Break It Down – Step By Step

When I started learning about the skills of DBT I kept hearing the phrase “a life worth living.” At first, I did not like this skill. I thought it sounded cold. However, the more I understood the skill, the more I liked it. I once read that “No life is not worth living. But what is important is that you experience your life as worth living—one that is satisfying, and one that brings happiness,” this is when I realized that my first reaction to this skill was actually the opposite of the point. The skill is not saying that without it lives are not worth living, but that the skill can help people have more positives in their lives.

One of the main points of this skill is discovering your values and creating goals to be able to live by those values. Before my involvement with DBT, I had a different view of my values. My understanding was that they were big concepts or ethics to live by. Accumulating positives in the Long Term has a different view on values, they are simply factors that you value in life. After learning this view, I spent a lot of time thinking about my values and how they show up and influence in my life. Values do not have end points; we cannot do anything to “complete” a value. But we can have goals that help us live more aligned to our values. This skill helps create a goal in a manageable way. By working on the goal, we are adding positives into our piggy banks, which will help when vulnerabilities creep into our lives.

Recently, I used this skill when signing up for the National Counselor Examination. As a graduate intern, this is a required test that I need to take to finish my education and start the next part of my professional journey. The process of applying to take the test is different than other standardized exams that I have taken before, and I kept running into technical issues on the site and wanted to walk away and let the bugs work themselves out. However, with the deadline approaching I knew I needed to be proactive getting my application in.

By breaking down the process into the steps of accumulating positive emotions, long term, and by reminding myself that fining these steps would benefit me in the long run, I was able to figure out all the issues as they came up. The first step is to Avoid Avoiding this is the one that I had to do the most (and then again when I was unsure what to write for this blog). Once I stopped avoiding would remind myself of how completing this exam will help with a few of factors I value (education, contributing to the larger community, and achieving things in life).  This would correlate to steps 2-4.

Now that the application has been sent, I will use the last three steps of Accumulating Positives Long Term (step 5 choosing one goal to work on now, step 6 ID small action steps and step 7, take one action step now) to keep focused and not become overwhelmed as I study and finish the rest of the steps I need to do before taking the exam in a few months.

Looking at values to turn them into life worth living goals can feel intimidating. Using the steps in Accumulating Positives in the Long term, helps create a blueprint to add aspects of the value(s) to our lives, in bite size steps. Instead of focusing on all the value can bring or even all the aspects that go into one goal for the value, we can focus on the one next step. For me that is listening to exam prep after I submit this blog.

Break It Down - Step By Step

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