Saturday, September 3, 2016

Confidence, Low Self-Worth, and DISC

My thoughts this week have been centered on the feeling of self-confidence vs. its opposite, backsliding into my childhood memories when I felt bad about not being good enough for anything, not even for love. I’ve made great strides in maturity, yet this subject is sometimes still a challenge for me. Perhaps some or many of you can relate.

About two weeks ago, someone in one of several organizations I volunteer for called me to reprimanded me about something I wrote in a report. He said, "I told you.... " and he went on and on until his phone decided to run out of battery juice. I was triggered.

When you have developed a pattern of:
  1. All or Nothing Thinking
  2. Overgeneralization
  3. Mental Filter
  4. Discounting the Positives
  5. Jumping to Conclusions
  6. Magnification or Minimization
  7. Emotional Reasoning
  8. Should Statements
  9. Labeling
  10. Personalization and Blame
…you make everything you’ve done wrong, instead of the one tiny detail.

You can find the 10 Forms of Twisted Thinking here:

Then yesterday, after I realized I sent an email that maybe I shouldn’t have sent (wish you can unsend these), I heard and felt like I was being reprimanded all over again—only this time I did it to myself. I even began to cross-examine myself, wondering if I had crossed the line I was asked not to cross. I felt like a scared little child fearful of being caught stealing the candy.

I began to PMS—have a Post-Menopausal Mood Swing. 

I used EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique aka Tapping) to process the onslaught of negativity. It really helped, I calmed down, and I started to write this blog post to sort through my thoughts.

I've been a rather colorful balloon which can pop at the prick of a pin. Balloons are pretty and when filled with helium, they will float away up into the atmosphere. I could let emotional surges float away like a balloon, but why must I be a balloon at all? I would rather be a strong rubber ball so I can bounce out of the way when a verbal assault comes on and bounce back into my strong confident self. I can be a ball that cannot be popped with a pin. Can't I?

First, I had to practice AWARENESS and understand what was happening.

I asked myself, “What kinds of situations were the pins that were popping my balloon?" I wrote them down.
  1. I allowed another person to affect my self-confidence when they reprimanded me. (See DISC below.)
  2. I volunteer to do more than what I really want to do and haven’t made time for writing and music which leads to resentment. (I still need to learn how to say no.)
  3. I still feel challenged and overwhelmed during flare-ups of Fibromyalgia pain. (At least now I know about Twisted Thinking.)
How do I react to this mood swing? I conclude I am all wrong, no one appreciates me, and I'm unlovable.

Is it the truth? Absolutely NOT! I used to think it was but now I know better.

What does my body do when it is stuck with a pin (words that hurt)? It tenses up, implodes, and complains of pain as well as fatigue.

Suddenly, I had a flashback of myself as a child swinging on a swing—back and forth—higher and higher—and when I went too high, the swing began to become unstable and would jump dangerously crazy. It was pretty scary! I would have to stop moving and allow the swing to slow down so I could come to a stop and get off.

Time to slow down and digest what just happened. Time to come to a stop and write.

Also, about a year ago, I participated in a workshop on DISC. We took a survey and were divided up into four groups depending on our ‘dominant’ personality. I knew many of the people who were in this workshop and had ‘issues’ with several of them. They all ended up in the same group – D. I was the only one in my group – S. Very interesting!

Is it a never-ending cycle or is there a point when I can learn to swing on a swing without going too high and going into sudden wobblyness?

Next, I started writing down all the situations I’ve experienced lately when I felt good about my accomplishments:
  1. Practiced positive thinking / gratitude and was suddenly moved into a newly remodeled apartment and abundance showed up in unexpected ways. I am learning to see the bills as just numbers on paper. After all, I keep reading that money isn’t even real.
  2. Completed a course and received a certificate—a course I was only able to take because I had a skill I could barter—a skill I taught myself how to do.
  3. Received 2 certificate of achievements in Toastmasters.
  4. Met a new person and knew all the right things to say (felt wise and intelligent).
  5. Completed several large projects—publishing new books and created new websites.
  6. Submitted articles / press releases to the local newspaper and they were all published.
  7. After months of wracking my brains to figure out something new—it suddenly clicked!
Mmmmm. This list is a LOT longer than the first list.

And how very interesting! The 2014-2015-2016 September posts are all related to the same thing! 

Life Cycle?

September 2014: “Contrast, Triggers, and Law of Allowing,” which you can read HERE.

September 2015: “Uncovering Cognitive Distortions” (you can read it HERE.)

September 2016: This one.

If you have a trusted partner, best friend, counselor, or psychologist you can process these situations with, it is certainly nice, but I’ve had to learn to do this for myself.

To continue, once a perfectionist, always a perfectionist? If you’re a perfectionist and someone tells you they don’t like something you did or said when you put a LOT of effort in getting the details correct, how do you react? How do you feel? What kind of thoughts go through your head?

What if this someone else is a D person who is dominant, direct, controlling, and bossy? I’ve known many! Thank goodness I found out about DISC.

What is DISC? I Googled it.

“DISC is a behavior assessment tool based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston, which centers on four different behavioral traits, which today are called: dominance, influence, support, and caution.”

It just so happened that the new issue of Toastmasters Magazine came in the mail and I had opened it to read… and there before me was an article on DISC to remind me of what I was dealing with. In the magazine, the article suggests DISC can be helpful for both professional and personal communication, with a link to take the survey. Unlike the survey I did in the workshop last year, the online survey gave me a 22-page result.

D—Dominance: Direct, Impatient, Forceful

I—Influence: Animated, Spontaneous, Warm, Short Attention Span

S—Steadiness: Patient, Tolerant, Service Oriented

C—Conscientious: Orderly, Meticulous, Time Conscious

According to these reports, I am a High S who "likes others to be relaxed, agreeable, and cooperative, and to show appreciation."

This is definitely me!

I easily become upset when confronted with anyone who is the opposite, especially a D. I’m the one who wants everyone to get along. I’ve always been this way and I’ve always had a rough time growing up both at home and in school whenever there was conflict around me. I’m sure I was also empathetic, but I was definitely an S.

I always thought I was different and didn’t fit in anywhere. I am NOT different, I’m an S. It sure would have been nice if we had been taught DISC back in grade school! I can just see it now—instead of scholastic testing, DISC testing. Split the children up into four corners and teach them about the different personalities and how to get along.

Please feel free to write your comments below. Have you taken the DISC survey? What did you learn about yourself?

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