Ever had the feeling that there is an empty space inside you that you desperately want to fill? I’ve heard so many clients tell me that they feel a deep sense of emptiness, a ‘gaping hole’, that they try to fill, but are unable to. This ‘gaping hole’ then becomes the source of their depression, anxiety or addiction.
What is this ‘gaping hole’? This gaping hole exists because for some reason ‘you never accepted yourself completely’. Maybe because your primary care givers placed conditions on your acceptance. Or maybe because your early life experiences led you to internalize the belief that ‘you are not enough’. In my experience, this gaping hole is usually a result of restrictive, conditional, controlling or traumatic experiences. It can usually be traced back to childhood or adolescence.
This hole feeds on itself by reinforcing negative thought processes and creating tunnel vision. It’s a vicious cycle. The hole gives rise to thoughts like ‘why would anybody like me?’ ‘nobody cares about me.’ ‘I can’t do this.’ ‘I am not good enough.’ - and then these thoughts lead to depression or anxiety that trap the person by increasing despondency and hopelessness. In this hopelessness you might desperately seek to find relief in ways that harm your soul further - through addiction or unhealthy relationships or both. And when neither fill up the emptiness it starts the cycle of self-blame and starts the negative thought processes all over again - ‘I’m not good enough’. It seems counter intuitive as you seek out people and behaviors that further erode your self-esteem.
"Nothing in life worth fighting for is ever easy and ‘you’ are no exception."
So what can you do? First of all, understand that it’s not going to be easy. Nothing in life worth fighting for is ever easy and ‘you’ are no exception. My question for you is: ‘Are you ready to fight for yourself?’ If you answered yes, then there are some things you can do to bring that positive change in your life.
- ETrack those negative thoughts and their origin.
- Question the authenticity of the negative thoughts by using logic and cross questioning.
- For every negative thought - come up with a positive aspect/thought.
- Start challenging your internal dialog with the positive thoughts.
- Start seeking company of people where the positivity reverberates.
- On that same note, start maintaining distance from people that feed the negativity with excessive criticism, jabs on self-esteem, power struggles or guilt trips.
- Understand and accept your limitations - you are human.
- Make note of your accomplishments - don’t underestimate.
- Seek help if you are still struggling.