Questionnaire: Understanding Self-Doubt, Shame, Guilt, Self-Rejection, Unworthiness

This is a part of a series of articles with questions, which will help us understand our emotions and how we can free ourselves from unwanted ones.

Some useful questions:

1. “Which are the events, situations or thoughts which trigger some level of self-doubt?” (We will, for the purpose of brevity, refer to all these emotions as self-doubt. You may replace this word with any other which might be more appropriate for you.)

2. “What do you believe in those situations which makes you feel this way?”

3. “Why do you believe that?” ” And why do you believe that?”

(The questioning goes on as we search for the belief behind each answer that is given. “And what do you believe which makes you believe that?”)

4. “Do you know other people who are similar to you in relationship to the reason you are doubting your self?”
a. “Do you reject them in the same way?” “If not, then why not?”
b. “Do you have two standards, one for yourself which is more strict and a more relaxed one for others?” “If yes, then why so?”
c. “What prevents you from accepting yourself in the same way that you accept others?”

5. “Whose beliefs are these, which are creating these feelings? Are they yours or do they belong to some voices from the past i.e. parents, teachers etc.?”

6. “If in fact, they are not yours, but programmings, would you like to get free from them?”

7. “Is it possible that you might not want to totally accept yourself, that you are getting something out of this, perhaps you feel safe in this role of the unworthy, or perhaps you feel it would be egotistical to accept and love yourself?”

8. ” If there were a part of yourself which actually wanted to avoid total self-acceptance, why might it want that; what might be the gain?”

9. “Do you feel self-doubt because you feel that you are immoral, that what you are doing is wrong, that you are doing to others what you would not like them to do? If yes, what would you like to do about that?”

10. If you want to change the behavior mentioned in No.9, how could you do so? What makes you do it? What do you feel or need, which forces you to act in a way that is in conflict with your conscience?”

11. “How can you get free from these needs that are forcing you to behave in a way which is undermining your own self esteem?”

12. “List at least five of your positive traits or qualities, because of which you could accept and respect yourself.”

13. “Are you ready to create a more positive relationship with yourself? If yes, why?” “What are the negative results of your not accepting or loving your self?”

14. “Do you deserve to love your self? If yes, why? If not, Why not?”

15. “What are you going to do about this?” When and where and how?”

16. “Do you feel that communicating with others about this may be useful?”

17. “If yes, what do you want to communicate to them?”

We need to give special attention to learning to express our needs, feelings and beliefs. This is an integral part of regaining our self-esteem. We may at first express these emotions aggressively, blaming the other due to pent up hurt and anger.

For this reason, we may benefit by first writing what we want to say, and then finding a person trained in psychodrama to listen to us, as we express our feelings to him or her, imagining that he or she is the person we want to express all this to.

Once we have done this a number of times, we may feel ready to communicate our needs and feelings to our loved one, without accusing or criticizing.

Now you may like to describe how you would like to think, feel and respond in future situations. You may find it more powerful to write your description in the present tense as if it is already a reality.

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