· I must not be frustrated. I cannot bear to be frustrated.
· I must be comfortable now. I cannot bear to be uncomfortable.
· I must feel good in the moment. I cannot stand not feeling high.
· I must not experience negative feelings. I cannot tolerate anxiety, depression, and anger and must quickly rid myself of these negative feelings.
· I must experience good feelings now and on an ongoing basis. I cannot bear not feeling perpetually good.
· I must get quick results. I cannot stand slow progress towards my goals.
· Things must not be hard, very hard, slow or at times boring. I cannot stand difficult things which are either slow to be resolved or which are tedious and boring.
· I need quick relief or escape when I get frustrated and uncomfortable. I cannot stand slow relief even if that is the better type of relief to pursue for my pain.
REBT encourages you to change your absolute must to a healthy want and to see that you can withstand frustration, discomfort, and sustained effort. Consider the the truth and utility of the following beliefs:
· I do not want to be frustrated but frustration will not kill me. I can bear frustration and it is worth doing so.
· I want to be comfortable but I can withstand being uncomfortable and it is worthwhile to do so when doing so is a requirement for achieving a long term goal.
· I want to feel good in the moment but can bear not feeling good in the moment in order to achieve a future goal.
· I wish negative feelings did not exist but they will not kill me and may even be easier to withstand if I acknowledge that I can bear them.
· I want to experience good feeling now and ongoing basis but this is not consistent with the human condition. Life is not one long high. Life has blissful moments but it has neutral and even uncomfortable moments and periods. Too bad. I will withstand the negative moments better if I give up my demand for constant bliss.
· I want quick results but sometimes this is not possible with certain goals. I can tolerate this and persist. Perhaps I will intermittently rest but in the end I see I cannot avoid having to persist in order to achieve certain goals.
· I wish things were not hard, very hard, slow, tedious or boring but unfortunately there are tasks which are difficult and achieved through slow progress over long periods of time. Boredom sometimes is part of life. Rather than demand ease, quick results or constant bliss I will acknowledge that sometimes life is slow, boring, and tedious. Too bad that this is the human condition at least some of the time.
· I want quick relief and escape when I get frustrated and uncomfortable but I do not necessarily need quick relief and escape. If I choose quick relief and escape from frustration and discomfort I may very well jeopardize my health, future well-being and long term goal attainment.
People who achieve their goals in life develop high frustration tolerance and high discomfort tolerance for doing what is necessary to achieve their long term goals. Enhancing your discomfort tolerance is a key to good emotional adjustment. Fallible humans find it exceptionally easy to silently whine and complain about the discomforts and frustrations of life. Fortunately, humans were also blessed with the capacity to think about their thinking and to reformulate their beliefs so that they stick with their goals and can thereby avoid needlessly upsetting themselves when they have to wait, persevere, and problem solve to circumvent the problems of life.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Matweychuk to see how Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy can help you overcome your personal problems call 646.666.3108 or send an email to DrM@alumni.upenn.edu