Negative thinking & comparisons

Hello coaches. I’m a therapist, working happily & quite successfully in my field. I love my work, am committed to it and have a specific specialism which I love. In the last year – since Oct 2020 – I pushed forward in various ways: began a private practice in addition to my pubic sector role, which has gone very well. I have already filled my slots in private work and love the work. In addition, I got a promotion within my clinic role and thus earn more, supervise & teach more. I pushed forward with writing more. And finally, my income increased considerably in this one year. So all is good in reality.

I joined Scholars in order to think of ways to use my resources better & continue pushing my career to the next level, doing the things I want to do, earning more & specialising even further.

Yet surprisingly, despite my joy & creativity in my work, I find that negative thinking rears its ugly head sometimes and I feel it’s time to work on this more deeply. My negative thinking – I have noticed over time – is always to do with comparisons with those who I imagine to be successful, ‘full adults’, accomplished etc. [By the way I’m in my late 40s so a completely full adult! – but that’s the form of my occasional thinking]. I want to tackle this & really explore it so I’m bringing it here and may bring it again.

Here are a couple of models from today to give you an idea. These are both on the same C, but there were 2 different sets of thoughts. I would like to further these models & really take them forward, moving gradually to intentional models which on purpose I didn’t do today.

Model on Unintentional Thought 1
C: researched online to find someone to refer onwards for a family I had seen after assessment I did. Saw websites of therapists to refer onwards.
T: I worry I won’t ever be like them (=high flying and high earning – in my eyes – therapists) and that I don’t have the capacity, time & resources to do the things I want to do
F: Defeated
A: become flustered & not sure where to start with my actions
create thoughts around panic in terms of time – I’m too old, there’s not enough time
I have ruminating thoughts of worry
I push myself to planning more as if doing extra planning will create this extra time rather that making big decisions about where my time goes
I think self attacking thoughts
collapse in bed scrolling through social media
can lead at times to impulsive ‘reaching out’ to friends for reassurance
not noticing my actual situation & the significant progress I’ve made
I ignore my impossible goal plan which is all set out
can lead to presenting myself to my clients without confidence – this doesn’t happen in practice, but I worry it might
R: I create a cycle of ‘stuckness’ and don’t fully use my time & resources in a way that will push me forward

Model on Unintentional Thought 2
C: researched online to find someone to refer onwards for a family I had seen after assessment I did. Saw websites of therapists to refer onwards.
T: I am naive & stupid carving out my own path, look at what these successful & high earning (in my eyes) therapists have done. I’m in a different category (poorer, not anywhere near these people, look at my house, look at my neighbourhood)
F: shame
A: I think self attacking thoughts
I remain stuck in inaction
I don’t progress on my impossible goal plan, just leave it sitting there
can lead to collapse – scrolling through social media
can lead to overeating or eating off plan
can lead to avoidance of tasks to improve state of our home
R: I remain in my imagined ‘position’ / different category, keeping myself professionally ‘below’ these high earning successful therapists