. If I were to have gone to my mother she would have have made a dramatic spectacle of everything by going down to the school and causing a scene, thus casting even more attention on me and more potential shame and bullying from my classmates. So, I took choice three and kept quiet and internalized most of it and became a master people pleaser. Through years of conventional therapy I’ve gotten a lot better at the people pleasing tendencies but still seem to have some negative associations towards other men, especially those who remind me in some way of the people who bullied me in my early years.

    However I do want to report some progress between now and when I first posted about this. After reading your response I decided to work on this from a negative/positive belief angle instead of just click tracking specific scenarios. I first ran PSTEC negative on the belief of “Other guys are out to harass and hurt me” and then PSTEC positive on the new belief of “Other guys respect me and want to be my friend” and I noticed an almost immediate shift in my thoughts and level of anxiety. I was able to test this new belief yesterday as I went to the downtown area of a city near me with a friend and there were many people out and about, including groups of men. My overall anxiety level was significantly lower and I even ended up chatting with three different guys during the day without any feelings of anxiety at all. My friend and I are amateur photographers and we both had our cameras with us which always seems to attract curiosity from passers by.

    What was the most interesting was that when I would see groups of men it’s as if my brain would start to “fire” the old pattern but then the new, positive belief would immediately spring forward.  Needless to say I’m very encouraged with this shift in my thinking and associations.  My question now is should I do more run throughs of both the PSTEC negative and positive on these two beliefs or should I move on to other limiting beliefs on my list?  This is my first real experience using both PSTEC negative and positive but I’m very encouraged with my results so far.

    Thanks again for your advice and guidance

    #24854
    Peter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi rucron

    Yes, I suggest going through the Negative and Positive thing a couple more times with the same or variations on the same statements. Furthermore start off with Click Tracking that “Fear of  being shamed” first. Running all three one after the other. Organise all your statements and counter statements first, also allow some recovery time afterwards. This hopefully this will get you to the point where the old patterns do not even begin to “fire up”.

    Another thing to think about is what was it about you that made you a target for the bullying? There could be something there to Click Track as well.

    Peter

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