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Myths my counselling clients needed exposing


My counselling clients often talk about their beliefs and thought processes. Quite often, we spend time doing this because, by paying attention to what we think, we can unpick where these ideas have come from and what impact they are having on us now.


Through having these conversations, it has become apparent to me that there are a lot of things we all take for granted and believe without question. Actually, we have allowed it to be normal to buy into various myths that are quite debilitating and limit us from being who we want to be.


Until I became a counsellor, I also didn't think to question them.


It is time to change this and challenge these myths so we can live the way we want to instead of the way we believe we should.


Here are five myths that have come up in my work as a counsellor that you might also need to be exposed to.


I have given some suggestions for each one to help you change the status quo by talking more about them and unveiling the actual truth.


Myth Number 1

Agreeing is polite - and politeness is priority


Of course, manners are important.


Your parents/ carers/ teachers hopefully taught you to say please and thank-you from a young age and, by being courteous and grateful instead of demanding, you were likely thought of as a very polite young child.


However...


Whilst it might have been a priority to make sure you knew to ask and wait to receive, this might have also lead to you believing that speaking out or saying what you thought was a bad thing. You were taught that saying yes was part of the rules alongside using your Ps and Qs.


ACTUALLY


What you might have missed- and you are not alone- is that asking for what you want is a way of communicating your needs, valuing you and putting your priorities at your centre focus. It is NOT rude to ask for what you want or to suggest something different instead of just being agreeable.


Suggestion:

If you want to start challenging this myth then why not start small and speak up at your next opportunity. If you are deciding what to get for a takeaway or where to go for dinner SPEAK UP and say what you want instead of going along with someone else's choice to be polite. By taking this little step, you will see how much you can benefit from sharing what you want with the world.



Myth Number 2

If you disagree with someone, you are saying your way is better than theirs


This has actually been a big learning curve for me and it is something that I have seen come up many times in my counselling room.


Have you ever been around someone who never stops sharing their opinions? They always have something to say and can't wait for you to hear it? Well, if you believed Myth Number 1 that its most important to be polite then you probably - like me - also believe Myth Number 2 that the best thing to do in this situation is to keep quiet and not speak your mind.


However...


The belief that one person's opinion is right and others' are wrong is a very toxic belief indeed. In fact, if you think about it, that's the kind of dangerous territory that can (and has) lead to very big problems in the world.


ACTUALLY


What is true for you is FOR YOU and that applies to everyone.


Suggestion

If you want to expose this myth then you need to start being self centred. You need to value yourself and your opinions and share them with the world.


Next time someone shares their opinion, why not start with the phrase " for ME it was..." or "in MY opinion it..."


It might actually help you to open up and get to know others while putting forward that your opinion is also valid.


Myth Number 3

Other people have flawless relationships with their parents and or children


Before I entered the wonderful world of counselling, as a student counsellor or even as a counselling client, I believed that EVERYONE ELSE had perfect relationships with their family members. More than that, I believed that it was WRONG to think anything less of my loved ones let alone let on that they sometimes get on my nerves.


I know how fortunate I am having been brought up by two loving parents in a warm house where hot meals and clean clothes were always available.


How could I possibly share with a counsellor that things haven't always been hunky dory?


However...


Looking at this now as a counsellor with years of experience working with different clients, one thing is very clear:


No relationship is Hunky Dory!


AND as we discovered with Myth Number 2 that two things can be true at the same time


Actually


You can love and hate/like and dislike/feel sad and happy about your family at the same time.


Imperfect families have become taboo subjects alongside talking about politics, religion and taxes.


Suggestion

This may be a bit of a challenge but how about we try normalising conversations where we share that things aren't always perfect? What would it be like to unburden yourself from having to pretend that things are better than they actually are? Why not give it a go and next time you talk about your relationships say what you really feel not what you feel you really should?




Myth Number 4

You will one day have enough time and money to do everything you want to do.


We probably all buy into this one. Believing that one day things will be better is definitely a positive and hopeful thought that can bring us a lot of comfort in the present.


However...


When it comes to money, can you calculate how much money you would actually need to be able to afford EVERYTHING you want - it's probably a lot more than a few times your salary.


If you use social media, watch tv or even use the internet regularly, chances are you will be bombarded with adverts of the endless things that you could possibly want to buy.


When it comes to time, can you work out how long you would need to do all of the things that you have been wanting to do - its probably more time than your average annual leave allowance.


Actually

The time is now. You know what you really want and when you start making yourself a priority it won't be a question of having the time and money to do what really matters.


Suggestion:

Stop saying no to the opportunities that you know would make you happy. Don't let not having time be an excuse because time is not promised. If you can't afford it now, sit down and work out how long it would take to save the money and, if you really want it, you will find a way because by being open to and looking for opportunities they will start to appear.


Myth Number 5

Having a significant other is the only love you need.


Finally, this needs no explanation. We are fed this story in childhood and from then on the message never stops. We all know that its not the only thing that is important but we are so often told that we need to work towards having a significant other that it can feel like we are doing something wrong if we don't put all of our energy into being attractive and dateable.


However...


Believing that the significant other relationship is the only one we need is another very toxic myth which can stop us from getting what we want out of life.


Actually,


If you put all of your expectations in someone else making your life happy, you are being very unfair to that person and will likely be setting the relationship up to fail.



Suggestion

Again, why not challenge this myth by starting a new conversation. If you are single and it is suggested to you that you shouldn't be, why not talk about why having a good relationship with yourself is the most important. If you are in a relationship, why not make time for you to do something for yourself instead of for your significant other.


After all



"The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself" Diane Von Furstenberg


If you have enjoyed reading about these Myths why not keep an eye on my page for other blog posts that might be of interest. I post the links on my Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages.


If you think you'd like to explore this in counselling why not get in touch today.





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GRACE FRY MBACP

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