Mandy Kloppers

Practise what you preach

Deutsch: Phrenologie
Deutsch: Phrenologie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you practise what you preach? There are many hypocrites out there who say one thing and do another. It’s a psychological fact that we use different criteria to judge others than we do for ourselves. Depending on whether we are more optimistic (and possibly in denial in some ways) or more pessimistic in nature, we tend to have a skewed comparison effect.

If we’re optimistic, we see ourselves in a more positive light compared to others. I remember once being with a boyfriend who was incredibly selfish and at times emotionally abusive. He commented on a friend of his one day saying something like, “He is very selfish and never allows his wife to have an opinion”. I distinctly remember this comment because the week before this same man had told me that he didn’t want my belongings in his house (we were moving in together and he was quite wealthy) as they weren’t expensive enough and didn’t fit in with his stuff! I should’ve left him there and then…silly me.

If we are pessimistic we tend to judge others more favourably than we judge ourselves. We cut them more slack and give ourselves a hard time. The main reason I am writing this post today though is to talk about my work.

Every type of therapy that I do with my clients, I have tried myself. From cognitive behavioural therapy, act and commitment therapy  to schema theory, I have given them all a go. I truly believe that I cannot extol the virtues of certain therapies in my psychological toolkit without having tried them for myself.

Cognitive behavioural therapy has had the most significant effect on me. When I think about how I used to think ten years ago, I have become a much better ‘thought manager’. I am less anxious and I am more adept at worrying less about things I have no control over. This doesn’t mean I don’t get down or that my life is perfect. far from it but I no longer take life as seriously as I used to. I certainly have more belief in my own opinions and abilities which has had a wonderfully positive impact upon my achievements.

The most significant changes since doing counselling and psychological strategising are:

1) I like myself more.

2) I am more prepared to speak my mind and try new things.

3) Less worried about failure.

4) I feel more in control of my life and my emotions.

5) I don’t automatically assume that everyone else knows better than me.

6) I don’t blame anyone else for where I am in life.

7)I have a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses.

We never stop learning and we never stop making mistakes. That’s life and when we accept that we feel happier to ‘muck in’ and just get on with it. When you don’t take yourself too seriously, you can be one of those people that dances to your own beat and doesn’t worry about what others think. We have to honour our own existence by doing what we feel is important and in line with our own values instead of following what is expected of us. This is the most sure fire way to lose yourself.

When your inner and outer worlds are congruent, true peace of mind follows. By this I mean

– when your ideal self (the image you show to others) and your true self (the real you underneath that feels vulnerable and has insecurities) mirror each other – you feel more complete. There is no incongruency and this is the ultimate state to strive for.

Mandy X




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