Why can't I stop these thoughts?

I keep having these random thoughts that I don't want. Things like "you aren't worth anything." I know they're my own thoughts but it feels like someone else is saying it.

What is wrong with me, and how can I stop having these thoughts?

David Klein
David Klein
Humanistic Psychotherapy for Individuals & Couples
Those kinds of thoughts can be quite difficult to handle, but if they are your own thoughts (and not voices you are hearing, which can be very different), they likely are not new to you. From what I've learned from clients I work with, often these thoughts have been quite useful for them over the course of their lives, that through criticizing oneself, it is a way of motivating oneself. However, in your case and in most of those clients, it has caught up to them and it's almost like they no longer need the motivation (that they can do just fine motivating themselves by themselves!)

I think it's important to see these thoughts as the voice of the "inner critic." That inner critic was there for a long time, again, because "it" (I like to identify it as a thing inside of you) thought that you needed motivation in the form of criticism to stay on task with your life. But now that that kind of sentiment is no longer needed by you, it might be time to have a different kind of relationship with it. But it wants to be heard. It doesn't want to silenced (Or "stopped" in your words.) So instead of trying to ignore it, perhaps we can see all the ways you are worth something and internalize (take in, let those ways resonate with you, sit with them, think about them) so that the inner critic can see that it isn't quite correct in what it is saying. In essence, you are instead sitting with the thoughts or worthiness instead of worthlessness.

If that is challenging, sometimes seeing someone who is objective, such as a therapist, can be helpful. They can help you see the ways in which you are strong, have resilience, as well as any positive attributes that might be hard to see in the face of this loud inner critic. And, above all, if you feel like this doesn't resonate for you, and that the voices might actually be voices, an evaluation should be sought to further tease out what sorts of symptoms you are experiencing.
The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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