Someone says something about you and to you and it hurts your feelings. You don’t really think it’s true. In fact, intellectually you know it isn’t true. But it hurts. You wish you could just brush it off but you can’t. Why does it hurt?
What is it about you that makes you take it to heart? Why can’t you be like those other folks you see who are able to just shrug and say, “wow, she sure has that wrong.” It doesn’t sink in and attack their self-image. Why doesn’t it hurt them?
You tell yourself, it’s because you care what she thinks about you….but if she’s wrong, why can’t you just tell her and let it go?
Or you say, she’s just being bitchy…that’s on her, not me….but why do you keep replaying it in your head?
You sit there trying to talk yourself out of being hurt. You know it isn’t true and you have a whole bunch of evidence about how not true it is. Doesn’t change how you feel. That approach will never work. Why? Because deep down you secretly believe she’s right. Maybe just a little, but enough to cause some doubt. Feeling hurt wins out over logic in this case.
So what can you do? Update your beliefs! It is very, very likely that you have a very outdated belief system about yourself. You probably haven’t updated them since you were a child. When you were young, you took on a lot of responsibility for things that weren’t yours, and it shaped your beliefs. That’s not wrong, and it’s not unusual. It’s just the product of your world view as a child.
Here’s an example. You take piano lessons and you are practicing for a recital. Your piano teacher has a gruff teaching style, correcting you more than praising you. You feel a bit insecure, and develop a belief that you aren’t a very good piano player. As a child, you have no idea that adults have different styles of teaching, and maybe this one isn’t suitable for a sensitive child. It’s all about you, so you must at fault.
It might not matter that you went on to study piano in college and you are actually a very good accompanist. You know that intellectually. But unless you go back and update the belief, you will still feel like the insecure child, and are vulnerable to being hurt.
NOW HEAR THIS: Just because you believe it doesn’t make it true!
How do you update your beliefs? First, if you are hurt even when you know something isn’t true, recognize that your beliefs and your intellect are not in sync. Your beliefs need to be updated. Next, sit in the feeling of hurt for a little bit until the power fades. It does, you know. When that happens, get curious, and that will help you detach from the hurt. Say something like, “Huh. That’s interesting. I wonder where that belief came from?” Allow yourself to explore it a bit, and trust your intuition to take you to the correct event in your past. Once you’ve got the right event, release it. Tell yourself that you had a different perspective then, and now you want to update that belief with a more accurate one. You might have a few layers of beliefs, and that’s okay. Work through each one with a detached sense of observation, release and update.
You will see that the comment that hurt you before doesn’t have the same sting, because you no longer have a “secret” belief that it is true. You know it isn’t!
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