I Don’t Make Honest Choices: Worry Journal Exercise

I Don’t Make Honest Choices: Worry Journal Exercise

If I want to feel like what I’m doing is important (which I clearly do) I have to be honest with myself about what’s important to me. The question is, can I make honest choices accordingly?

Situation / Trigger

Agreeing to do something I don’t really want to do

Negative Thought

I don’t make honest choices about what’s important to me.

Anxiety Level (1-10)

7

Evidence For

I decide what’s important for me to say or do based on:

  • What other people want me to say or do
  • What I think other people want me to say or do
  • The kind of person I want to think I am
  • The kind of person I want other people to think I am

For instance:

I accept invitations to do things I have no interest in doing because I’m afraid of hurting their feelings or them thinking it’s my social anxiety getting the best of me.

I continue engaging in conversations that I’m ready to end, afraid of coming off as a bitch who doesn’t have enough interest or time for them.

I start books because I should be reading them, not because they’re books I actually want to read. I want to be the kind of person who reads, and has read, the classics (though this is rarely incentive enough for me to actually finish them).

Evidence Against

I don’t always decide what’s important for me to say or do based on how I want to be perceived, by others or myself.

For instance:

Sometimes I decline invitations; the trick is being honest with myself about why: Do I genuinely not want to do it, or is it my social anxiety talking?

I’m getting better at ending conversations. There’s an art to it, I think; I’m still pretty clunky.

I’ve read some of the classics because I wanted to. I’ve also read plenty of books just because I felt like it (thank you, Jackie Collins).

What’s More Likely

I do make honest choices about what’s important to me. I just don’t do it all the time. I’m too afraid of an honest choice letting someone down, myself included, as though there is something wrong with the truth.

Alternative Thought / Positive Affirmation

What’s right for me is right.

Anxiety Level (1-10)

3

What’s Worrying You?

Keep your own worry journal and work it through. I picked up this tool in cognitive behavioral therapy. Inevitably, my anxiety level at the end of the exercise is less than it was when I started. I hope it works that way for you, too.

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I'm a writer living in Los Angeles with my fiance Andy, our cat Spanky, and our guinea pig Monty. I'm also the founder of Plenty Woman, an inspirational, informative website that helps women manage anxiety.



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