“I must do well and be loved and approved by others.”
REBT disputing questions:
- Do I want to do well or do I absolutely need to do well?
- Does holding the attitude I must do well and be loved and approved by others help me function in the real world where people may hold a bias against me?
- Has there been a time in the past when I did not do well and was not loved and approved of by others? Did I survive that time?
- Assuming it is desirable to do well does it logically follow that I therefore must do well?
- Assuming it is desirable to have the love and approval of someone or a group of people does it therefore follow I must have the love and approval of that person or that group of people?
- Do I function well when I hold the attitude that I absolutely must do well and be love and approved of by others? What results from holding this rigid attitude?
It is very desirable to do well but I do not absolutely have to do well. There are practical benefits to doing well but I do not absolutely have to have those practical benefits. Similarly it is desirable, sometimes very desirable, to be loved and approved of by others but that does not mean that I therefore absolutely must be loved of and approved of by other people. It is not realistic to expect I will always do well. Striving to do well is fine but rigidly demanding I do well will lead to anxiety that will actually reduce my chances of doing well.
Homework Which Will Lead to Behavioral Change:
Take a moment to write REBT’s rational attitude on a piece of paper three times every day for a week or so. This will help you internalize the rational attitude which will liberate you from performance anxiety that is a consequence of holding the unhealthy attitude “I must do well and be loved and approved by others”. Remember REBT's philosophy works in the real world for those who adopt this way of thinking. Your philosophical attitudes are 100% under your control. Adopt REBT's philosophical attitudes and you will liberate yourself and lead a happier and healthier emotional life.