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Magical Thinking Reality Check

"People who wonder whether the glass is half-empty or half-full are missing the point. The glass is refillable!" - unknown

30 before 34 Mindset Challenge

The Challenge

Yesterday marked 30 days before I turn 34 and I have been in a bit of a funky mood. I refuse to go into my 34th year of life the same way. Therefore, I am starting a 30-day challenge for myself to help shift my mindset and put more of a fire under my butt to make the necessary adjustments to my life to better equip me for the happy and successful life I want. I am taking the next 30 days to look over blogs, bible scriptures, books, and affirmations to apply their nuggets to my life, instead of being a knowledge hoarder. (See my knowledge hoarder post here) I invite you on this journey because just maybe there is someone else out there who is finding themselves in a somewhat stagnant funky mood and because blogging is a great way to hold yourself accountable for anything. 😊

The Motivation

You may be wondering where did this seemingly random thought come from. Over the Labor Day weekend, I took the opportunity to catch up on some the popular tv shows I keep hearing others talk about, my faux self-care for the weekend. One of those shows was “Insecure”. I watched the episode, “Hella Questions”, it seemed appropriate for the mood I was in. There is one scene in which Molly is talking to her therapist and the therapist points out to her that she believes things “Should” be a certain way a lot. The therapist goes on to briefly talk to Molly about “Magical Thinking.” I am a social worker so this isn’t the first time I have heard this term before but this is the first time that I have actually applied the thought of the “Irrational Should” to my own life. I guess that is evidence of my avoidance to addressing certain things in my life. But more on that later. So, I am watching this show and it hit me like a ton of bricks, my magical thinking is one of the reasons for this this funky and depressed mood that I have been teetering in and out of for the past years. In my typical researcher manner, I google “magical thinking” and “irrational should”. One result that popped up and slapped me in the face is from ,author and doctor of social work, Paul K.H. Kim for a book he wrote in 1991 about serving the elderly, entitled 'Serving the Elderly: Skills for Practice". The major kickers for me are when He states that:

“the irrational should is judgmental and subjective. (A) Refers only to what the speaker demands or wants, even though the speaker has not done what’s necessary to get it. ……. The irrational should triggers unproductive anger toward others and/or guilt feelings toward oneself. Therefore, the speaker wastes valuable energy that could be used to improve the situation…. With irrational “shoulds” the speaker tries to get other people to do something without the speaker first doing what’s necessary for them to do it.” (pg.162)

The Application

I have done some awesome things in my life but somewhere in the midst of life I have let some untreated mental health stuff slow me down. I have been avoidant to admitting this and have gotten stuck in this cycle of irrational shoulds. The hard part is that I have probably been a decent social worker because I have been able to see in others the problems I am avoiding in myself. I have been able to help them past their junk because I have the head knowledge and deep down know what I need to do for myself. I have actually been living out my own personal growth and healing vicariously through other people. But today I sit down and not only claim my growth and healing for myself, but I will also do the necessary work. I invite you to join me in this challenge but it’s also okay if you just want to be a cheerleader for me. Everyone can use some good cheerleaders in their life. In 30 days, well 29 by the time I post this, I will be 34 years old and I declare I will not be same Nicole that has simply just been getting by in life and living off her waxing and waning moments of awesomeness. Here’s to living that intentional thriving life!

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