You are not responsible for your first thought. You are, however, responsible for your second thought and your first action.
What does this mean?
In other words, do not get mad at yourself for having disordered thoughts. Do not think that you are a failure or that you will never succeed. Instead, focus on your second thought: what can I do differently? What is the alternative and positive outcome of the situation? And then your first action: I am going to choose fear as a messenger that is trying to tell me what I need to do because I can get through it, instead of telling me what I shouldn't be doing because I fear that I can't.
The first thought we have is often the thought or negative belief (or negative cognition) that is linked to an earlier memory. You have the power to tell it to get lost.
Amy Pope-Latham, LCSW is a clinical psychotherapist in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.