October 23, 2017


When we face a challenge (be it big or small) our mind does a thing called a cognitive assessment, which is basically a self audit of resources. Do I have the resources to deal with this challenge?

If the answer comes back 'yes' then you just deal with it and get on with it with minimum anxiety.
If the answer comes back 'no' then we leave ourselves vulnerable to more extreme responses from our subconscious mind.

The three main responses are Shutdown, Meltdown and Breakdown.

Let's look at the first of those three: Shutdown.

Shutdown is when we start to perceive everything about the world as far too much for us and we retreat from ALL challenges. We might recognise this as the point where anxiety gives rise to depression. We are not just sad and overwhelmed, but we feel unable to see any road to happiness.

As a result we sleep a lot, and find it difficult to face the day, so end up staying in bed or locking ourselves away.
Solution: Reduce self criticism and allow our self esteem to restore itself.

So our subconscious is telling us we can't deal with ANYTHING! The more logical side of our thinking might look at this reality and recognise it as false. Whilst we might feel overwhelmed now we have many experiences of dealing with challenges and overcoming them. Therefore, whilst our subconscious tries to tell us we can't handle even the slightest challenge our logical conscious mind tells us we probably can.

The reason that we have the idea that we can't deal with life is because we have a low level of self worth and self esteem. Our own perception of ourself is poor and we don't regard ourself as 'good enough' to handle things.
Funnily enough (not funny haha, but funny in a kind of quirky, ironic and really really unfunny way) this criticism that keeps us locked in our negative reality actually comes from ourself.

That's right...of all the things you BELIEVE to be your fault the one that actually IS your fault is your own self image.

Imagine for a moment if you found it impossible to criticise or blame yourself for ANYTHING. Imagine self criticism and beating yourself up became something you simply couldn't do.
Just how much criticism and negative feedback would you receive on a daily basis?
When you really think about it you might even realise that you are the ONLY one regularly criticising you and blaming you for all the bad stuff.

So imagine you just decided to stop.

Imagine you just said that no matter what you THINK is true, you will today promise yourself to NEVER beat yourself up.

What then starts to happen is our natural confidence and self belief (which in case you didn't realise we are born with) gets a breather from all the battering you've been giving it. It then starts to restore and regrow.
Before you know it you look at the day ahead and start to perceive yourself as the person to deal with all the challenges. In fact, you then start to perceive the challenges as much smaller than you previously thought they were.
So, in conclusion...the first course of action is to stop beating yourself up.

If you beat yourself up you just end up beaten. THAT is what causes Shutdown.

The good thing is that because it is only you doing it...it's you that can solve it.

Find out more about beating anxiety in my book: Clear Your Head: The simple guide to enjoying your life without anxiety getting in the way.

By: Tim Box

The Control System | Master

October 23, 2017
Enjoying this article?

You might also be interested in...

Like what you read?

Did this article raise any queries you might have?

Please contact us and we can help you, whatever your question...

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

By filling out this form, you agree to the terms laid out in our privacy policy. To read more, please click here.