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I See Your Value

As a counselor... and more importantly as a human being, I understand the struggle behind social anxiety. I have this incredible ability to say or act in the most awkward way in a social setting.

Albert Ellis, a therapist and founder of Rational Emotive Therapy, used to say that if "A" is what happens, and "C" is how you react... "B" is what you tell yourself. (He goes into more detail, so look him up if you are curious).

Example: I walk up to a group of people (What happens)+ I assume they are judging me for *insert insecurity here* (What you tell yourself) = I feel uncomfortable/awkward/want to hide (How you react).

We can change our sentence and yet sometimes that isn't enough. I have found that we assume people will judge us... just as harshly as we tend to judge them.

I started doing this exercise everyday, when I am at the grocery store or walking through a park, I set an intention to silently tell people, "I see your value" as I walk past them.

Then I started doing this activity on the way to big events as a way to lighten my energy, and by the time I get to where I'm going I'm telling little birds on the sidewalk that they have value (and they definitely do). Although you may think that this makes me MORE awkward (and it might), I find that I feel light and loving.

When you can see the value in those around you, you can begin to see the value in yourself. We all as human beings have value. When we stop putting others in the "better than" or "less than" position, we can finally see the connection we have to each other.

With love and gratitude,

Stephanie Breitenstein MC, LCPC

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