Words of wisdom from a Thriver

I've taken thousands of people through the Thrive Programme and some of those clients went through the programme really smoothly, with no blips or doubts. I remember both of those people fondly...!

As for the rest of you, there WILL be ups and downs: you're making significant changes to your thinking and beliefs. In fact, we welcome blips because you can learn much more from then, than from when you are being unchallenged by life. As long as you are putting in a good amount of effort throughout the programme, there is no failure, only learning.

emetophobiaJen's story

This is Jen who went through the Thrive programme. She was struggling in all areas of her life and had done for many years. Due to her fears and anxieties, she rarely left her bedroom for months prior to starting the programme.

Her own experience of going through the programme was full of challenges, but she's come out the other end with solid foundations and is thriving in all areas of her life.

Below, she offers some words of advice for people currently going through the programme, to know you are not alone. Continue to put in the effort and you will succeed!
emetophobia treatment

I too was very "up and down" through my sessions and learning of Thrive.  One minute I thought I'd cracked it and was out living life as if I was entirely "cured", the next I was back in bed thinking I've "failed" and I never am going to get cured.  I know how it feels to feel on such a chaotic ride!

What helped me a lot was seeing the "ups & downs" in a different light.  The "ups" weren't "flukes", or "luck", or "all good".  The "down's" weren't "bad luck", "all bad", "a failing".  I was so hooked on perfectionism and catastrophic thinking I didn't even realise I was doing it so much of the time.  When I felt good I allowed myself to believe that something external to me (i.e. the Thrive Programme) had "cured me" and it was like magic, hey presto, all gone.  When I was down, I was catastrophic, feeling it will lead to X Y Z and cause A B C.

In actuality, whether you're up or down, it's a consequence to how we have been managing our thinking e.g. well, or not so well.  And it's actually a LESSON in managing thinking when things are tougher because unfortunately nobodies life is ever going to be plain sailing! More importantly, it's about recognising that any mental state isn't permanent.  In fact, they can be really rather fleeting if you let them be.  My "blips" used to be days, if not weeks long.  Now, they're minutes, hours at the most.

It's so easy to forget that the power to think & feel how we want to, comes from ourselves.  Catastrophising goes hand in hand with learned helplessness, a term that offended me at the beginning, but actually summed me up really rather well.  I would forget about my own power to change how I feel and become resolute that my life was just going to be this way forever, really very quickly.  The black marbles scattered everywhere.  I had no idea I could pick them up and flick them away.

The thing is, you're learning an entirely new way of thinking.  It's not going to just be an overnight switch in your brain, in fact it's not an on/off switch at all.  It's a development, a journey.  Progression won't be steady and smooth but if you are aware of catching when you are being a perfectionist, if you are aware of not catastrophising, it makes the natural bumps a lot easier to deal with.

I was also a chronic over thinker.  I put too much weight on everything meaning SOMETHING.  Instead of just shrugging my shoulders sometimes and mindfully saying "oh well", I made it worse by beating myself up over every little blip I had.  Now, blips are just responded to with a "whoops" and moved on from, hence why its only minutes or hours, not days and weeks.

All I can say is, personally, from me to you, your efforts WILL pay off.  They have to, because this stuff works.  Trust me, it works.  Effort is good, but actually taking the pressure off myself and not expecting Rome to be built in a day was very helpful for me.  As Rob says, PACE - persistent and continuous effort.  The effort doesn't have to be breaking your back effort; walk before you run and all that.  A quote that I still like to think of today: "walk in the direction of your dreams today, even if it just a waddle".  It's not a race to get to "the end".  The life saving stuff is in the learning.