Past wounds are like an anchor holding us back.

Traumatic life experiences from the past can cause you to feel fearful and anxious in the future. Past wounds are like an anchor holding you back and can even influence how you perceive yourself.  For example, if you see yourself negatively or don’t think you are good enough, this is likely to be based on how someone has made you feel previously during your life.  These beliefs and perceptions can develop into anxiety disorders such as phobias, PTSD, OCD, eating disorders, GAD and low self-esteem.

Is it possible to change?

Absolutely yes! Look at the event or events that created these inaccurate beliefs and challenge them, you will have a completely different perspective. Deal with them and you will be set free.

How to challenge and change.

Firstly, you need to write a timeline of your life, listing both positive and negative events. Rate each of your negative events from 1-10, 10 being the worst. (You can download our Timeline PDF here to get started!)

Now consider each negative event and ask yourself if it still affects you or still causes any discomfort or anxiety today. By looking at what happened and what you believed in that moment, you can change your perception of it and cut the emotional ties. In order to show how this can be achieved here are two common issues that people experience regularly:

Example 1:

If someone believes they are not good enough and suffers from low self-esteem, they may recall being bullied at school and feeling isolated, scared and alone, therefore this was the installation point of that belief.

The key to challenging this belief is to consider the following:

  • “Why should I believe that person?”
  • “They were likely feeling insecure and picked on me because they wanted to bring me down”
  • “There was clearly a quality in me that they were envious of”
  • “It was not personal to me, they would bully anyone as it was a reflection of their own insecurities”

This will then bring the realisation:

 “Of course I’m good enough, my belief was based on someone who was unhappy in themselves and in fact, it was nothing to do with me at all!”

Example 2:

If you had a traumatic experience in the past, you may have become fearful of the thing that you believe caused it. If someone has a fear of dogs due to an incident as a child when a dog jumped up at them, now as an adult they fear all dogs. Challenging that event could involve the following statements:

  • “Perhaps the dog jumped up at me because it was excited to see me”
  • “When I was little, the dog seemed bigger and more intimidating than it would now”
  • “I know as an adult that if a dog appears aggressive it’s because it is protecting something, perhaps it was scared because it may have been treated badly”

This will then bring the realisation:

“I misunderstood the situation. I now realise that the dog was just curious about me and the only way it could express that was by jumping up on me. I also know that even if the dog appeared aggressive, it was because it was scared of me and It’s unfair to assume that all dogs are the same”

And finally remember: If nothing changes, nothing changes.

You will continue to believe the things you do not challenge. Which is why it is now time to challenge the inaccuracies from the past and make changes today.

If you are having trouble recognising and challenging the triggers or negative events, you are not alone. Here at Trauma Research UK,  We can help you complete a timeline allowing you to trace and overcome traumas and inaccurate beliefs  Read more…

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