Don't believe everything you think. When you are under stress, thoughts often become erratic, irrational, unbalanced, negative, hurtful, fearful, sad, and maybe even sometimes frustrated. We could probably add many more descriptive words to that list. So do you think it's best to believe the negative self-beliefs that come up when you are suffering from trauma, extreme work stress, or post-traumatic stress? I tend to think the answer to that is no, however, these kinds of thoughts can be sneaky and rather deceitful. They can parade around as "truths" about who you are at your core. Many of the troops I've had the honor of meeting over the passed eight years have often thought badly of themselves. They are usually the first in line to consider themselves less than worthy as human beings and often consider themselves as less than others in society. Wrap your mind around that for a minute?
Now consider some of the articles I recently posted in my resource pages about the kind of stress factors affecting police officers. It's alarming. Those who are defending our streets, our nation, our soil, our rights, our laws, are suffering in silence. We've had many events across the nation where our first responders and other staff have been stretched to their limits physically, mentally, and emotionally in order to do what is right for the citizens of our communities. Those events may fade from our memories to one degree or another depending on the extremity of the event, as we move on with our lives, but they tend to stay somewhere within the energy of those who were first on the scene. I don't believe they ever forget these events. They may push them back somewhere from their forward thinking, but it shows up in sleepless nights, alcohol usage, frustration, anger, and again the list goes on and on. It becomes part of their being. It deteriorates their physical and emotional being, but it also erodes how they feel about themselves as a human being. They may feel confident still in their ability to do their job, but I have often seen that they are not as confident in feeling like they are their best for their families. Those kinds of situations lead to negative self-belief of not being good enough.
PTSD is a prime target for negative self-belief. I've never met a person with PTSD that didn't think terrible things about themselves. It makes you feel weak, broken, incapable, stupid, unworthy, worthless, unable to cope, and basically, not fit for human consumption.
If you are basing a decision about yourself on moments when you are in the grips of these kinds of thoughts, you probably are not making a very informed decision. If it doesn't sit right in your gut, it's probably not right. A police officer once told me those hunches are real, you should listen to them. So if you have a hunch that you are making a decision about who you are and what you are in moments of high stress, then it's best to wait until your gut checks in later when you are calm. Remember, one negative thoughts attracts others......so if one negative thought isn't true, there's a really good chance those that follow aren't true either. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself inside your own head. You may need to change the script.
Meditation can help achieve that calm, centered state that helps you to check in with your gut. It helps to re-circuit what is happening in the brain.