What To Do When Rationalization Doesn’t Help Anymore?

Domagoj Vidovic

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When facing our inner demons, we often come up with many logical explanations of why we shouldn’t feel that enormous stream of negativity.

Before even knowing about the specific demons, we were totally unaware that something is dragging us down. We accepted our character as something fixed; we defended that negativity. We just couldn’t handle it.

The demons weren’t a part of you. They owned you.

Becoming aware of them was the first step of a wonderful unity. Inner shadows seem extremely scary until we look them straight in the eyes — that’s when they start to melt. We’re not whole without them; everything in nature is balanced, and so are the light and dark inside of us.

If we run away from dark, everything is dark; if we become friends with it, everything is light.

Awareness is the Key, But Only for the First Couple of Doors

We surely can’t be friends with our dark side if we don’t know what it is. Investigating our negativity, triggers, past and current state of mind, and much more — gives a clear picture to us.

We get the idea about a bad habit or a bad thought pattern: when did it start to happen, how, why?

By becoming more aware of it, we can sharpen our tools more precisely, and describe everything in detail. We intellectualize everything; we journal, meditate, consult with a close friend, life coach, or a psychotherapist — becoming the masters of theory.

But in practice, this thing still bugs us. We can’t get it out of our minds. Some days are better, others are again at the bottom.

Rationalization is an extremely valuable tool, drastically expanding our awareness. Even though our conclusions can be on supreme levels of intelligence, we have to remember:

Rationalization is a method of self-defense.

It has many benefits, but if applied wrongly, the result is running away from our shadows, not facing them. We end up with an idea in our head, how things should be — but in reality, they are different. We don’t want to accept it, our intellectual mind is blocking us. Pain is the result.

“But This Can Be Fixed, Right Domagoj?”

Sure. What would be the point of this article otherwise?

Let’s imagine that you’re in this situation right now — you’re relentlessly fighting with unwanted thought patterns, and can’t figure out that last move to get rid of them completely.

You made huge progress. But that. Last. Move. What to do?

A couple of years ago, I had exactly those types of struggles in my mind.

When I was a kid, I didn’t think too much about my personal health. The elderly were always wishing me health, making me confused. “I’m totally healthy, health is unlimited, why are you guys saying this so often?”

That young boy had so many things to learn.

During my college, I had some strange health problems, resulting in me having to abandon all of my sports activities. Something I adored, something that was part of me for my whole life; ice hockey, gym, bike, running, swimming. All of it — gone.

The disease lasted for half a year, but it ended up leaving huge mental consequences. As a result, I completely forgot how to feel healthy.

I felt like an unhealthy person for 2 years. 2 years!

I didn’t want to give up, researching everything I could that would give me “my last self”, that unfrightened young boy. Books, articles, consultancies, journaling, better habits, etc. I tried to do everything. On paper, I was living like the healthiest person in the world.

But in real life, I still felt sick. Even though I would write every day about my great habits, outstanding nutrition, and hundreds of more valid reasons why I should be healthy — I just wasn’t.

That’s when I dived deeply into another part of myself, getting me to the solution: my self-image.

Even though I knew everything about healthy life and habits, in my mind, I still perceived myself as a sick person.

That core pillar of thoughts laid deeply inside my mind; affecting every single situation. I was constantly afraid of life: exposure to cold because I didn’t want to get sick; training hard because I could get hurt; those unaware mind patterns were questioning my health for the whole time.

I was constantly building my self-image in which I am — a sick person. My beliefs raised my thoughts — resulting in actions and feelings; and I ended up being a sick person, even though doctors were saying that I’m perfectly fine.

The Key for The Remaining Doors: Self-Image

Take a moment and remember one thing that was continuously ruining your life for an extended period of time.

Have it already? Great.

That one thing was making you upset because you were giving it attention. Where our focus goes, our energy flows; and that energy builds our self-image. A part of us that doesn’t agree with the logical explanations we propose to it.

If you view yourself as a sick person, you will feel and be so.

If you perceive yourself as an average employee, you will feel and be so.

If you see yourself as an unlucky victim, things which confirm that will happen.

Our self-image is tightly linked to our beliefs. Belives arise ideas, which manifest themselves in the reality. Our outer world is just a mirror of our inner world.

You’re Driving Me Crazy. What Can I Do?

If you’ve stayed until this part, you probably have something you want to let go. You are aware of situations that make you feel pain but only have logical explanations of why they shouldn’t.

Instead of rationalizing your current self — let’s explore what would the greatest version of you do. How would it react? What thoughts would pass through its mind? What feelings would be there?

You’re an average employee? Yes, you are, because you see yourself as one, and act accordingly. Act like the top one, perceive yourself as a top one, and you will be so.

Focus on the feeling of the new you. What would that life be like? Visualize it, and back it up with strong emotions.

By doing it, you’re literally crafting your self-image, exactly the one you want. The situations which had created pain in you — have now turned into challenges; a place where you can practice your inner work.

Convert obstacles into challenges — everything is way more fun that way.

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