Lisa 53, is a highly skilled professional who got in touch with me as she felt stuck and defeated. As a dyslexic person, she is prone to questioning, especially her self-worth. “I’ve never felt supported to be what I want to be”, she said. “I’ve worked hard on my personal and professional development , but never received a reward. Somehow, someone would take it away. I felt dismissed or ignored. Never praised, mostly criticised. I still remember being slapped by a teacher at the age of 4 because I didn’t understand what they wanted me to do.”
Lisa said that because of this, she often felt misunderstood and grew to believe that whatever she does, despite her best efforts, she would not be rewarded. As a result, she was not being proactive for her business but feeling rather deflated.
On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being low and 10 being high, Lisa rated her confidence as a 3, using her strengths 8, achievement 3, happiness 3, physical activity 5, interaction with others 4 and thoughts 4.
I asked Lisa how she’d like me to help her and she said:” I have lots of ideas, brilliant ideas, but they just don’t come to fruition. I need structure as I’m not disciplined. Lisa also shared that she was doing very little for herself, however she had recently started going for walks with her partner. In order to help her achieve this, we talked about how to bring more structure into Lisa’s life and identified some core beliefs that were stopping her from taking action and being successful.
I asked Lisa what’s been good since our last session and she said she’s been writing down her goals for the day and would tick them off when done. She said she’s been getting up early in the morning and doing some exercise. “I can’t believe I did it”, she smiled. “I decided to do regular exercise in the park so I posted on Facebook to find more people to join me and 10 people said yes!”,’ she said excitedly. This meant a lot to Lisa as she’s been experiencing a lot of loneliness. She said that In her childhood pictures she was always on the periphery and somehow outside of the group. Lisa said she used to wonder: “What’s wrong with me? Why don’t they want to be friends with me?”.
“I want to change my belief that I’ve done something wrong”, she added. I asked Lisa how she saw herself and she shared: “I see a defeated person, somebody who has given up and is resigned to ‘This is how it is’. I know everyone else sees me as inspiring, but I don’t like what I see.”
This week, on a scale from 1 to 10, Lisa rated her confidence as 2, happiness 3, achievement 4, strengths 4, physical activity 4, interaction with others 3 and thoughts 5.
As the session progressed, we explored further what Lisa would like to achieve and what succeeding at this would feel like. I also shared with Lisa an exercise she can do during the week until our next session so she can observe her thoughts and stay focused on her goals.
At the beginning of our session, Lisa shared with me how she got on with her weekly task. “I felt stuck trying to picture the new me. It was difficult to really get a sense of how I could beAt times I felt like a nobody and too scared to even dream I could be somebody. Then, at other times, I felt committed and empowered to dedicate my attention to my projects.”
I asked Lisa what’s been good and she said she went for a long walk with her partner yesterday although she was struggling due to lockdown. Feelings of doubt have been quite overwhelming, she added. Thoughts like “You’re not going to achieve it. You’re rubbish” have been reverberating in her mind.
However, on a scale from 1 to 10 Lisa reported her happiness to be 5, achievement 6, strengths 7, confidence 4, physical activity 5, interaction with others 10 and thoughts 8.
Lisa said she didn’t feel fit at all. “I’m quite weak”, she added. I shared with Lisa some tips on reframing her thinking and also how having positive beliefs can improve her physical health .Then we started to work on changing her current sense of self, and when asked how uncomfortable it is to be like that on a scale from 1 to 10, Lisa replied: “10!”
As the session progressed Lisa reported the intensity of her unhelpful core beliefs going from 10 ->2 ->0.
When I asked Lisa what’s been good since our last session, Lisa said: “I’ve been doing live videos three times a week and I’ve had a lot of success! People seem to be interested in what I have to say!”. Lisa was delighted: “I even started two online Facebook groups which I’ve been thinking about for years. I suddenly have so many people contacting me via Facebook, Whatsapp, email – I’m buzzing!”.
“I still had a moment when I was a bit apprehensive but it quickly went. ” I asked Lisa why she was feeling that way and she said: “ I had a moment of ‘I’m no good, people are not interested’, however I caught it in its tracks . I said to myself: ’Wait, this is not about me.”That’s fantastic, I added. Well done!
On a scale from 1 to 10 Lisa rated her happiness as 9, achievement 10, strengths 8, confidence 7, interaction with others 10 and thoughts 8. The rest of the session we focused on identifying any unhelpful residual thoughts and creating new positive beliefs.
Lisa showed up for the session full of smiles.”I’ve been really good and I’ve done all the live video posts as planned.” “I’ve started running and this week I’ve run four times for a whole minute! “Amazing”, I said. Lisa shared that she was thinking about doing a marathon somewhere north, most probably Edinburgh or Newcastle.
On a scale from 1 to 10, Lisa rated her achievement as 10, happiness 8, strengths 9, confidence 8, physical activity 10, interaction 9 and thoughts 8.
I’m moving forward”, she said. “There’s a different energy in my body. I want to laugh, I want to play.” Lisa was excited about things happening in her business.”I’m buzzing”, she said. I wanted to make sure that we removed all the triggers we worked on so I asked her:
“I’m so pleased to hear that. But what if someone says you’re not good enough?”
“I’m good”, said Lisa.
“Are you sure?”, I tested her again.
“I’m sure. Absolutely. I’m more than good enough”.
“What if some people don’t like you?” “Tough!”, she replied.
“It sounds like my job is complete”, I added. We both laughed.